Dick Dastardly: Wikis


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Dick Dastardly
Dick Dastardly as seen in Wacky Races
Created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Portrayed by Paul Winchell, Jim Cummings

Dick Dastardly is a fictional character and antagonist who appeared in various animated series by Hanna-Barbera Productions. Dastardly's most famous appearances are main character in the series Wacky Races (his initial appearance) and its spin-off Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. He is essentially a caricature of the English actor Terry-Thomas. The character was voiced originally by Paul Winchell, and currently by Jim Cummings. The two voice actors have shared another role: Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh stories.


Wacky Races

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, 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 overcoat, long red gloves, and a large striped hat with driving goggles attached, and sporting a handlebar mustache. Dastardly was aided in his schemes by his sidekick, a scruffy 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's plans were always foiled either by his or Muttley's incompetence, the actions of another racer, or sheer bad luck, resulting in Dastardly crossing the finish line last, if at all. On some occasions Dastardly is very close to winning but will fail at the final hurdle. On one occasion Dastardly actually won the race, but it was revealed he had cheated by extending the nose of his car (even though the actual finish shows no such cheating). Another time Dastardly has an opportunity to win legitimately, but refuses to cross the finish line because he wishes to win by cheating. Once he comes close to winning the race, but he and Muttley stop for a photo finish, ending up in fourth place.

Often it appears that if Dastardly had not bothered to cheat he may have won fairly. Upon tasting defeat, Dastardly would utter his catchphrase: "Drat, drat, and double drat!", "Triple drat!" and even "Curses, foiled again!". His other main catchphrase was "Muttley, do something!". Excluding Dastardly and Muttley, all of the other racers won at least one Wacky Race.

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 this time was based on the film's villain, Sir Percival Ware-Armitage, played by Terry-Thomas. Dastardly and Muttley, as flying aces, with two other pilots, Zilly a coward who used to hide in his clothes when he was asked to go in his plane, and Klunk, the plane builder, who was speaking a language composed of strange sounds {only Zilly could understand him!}, composed the "Vulture Squadron", which tried constantly to stop a messenger pigeon "Yankee Doodle pigeon" from delivering messages to an opposing army, often with the song "Stop the Pigeon" playing; one typical scene shows the "Vulture Squadron" planes all convenging from different directions on "Yankee Doodle Pigeon" but end up crashing into one another-while the bird is unharmed! As in Wacky Races, Dastardly continued to fail miserably at his mission, only coming near to success on a single occasion. The shows is commonly known as 'Catch the Pigeon' or 'Stop the Pigeon', based on the original working title and the shows theme song.

The 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 their 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 the prize was simply a red square of paper, and not the deed to the Russian capital as the title of 'red square' would imply.

Other appearances

  • 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 the 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 Nixon).

Dick Dastardly vs Dread Baron

In the TV series Laff-A-Lympics, there was a similar looking (and sounding) character to Dastardly named "The Dread Baron," voiced by John Stephenson. In fact, the similarity caused the translators in Brazil to mistake him for Dastardly (in issue #12 of the Laff-A-Lympics comic book by Marvel Comics, Dread Baron and Dastardly are brothers). The character's name is an obvious pun on the name of the infamous World War I fighter pilot, the Red Baron. In this series, the Dread Baron was seen wearing a World War I-era German fighter pilot's uniform. The Dread Baron accompanied Mumbly, a dog that was very similar to Muttley, only with grey fur, and an orange trenchcoat. Mumbly actually had his own series in which he was a detective, and in a role-reversal, Mumbly acted as the team captain of the Really Rottens in Laugh a Lympics with the Dread Baron and others serving as team members. The two later appeared in the made-for-TV movie Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose, where the Dread Baron and Mumbly are first seen in Dick Dastardly's plane from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. In 2007, Dastardly makes a brief cameo as himself in a Cartoon Network commercial when - complete with a cartoon bomb - he is let into CN headquarters because he has the proper ID with him - beating out Yogi Bear, who has forgotten his ID and can't get in.

