?What makes a celebrity want a cartoon series? They’re already famous, and chances are, they already have a successful career in music, comedy, movies or other such endeavors. They have money. What the hell?
There are two answers, but they’re both simple. The first answer is that half of celebrity-based cartoons are envisioned by TV executives who want money, and are willing to animate any celebrity that kids like (it’s actually kind of shocking there’s not a Justin Bieber cartoon… yet). The second answer is that some celebrities, no matter where their career has taken them or how non-kid-friendly that career might have been so far, really just want to entertain and educate children. Whether children want to be entertained and educated by an obese comedian whose height of popularity was in 1977, however, is another question entirely. Here, then, are nine cartoons based on and/or made by various celebrities, in no particular order, which entertained us, irritated us, and just plain confused us.
9) MC Hammer, Hammerman
Listen, Hammerman was a show about talking shoes that gave some random dude the power to fight social injustice. Nobody expects a show like that to be good. But that random dude happens to be MC Hammer, so what people did expect was an awesome theme song. And what did they get? This abomination. It’s not even ironically good in a bad way. It’s just boring. And maybe it’s the low quality of the video, but it sounds like they’re using an unmixed demo for the song. What the heck happened, Hammer?
8) New Kids on the Block, New Kids on the Block
Showing that boy bands really are the most powerful entity on earth, in 1990 ABC made the New Kids on the Block cartoon. In the show they explored exciting plotlines like wanting to go to a normal high school, the importance of doing your homework, and how much people love New Kids on the Block. The show was pretty much an animated pop song, filled with flashy borders for transitions and random live action clips dropped into scenes for no reason at all. Luckily because it wasn’t actually voiced by the NKOTB, the show was unable to harness their true boy band super powers and only lasted one season.
7) Louie Anderson, Life With Louie
There was a brief time where Louie Anderson was actually considered funny, but it was well before 1995, when the animated show loosely based on his childhood, Life with Louie, debuted. The show mostly featured an anthropomorphic pig boy whining about things for comedy effect while his dad complained that nobody would let him be an asshole. In the end the dad did the right thing, or something close to it, so everybody got on fine. Except that is for the children who had just listened to the equivalent of a high pitched bitch fest for thirty minutes. Nobody thought about the children.
6) Howie Mandel, Bobby’s World
Lasting seven seasons this is by far the most popular of the shows on this list (sorry Waynehead!) and with good reason. It was actually pretty good. It ran with a healthy balance of film parodies and humorously heartfelt stories that helped it last nine years. Howie Mandel played himself as the father and provided the voice for his son, Bobby. Mandel’s smartest move was probably staying out of the spotlight and letting young Bobby be the main character of the series. Apparently even Howie Mandel knows nobody wants to see a Howie Mandel cartoon.
5) John Candy, Camp Candy
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, playing outside and camping were marginally popular activities for children. Since then technology has mercilessly killed the notion of doing anything that requires physical movement beyond our finger tips but back then it was actually considered pretty cool. At least cool enough to warrant a surplus of movies and TV shows about summer camps for kids. John Candy, being the obvious spokesman for an active outdoor lifestyle, wanted a summer camp show of his own and thus created Camp Candy. A generic and formulaic little show that was surprisingly entertaining despite itself thanks to Candy’s appeal and jolly charm.
4) Damon Wayans, Waynehead
Hammerman, take note — this is how you make a theme song. In fact, this song sounds a lot more appropriate for 1991 than it does for this show’s 1996 broadcast. Beyond that though the show had little going for it. It regularly went on flights of fantasy similar to Bobby’s World that were a lot of fun but these were the only thing breaking up the monotony of the rest of the show. Like most of Damon Wayans career, it constantly retreaded the same formulaic plots with slightly different situations over and over again.
3) Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos
This show plays like the life Chuck Norris wishes he could have led. Sure, he’s had a lot of accomplishments in his time, but if he could go back and write his life from start to finish I’m sure this is how it would have gone, with him hired by the government to dispense justice and moral wisdom, ninja-style. With a team of even more ninjas. And fighting a guy with a metal claw and saving the world on the regular. And by the way, everybody loves him. Actually, that’s probably how most people would re-write their lives. Thanks for being such a good role model, Chuck Norris.
2) Rosanne Barr, Little Rosey
There was once a 1990 cartoon based on the adventures of a young Roseanne Barr. Much like the non-cartoon Roseanne, Little Rosey was shrill and awful and did a lot of horrible shit that no one but Roseanne Barr found funny. It was canceled after 13 episodes, because even kids in the 1990s had better taste that that.
1) Hulk Hogan, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling
While this is once again an egomaniac’s wet dream (what’s with that crowd shot at the end of the theme song?) it doesn’t really matter in this case. Why? Because this is how you make an awesome kids cartoon. Cruising around and fighting bad guys in what may be one of the most badass vehicles in cartoon history, and sporting a ‘stache that gives Yosemite Sam a run for his money, all with barely a mention of actual wrestling. Of course, the real show wasn’t nearly as awesome as that description sounds but it still managed to be fairly entertaining thanks to its ridiculousness.