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Dick Dastardly as seen in Wacky Races
|Created by||William Hanna & Joseph Barbera|
|Portrayed by||Porter Flynn (2013)|
|Voiced by||Paul Winchell (1968–1991)|
Michael Bell (The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera)
Rob Paulsen (in Yo Yogi!)
Jim Cummings (2000–2008)
Peter Woodward (2017–present)
Dick Dastardly is a fictional character and antagonist who appeared in various animated series by Hanna-Barbera Productions from 1968 onward. Dastardly's most famous appearances are as a main character in the series Wacky Races (his initial appearance) and its spin-off, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. He is partly based on the English actor Terry-Thomas.
The character was voiced originally by Paul Winchell, then by Rob Paulsen and by Jim Cummings. Winchell's facial structures were caricatured in the related character design as well. In a live action version played by British actor Porter Flynn a prosthetic nose and chin were employed to replicate Dastardly's exaggerated features from the original cartoon. In the cartoons Dastardly would often utter his catchphrases, "Drat, drat and double drat!" or "Triple drat!" and even "Curses, foiled again!" His other main catchphrase was, "Muttley, do something!"
In Wacky Races, Dastardly was one of the drivers who competed in each episode for first place, in a long and hazard-filled cross-country road rally. As his name implies, Dastardly aimed to win solely through cheating and trickery. His race car, numbered double-zero and named "The Mean Machine", featured all sorts of devious traps for him to use against his opponents. As Wacky Races is inspired by the film The Great Race, so was Dastardly derived from the film's chief villain, Professor Fate, played by Jack Lemmon. Dastardly in this series wore old-fashioned racer's gear — a long blue duster overcoat often worn by early motorists, along with long red gloves, a large striped hat with driving goggles attached, and sporting a handlebar mustache.
Dastardly was aided in his schemes by his sidekick, a scruffy anthropomorphic dog named Muttley who had a distinctive wheezy laugh, heard most often when Dastardly's schemes failed. Despite Dastardly and Muttley's attempts, the "double-dealing do-badders", as the opening narration of Wacky Races describes them, failed to win a single race. Dastardly came close to winning on several occasions, but has always failed, either through his own actions or bad luck, such as posing for his picture as it was a photo finish, stopping to sign an autograph for Muttley, and having Muttley sabotage his own vehicle (Dick told the hound to "stop the winning car"). On one occasion Dastardly did cross the finish line in first place, but was revealed to have extended the nose of his car at the last moment, and was disqualified in favour of Penelope Pitstop; this despite the fact that other characters had pulled similar stunts in the past without punishment (and indeed the original footage showed that Dastardly had not extended the nose of his car). In one episode in which he accidentally crossed the finish line first he was still disqualified-due to a series of crazy car mixups-Dastardly and Muttley were in the wrong car!
It seemed likely that if Dastardly had not bothered to cheat, he might have won many of the races fairly: The Mean Machine was the fastest car on the grid, and Dastardly's driving ability was often shown to be superior to the other racers. (Alas, Dick seemed bound to a code similar to that of wrestler Gorgeous George: "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!")
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines
Dick Dastardly continued his villainous career in the Wacky Races spin-off; Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. The series was inspired by the 1965 film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines and Dastardly's appearance is based on the film's villain, Sir Percival Ware-Armitage, played by Terry-Thomas. Dastardly and Muttley flew with two other pilots; Zilly, a coward who used to hide in his clothes when he was ordered to deploy, and Klunk, the mechanic/inventor, who speaks a language largely composed of strange sounds that only Zilly can understand. Together, they comprised the "Vulture Squadron", presumably working for Germany and the Central Powers in World War I. The squadron constantly attempt to stop a messenger pigeon, "Yankee Doodle Pigeon", from delivering messages to an opposing army (seemingly American and/or the Triple Entente), often with the song "Stop the Pigeon" playing. A typical scene shows the "Vulture Squadron" all converging from different directions on "Yankee Doodle Pigeon", only to end up crashing into one another -- while the bird remains unharmed. As in Wacky Races, Dastardly continued to fail miserably at his mission, only coming near to success on a single occasion. Muttley, despite showing enough competence to win various medals at some points, seemed to delight in Dick's failures, displaying his trademark snickering laugh.
Yogi's Treasure Hunt
In later years, Dastardly and Muttley were the nemeses for Yogi Bear and his friends in the 1980s series Yogi's Treasure Hunt. This time, Dick repeatedly failed at discovering hidden treasure before Yogi and his team. It was in this series' episode Yogi's Heroes that Dick's full name was revealed; as the leader of an island named Dicaragua, he introduced himself as Richard Milhous Dastardly (an obvious play on former U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon). One episode shows that Dastardly and Muttley are the greediest creatures in the world.
