Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nostalgia Theater: Hammerman -- Can't Don't Touch This

There were a lot of cultural oddities that typified life in the late '80s and early '90s, but one of the oddest surely has to be the meteoric rise and near-immediate descent of MC Hammer as the world's preeminent hip-hop maestro. Thanks to hits like "U Can't Touch This" and "Too Legit to Quit," an entire generation of suburban white kids got into rap music, and catapulted Hammer to that pinnacle of pop culture prominence: Saturday morning.

I talked a few weeks ago about ProStars, the NBC 'toon that teamed-up sports figures Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson as crimebusting super spies in fall of '91. But the celebrity superheroics didn't end there, because that same season, over on ABC, Hammer (née Stanley Burrell) tried his hand at the animated hero game with Hammerman. And what was Hammerman, you ask? Let's hear it from the man himself:

If you're keeping track, that's seventy-five solid seconds of full-on exposition. A minute and change to explain what I can do in one sentence: Hammer finds some magic shoes and can do stuff. A brief look at the show's production credits reveals that Hammerman was the product of -- wait for it --- yep, our favorite cartoon crap factory DiC! They're really building up a Glen A. Larson-esque hall of shame here in Nostalgia Theater!

Like ProStars, Hammerman boasted live action intros, but unlike ProStars, the star was there to give voice to the main character. Every week, Hammerman would take down musical baddies like "Rapoleon," while teaching the kiddies lessons I dunno. I got nothing. Needless to say, kids didn't touch this, and by December of '91, Hammerman danced off the airwaves for good, magic shoes and all. Too legit to quit? Not quite.

(We should probably be grateful of Hammerman's quickie cancellation, as it probably spared us all from that inevitable Vanilla Ice cartoon...)

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