Rhinelander Hodag Featured on Scooby-Doo Cartoon


Rhinelander city leaders are hoping to capitalize on a starring role for their community’s mascot on a cartoon show with a worldwide audience.

The mythical Hodag, monster of Wisconsin’s north woods, appears as a menacing creature with bright yellow eyes and two long fangs in a new episode of the Scooby-Doo cartoon series. Lara Reed, the executive director of the city’s Chamber of Commerce, is ecstatic. “I thought this is really cool, is it the real Hodag? It looks exactly like our beloved mascot here in Rhinelander,” she says. “When you think Hodag, you think Rhinelander and when you think Rhinelander you think Hodag.”

And the cartoon features a real historical character: Rhinelander showman Eugene Shepard, who created the Hodag and popularized Paul Bunyan back in the 1800’s.

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Reed says the portrayal of Shepard is about as accurate as a cartoon can get. “After Gene Shepard kind of created this mythical creature and the story, he made a mock-up of the Hodag, and took it around to the county fairs and had it in low lit areas and would, you know, try and convince people that it was real,” she says.

Why would the producers of Scooby-Doo choose the Hodag as its monster? “The Hodag’s favorite food is white bulldogs, and while Scooby-Doo might not be a white bulldog, he is a dog,” Reed says.

The Hodag of Horror episode has already aired in Great Britain, and is scheduled to air in the U.S. sometime in August.

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