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The Buford Files

What is "the Buford Files"? It was a cartoon show that priemeered back in 1978, and lasted one year, during the 78/79 season. It was one of a slew of Scooby-Doo clones that was produced by Hanna-Barbera studios during the seventies. Other such clones included "The Funky Phantom", Goober and the Ghostchasers", "Clue Club", and "The New Schmoo". "Buford" resembled "Clue Club" more than it did the others, mostly because both shows featured bloodhounds and a dimwitted sheriff. Also, "flashback" sequences were featured at the end of both shows to explain the mysteries. What made "Buford" different was mostly its regional setting in the depths of Okefenokee swamp on the Florida side. There is no actual "Fenokee county" where the series takes place, so I'm guessing that in the HB cartoon world the county is located in northeastern Florida, where the Okfenokee spills over the Georgia border. Unlike most other HB teen mysteries, "Buford" took place in the same general area, and all the characters knew each other. There was seldom any fake monster or ghost on the loose in this series, though "The Haunting of Swamp Manor" was an exception. The Mysteries usually involved petty robberies, kidnappings, and similar hijinks involving the local yokels. The main characters were Buford, a notoriously lazy lavender bloodhound, whose nose flashes red, and whose ears moved like radar dishes when he was on the trail of the bad guys. He lived at a place called Boggs Landing in Fenokee Swamp with his teenage pals Woody, and Cindy Mae, who was the smartest of the three investigators. The two other most often shown characters were the Boss Hog-like Sheriff Muletrain, and his dimwitted deputy, Goofer. A typical "Buford" episode had the two incompetent law enforcers arresting the crooks after Buford and the kids had done all the work solving the crime. One question remains: what was the point in Buford? Why a regional variation of Clue Club? My guess it was to cash in on the popularity of "The Dukes of Hazard", which was still going on at the time. After all, milking prime time shows for their popularity went on all the time in the seventies. UPDATE: I recently found out that "Dukes of Hazard" premeired a half-season after Buford, and thus could not have been the source of inspiration. It was not until just recently, that I hit on what very likely was, for both Buford AND Hazard, not to mention some other stuff. There was a movie that priemered at around the same time as Star Wars, called "Smokey and the Bandit". It inspired two sequals, and featured a fat dimwitted Southern sheriff named Buford P. Justice. I saw this show on TV over a year after it had been in theaters. I was reminded of couse, of Buford the dog. But now I realize that the fact that "Buford" featured both a DOG named Buford, AND a fat Southern sheriff is proably no coicidence. Buford also appeared with YOgi's Space race and Galaxy Goof-Ups, both obvious Star Wars riffs. "Buford"? One thing was the series setting, since I've always had a facination for the deep south even before this was on. One thing I think might have helped "Buford" last longer might have been to have it more of a general adventure show, instead of having a "whodunnit" every week. The swamp and its locals had scores of possibilities. Somes episodes fit squarely into the rural setting, but others-the ice skateing episode, the magician episode, the circus episode-seemed routine HB, and could have taken place anywhere.



Buford is the star of the show. He wears a Confederate cap, talks slurringly with a Southern accent, and could rightly be considered a regional characiture. He is a lethargic, lavender bloodhound with white paws whose nose flashes red when ever he finds a clue. Almost certainly, he has the keenest olfactory cababilites of any HB canine, and his hearing abilites appear strongest as well. His ears become radars whenever they pick up on anything suspicious. On the "Space Race" sequence, Jabberjaw once remarked, incorrectly, that Buford carried his own "sonar". The full moon has a mesmerisic effect on him. Buford often becomes literally entranced by the effect of moonlight, and then he bays at it long and loud. This seems to happen most frequently whenever Buford and the kids are trying to hide from crooks. Buford's baying alerts the villians to their presence, and a chase ensues, usually ending with the crook's apprehension by Muletrain and Goofer. Though he may seem somewhat dull-witted because of his notorious laziness, this is not the case! Buford is actually brighter than average when it comes to finding clues and spotting villains. Buford also seems to have retractable claws (on a dog!?). He even uses one claw as a lock-pick on "Magic Whammy". Though Buford once called himself "the bravest dog in the world" on the "Peril in the Park", episode Scrappy-Doo he's certainly not, as that episode clearly showed (Buford said that right before a trip through the Tunnel of Terror, with predictable results!) However, whenever Buford's dream girl Duchess is around, epiteth might accurately describe him, as he is willing to risk his very life to protect her or, once, to recover her stolen neckless. Buford is as far as I know, the only mystery-solving canine to have love interest. That makes him a dog of a different color in more than one way.

