From left to right: Wimper, Woofer, Pepper, Larry, D.D., and Dotty.Clue Club
was a Hanna-Barbera
cartoon that was an expy in largest part of Scooby-Doo
in that it entailed a group of four kids tapping into crimes and mysteries that the local law enforcement seemingly can't solve themselves.
The group consists of Larry, the team leader; Pepper, one of two female members; D.D., a Velma expy
in a deerstalker cap but nowhere near as smart, and Dotty, the youngest member of the group and the team's troubleshooter. There are two dogs as well—Woofer (a bloodhound with a bravado complex) and Wimper (a basset who knows better). These two dogs can talk plain English to each other and other animals, just not humans. Sheriff Bagley is the baffled flatfoot who sees the Clue Club as more nosy than helpful but he takes his cap off to them when the crime is solved.Clue Club
aired on CBS
starting on August 14, 1976 (replacing Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
, which moved to ABC
a month later). After a season, the episodes were chopped down to ten minutes and used as a feature on The Skatebirds
, rebilled as Woofer & Wimper: Dog Detectives
. At mid-season, The Robonic Stooges
feature) was given its own time period (retitled The Three Robonic Stooges
) and took Woofer & Wimper
with them. In 1978, Clue Club
returned to CBS, airing on Sunday mornings. In the mid-Eighties
, reruns of the series would become a staple of the early USA Cartoon Express.
This show provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Inverted with Dotty. She's smart and adorable but she's no dork.
- Big Eater: Mr. Glut from "The Missing Pig Caper".
- Big Friendly Dog: Woofer and Wimper are obedient to Larry, D.D. and Pepper, but they adore Dotty. As Woofer opines in "The Amazing Heist":
Woofer: (dreamy-eyed toward Dotty) Oh, it just breaks my heart that she's a human.
Wimper: How's that, Woofer?
Woofer: Can you imagine the sensational lady bloodhound she'd make?
- Butt Monkey: Woofer, mainly. D.D. and Pepper sometimes as well.
- Catch Phrase: Averted. Nobody on this show has a catch phrase.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Only two appearances in the anthology title Hanna-Barbera TV Stars (Marvel).
- Deadpan Snarker: D.D. and Pepper, usually toward each other.
- Defective Detective: Woofer. Yet at the end of every crime he crows to Wimper of how he solved it. D.D. and Pepper may also count since, while they will usually find valuable clues, they also stumble onto the episode's villain and get chased a lot.
- Easily Forgiven: The running bit of this show is that Dotty cannot join the others on their missions because she's only 13 years old. Yet each week she shows up at the denoument with an alibi why she's there, and Larry buys it.
- Eye Pop: The show was animated at Hanna-Barbera's Australian studio, so any scene animated by Kevin Roper and Richard Jones will feature eyes popping, mainly from Woofer and Wimper.
- The Family That Slays Together: Pepper and Dotty are sisters.
- Five-Man Band:
- Gadget Watch: The Club's watches have a pager function.
- Girlish Pigtails: Dotty.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Eleven of the sixteen episodes are titled under "The _______ Caper" pattern.
- Kid Detective: All the Club are teenagers, but at 13 Dotty is usually considered too young for field work.
- Averted in the two comic book appearances—Dotty joins everyone else on the cases.
- Knew It All Along: Woofer. Or at least that's what he claims at the end of each mystery.
Wimper: Clue Club solves the crime!
Woofer: I knew it all the time!
- Let's Get Dangerous: In "The Walking House Caper", Larry, Pepper and D.D. are locked in a house by a creature (a fake, natch). Larry signals Dotty via his ring communicator in hopes she'll call the police. Instead, Dotty, Woofer and Wimper take it upon themselves to lure the creature away so they can rescue the team. And Dotty does have the foresight to call the police as well.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: Usually and uniformly, D.D. gets paired with Pepper, Larry goes it solo, interrogating possible suspects, Woofer and Wimper get themselves in trouble, and Dotty stays at home where she uses computer technology (for 1976) and her own forensic science savvy to troubleshoot for the rest of the gang.
- Locked Room Mystery: The typical case the Club has is the investigation of bizarre thefts of large and presumably immovable objects that seemingly vanished into thin air.
- Mission Control: Where Dotty is usually relegated to handle research and forensic tests, not that it stops her from getting into the field each episode...
- Only Known by His Initials: D.D.'s full name is never revealed.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The British rock star in "The Amazing Heist." His dialect makes Dick Van Dyke's attempt in Mary Poppins seem authentic.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: Usually, but at the big unveiling there is no latex mask pulled off the perp. Larry has the sheriff round up all the suspects so he can break down how the crime was committed before identifying whodunnit.
- Standardized Leader: Larry.
- The Summation: This Scooby-Doo expy uses more visual footage to depict the criminals' moves more than others.
- Talking Animals: Woofer and Wimper, but only between themselves or with other animals.
- Tech Marches On: Sure, having a wrist mounted pager would have been advanced in the 1970s, but it's redundant in this age of cell phones unless it had two way communication as well.
- Teen Genius/The Smart Girl: Dotty. She's so smart she can program her computer to play gin rummy with her. Only she loses thanks to Woofer's kibitzing.
- Video Phone: The Club's car is equipped with one, which is connected by their Gadget Watch pager functions.
- Wraparound Background