Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Wacky Races is an animated cartoon
series from Hanna-Barbera Productions, about a group
of 11 different cars racing against each other in various
road rallies, with each driver hoping to win the title
of the "World's Wackiest Racer."
was apparently inspired by the movies Monte Carlo or
Bust (aka Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies)
and The Great Race.
The series debuted on CBS in 1968
and ran until 1970. Seventeen episodes were produced,
with each episode featuring two different races, for
a total of 34 races in all.
Attempting to foil the racers' efforts was the show's
resident stereotyped villain Dick
Dastardly and his
sidekick, Muttley the dog. Like Wile E. Coyote in the
Road Runner cartoons, Dastardly would concoct all sorts
of elaborate schemes to trap, divert, blow up or stop
the other racers, only to see them backfire spectacularly.
In fact many of Dastardly's plots look suspiciously
similar to those used in Road Runner episodes, which
might be explained by the fact that Mike Maltese was
a scriptwriter on both series.