Forget Tokyo 2021 Olympic boredom: Bring Back America’s Laff-A-Lympics
LOS ANGELES — While many adults find the Olympics boring because they are, children ignore the Olympics because they are not in cartoon form. This is not a new phenomenon. Efforts to get my friend’s five-year-old to appreciate the Wall Street Journal program on Fox News have failed. Apparently it comes on the same time as something called “Peppa Pig.” If network television executives want young people to watch a bunch of people run around and engage in unfamiliar “sports,” these sports needs to be animated. This “Laff-A-Lympics” style solution is so simple that anybody with an I.Q. higher than a network television executive could figure it out.
Bring back the “Laff-A-Lympics”
One of the great cartoons of all time, Laff-A-Lympics was sheer lunacy. That 1977 TV series featured cartoon characters from virtually every popular cartoon at the time competing in Olympic-style events.
Long before Miller Lite brought the world “Luge bowling,” “Full contact golf” and “The great lawyer roundup,” it was the Laff-A-Lympics that combined the ridiculous with the inane to produce good, Olympic fun.
The three Laff-A-Lympics teams consisted of the Yogi Yahooies, the Scooby Doobies, and the Really Rottens. Yogi Bear and Scooby Doo were team captains, while Mumbly led the Rottens. Mumbly and Dred Baron were based on Dastardly and Muttly.
Check out the opening and closing credit scenes in the video below.
More Toons on deck…
Other cartoon characters competing included Grape Ape, Captain Caveman, Dyno-Mutt (fearless, scareless, a little too careless) and Blue Falcon. Mildew Wolf and Snagglepuss (Exit, stage left) provided play-by-play and color commentary. They were even dressed like sports personnel wearing the appropriate jackets. Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble were guest judges long before American Idol tried that trick.
Kids even learned about corruption because every once in awhile the Rottens, despite cheating, would win. Usually they lost. Apparently, there was still justice in the world back then.
True, the original Laff-A-Lympics only lasted two seasons from 1977 to 1979, with only 24 total episodes produced. But they have been rerun over the years as part of lengthy cartoon blocks. 20 years ago they were a fun part of the USA Cartoon Express.
Plugging for International “Diversity”?
For those who complain that the Laff-A-Lympics characters are all American, there is nothing stopping host nations from offering their own version of Laff-A-Lympics. With Tokyo as the 2021 Olympics host, perhaps they could adapt their famous animé genre and create something similar.
There are so many gems out there, and the madcap adventures of Laff-A-Lympics were every bit as bizarre as anything one would find at the real Olympics. The world is a crazy place, and cartoons are one of the last places where honesty still exists. (This excludes adult cartoons such as “Family Guy” that routinely traffic in vulgarity and filth.)
Ditto, the orientation and subject matter of so many vintage, classic cartoons. Bugs Bunny cartoons were very patriotic, and kids learned good values. Greedy Daffy Duck never got to keep the treasure. Wile E. Coyote never got to eat the Roadrunner. (Meep, Meep!) Yet children watched these characters run, jump, and play all over the world. Isn’t that what the Olympics are supposed to be?
Take the Laff-A-Lympics Pledge
So let us here highly resolve to bring back the best cartoons to cable TV’s vast wasteland and show today’s kids that real, pre-Advertising Age Olympics spirit. They have plenty of time to do this, as adults quickly realize the worthlessness of the Olympics. Particularly when idiots like the US Women’s Soccer team get so busy with dissing the National Anthem that they forget to win their initial game. We must spare today’s kids from this kind of nonsense. Instead, we should nurture our onetime childhood fantasy that these Laff-A-Lympic games possess actual moral and philosophical meaning. A meaning we could nurture in our kids before some spoilsport adult (me) corrects them, teaching them the dubious virtues of virtue-signaling instead of playing to win.
Let the kids have fun. Bring back the Laff-A-Lympics.
About the Author:
Brooklyn-born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist, and comedian. But he lives for football. Particularly the Raiders.