Fender Bender 500
Dick Dastardly and Muttley were in the "Fender Bender 500" shorts on the early 1990s short-lived series Wake, Rattle, and Roll. In those segments, the duo once again appeared in a suped-up version of the Mean Machine as a monster truck called the Dirty Truckster (a pun on the phrase "dirty trickster"), but raced against such Hanna-Barbera stalwarts as Yogi Bear and Quick Draw McGraw. In this series, they were actually able to pull off a win when racing to Russia's 'Red Square'. Unfortunately, their prize was simply a red square of paper, and not the deed to the Russian capital as the title of 'red square' would imply. In another Fender Bender race (The "Hit 'n' Mississippi 500"), he played on Yogi Bear's famous catchphrase of being "smarter than the average bear" by claiming to be "smarter than the average cheat".
Dick Dastardly (alongside Muttley) appeared as a child (known as Dickie) in the short-lived series Yo Yogi! voiced by Rob Paulsen. In the series he rides a bicycle that resembles the Mean Machine and his clothes resemble his ones from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Dick Dastardly would often come up with various plots which would often backfire on him.
- Universal Studios Florida formerly had a motion simulator ride titled The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera which was a tribute to Hanna-Barbara cartoons; Dastardly (voiced by Michael Bell) kidnaps Elroy Jetson, so Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear have to travel across the various worlds of Hanna-Barbera to rescue him. At the end of the ride Dastardly is arrested and sent to a flying jail cell.
- Dick Dastardly, Muttley, and the Mean Machine returned as a boss car in the 2000 Wacky Races video game voiced by Jim Cummings and Billy West. They are the protagonists in the earlier 1991 version.
- Dick Dastardly made a non-speaking cameo in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Death By Chocolate".
- In the pilot of Wacky Races Forever Dastardly (voiced by Jim Cummings) and Muttley are the main villains, working for the vice-president of Perfect Industries in an attempt to stop the other racers from crossing the finish line. The series was not picked up by the network.
- Dastardly and Muttley were to appear in the series The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, where they (especially Dastardly) would have been perfect villains given the tone and the Perils of Pauline references, rather they were imagined to be the bodyguards of a younger brother of Penelope. However, this was only in the first sketches of the series, and the two did not appear in the final work. In the first of their encounters, the Hooded Claw did ask Penelope "Who did you expect, Dick Dastardly?" possibly in reference to the above unshot scene.
- Dastardly and Muttley cameo in the South Park episode "Handicar" as participants in the return of Wacky Races.
- Dastardly and Muttley cameo in the Uncle Grandpa episode "Uncle Grandpa Retires" as attendees at the Big Race.
- Dick Dastardly appears as one of the main characters in 2016's Wacky Raceland. In this version, it is revealed that before the apocalyptic event that ravaged Earth, Dick Dastardly was a world-famous pianist named Richard D'Astardlien, who agreed to enter the race to Earth's last known paradise Utopia, so he could have a chance of seeing his wife and son being reborn.
- Another version of Dick Dastardly appeared in Dastardly & Muttley, also published by DC Comics under the Hanna-Barbera Beyond initiative. This version is Lt. Col. Richard "Dick" Atcherly, a United States Air Force pilot who is sent to shoot down the rogue drone "War Pig One", and is mutated by the mysterious element "unstabilium", becoming increasingly insane and subject to cartoon physics.
- Dastardly and Muttley appear as contestants in a futuristic car race against Philip J. Fry, in Futurama Comics #82.
- A live action version of Wacky Races  was created for a campaign for Peugeot in 2013 in which Dastardly (played by actor Porter Flynn) and Muttley (puppeteered by Mark Jeffris) race through the city against Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect, The Red Max, The Slag Brothers, The Ant Hill Mob, The Creepy Coupe and The Army Surplus Special.
- "Find - IMDb". IMDb.
- McCann, Graham (December 2011). "5". Bounder!: The Biography of Terry-Thomas. Aurum Press. ISBN 9781845137564. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
Terry-Thomas ... and Eric Sykes ... formed a very effective on-screen double-act, (which ended up inspiring a pair of cartoon alter egos – Dick Dastardly and Muttley – in the popular Hanna-Barbera/Warner Brothers series Wacky Races.
- "Wacky Races". 1 April 2013 – via www.imdb.com.
- Young & Rubicam Brasil (2 May 2013). "Y&R - Peugeot 208 - Wacky Races" – via YouTube.
- "Wacky Races". 1 April 2013 – via www.imdb.com.