Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines

"Klunk" redirects here. For the animatronic talk-show character, Uncle Klunk, see Aaron Fechter and The Rock-afire Explosion.
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines
Genre Comedy
Written by Larz Bourne, Dalton Sandifer, Michael Maltese
Directed by

William Hanna

Joseph Barbera
Starring Paul Winchell
Don Messick
Narrated by Don Messick
Composer(s) Ted Nichols
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 17 (34 Dastardly & Muttley segments, 17 Magnificent Muttley segments, 34 brief Wing Dings episodes)

William Hanna

Running time 22 minutes (not including network breaks)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Original release September 13, 1969 (1969-09-13) – January 3, 1970 (1970-01-03)

Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (or simply Dastardly and Muttley in the UK) is a cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for CBS. Originally the series was broadcast as a Saturday morning cartoon, airing from September 13, 1969 to January 3, 1970.[1] The show focuses on the efforts of Dick Dastardly and his canine sidekick Muttley to catch Yankee Doodle Pigeon, a carrier pigeon who carries secret messages (hence the name of the show’s theme song "Stop the Pigeon"). The cartoon was a combination of Red Baron-era Snoopy, Wacky Races (which featured Dastardly and Muttley in a series of car races), and the film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.[2]

The show is widely known as Catch The Pigeon or Stop the Pigeon based on the show's original working title and the show's theme song, written by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (and based on the jazz standard "Tiger Rag") which repeats that phrase so often that it is frequently mistaken as the show's actual title.

The show had only two voice actors: Paul Winchell as Dick Dastardly and the indistinctly heard General, and Don Messick as everybody else. Each 22-minute show was broadcast over half an hour on the network, including network breaks, and contained: two Dastardly & Muttley stories, one Magnificent Muttley story (Muttley's Walter Mitty-style daydreams), and two or three short Wing Dings (brief gags to break up the longer stories).


Dick Dastardly

Dick Dastardly and Muttley, the villains from Wacky Races, are now flying aces and members of the Vulture Squadron, a crew of aviators on a mission to stop a homing pigeon named Yankee Doodle Pigeon from delivering messages to the other side.

Each story features variations on the same plot elements: the Vulture Squadron tries to trap Yankee Doodle Pigeon using one or more planes equipped with Klunk's latest contraptions, but one or more of the Squadron messes up and the plane(s) either crash, collide or explode (or all of the above). While they are falling out of the wreckage, Dick Dastardly calls for help, which Muttley either offers or refuses depending on whether Dastardly agrees to give him a medal. Even when Muttley does agree to fly Dastardly out of trouble, Dastardly seldom has a soft landing. At some point the General calls Dastardly on the phone to demand results, and while Dastardly assures him that they will soon capture the pigeon, the General usually disbelieves him and bellows to Dastardly through the phone and extends his hand from it to either whack Dastardly on the head or grab his mustache. By the end of every story, Yankee Doodle Pigeon escapes while the Vulture Squadron are often left in backfiring predicaments. In a contemporary comic books/comic digest series of Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines Dastardly and Muttley failed to stop "Yankee Doodle Pigeon" except once-when accidentally knocking out and capturing Yankee Doodle Pigeon with falling ice cubes-Dastardly and Muttley find to their surprise that the messenger pigeon message bag contains nothing but moths.

Magnificent Muttley

There was one Magnificent Muttley episode in each of the 17 broadcast shows. Muttley is the main character, and imagines himself in a lot of situations, with Dastardly in the role of the villain. Each episode was about 3 minutes.


Original run

Voice cast

Japanese version

Syndication and home video

After its original CBS run, Dastardly and Muttley was shown in syndicated reruns on local stations throughout the 1970s and '80s. Some episodes were subsequently distributed on VHS tape by Worldvision Enterprises.

On May 10, 2005 Warner Home Video released the complete series on Region 1 DVD. On July 31, 2006, the series was released on DVD R2 in the United Kingdom but only in HMV stores and its online site as an HMV Exclusive.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines- The Complete Series 17 May 10, 2005
  • Commentary on various episodes
  • The Vulture Squadron's Greatest Misses - Watch the Pigeon Thwart the Vulture Squadron
  • Dastardly & Muttley's Spin Offs retrospective.

References in popular culture

Rockabilly/psychobilly group The Reverend Horton Heat covered the theme song in 1995 as a medley with the theme song from Jonny Quest on the cover album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits with other various artists.

See also


External links

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