The Mumbly Cartoon Show

The Mumbly Cartoon Show
Genre Animation
Directed by Charles A. Nichols
Voices of Don Messick
John Stephenson
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 16
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Iwao Takamoto
Alex Lovy
Running time 30 minutes (6 minutes per segment)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Original network ABC
Original release September 11, 1976 – September 3, 1977

The Mumbly Cartoon Show is a Saturday morning animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and featuring the titular Mumbly, a cartoon dog. It was broadcast on ABC from September 11, 1976 to September 3, 1977.


Mumbly is a cartoon dog character famous for his wheezy laugh, voiced by Don Messick. Mumbly appears to be the twin brother of Muttley from the animated series Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Like Muttley, Mumbly does not really talk; he mumbles and grumbles unintelligibly, and often uses his trademark snicker. Detective Lieutenant Mumbly's boss is Schnooker (inspired by Telly Savalas' Kojak detective and voiced by John Stephenson), an aptly named egotistical police chief who tries to take credit for nearly all of Mumbly's heroic deeds.

Mumbly may have been inspired by Peter Falk's TV character Columbo, as the two share a similar sartorial style and speech patterns. In addition, both are police lieutenants, wear trench coats, and drive old broken down cars. A further link is that Muttley was based on a similar premise to Peter Falk's character Max Meen in The Great Race.

Broadcast history

Mumbly appeared on the animated series The Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape/Mumbly Show (1976) and The Tom and Jerry/Mumbly Show (1976–77). He made a brief cameo appearance in an episode of Dynomutt, Dog Wonder (1976). Ironically, Mumbly later appeared on the opposite side of the fence as the captain of the villainous Really Rottens on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics / Scooby's All-Stars (1977–79), alongside Dread Baron, who bore a great resemblance to Dick Dastardly. Mumbly was the only member of the Really Rottens that wasn't created for Laff-A-Lympics. The good-guy teams, The Scooby Doobies and The Yogi Yahooeys, were composed of characters from previous cartoons.

In his villainous appearances, Mumbly's former occupation as a police detective is never referenced and there is no in-universe explanation for his retcon as a villain. Nor is Mumbly simply Muttley by a different name although one episode of Laff-A-Lympics accidentally refers to Mumbly as Muttley in a script blooper. While Muttley was consistently depicted as a villain's sidekick and comic foil, Mumbly was depicted as independently clever and cunning in both his heroic and villainous appearances. Additionally, Laff-A-Lympics, Mumbly was the leader of the Rottens team with Dread Baron acting as his right-hand man.

The reason for the use of Dread Baron and Mumbly as substitutes for Dastardly and Muttley is not certain. The most commonly suggested reason is that the Wacky Races Characters (including Dastardly and Muttley) were created as a co-production with Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley Productions, meaning that they were not fully owned by Hanna-Barbera, and thus could only be used with permission. Mumbly would return as a villain alongside Dread Baron in the 1987 TV movie Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose.

Since the original run, Mumbly was syndicated with all 16 6-minute episodes repackaged as The Mumbly Cartoon Show in 1977; it was shown as part of USA Network's Pumpkin Creek in the mid-1980s and The Family Channel's Toon Toast in summer 1994. A clip from a Mumbly cartoon (episode #85-2, "The Great Hot Car Heist") was heard in the 1979 Peter Sellers film Being There.

The Mumbly Cartoon Show was broadcast in these following formats on ABC:

When the show was broadcast on spanish television (channel TVE1), the character was named 'Risitas' which translated literally means 'little laughs'.


No. Title Original air date Production
1"Fleetfeet Versus Flat Foot"September 11, 197685-1
2"The Great Hot Car Heist"September 18, 197685-2
3"The Magical Madcap Caper"September 25, 197685-3
4"The Big Breakout Bust"October 2, 197685-4
5"The Return of Bing Bong"October 9, 197685-5
6"The Super-Dooper Super Cop"October 16, 197685-6
7"The Big Ox Bust"October 23, 197685-7
8"The Great Graffiti Gambit"October 30, 197685-8
9"Taking Stock"November 6, 197685-9
10"The Littermugg"November 13, 197685-10
11"The Perils of the Purple Baron"November 20, 197685-11
12"The Fatbeard the Pirate Fracas"November 25, 1976*85-12
13"The Big Snow Foot Snow Job"November 27, 197685-13
14"Sherlock's Badder Brudder"December 4, 197685-14
15"The UFO's a No-No"December 11, 197685-15
16"Hyde and Seek"December 18, 197685-16

* Telecast at Noon (EST), Thursday afternoon, November 25, 1976, a Thanksgiving, as part of ABC's Thanksgiving Funshine Festival.

Production credits

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