It is not certain why Dread Baron and especially Mumbly (who was a good guy in his original series) were used in roles that were identical to Dastardly and Muttley, especially for the Yogi Bear movie. Previously, it was assumed that Dread Baron was created as a substitute because Paul Winchell wasn't available for Laugh a Lympics where John Stephenson provided the Baron's voice. However, Winchell was available for the Yogi Bear TV movie, yet voiced the Dread Baron, not Dastardly.

Proposed Appearances

Dastardly and Muttley were to appear in the show The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, where they were 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.

Cultural references

Dick Dastardly (left) with Muttley in The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera.
  • In an episode of Canadian CGI television series ReBoot the binome Sirius rebooted in a game alongside Frisket, the result was an allusion via them being given a vehicle game asset identical to the mean machine in addition to cosmetic modifications of their appearance.
  • 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 Bear and Boo-Boo have to travel across the various worlds to rescue him.
  • In 1994, British men's magazine Loaded nominated Dick Dastardly as one of the "Greatest Living Englishmen," despite the fact that the character's nationality was never mentioned.
  • An episode of the anime Digimon Frontier, entitled "The Great Trailmon Race" (a homage to Wacky Races), a ShadowWereGarurumon and his Dogmon sidekick attempted to undermine the other racers, as a reference to Dastardly and Muttley, and, at one point in the original Japanese version, ShadowWereGarurumon gives Doggymon a Dick Dastardly-style knock to the head after Doggymon laughs. On a related note, Dogmon's voice actor Michael Sorich made his laughter sound like Muttley's.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Dexter's Wacky Races", Mandark replaces Dick Dastardly and his car as the villain with his car "The Dark Man Special".
  • Nintendo video game characters Wario and Waluigi bear a strong resemblance to Dick Dastardly.
  • McLaren Formula 1 Team principal Ron Dennis and (now former) team driver David Coulthard were referred to as "Dick Dastardly and his sidekick Muttley," aided by Dennis' demeanor and Coulthard's haircut.[citation needed]
  • Dastardly was portrayed as David Irving in the Viz strip Wacky Racists.
  • Philip Reeve's 2005 children's novel 'Infernal Devices' refers briefly to a fictional organization called Richard D'Astardley's Flying Circus. This group is supposedly a rival to the Flying Ferrets, led by Orla Twombley, which is a team of daredevil aviators that flies a variety of strange flying machines in Reeve's 'retro futuristic' world.
  • A Super Deformed Gundam short parodying the Wacky Races featured villain Yazan Gable as the stand-in for Dastardly. Gemon Bajack, his partner-in-crime from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, was Muttley, complete with dog costume and wheezing laugh. True to the source material, Gable and Bajack spend most of the race trying to foil the other competitors. But they actually win when their last ditch attempt turns out to be a rocket engine. Unfortunately, they are unable to stop in the winner's circle when the rocket malfunctions and won't turn off, sending the pair into orbit.
  • In a curious decision by Mexican translators, Dick Dastardley was renamed as Pierre Nodoyuna and given a french accent throughout the series. The Spanish name can be barely translated as "Peter Can't-do-better".
  • In the underground hip-hop song Accordion by Madvillain, in which MF Doom mentions the duo in the opening line: "Livin' off borrowed time, the clock tick faster, that'd be the hour they knock the slick blaster Dick Dastardly and Muttley with sick laughter, a gun fight and they come to cut the mixmaster."
  • In one of the "1936" animated shorts on the Homestar Runner website, the character of Old-Timey Strong Bad uses Dastardly's catchphrase: "Drat, and double drat!"
  • The 2008 series Headcases featured a series of sketches involving a caricature of Prince Philip dressed as Dick Dastardly and a Muttley-like Corgi named Poochwater. In a manner similar to Dastardly's attempts to catch the pidgeon, each sketch sees Prince Phillip trying to destroy Kate Middleton, Prince William's girlfriend at the time, so as to prevent a 'commoner' from entering the Royal Family. These slapstick attempts usually fail, and usually cause a series of events which ultimately sees Phillip placed in embarrasing situations right in front of the paparazzi, serving to damage his own image rather than Kate's.

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