Thursday, August 8, 2013




As you all know, cartoons and comics go hand-in-hand because we love seeing our heroes and their adventures come to life in animation. My first experience with super heroes wasn't comic books, it was with two of the greatest cartoon series' ever; The Super Friends and Spider-man (the 1967 animated series). I would run home from elementary school every day just to catch a glimpse of these shows and I soon became totally enchanted by them. Eventually, other super hero cartoons like; Hanna-Barbera's World of Super Adventure, Force Five, The Marvel Super Heroes, Spider-man and his Amazing Friends, The Incredible Hulk, etc. became an ongoing obsession. Today, I have amassed an enormous cartoon collection both on bootleg and actual release, I'm talking hundreds of titles and complete series. While I do have a HUGE super hero cartoon collection, I have many other awesome shows as well like; Johnny Quest, Scooby Doo, Peanuts, He-Man, She-Ra, etc. I'm a fan of all old-school cartoons plain and simple... how could I not be?

It was the Super Friends cartoon that started my love for everything super hero and comics!

The Spider-man cartoon from 1967 was the other cartoon that opened my eyes to the awesomeness of super heroes.

Currently I have been watching a bunch of obscure toons that I haven't seen since I was a little kid. And as it turned out, when I was done watching some of them I would scratch my head and wonder what the makers of those toons were smoking. They were so incredibly bizarre that I totally missed the boat on them when I was young. So I decided to jot down a list of the ones that left an undeniable impression on me (not for the better) and put them here for some of you cartoon fans to see. Who knows, maybe you'll see a few that you remember... or tried to forget... but either way, it's still an homage to all the cartoons that I know and love. While the majority of today's current crop of cartoons are some of the worst ever, they all lack "nostalgia" and "charm" of the ones listed here. So without further ado, here are my top 5 most head-scratching and questionable cartoons ever made!


Out of all the Marvel Comics toons made, this one will always pop up in conversations as one of the worst ever... period!  Any fan of the beloved Fantastic Four will not be able to comprehend what Hanna-Barbera Studios was thinking when they changed directions on what the Thing actually was in the comics to this "kid friendly" cartoon. Lovable teenager, Benji Grimm puts his two "Ben-rings" together and becomes the Ever-Lovin'-Blue-Eyed-Thing... what? But even the controversial head-scratching stories in this campy cartoon has nothing on the actual intro. What the hell is the Thing doing hanging out with Fred and Barney of the Flinstones? Why would he even want too? What do they have in common other than horrible-toon hijinks? If I'm correct, those two lovable cavemen never appeared in an issue of Marvel-Two-In-One or the Thing never appeared on a box of Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles! I guess I'll never know the answers and I don't think I want too. Believe it or not, despite how legendarily bad this toon is known to be, I'm proud/embarrassed to say that it also ranks in my top 10 best cartoons ever. You read that right, my best ever! I love the music, especially the intro music and for some reason I can watch it over and over and I have no idea why (most people can't stomach one episode). Do me a favor and watch the episode where our hero Ben Grimm gets amnesia and thinks he's a duck (yes, a duck)... you'll never look at the Thing the same way again. It's brilliant... really.

A little info on the Thing cartoon:

To quote Stan Lee circa 1985: "Norman Lear wanted to produce a Marvel cartoon via Hanna-Barbera and had mentioned he always liked the Thing. He also asked if I could come up with a way the Thing could pal around like Archie but still be the Thing when needed. I knew comics, he had the #1 show; if that's what he wanted, that MUST BE what will work!"

At least Stan knew he was out of his element....

4. THE GARY COLEMAN SHOW (1982-1983)

This is one of those shows that should always makes a "bad" cartoon list. Based on the Gary Coleman made for t.v. movie "The Kid With the Broken Halo" (believe it or not, this was a pretty good kid movie back in the day), it has a cult following in the annals of cartoon history as being one of the most horrible and downright despicable cartoons ever. It is so renowned that it was even voted the worst cartoon of all time in a few publications back in the day. And despite its reputation, it is yet another toon that I LOVE and can watch over and over and I don't know why! Hey, it takes a real man to admit this but -- I love Gary Coleman and I always will. Best child actor ever.

One time at a comic convention back in 2007 I actually met Gary and told him how much I loved this toon and him (despite the moon-boots he was wearing... yes, moon-boots (?) on a 40 year old man... or is it man-child?). You could tell he thought I was kidding and trying to heckle him, but I was serious!!! So no matter what anyone says about you Gary or this cartoon, I love it and you forever... R.I.P. buddy.

3. THE BRADY KIDS (1972-1974)

Not a common cartoon that people remember or watched back in the day. But if you ever manage to come across a bootleg to watch this, make sure you're not drunk or on drugs -- there is no need for them! You'll be out of your mind plastered after just one episode guaranteed. And the funny thing is... I'm not kidding!! For each episode takes the Brady kids on wacky adventures with their animal friends (a dog, two pandas, and a cookoo bird that has magic??) where at the end they sing a song that is fun for the whole family. Unlike the previous two toons I already listed, this one is kinda hard to watch after an episode or two. I'm thinking that it's downright almost impossible to watch a whole season. Try it, I bet you can't. And if you got the stomach to try to watch an episode, I'll recommend the one with Superman in it. In this episode all the animals find out that Clark Kent is really Superman and all the humans are way to "Brady" stupid to even have a clue. In reality, it's all just pathetic and really, really hard to sit through. 

