America’s obsession with the Harlem Globetrotters in the 70’s and 80’s knew no bounds. I feel as though children didn’t really respond to the Trotters, but rather were force-fed them like a grandmother insisting you eat some hard candy. Anyway, the Globetrotters had a Hanna-Barbera cartoon from 1970-73. Unlike Pro Stars, the Globetrotters did their own voice work. They also had a cartoon dog named Dribbles, but that’s neither here nor there.
This cartoon was remarkably one-note in that the gang would travel around, get in a conflict with some ne-er-do-wells, then propose to settle the conflict with a basketball game. Going forward, if you’re going to slight the Harlem Globetrotters, and they seek redress, AGREE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY EVENT OTHER THAN BASKETBALL. They are professional basketball players. You are not.
Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos
I’m not sure what made them go with the “K” in “Kommandos.” I mean, it’s already an alliterative title, so the only it would make sense is if Norris had a last name that started with “K,” but that would look really racist, so it’s pretty inexplicable as to what happened here.
Karate Kommandos aired only five episodes as something of a “cartoon mini-series,” which is a really odd concept for something as lowbrow as a Chuck Norris cartoon. Once again, the show opened up with a live-action scene featuring Norris, then a cartoon, then closed with him teaching us a moral. The 1980’s was not a time for innovation, people.
This show came at the height of NKOTB’s popularity, which means that it could be as crappy as possible and still be a relatively popular show. Like Pro Stars, this show used the actual New Kids in an opening live-action segment, then used voice actors to play the cartoon versions of themselves. Children, devastated that they weren’t hearing the real Jonathan Knight’s voice, voted with their remotes, and the show was cancelled after one season.