|Written by||Sid Morse
|Directed by||Sidney Miller
Charles A. Nichols
|Voices of||Scatman Crothers
|Theme music composer||Hoyt Curtin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna
|Producer(s)||Terry Morse, Jr.|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original release||September 10, 1977– January 28, 1978|
- 1 Overview
- 2 Opening and closing credits
- 3 Segments
- 4 Broadcast history (CBS)
- 5 Skatebirds cast
- 6 Production credits
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Skatebirds consisted of three large costumed birds on roller skates: Knock-Knock, a woodpecker (voiced by Lennie Weinrib); Satchel, a pelican (voiced by Bob Holt); and Scooter, a penguin (voiced by Don Messick); their nemesis was a cat named Scat-Cat (voiced by Scatman Crothers). The live-action sketches featuring The Skatebirds mostly revolved around the nasty Scat-Cat perpetually chasing the roller-staking trio and trying to get the best of them.
The show also featured four short segments introduced by live-action wraparounds with The Skatebirds which included three animated segments (The Robonic Stooges, Wonder Wheels and Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives) and a live-action segment (Mystery Island). The appearance of the characters and the show's format was similar to The Banana Splits Adventures Hour. Unlike its similar predecessor and most Saturday morning children's shows produced in the 1970s, The Skatebirds did not contain a laugh track.
The Skatebirds lasted a half-season in its original run from September 10, 1977 to January 28, 1978. In the fall of 1979, the show returned to CBS in a cut-down version by removing The Robonic Stooges and Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives (which had been spun off into a separate half-hour) and broadcast on Sunday mornings until January 1981. In the late 1980s, a different half-hour version of The Skatebirds (featuring The Robonic Stooges and Wonder Wheels) was shown on USA Cartoon Express and later resurfaced on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
Opening and closing credits
The original opening credits for the one-hour version consisted of voice-over narration by Wally Burr:
It's Skatebird time and here come The Skatebirds – Knock-Knock, Scooter, Satchel and Scat-Cat. Then, The Robonic Stooges, plus the spine-tingling suspense-filled excitement of Mystery Island, and the doggone it daffy doings of those dog detectives, Woofer & Wimper, and more...the unbelievable adventures of an unbelievable motorcycle, Wonder Wheels. For all-out fun, it's Satch, Knock-Knock, Scooter and Scat-Cat...and for suspense, mystery and adventure, it's The Skatebird Show!
The alternate opening credits for the half-hour version consisted of voice-over narration by Ronnie Schell:
It's Skatebird time starring Knock-Knock, Satchel and Scooter, those featheared clowns of fantasy. Along with Willie the Wheeler and the superhero cycle known as Wonder Wheels, as well as those three mechanical marbles, The Robonic Stooges. One big collection of wild, wacky and wonderful characters...The Skatebirds!
The Robonic Stooges
The Three Stooges – Moe (voiced by Paul Winchell), Larry (voiced by Joe Baker) and Curly (voiced by Frank Welker) – featured as clumsy crime-fighting bionic superheroes who are given assignments via film projector from their boss Agent 000 (voiced by Ross Martin) who runs the Superhero Employment Agency.
- Invasion of the Incredible Giant Chicken (Sep-10-1977) – Professor Cluck has invented a super-growth formula he uses on chickens in his plan to become President of the World.
- Dimwits and Dinosaurs (Sep-17-1977) – Dr. Hansenfoot's time machine is stolen by Ugh the Pug and he uses it to commit crimes.
- Fish and Drips (Sep-24-1977) – Shark Yo Yo has defrosted a gigantic octopus which he uses to rob ships at sea.
- Have Saucer Will Travel (Oct-01-1977) – The Blobobians have approached Earth and have captured the Robonic Stooges to determine if there is intelligent life on Earth.
- I Want My Mummy (Oct-08-1977) – A mummy with magical talents has stolen the Crown of King Tut-Tut.
- The Great Brain Drain (Oct-15-1977) – Dr. Crackula has stolen the brain of Dr. Brainly (the smartest man in the world) and then captures Curly to place Dr. Brainly's intelligence into him.
- Flea Fi Fo Fum (Oct-22-1977) – Ludwig Lillyput uses a miniaturizing formula to shrink nations as part of revenge on those that ridiculed his ideas.
- Frozen Feud (Oct-29-1977) – Klondike Mike and his Yeti are stealing Alaska's oil in order to sell it and make Klondike Mike the wealthiest man in the world.
- Mother Goose on the Loose (Nov-05-1977) – A vacuum cleaner-riding witch named Mother Goose is on the loose and the Robonic Stooges are sent to capture her.
- Curly of the Apes (Nov-12-1977) – Tricker Mortis the Ivory Poacher is stealing elephants.
- Don't Fuel with a Fool (Nov-19-1977) – Ethel Methel has kidnapped Professor Octane who has created a Zoom Zoom super-fuel.
- The Eenie Meanie Genie (Nov-26-1977) – The Robonic Stooges unknowingly free an evil genie who then goes on a rampage.
- On Your Knees, Hercules (Dec-03-1977) – In Ancient Greece, Achilles the Heel uses a special potion to control Hercules in a plot to become king of all Greece.
- Rub a Dub Dub, Three Nuts in a Sub (Dec-10-1977) – A fish-man from Atlantis has stolen a submarine to add to his collected specimens.
- There's No Joy in an Evil Toy (Dec-17-1977) – Mr. Toy Ploy is robbing toy stores in order to force people to buy the stolen toys from him.
- Three Little Pigheads (Dec-24-1977) – Coach Roach and his Croakers football team are using special shoulderpads to cheat their way to the championships.
A teenage journalist Willie Wheeler (voiced by Micky Dolenz) and his girlfriend Dooley Lawrence (voiced by Susan Davis) solve crimes with the help of his living shape-shifting superhero motorcycle, Wonder Wheels. At the press of a button, Willie's beat-up motorcycle transforms into a pimped out version with a mind of its own.
- Wonder Wheels in The County Fair (Sep-10-1977) – Willie and Dooley witness two crooks stealing money from the county fair during a motorcross race.
- Wonder Wheels and The Rustlers (Sep-17-1977) – A rancher reports 10,000 cattle were stolen; Willie and Dooley discover the cattle are being stolen by men in helicopters.
- Wonder Wheels and The Skyscraper (Sep-24-1977) – Wonder Wheels pursues two escaped convicts who have taken refuge in a skyscraper under construction.
- Wonder Wheels and The Gold Train Robbery (Oct-01-1977) – A train carrying a million dollars in gold is robbed by two crooks and Wonder Wheels is hot on their trail.
- Wonder Wheels and The Snowmen (Oct-08-1977) – A valuable crown for the Snow Queen Contest at a ski resort is stolen by crooks who try to escape in a snowmobile.
- Wonder Wheels and The Vanishing Prince (Oct-15-1977) – Prince Raji is kidnapped by criminals on a boat; Wonder Wheels saves the day and the Prince awards him with a medal.
- Wonder Wheels and The Ghost Town (Oct-22-1977) – Willie and Dooley visit a ghost town for a newspaper story and meet the old Pecos Kid ghost who tries to scare them away.
- Wonder Wheels and His Double Trouble (Oct-29-1977) – At a pie baking contest, Willie and Dooley witness a fake Wonder Wheels robbing a bank and a jewelry store.
- Wonder Wheels and The U.F.O. (Nov-05-1977) – Two aliens (Starnak and Orbito) pursue Willie in a plan to capture him as a typical human specimen for their investigation.
- Wonder Wheels and The Hermits' Horde (Nov-12-1977) – Wonder Wheels pursues the hermit of Haunted Mountain who has committed a bank robbery.
