Wonderbug is a magical dune buggy featured on the live-action segments of the ABC cartoon series THE KROFFT SUPERSHOW (1976-78).
The story of Wonderbug begins when three teenagers – Barry Buntrock (David Levy), C.C. McNamara (John-Anthony Bailey) and Susan Talbot (Carol Anne Seflinger) – visit a California auto salvage yard in search of a reasonably priced vehicle.
When they happen upon a broken-down dune buggy selling for $7.34 they purchase the car and nickname it “Schlepcar” (the license on the vehicle read: SCHLEP).
Now this is where the story becomes really interesting.
While searching through the salvage yard, the teens also found an old horn, the kind you squeeze to make a honking sound. Well, this horn turned out to be a magical horn and when they attached it to Schlepcar and sounded the horn, it transformed the dilapidated pile of junk into a sleek, racing dune buggy dubbed “Wonderbug” who was alive, could drive itself, and was now capable of performing fantastic feats like talking and flying and capturing crooks and thwarting evil plots.
Theme Song Lyrics
Sittin’ in a junkyard, waitin’ to be ground up is a pile of cars.
Lookin’ for an old car. Found a funny Schlepcar.
Let’s make him ours.
Found a magic horn. A new car was born.
The toughest of the toughest, super cars.
Wonderbug, Wonderbug, Wonderbug, Wonderbug
Faster than fast, smarter than smart, Wonderbug
When you hear the horn, help is on the way
So clap your hands, hip hip hooray!
For the Wonderbug, the wonderful Wonderbug!
During regular trips, the teens travel in Schlepcar, but when they are in trouble, the car transforms to Wonderbug and saves the day. When Schlepcar transforms into Wonderbug, its rear license plate read: 1DERBUG. Wonderbug is rendered helpless if someone removes its magic horn.
When Schlepcar speaks it is difficult to understand being that it sounds like mumbling gibberish, but Barry seems to have the knack to understand the car.
When Schlepcar talks his license plate moves up and down. When Wonderbug spoke, its front bumper shaped like a mouth communicated with the teens.
Of the three teens, Susan is the brains of the group, but Barry takes all the credit for her ideas. Is she says something, Barry pauses, repeats the same thing and CC offers a “Right On!” affirmation for Barry’s alleged smart idea.
NOTE: The CBS Hanna-Barbera cartoon series SPEED BUGGY (1973) featured a similar fiberglass Dune Buggy who could talk.
It’s driver Tinker (Phil Luther, Jr) and his friends Mark (Michael Bell and Debbie (Arlene Golonka) competed in races around the globe with Speed Buggy.
Along the way they encountered assorted mysteries and nefarious characters like a criminal called the “Chief,” Professor Rishna in Egypt, Dr. Ohm and his assistant Panku, an evil ringmaster on Pleasure Island, Jerick the Incredible Changing Man, Dr. Vesuvio and Captain Schemo.
Some of their races were at the Riverside Raceway, the Pan-American Road Rally, the U.S.-Mexico Cross Country Race, the South American Grand Prix and the Himalaya 500.
Speed Buggy (aka, “Speedy”) often used the catchphrases “Roger-Dodger” and “Vroom-a-zoom-zoom!” Mel Blanc provided the voice of Speed Buggy.
c/o Susan, CC and Barry
Los Angeles, CA