D is for Dick Dastardly

Dick DastardlyCartoons are seldom accused of leading their young audience astray, but it was certainly true in my case when Dick Dastardly and the Wacky Racers introduced me to the world of gambling.

I was in my teens and though we considered ourselves too old for kids television, but me and my schoolmates were open in our enjoyment of Wacky Races, especially Dick Dastardly and Mutley.

I can’t remember whose idea it was (it might have been mine), but we decided that a sweepstake on the first, second and third in each of the two races per show would make things more interesting. Each week we would stump up our pennies and draw the name of our chosen crew from a hat.

The thing was, the draw always included Dick Dastardly’s rocket-powered, purple Double Zero which never won a race, so if that was the car you picked, your money was as good as lost.

Having said that, I’m sure I recall that he did indeed once win a race and this is partly borne out by the Wikipedia entry.

The “double-dealing do-badders” twice had the chance to win a race legitimately, but stopped on the finishing line, once to pose for a photo finish and the other to sign an autograph.

There was one other occasion when DD apparently won the race but it was said that he cheated by extending the nose of his car across the line, even though the televised cartoon showed no  of any such cheating. A later DVD release covered the evidence by adding thick smoke, suggesting that Hanna-Barbera had a change of heart about letting the bad guy win.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure we once paid out on Dick Dastardly to tie because I was that lucky winner.

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6 comments… Add yours
  • Gemma @ Greyscale 9th February 2011

    I have not heard of this cartoon character! So this is an extraordinary, interesting post for me!

  • Helen Mac 9th February 2011

    Amazing what our memory dredges up! Unique contribution to D-day — thank you!
    HelenMac, ABC team

  • Roger Green 9th February 2011

    You’re dating yourself! I remember that character, who reminds me of Snidely Whiplash.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Su-sieee! Mac 10th February 2011

    I remember the wicked Dick Dastardly and his pooch. If Dastardly spent less time spinning ways to cheat, I’m sure he would’ve won a lot. But, then wouldn’t have had a cartoon, would we? 🙂

  • Yorkshire Pudding 11th February 2011

    I don’t mean to be rude but you are in South Africa and you’re blogging about Dick Dastardly! Please, please concentrate on South Africa.

  • Mr Parrot 12th February 2011

    Thanks all for your comments. I’ve just picked them up through being incommunicado in the wilds of South Africa.

    YP: I am concentrating on the job in hand. Planning and forethought aren’t my greatest strengths, but I managed to write my in absentia ABC posts before I left!


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