R.I.P. Casey Kasem (1932 – 2014)
Sad news broke yesterday when Casey Kasem, best known to fright fans as the iconic voice of “Shaggy” from SCOOBY-DOO, passed away at the age of 82.
A longtime legend of American radio, Kasem frequently found himself in the world of horror. Kasem appeared in the likes of THE DARK and DOOMSDAY MACHINE, as well as cult films, from the X-rated THE GIRLS FROM THUNDER STRIP to THE INCREDIBLE 2-HEADED TRANSPLANT. He even lent his voice to one of the most beloved horror comedies of all time, GHOSTBUSTERS. However, not even Kasem’s radio work has been as influential and recognizable as his contribution to the SCOOBY DOO franchise.
Beginning in 1969 with SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?, Kasem was the voice of Norville “Shaggy” Rogers through every SCOOBY DOO series all the way until 1997, and later returned to the role intermittently between 2002 and 2009. Kasem took the endearing, giggly coward of “Shaggy” and turned him into an extremely loyal and deceptively intuitive character using only his voice. For many of us, SCOOBY-DOO was an soft entry point into horror, introducing children to the concept of mysterious mythologies, haunted locales and various ghoulies for years to come. To say that “Shaggy” Rogers was the character most of us found within ourselves, what with his childlike sense of wonder and impulsive reaction to fear, comes with no stretch of the imagination.
Kasem stuck with the series until last year, having voiced Rogers’ father, Colton, in SCOOBY-DOO! MYSTERY INCORPORATED. “Shaggy” will always be our go-to pop culture scaredy-cat, and Kasem’s 40-plus years of exceptional voice acting and voiceover is truly something to behold.
Rest in Peace, Casey Kasem.