The death of Casey Kasem at 82 today means different things to many different people. He was a family member to some, and based on the stories and reports that have come out the past few months there are certainly many sad stories that could be discussed there. We feel for anyone who felt slighted or kept away from him at a time when he was starting to go.
Meanwhile, for others he will be known for “American Top 40.” He was one of the most prolific radio personalities of all time, and had a voice so distinctive that you could hear it from the other room and know exactly who it was. For those who grew up more in the radio generation, he is someone who has a spot embedded their memory.
But for us, he will always be Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo” first and foremost. This may not be his most notable credit, but as someone who grew up on the Hanna-Barbara cartoon, we remember almost every “zoinks” and the man behind the mask with every mystery. He put a voice behind the show’s most sympathetic character, a teenager who was so cowardly that he barely ride around in the Mystery Machine, but continually managed to overcome his fears just enough in order to solve the case. He appeared well beyond the original series, and almost did so for forty years. He last voiced him in the “What’s New, Scooby-Doo” series, and then proceeded to make appearances on other various extensions of the franchise in other roles.
In the end, Shaggy was one of chose characters who defined and inspired childhoods, and while these sort of things are often overlooked, they cannot be forgotten. The same goes for Kasem’s entire life, and the legacy he leaves behind.
Casey, you will be sorely missed.