Cindy Mae 

Cindy Mae is Woody's sister, and the leader of the three investigators. She has strikingly red hair, and is clearly the smartest of the three. Though it's Buford who sniffs out the clues, it's Cindy who arranges then in logical order and explains how the crime was accomplished,once the crooks are captured, often to the embarressment of Sheriff Multrain. She also determines when something is "up", and decides when and where to investigate. Even though she's a girl, she effectively fills the role of Fred on Scooby-Doo. She can never seem to understand a word Buford says, becasue he always mumbles.


Woody is the other of the Boggs twins. He seems to share a bond with Buford that seems almost pyschic in nature. While Cindy Mae always finds the dog unintelligible, Woody can understand anything Buford says, no matter how badly slurred, even when the audience can't. He frequently translates "Bufordese" for Cindy Mae. If anything, Woody is the least bright of the investigators. He is the last to know there's a mystery in the woodwork, and usually the last to recognize clues. This isn't to say he's a dullard on the order of Muletrain and Goofer; he's just overshadowed by the intellect of his two companions.

Sheriff Muletrain 

Sheriff Muletrain (whose name is sometines incorrectly listed as "Dupre" on cast listings) serves as Fenokee County's chief law enforcer. His partner is Deputy Goofer. Togather, they are a Laurel and Hardy-esque couple, and like virtually all the fat characters in such roles, is pompous, blustering, and forever griping about the stupidity of his partner, even though he is only marginally more intelligent himself. Though seemingly modeled on Boss Hogg of Dukes of Hazard fame, Muletrain is a basically good-natured sort, who genuinely wants to bring the bad guys to justice and protect Fenokee from lawbreakers. He is forever warning the Boggs kids to "stay out of this case". But like Sheriff Bagley on Clue Club, who is quite possibly his prototype, he is very inept at solving crimes without the kids' help, and frequently fingers the wrong culprit. Having a deputy like Goofer doesn't help things for him either. He does, however manage to catch the culprits before they can make a getaway, once he knows who they are.

Deputy Goofer McGee 

Goofer is Fenokee County's notoriously inept Deputy sherriff. Like other such characitures, he is thin as a bean-pole and bow-legged, with his gunbelt nearly falling off him. The biggest mystery about Goofer is how he ever got his position as Deputy, to say nothing of why he's even allowed to carry a gun! Predictably, that gun is forever going off by accident, sometimes shooting the tires of the police car, or holes in the swamp buggy. Since it's a cartoon of course, these misfiring never injure anyone, the one dangerous incident being when Goofer accidently shot out the controls for a remote airplane, with Buford trapped on board. As would be expected, however, Goofer is typically talkative, friendly, and an all-around nice guy. He can't help it becasue he happens to be a total doofus! Though not as arrogant as Muletrain, he always backs the Sheriff up and warns the Boggs kids away, and seems to think Muletrain is the best Sheriff ever-which is only a further example of his stupidity! The most striking thing about Goofer, to the audience at least, is that his voice is a dead-ringer for Gomer Pyle. (Since i saw this series years before I knew about Gomer Pyle, I was struck by Jim Nabors voice the first time i saw him. He sure sounded like that deputy on Buford! Though the voice of Jim Nabors has been listed as the voice of Goofer-and on one occasion, of Buford himself!-it is really that of Roger Peltz, whom I believe was a veteran of voice imitations.

The Little Raccoon 

The seldom-shown Little Raccoon is a character who appears sporadically throughout "Buford", most often to play pranks on the dog, or in various "dream sequences" in which Buford imagines himself finally catching the raccoon. The Raccoon seems to have two main interests-causing trouble (for Buford), and stuffing himself (with Buford's shoo-fly pie). The Raccoon has a mischievous nature, a massive appetite, and a strangely oriental persona. He speaks seldom, but with an apparently Japanese accent. He is identified by a thin bluekarate headband with a knot tied in front. Though the sequence on the intro in which Buford chases the Raccoon through a hollow stump seems somewhat playful, in the dream sequences, Buford seems intent on destroying the raccoon. To find out more click  here .


Duchess is Buford's "main squeeze", or love interest. She is a show dog who stars in motion pictures. Physically, she resembles Buford, save of the fact she is a lighter shade of lavender, and obvious feminine attributes, such long eyelashes, and a bright pink bow. she was introduced on the eigtth episode, "Buford and the Beauty". She appeared again, on "Don't Monkey with Buford", the series last show. On that episode, she had an unnamed agent (called Mr. Martin in a fanfic I wrote). Buford has a tremendous "crush" on her. Though Buford is often a cowardly canine, when paired with Duchess, he becomes absolutely fearless, and will defend her to the death. Duchess really does like Buford as well. Unfortunately for both of them, Duchess must be away most of the time, though she does send her boyfriend an autographed postcard occasionally. The series ends on a bittersweet note, with Buford bidding a (final?) farewell to Duchess as the Wonder Dog flies off in her plane.

Jeb Crowley

Jeb Crowley is an old hermit who lives in fenokee swamp. He was introduced on the premier episode, called "The Swamp Hermit". He appeared on one other episode, "The Missing Gator". The Boggs kids often bring him his groceries on the weekends. He has a pet alligator named Gertrude. Buford served as a foster parent for Gertrude's offspring once. Jeb makes the best shoo-fly pie for the kids and Buford. Buford, especially, is wild about this pie.

Network History

Buford premiered on September 9, 1978, as a segment on Yogi's Space Race. Other segments were "The Galaxy Goof-Ups" and "The Galloping Ghost", which featured Nuggetnose, the ghost of a prospector who haunted a Dude ranch, and is pictured below. About midseason, "Galaxy Goof-Ups" got their own early morning time slot, and the rest of "Space Race", showed later in the morning. Then, in Febuary 1979, "Goof-Ups" was cancelled, and replaced with "Space Race" without its componants, in the early morning slot, while the Buford the Nuggetnose series were repackaged as one half-hour long late morning show, called "Buford and the Galloping Ghost". "Space Race" proved unable to survive minus its componants, and was cancelled shortly afterward, replaced by reruns of "Alvin and the Chipmunks". "Buford" lasted until the next season. After that, nothing was seen of the show for years until Cartoon Network began airing it in the nineties. The show was still titled "Buford and the Galloping Ghost", although the intro was slightly altered, and featured clips from both the "Buford" and "Galloping Ghost" series. Recently, the show has been rebroadcast on CN's "museum piece" station, Boomerrang. Buford Merchandise (Or Rather, the Lack of Any)

There was little, if any, Buford merchandise produced. The simple reason for this is lack of popularity. Truth be told, the show wasn't terribly popular(though it lasted a full season, and that was at least longer than it's componant series, "Yogi's Space Race", which was cancelled before the year was over. Then again, there were not many HB shows (or Saturday morning shows in general)that were. HB was kind of stuck in a rut at the time, with fewer and fewer hit series to come by. The funny thing was though, that up until the 78-79 season, HB put out merchandise for virtually all their shows, even ones that lasted no longer than Buford did. The previous season, for example, saw a lunchbox, iron-ons, and coloring books for the C.B. Bears, appearances by Undercover Elephant and Blast-Off Buzzard in each of the two coloring books respectfully. There was also a Skatebirds and Robotic Stooges coloring book, and a series of comic books produced at HB studios and published by Marvel comics, that featured the C.B. Bears, and Shake Rattle and Roll, among others. All of these aforementioned series were cancelled before Buford premiered. In the next to last issue of said comic, the editorial page stated, "In the months ahead, on TV and in this here funny book, you'll be meetn' folks like the Galloping Ghost, and you'll be taking a peek into the Buford Files." However, neither Buford nor Nuggetnose ever appeared in the comic, which lasted a sigle issue more, and that one featured Top Cat, and one more Clue Club story. The only piece of merchandise to appear on a HB season that year (in the US) which I'm aware of, was one based on the Godzilla series, which, not coincidentally, was the only HB series that year to last into the next seasom, unless you count the New Fred and Barney Show, which premiered halfway through the year. There was no merchandise based on Jana of the Jungle, Yogi's Space Race, Galaxy Goof-ups, or anything else. This trend continued for the following season, and the one after that. Shows like The New Schmoo, and Fred and Barney meet the Thing, produced nothing on the market. Then, in the 81-82 season, the Smurfs came along, and everything changed for HB and Saturday Morning. At least, this was my theory. According to a guy I emailed, and who worked at HB studios on both the shows, and the TV stars comic, this theory seems partly right, but it went a little differently then that. True, most of these shows weren't too popular( he said he recalled Buford was deemed a flop pretty early on), but the studio didn't "decide" to do merchandise; it was up to the liscensing division to sell the shows to the companies who produced the stuff. He beleives they tried to sell most or the shows during this time, but apparently got few or no takers after 77-78. Up till then, Rand McNally published the HB storybooks and coloring books I mentioned. But an unusual thing happened to TV Stars comic book which planned to do a Buford story. According to him, the book was doing fairly well, as were the few other HB titles Marvel was porducing. It seems the editor at Marvel comics decided they should quit publishing material from a "competitor" and all their HB books were axed. However, there was one more TV Stars waiting in the wings at the time this happened. He recalls there was a "Galloping Ghost" included, but he does not think a Buford story was. Nuggetnose, at least, came very close to having at least one peice of merchandise. Buford and other rare shows woulde probably have followed had the series been allowed to continue. The one single reference to Buford that I knew of was an ad for 78-79 season that appeared in Marvel comics. Buford is pictured in lower left-hand corner. He is the wrong color however.

