Sunday, August 26, 2012

Celebrity Toons: Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos (1986)

With Mr. T entering his 3rd & final season on NBC, Ruby-Spears must've figured another celebrity-driven action cartoon could work out in weekday syndication. Regrettably, their noble idea didn't work.

Chuck Norris was a long ways away from Walker, Texas Ranger when he was approached by R-S to top-line a 5-part weekday miniseries, Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos, in 1986. Then, Norris was starring in movies like "Lone Wolf McQuade" (w/David Carradine), "Silent Rage", and the "Missing in Action" film series. Not exactly critical darlings, mind, but action marks paid beaucoup bucks to see Norris flip open a can o' whoopin' on some bad guys. As memory serves me, Karate Kommandos didn't get past the miniseries stage, but there was an equally short-lived comic book from Marvel that was drawn by industry legend Steve Ditko, despite the fact that fellow icons Gil Kane & Jack Kirby worked on the show and could've drawn the book!

I never got to see the miniseries, so I can't rate it. Here, then is the open & close, sans the R-S logo.


magicdog said...

I remember this show, but I thought it had gone beyond the miniseries stage. I do remember the show always had a live action moral of some sort tagged on to the end of every episode - hosted by Norris himself.

hobbyfan said...

It was formatted similarly to Mr. T, with Norris doing bookend segments. What I neglected to mention was that the supporting cast included Robert Ito (Quincy, M. E.) and Kathy Garver (ex-Family Affair). Like, whodathunk?