Take a journey back into time for the 25 Weirdest Kid Television Shows of the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s….
This is Part One in A Three Part Series, click here to read Part 2.
Kids today will probably grow up and recall Yo Gabba Gabba as the weirdest and coolest kid show of their generation (weird fact, I used to hang out with DJ Lance in my college years). And 90′s kids recall the Teletubbies. But most current children’s television is dismal.
I dare any adult to watch the Disney Channel for more than 5 minutes without feeling bleak about the future. It’s all bargain basement sit-coms and musical poop. Pass the cyanide capsules, please.
I was born in 1971, and between 60′s reruns, 70′s grooviness and 80′s dreck, Generation X had the
weirdest, best/worst children’s TV shows of all time.
Why? You had several factors working with/against each other.
- Hallucinatory Hollywood fallout from the hippie movement.
- Religious groups were also making kid shows, and their attempt to mold young minds was just as surreal and unnerving.
Add in a lack of political correctness and you had a molotov cocktail of WTF.
Here are the 25 weirdest kids television shows from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s. Covering the charmingly odd, delightfully weird and nightmarishly upsetting. If anybody wants to relieve this wackiness, I have Amazon links where available under each title.
25. Space Angel (1962-1964)
Remember when Conan O’Brien used to do skits with a real mouth superimposed over a celebrity’s headshot? They stole it here, which used the same technology for its animation. Even as a 5-year-old, this juxtaposition made me ill at ease.
But it wouldn’t have been so obvious if the animation actually MOVED! Nothing except those creepy, hypnotically askew gaping maws.
24. Robonic Stooges (1977-1978)
The Three Stooges were huge in reruns in the 70′s, and Hanna Barbera thought kids would love a show where they were in cyborg form. But given all the original actors had died, the poor voice impersonators and crap animation made this nothing but a pale, albeit bizarre imitation.
23. Ultraman (Original run 1966-1967)
Imagine a weekly TV show with Godzilla production values. That was Ultraman, a Japanese import. A Giant Robot who fought all sorts of oversize critters, it was charming despite its sub-par special effects (his costume is awesome though). Check out this clip, and be especially mindful of the weird chicken monkey at the 1:39 mark.
Check out the Ultraseven collection from Shout Factory at the bottom of the post.
22. Slim Goodbody (1975-?)
Slim Goodbody’s message was commendable. The guy just wanted to keep kids healthy and active. But wearing a skin-tight unitard with his guts showing made him quite unappealing. He rocked a killer afro though. He looked like a streaker running off mid-surgery (He also looked like a clone of Ron Palillo, aka Arnold Horschach from Welcome Back Kotter). Thankfully his genitals weren’t illustrated.
Perhaps if he didn’t look like a flayed pervert we might have better heeded his lesson and not be an obese nation overly dependant on technology. He was a prophet as you’ll see below:
21. Zoom (1972-1978)
Imagine a bunch of obnoxious kids wearing rugby shirts, yelling a vile theme song and making tie-die. That’s Zoom in a nutshell. Check out the unhinged opening titles:
Zoom was a PBS show written for kids, by kids and this was a huge part of its appeal. It had an inmates running the asylum vibe that kids ate up, but probably drove adults crazy. All that being said, teaching kids creativity and acceptance of other’s differences was laudable. But all people really remember is that damn song!
Speaking of Terrible Kid Theme shows, check out this evil ear worm.
20. Gigglesnort Hotel (1975-1978)
This hotel was assorted with a bunch of odd puppets. But by far, the weirdest was Blob, a lump of clay molded into different shapes, with varying facial expressions. Just imagine a melted Mr Potato Head. His voice was the real show stopper, a bunch of garbled guffaws, wheezes, and vomitous eruptions.
You gotta hear how he sounds. Seriously, WATCH IT NOW:
I could only imagine staying in a hotel and hearing Blob’s repulsive laugh-barfing through the walls. Not exactly a restful stay.
19. Bozo The Clown (1960′s-1980′s)
A kid show, hosted by a loud-mouth clown, with a cheap, garish set. It inspired The Simpson’s character Krusty the Clown along with plenty of nightmares. I wonder why I ever watched this. It’s an obnoxious host and show lacking joy, organization, and humor. Kind of like the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Sure it’s for a good cause, but the presentation is atrocious!
18. Star Blazers (1979-1984)
Star Blazers aka Spaceship Yamato, was an early anime import along with Speed Racer and Battle Of The Planets.
It debuted in the U.S. during 1979, perfect timing given post-Star Wars mania.
Earth was a nuked out wasteland and a ship is sent to a distant world which has a cure to reverse the ecological damage.
It’s amazing the show aired here at all. American cartoons never showed killing, but Star Blazers was some bleak shit. People got killed en masse each episode! And not just red shirts, major characters! You actually got emotional over losing these wide-eyed, rapid speaking folks.
The money shot each episode was the Wave-Motion Gun, a giant laser cannon that fired from inside the heroes ship the Argo. It seems like that weapon would just make whole ship blow up, but boy did it look cool:
It also had a catchy theme song:
17.The Sid And Marty Krofft Supershow 1976-1978
Sid And Marty Krofft were TV producers responsible for many nutty kid shows (Indeed, they’ll be mentioned a LOT in Part Two). Their programs had crazy psychedelic imagery, but they deny any substances contributing to the weirdness.
The Supershow had live-action segments interspersed with numbers by the ‘glam-rock band’ Kaptain Kool And The Kongs. Their songs were actually written by the squeaky-clean Osmonds, but the lyrics seemed pretty trippy:
Don’t get left behind
Take a trip with us today
We will lead you to (through) a land of dreams
Krofft’s got some super shows
They will blow your mind away
Check out the song here:
The segments were a smorgasbord of weird assery. Between Dr Shrinker, Electra Women and Dyna Girl, Wonder Bug, Bigfoot and Wildboy and Mongo World you didn’t know what hit you. Take Wonder Bug; kids attach a magic horn to a junked up dune buggy. This makes it fly and fight crime. What?!?
So that wraps up Top 25 Weirdest Kid Shows Of The 60′s, 70′s and 80′s Part 1. Click here to see Part Two.
And be sure to read my lists of OddBall Toys Of The 70′s and 80′s, Best Worst Movies and Worst Holiday Movies and TV Specials.
And here’s some related collectibles: