Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grudge Match: Dick Dastardly vs. Professor Fate

Inspired by my Great Race reference in an earlier post, I return to a question that has haunted all of humankind ever since the '60s: who would win a race between Dick Dastardly (voice of Paul Winchell, Wacky Races) and Professor Fate (The Great Race?). Both are evil. Both have poor fashion sense. Both have mustaches and an infinite willingness to cheat. Both have silly voices. So who wins a race between two men who are basically doomed to lose? Yes, Fate won the race, but only because Leslie let him win. Dastardly won't do the same, yet unless one lets the other win, neither can win. So is this just doomed to go on forever?

There are two things going for Fate, apart from that whole thing where he actually won in the end. One, he's the original and Dastardly is the Hanna-Barbera copy. In a fight between the original and the H-B ripoff, I'll bet on Ralph Kramden to beat Fred Flintstone, and Sergeant Bilko to beat Top Cat, so I guess Fate has the edge there. And two, Fate has the sidekick advantage. He has Max, who is... not exactly competent, but at least fun, and willing to try new things and push buttons. Muttley doesn't do anything except laugh.

Though some might argue that given Max's track record, it's better to have a sidekick who doesn't do anything.

The other argument for Dastardly is that he occasionally won as part of the Really Rottens team in the Laff-a-Lympics. That could make his record better than that of Fate, who only seems to have that one forfeit victory to his credit.

So which rotten rapscallion will ride the road to riches?


Tom K Mason said...

Professor Fate gets my vote. He had the cooler house, his own theme music whenever he appeared onscreen, and the best catchphrase: " Professor Fate!" And unless I'm misunderestimating, Max was a pretty competent double-crossing sidekick when it came to rescuing the Professor from Ross Martin.

Steve said...

Fate gets my vote because he had Treg Brown's sound effects while Dastardly made do with the H-B effects library. Still, Dastardly's car is way cool.

moopot said...

Mutley sometimes did things - sometimes he actively and openly sabotaged Dick Dasterdly, for the sheer joy of laughing at him. So, yeah, my vote goes to Fate, because Mutley would, unbeknownst to Dastardly, forfeit the race, and then laugh at Dastersdly's anger. Max would sit on the sidelines, scratching his head and accidentally dropping bricks on Fate's foot.