The Great Alligator.
Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Last week's EMERGENCY+4 entry brought Fred Calvert to my attention. This series is his other significant TV cartoon credit.
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was a remarkably gifted World Heavyweight Champion prize fighter whose braggadocios antics, affiliation with the Nation Of Islam (resulting in his name changing to "Cassius X" then "Muhammad Ali"), and refusal to be inducted into the Vietnam era US military made him a highly controversial figure in the 1960s. But his charisma and awesome comeback to score an upset victory over Big George Foreman and regain the championship made him a pop culture icon in the 1970s, especially with the youngsters.
He was riding high in his second reign as champ, and trying his hand at other media ventures when this Saturday Morning Cartoon series was produced. It follows Ali and the requisite Meddling Kids on unlikely adventures around the world. Ali actually voices his animated likeness, and does brief live-action interstitial bits.
Much is made of how this show was canceled after "just thirteen episodes". But a single production season of around that length is very common for Saturday Morning programs. Usually such shows do get rerun for a couple years, then maybe put back on as a mid-season filler a couple years later, folded into a syndicated package, etc... None of that for this one. Yanked off the schedule before Christmas. Gone forever. But it wasn't just Ali's show. That particular season was a bloodbath for NBC.
Don't get me wrong. The 'toon is bad. Really bad. Weak animation, writing, and voice acting. Though it is kinda' funny to see that Ali was cool with his character being a little less than heroic at times for comedic purpose.
Probably the best thing this show did was inspire the parody MIKE TYSON MYSTERIES decades later.
So here, from September 1977, is the first episode of I AM THE GREATEST: THE ADVENTURES OF MUHAMMAD ALI... (Long enough title, Cassius?)
|Category||Anime & Animation|
|Sensitivity||Normal - Content that is suitable for ages 16 and over|
2 weeks, 5 days ago
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