There was an item of genuine Buford merchandise produced in the U. K. It was a TV Favorites Cartoon Annual. I have seen this book available on ebay, and was able to purhase it from another dealer. Note that two characters from the 78-79 season, Buford and Dinky Dog, appear on the cover. Neither one has been included in any merchandise in the US that I'm aware of. The book includes a Dinky Dog story, and a Buford story, both on comic form. The Buford story is called "The Screaming Habdabs". There are also three Buford activity pages. One is to copy a pictue of Buford onto a series of squares. There are pictures to color for Goofer and Muletrain. This brings up some interesting background info about the series included in this book, which I didn't know, and which may have come from the series "Bible". Sheriff Muletrain's name is really "Chester Petigrew". Actually, the name "Petigrew" does come up once during the series on the "Man with the Orange Hair" episode. Goofer's real moniker is "Leroy McGee". His last name is also mentioned once on the show(and once on a cast listing), and not his first. This makes both thier common names nicknames. You can see these fun pages by clicking here To be honest, I did have one problem with this comic. The comic is drown rather cheesily, but that's to be expected. The problem is that the Raccoon simply isn't drawn right. He looks more like a real raccoon, not the character on the show. Also, the Raccoon on the show was too small to be able to hurtle Buford across a clearing or kick clear out into the middle of the bayou. If he were, the grimness that characterized this aspect of the dhow (about a small, cute character whose mischief places him in peril) would have been just about totally lost, like it is in this comic.
Buford comic
UPDATE: The other day I found yet another piece of Buford merchandise. This is a HB stamp album produced in Mexico. Apparently, Buford, and other shows from this time may have been more popular outside the US. Notice that Buford, Dinky Dog, and Nuggetnose are shown on the cover, along with two CB Bears characters, and one of the Skatebirds, from the previous season. Below this picture is a scan of the Buford stamps in the album, one seller on ebay sent me. The big scene shows the Buford and Nuggetnose characters at a circus. (No Raccoon. Phooey!)

Above is an HB publicity flyer for the Buford and Nuggetnose series. This flyer is dated 1978,and would have been sent out to publisize the shows, and sell it to the networks. This flyer mentioned both Muletrain and Goofer's last names. it was made by the folks at HB, and thus has more detailed and accurate info than cast listings mentioned in animation books. This flyer is especially notable beacuse although the Raccoon is not pictured, he IS mentioned. It also gives a clue as to why the Raccoon was included on the show in the first place: apparently he was there to was to add "spice". About the Nuggetnose show description, it reveals Fuddy's first name to be fenwick, and also mentions Nuggetnose's invisible horse. This may be the reason some of the aforementioned cast listings list Nuggetnose himself as a horse. Possibly, those who compiled these listings had access to show descriptions like these, but never saw the shows themselves.

Above is a publicity dlyer for Yogi's Space race, on which "Buford" originally aired as a component. Both of these pictures were sent to me by a fellow named Scott Awley, who actually worked on them at Hanna-barbera at the time.

These pictures are from Van Eaton Galleries ( They are production stills available from that site. All of these are from the epsiode "Don't Monkey with Buford", the final episode in the series. The top one is a "rough" of Buford riding a circus bicycle from when he recovers Duchess' collar by riding the tightwire. The center one is from a dream sequence with Buford as "the World's strongest Dog", before he rescues Duchess from a lion. The bottom still shows Buford, Duchess and "Mr. Martin", her agent. The owner of Van Eaton galleries got them from a worker at HB studies, as after the series was done, the animators could take home what they wanted. It might not be "merchandise" as are tie-in products like lunchboxes, comics, or coloring books, but they're at least the closest to genuine Buford merchandise here in the U.S. They are genuine HB animation, and worth around 75 dollars each. Below is the scan of another cel coutesy of Scott Awley, former HB emploee, who also sent me the Buford publicity flyer above. This cel was used for animators to draw the characters to scale. Not surprisingly, the Little Raccoon is missing.

Click here for the Buford Episode Guide
Swamp Phantom Story

Click on the Scooby picture to go to Freddy del Guerro's Scooby-Doo site. This site has a lot of original Scooby-Doo scripts, and Scooby info, and his other pages have a ton of info on other HB mystery toons. This page has another link to my Buford story and a story I wrote about the Goober and the Ghostchasers series