- Wonder Wheels and The Air Race (Nov-19-1977) – A plane loses a wheel during take-off at the Pleasantville to Harristown Air Race and it's up to Wonder Wheels to save the day.
- Wonder Wheels and The Animals (Nov-26-1977) – Willie and Wonder Wheels investigate a nearby zoo where a gorilla and other animals are escaping.
- Wonder Wheels and The Idol's Eye (Dec-03-1977) – A couple of crooks use a mummy disguise to scare off an archaeologist so they can steal the Emerald Eye.
- Wonder Wheels and The Race Horse (Dec-10-1977) – Wonder Wheels pursues a thief who has stolen Gray Ghost, the fastest race horse in the world.
- Wonder Wheels and The Studio Steal (Dec-17-1977) – While visiting a movie studio, two suspicious characters steal an armored car with Willie and Wonder Wheels in hot pursuit.
- Wonder Wheels and The Golden Globe (Dec-24-1977) – Wonder Wheels chases two thieves who have stolen a million dollar solid gold model of the solar system.
Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives
A shortened and re-titled version of the half-hour episodes of Clue Club featuring two talking dogs – Woofer & Wimper (voiced by Paul Winchell and Jim MacGeorge) – who help solve mysteries with the teenage Clue Club detectives: Larry (voiced by David Jolliffe), Pepper (voiced by Patricia Stitch), D.D. (voiced by Bob Hastings) and Dottie (voiced by Tara Talboy).
- The Paper Shaper Caper (Sep-10-1977) – The Club Club investigate The Weekly Chronicle where the press is running with no one else in the building.
- The Case of the Lighthouse Mouse (Sep-17-1977) – The Clue Club investigate a museum robbery in which the jewels are swiped one by one and Uncle Salty is the suspected thief.
- The Real Gone Gondola (Sep-24-1977) – The Clue Club investigate the mysterious disappearance of Ms. Coldwell caused by someone named Vortex.
- Who's to Blame for the Empty Frame? (Oct-01-1977) – The Clue Club investigate a stolen million dollar painting in the Castle Museum.
- The Wild Seaweed Smuggling Caper (Oct-08-1977) – The Clue Club investigate the dock area where a sea monster dwells.
- The Green Thumb Caper (Oct-15-1977) – The Clue Club investigate multiple robberies at Mr. Cosgrave's manor, caused by some masked person in the dark.
- The Disappearing Airport Caper (Oct-22-1977) – A pilot Corky requests the Clue Club to clear his name of an X7 plane hijack, which carries insurance.
- The Walking House Caper (Oct-29-1977) – Mr. Lean asks the Clue Club to check out a top security safe, but the safe gets taken clean away.
- The Solar Energy Caper (Nov-05-1977) – The Clue Club visit a science fair where the new solar generator is stolen.
- The Vanishing Train Caper (Nov-12-1977) – The Clue Club witness a train with a gold bullion vanish past a mountain and the only clue is iron pyrite pointing to Dobson City.
- The Dissolving Statue Caper (Nov-19-1977) – At the Fun Mountain amusement park, the Clue Club are presented with a magnificent statue, but then it vanishes.
- The Missing Pig Caper (Nov-26-1977) – At the county fair, Sally takes the Clue Club to see her prize pig Sweet Pea, except he has been taken away.
- One of Our Elephants is Missing (Dec-03-1977) – The Clue Club go to the zoo to search for a missing elephant, but also some other animals.
- The Amazing Heist (Dec-10-1977) – At the Rock Festival, the Crown of Dileria gets swiped; while searching, D.D. and Pepper are pursued by a werewolf.
- The Circus Caper (Dec-17-1977) – On a trip to the circus, the Clue Club see the acrobat Karelli vanish; the case seems complicated since many people have their views against Karelli.
- The Prehistoric Monster Caper (Dec-24-1977) – During a film shoot of a cavepeople and dinosaur-themed movie, the director Mr. Simmons vanishes.
