Historical Events  Music
Dick Dastardly

Catch the pigeon

Stop the pigeon

Dick Dastardly's famous song when chasing the pigeon

This one gets a lot of people. If you meet anyone unfamiliar with this Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect, and they remember the Wacky Races spin off cartoon show "Dick Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines", ask them what Dick Dastardly and Muttley were forever trying to do to the pigeon. Chances are they'll say "catch" as the song pops into their head, but listen today and it's "stop" throughout. Most people will just think this is actually from Wacky Races and not remember the spin off, but that's easy enough to understand.

Even stranger is that when the song is translated, the "mistake" is translated too. For example (from Reddit), people remember it as "fånga duvan" in Swedish ("catch"), yet check today and its "stoppa duvan", which is "stop". In Romanian it's remembered as "prindeti porumbelul" ("catch"), but now is "opriti porumbelul" ("stop"). 

Richard Milhous Dastardly

His full name is Richard Milhous Dastardly, and he's rumoured to be based on a real person, the famous comedy actor Terry Thomas. The name itself is a clear nod to the US President, Richard Milhous Nixon. His catchphrase is "Drat, Drat and Double Drat", with an extra "Triple Drat" thrown in when things get particularly troublesome. He's been voiced by two actors in his time, Paul Winchell originally, then Jim Cummings. He received a new creative outing in 2020 when he appeared as the main bad guy in Scoob!, an animated Scooby Doo movie.

He's always paired with Muttley, his faithful companion dog with the distinctive sniggering laugh everyone seems to like to imitate. He's also appeared many times with Yogi Bear.

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Familiar tune

The tune has origins in Dixieland Jazz - it's been recorded many times but the earliest recognisable version is "Tiger Rag" in 1917.

However, here we go with Dick Dastardly and Muttley's version: