Thursday, 21 April 2016
First viewed : April 1979
A bittersweet memory this one. This isn't quite the last entry from kids TV but I think it is the last cartoon series to feature until The Simpsons. Laff-A-Lympics had been on before but I first saw it in the morning schedule during the Easter Holidays of 1979 on the recommendation of the lad next door, with whom an irreconcilable fall-out was just a few short months away.
What made Laff-A-Lympics such an unexpected delight was that it drew its cast from all the Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the past three decades though there were omissions for complicated legal reasons. They were organised into three teams , two sporting teams headed by Scooby Doo and Yogi Bear respectively and a team of villains whose ranks had to be swelled by some original characters. Copyright issues meant that no Wacky Races characters could feature so instead the chief villains were Dread Baron and cackling sidekick Mumbly who were Dick Dastardly and Muttley in all but name.
The re-branding was an irritation but not enough to spoil the fun of seeing all your favourite characters from yesteryear popping up again for little cameos. This was the first TV programme I enjoyed for nostalgic reasons which is perhaps a little worrying as I was only fourteen at the time.
24 episodes were made in total.