By Caryn Shinske
PolitiFact New Jersey
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wore a broad grin at a recent town hall meeting as he and a 4-year-old audience member talked about their favorite cartoons. The boy told Christie he was a big Scooby-Doo fan.
"When I was 4, my favorite show was 'Scooby-Doo,' too," Christie told the boy, who had told the governor that Scooby-Doo is his favorite.
Call this a case of what did the governor watch and when did he watch it.
We found that while Scooby-Doo apparently made quite the impression on a precocious young Christie, he was older than 4 when the show began airing.
This mystery isn't as difficult to figure out as the ones uncovered by the teenage sleuths in Scooby-Doo, but let's start by reviewing some basic facts about the governor and the actual TV show produced by cartoon masters Hanna-Barbera.
Chris Christie was born on Sept. 6, 1962, in Newark, according to multiple databases, among them Project VoteSmart.org and Biography.com. So he's 50 and would have turned 4 in 1966.
Now let's look at the history of the TV show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
The Internet Movie Database, which tracks movies, TV shows, celebrity news and more, states the TV show premiered on Sept. 13, 1969. The series aired until 1972 and followed the adventures of four teenagers and a dog named Scooby-Doo who traveled around in a van dubbed the Mystery Machine, solving various mysteries.
So given the governor's birth date and the official premiere date of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Christie would have been 7 years old - not 4 - if he watched the show's first episode.
We'll give the governor props for remembering his favorite show as a child, but it's not surprising that he's off with the timing of when Scooby-Doo aired.
"Well, I'm older than the governor by a year, and 'Scooby-Doo' was one of my favorite cartoons too, in addition to the Road Runner and the Flintstones," Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in an email. "I don't think I could have recalled on the fly - or even if my own kids asked me right now - when it was I started watching them. We all just know those characters were a part of our childhoods. I chalk it up to the blur of childhood memories and getting older."
As Velma would proclaim: "Jinkies!" Like Drewniak, we'll chalk this one up to age. So in this one, Gov, we give you not a False or True. But a pass.
Ruh-roh! PolitiFact on The Colbert Report!
Stephen Colbert highlighted PolitiFact New Jersey's fact-check of Chris Christie on The Colbert Report on Tuesday night. To watch the segment, go to Links in Today's Times at tampabay.com.