A crew of three young people – Chuck Kelly (Stephen Parr), Sue Corwin (Lynn Marie Johnston), her brother Sandy (Larry Volk) and their computer robot P.O.P.S. (voiced by Frank Welker) – whose plane is forced down on Mystery Island by the evil scientist Dr. Strange (Michael Kermoyan) who hopes to capture P.O.P.S. and use it in his quest for world domination.
- A Matter of Gravity (Sep-10-1977) – Chuck, Sue and Sandy's plane is forced down on Mystery Island by evil Dr. Strange, who needs their robot P.O.P.S. in his plan for world domination.
- The Mind Blower (Sep-17-1977) – Sandy finds Chuck immobilized by the Gravity Ray with a tiger about to attack him; after he's freed, they realize that Sue is missing.
- Just Whistle for an Answer (Sep-24-1977) – As Sue struggles to keep from revealing the secret of P.O.P.S.'s circuitry, Chuck and Sandy manage to find the hidden cave.
- Sue's Courage (Oct-01-1977) –
- Valley of Fire (Oct-08-1977) – P.O.P.S. is rescued by Chuck, Krieg and leader of the Mud People following a huge explosion in the Valley of Fire.
- Sentinels of Time (Oct-15-1977) – Chuck, Sue, Sandy and P.O.P.S. are trapped in a cave where they meet The Sentinels--small, white flying creatures which can freeze people in time.
- Who's Whom Here? (Oct-22-1977) –
- Fate's Just a Dirty Trick (Oct-29-1977) – In Chuck's body, Krieg captures P.O.P.S.; with another short circuit, Chuck again becomes himself and flees with Sue and Sandy on a raft.
- Golden Birds of Prey (Nov-05-1977) – Chuck, Sue and Sandy desperately try to save themselves from the waterfall and from water seeping into P.O.P.S.'s circuits.
- Visitors from Falconia (Nov-12-1977) – Sue is trapped in Black Cavern beneath Mystery Island where she is being transformed into a princess and oracle for the Birdmen of Falconia.
- The Duel (Nov-19-1977) – Chuck enters the secret cavern and challenges Wark, the leader of the Birdmen, to a duel of minds.
- Kingdom of the Beasts (Nov-26-1977) –
- P.O.P.S. in a Box (Dec-03-1977) –
- Island of the Apes (Dec-10-1977) –
- The Skull's the Clue (Dec-17-1977) –
- Home Run (Dec-24-1977) – Finding a map, the trio race towards the boat and into a tunnel, a trap that leads to Dr. Strange's cave.
Broadcast history (CBS)
The Skatebirds was broadcast in these following formats on CBS:
- September 10, 1977 – November 12, 1977, CBS Saturday 9:30-10:30 a.m.
- November 19, 1977 – January 28, 1978, CBS Saturday 8:00-9:00 a.m.
- September 9, 1979 – March 1980, CBS Sunday 7:30-8:00 a.m.
- March 1980 – August 31, 1980, CBS Sunday 7:00-7:30 a.m.
- September 7, 1980 – January 25, 1981, CBS Sunday 8:00-8:30 a.m.
Live-action costumed actors
- Directed by: Sidney Miller ("Skatebirds" segments), Hollingsworth Morse ("Mystery Island" segments)
- Written by: Sid Morse, Norman Camaron ("Skatebirds" segments)
- Produced by: Terry Morse Jr.
