Yogi's Space Race
Yogi’s Space Race was the lead segment in a 90-minute Saturday morning cartoon block consisting of several animated segments starring Yogi Bear and his friends. Other segments on the show included The Buford Files, Galaxy Goof-Ups and The Galloping Ghost; all starring characters who took part in Space Race, but were in completely unrelated settings in their own segments. The show was reduced to 60 minutes after only two months, when Galaxy Goof-Ups became a separate half-hour series. Several months later the remaining segments were separated into their own half-hour time slots as well, as Buford and the Galloping Ghost and Yogi’s Space Race.
In Yogi’s Space Race, five teams competed in races throughout the galaxy for fantastic *seeming* prizes (the winners always found an unexpected hitch in their prize, like winning a two week vacation on a luxurious space cruiser only to find they were roomed in the cargo hold).
Yogi teamed with a nervous co-pilot who feared everything, named Scare Bear, whose hair stood perpetually on end.
Huckleberry Hound partnered with a loony, hyperactive duck named Quack-Up. Although he was only co-pilot, Quack-Up always flew their double-decker craft and received instructions from Huckleberry Hound, who reclined on a lawn chair under the shade of an umbrella on the upper deck.
Jabberjaw paired with Buford, a lazy bloodhound who normally slept on the treadmill-like walkway extending from the front of their vehicle that, when tread on, produced additional speed. To get Buford to run, Jabberjaw used the old carrot trick, but instead tied a raccoon to a pole and held it in front of Buford as incentive.
Human sisters Rita and Wendy were accompanied by a ghost with a nose for gold called Nugget Nose. Nugget Nose was extremely jealous of another racer called Captain Good, who Rita and Wendy fancied.
The dazzlingly handsome Captain Good—accompanied by his feline sidekick Clean Cat—was a self-proclaimed great guardian of goodness and example of upstanding sportsmanship. Little did the other racers know that when Captain Good pressed the “converto” button on his vehicle’s dashboard, he and Clean Cat converted to their true selves: Phantom Phink and his evil cohort Sinister Sludge (now a dog instead of a cat). Posing as Captain Good, Phantom Phink was able to more easily trick his competitors and set up traps. Occasionally he even did good deeds to maintain his ruse.
Despite the title of the series indicating it was a “space race,” the course of a race often led along the surface of planets. This provided for much more variety in scenery, and it gave Phantom Phink a more varied palette to work his diabolical dealings, making good use of detour signs and turning the local inhabitants against the other racers. Unlike some shows, where the dastardly villain never wins, Phantom Phink won races on several occasions. Having the bad guy win may have been more controversial if the prizes hadn’t been so bad.