It's no surprise that the real life manager of the Brady kid actors refused to let them do the voices to their likenesses in the second season. He must've looked into a crystal ball and seen what devastation a cartoon like this could do to their futures in the acting biz because when you think of it, they didn't last very long as superstars shortly after this hit the airwaves. Coincidence?? I think not!! There is a reason why some shows are not officially released to the public -- and this cartoon is one of them.


When I was a kid, I was a HUGE wrestling fan and Hulk Hogan was one of my first real-life heroes and inspirations. Knowing that a cartoon about him and the rest of the WWF superstars was coming to my Saturday mornings was truly an incredible moment for me. I can remember counting down the days till the fall season when this toon was going to air. Even the ad that ran in comic books month to month gave me many a sleepless night as I waited in anticipation for the fun to begin. 

I never wanted to watch a cartoon as badly as this one when I was a kid because of this ad in comic books each month. 

Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw the first episode on that Saturday morning with my WWF ice cream bar in-hand. No fighting, no wrestling, NO NOTHING... UGGHHH!! I did kinda get into the hi-jinks the wrestler's got into as well as some of the real-life promos the wrestlers did that aired throughout the show, but even for my kid brain, it was bad and boring. Now fast forward into my adulthood, I thought I was wiser and would love the horribleness of it when I got the complete series on bootleg. After watching it for a while, I found it hard to get through. And then when I began thinking about it, these wrestlers just went around town dressed up in their garb, driving in those horrible cars and did stuff. They looked like fools!! Almost as big as a fool as myself for watching this thing and dozing off due to boredom. Sorry Hulk Hogan, I'll always be a big time fan, but I just can't get into this toon and all the craziness in it. Too weird, too boring and waaaay too much!!!


Okay, nothing but nothing that all the other weird carttoons have going against them on this list can compare to The Super Globetrotters... NOTHING!!! I always remembered the Globetrotters as a kid starring in their very own toon; The Harlem Globetrotters and guest-starring on The Scooby Doo Movies and thought they were okay at best. But when they got their very own "super hero" cartoon in 1979 I missed it as a kid. Thank god because I would've been F@&KED UP!!! Eventually I when got this series on bootleg I thought I would have the pleasure to watch it fresh and have a few good laughs and a little entertainment. I got way more than I bargained for! It was just so freaking weird and scary all at the same time! I swear, I don't know what Hanna-Barbera were expecting when this show hit the air? They had to know this toon was going to be a disaster. The Super Globetrotters were a basketball team that had a talking basketball called the (annoying-as-hell) Crime-Globe that warned them of danger(?). They even turned from regular basketball players into a bunch of jive-supa-fools! And when they did became super heroes, they had some of the most lamest super-powers and outfits (I'll admit that the Trotter with all the shyat in his afro was cool as hell). I'm still at a loss trying to figure this cartoon out... can you??

I'm not so sure this was the best of ideas from The Hanna-Barbera Studios.

But pulling out an unlimited amount of objects from your afro was an awesome superpower if you ask me.

Every friggin' episode was exactly the same! They always had to defeat monsters or creeps in a basketball game (even one episode where Attila the Hun and the Huns are looking for a pick-up game???). Without fail, they would always be losing the first-half and then turned into their super hero counterparts and pulled out a win in the end. What the hell am I watching??? I don't get it?? And even as an adult, I NEVER WILL!!! Surprisingly, I could stomach a few episodes in a row before I had enough. Go ahead and try to watch a few of these, you'll forget your name, your car, your whole freaking world and I'm speaking the truth!! While I'm a big fan of blacksploitation and bad-toon laugh tracks, this is the worst cartoon I've ever seen. Period!

Agree, disagree, let me know!!!

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John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETROFAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.


  1. Car Talk guys had a cartoon for PBS, that may have only run once before it was pulled. It was bad.

    1. HA,ha,ha,ha! Post it up. I would love to see it!

  2. I remember that Brady Kids cartoon, and I wonder how many people wondered why I laughed out loud from the projection booth when we were showing A Very Brady Sequel at the university theater and those two pandas from the Brady Kids made a brief cameo appearance during Tim Matheson's drug hallucination sequence!

  3. I was disappointed in the Hulk Hogan cartoon too.

  4. Hulk and the Agents of Smash belongs on this list. Have you seen that yet , John? It's really bad.

    1. Yes I have and it is absolutely horrendous...generation nothingness in full effect...

  5. Hated the Brady Kids, good call.

  6. How about "Fonz and the Happy Days Gang"? THAT is some classic weird crap. And by crap, I mean cool.

  7. I didn't think the Hulk Hogan cartoon was that bad.
    But I could be wrong lol.