- Director of Photography: Dennis Dalzell
- Cameraman: Gabriel Torres
- Supervising Film Editor: Dick Elliott
- Editors: Peter Berger, Warner Leighton, Peter Jennings
- Assistant Film Editor: Barry Gold
- Music Editors: Joe Sandusky, Ken Hall
- Effects Editors: Gregory Watson, Terry Moore, Evelyn Rutledge, Rich Harrison, Cliff Kohlweck
- Costume Coordinator: Charles De Moth
- Make Up Artist: Robert Norin
- Set Decorator: Leonard Mazzola
- Property Masters: William Diets, William Hudson
- "Robonic Stooges" Created by: Norman Maurer
- Story Editors: Norman Maurer, Sid Morse
- Story: Kathy Colburn, Tom Dagenais, Bill Daley, Dianne Dixon, Kari Oaurs, Andy Heyward, Chris Jenkyns, Mark Jones, Joan Maurer, Michael Maurer, Norman Maurer, Jack Mendelsohn, Howie Post, Cliff Roberts, Sandy Sandifer
- Story Direction: Alvaro Arce, Carl Fallberg, Cullen Houghtaling, Mike O'Connor, Don Sheppard, George Singer, Karran Wright
- Recording Director: Wally Burr
- Voices: Joe E. Baker, Wally Burr, Henry Corden, Scatman Crothers, Susan Davis, Micky Dolenz, Ron Feinberg, Joan Gerber, Virginia Gregg, Bob Hastings, Bob Holt, Jane James, Ralph James, Casey Kasem, David Jolliffe, Jim MacGeorge, Ross Martin, Julie McWhirter, Allan Melvin, Don Messick, Marvin Miller, Alan Oppenheimer, Vic Perrin, Robert Ridgely, Ken Sansom, Ronnie Schell, Hal Smith, John Stephenson, Patricia Stitch, Tara Talboy, Janet Waldo, Lennie Weinrib, Frank Welker, Paul Winchell
- Graphics: Iraj Paran
- Musical Direction: Hoyt Curtin
- Musical Supervision: Paul DeKorte
- Character Design: Bob Singer, Norman Maurer, Lew Ott, George Wheeler
- Special Graphics Design: Maria Dail, Dick Ung
- Layout Supervision: Steve Lumley
- Layout: Bob Fosbry, Terry Moesker, Joe Shearer, Mike Trebert
- Backgrounds: Richard Zaloudek, Milan Zahorsky, Jerry Liew, Michael King-Prince, Peter Connell, Ken Wright, Michael Chojecki, Lesley Nicholl
- Animation: Sue Speak, Cecil Collins, Rodney D'Silva, Dick Dunn, Peter Eastment, John Ellis, Warwick Gilbert, Gerald Grabner, Sebastian Hurpia, Greg Ingram, Richard Jones, Cynthia Leech, Paul McAdam, Henry Neville, Ray Nowland, Di Rudder, Michael Stapleton, John Tych, Kaye Watts
- Assistant Animation Supervision: Paul Maron
- Animation Checking: Narelle Nixon
- Xerography: Ellen Bayley
- Ink and Paint Supervision: Narelle Derrick
- Production Managers: R.J. Louis, James Cranston
- Production Coordinator: Tobi Singleton
- Production Supervision: Doug Patterson, Mark D'Arcy-Irvine, Adrienne Smith
- Art Director: Kirk Axtell
- Assistant Directors: Marie Gisneros, Murray Schwartz
- Second Assistant Director: Hal Bell
- Script Supervisors: Mary Jane Ferguson, Lester Hoyle
- Sound Direction: Richard Olson, Bill Getty
- Sound Mixers: Manuel Topoto, James Pilcher
- Animation Photography: Terry Smith, Carole Laird, Mark D'Arcy-Irvine, Kieren Mulgrew, Tom Epperson
- Dubbing Supervision: Pat Foley
- Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer
- Post Production Supervision: Joed Eaton
- Animation Directors: Charles A. Nichols, Chris Cuddington
- Creative Producer: Iwao Takamoto
- Associate Producer: Neil Balnaves
- Executive Producers: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
- A HANNA-BARBERA PRODUCTION
- © 1977 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
- The Skatebirds Series Overview at NYTimes.com, retrieved September 22, 2015.
- The Skatebirds at the Internet Movie Database
- The Skatebirds at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- The Skatebirds at Hollywood.com