Sunday, May 31, 2015

Nostalgia Theater: What the Heck Was Young Samson?

Here's one of the weirdest cartoons I've ever ever seen -- and trust me, I've seen a few. Courtesy of animation house Hanna-Barbara during the period in the '60s when they could toss pretty much whatever they wanted at the tube, and some network somewhere was likely to air it, Young Samson actually began its life as Samson and Goliath when it premiered on NBC in September of '67, but it was retitled the following year to avoid confusion with the Davey and Goliath children's series. Here, watch the intro and see if you can figure this thing out:


So basically Young Samson centered on a teenager named Samson (voiced by actor Tim Matheson), who rode around the country on his moped, with his trusty dog Goliath in tow. When trouble inevitably brewed, usually in the form of mad scientists, giant robots, etc. Samson bangs his two magic wristbands together and turns into, yep, Samson. Like, "Samson from the Bible" Samson. "Samson & Delilah" Samson. Armed with pageboy haircut and short-shorts (a la He-Man fifteen years later), he then used some weird cross-species ray to turn his dog into a giant cat. Who shoots laster beams from his eyes.

Clearly, whatever controlled substance the H-B staff were partaking in must have been some wonderful stuff. Sadly, Samson didn't carry around the jawbone of an ass, nor did he have his eyes gouged out by the Philistines, as far as I know. Apparently audiences in the '60s were just as baffled by this thing as you probably are right now while reading this, and after thirteen episodes (each featuring two twelve-minute adventures) Samson and his moped rode off into the sunset. Nonetheless, the show has reappeared periodically, and is currently available via Warner Bros.' manufacture-on-demand service. Still, after watching the clip below, I'm sure you'll agree there's better ways to spend your money:

One Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Sky Commanders Goes High Concept
Two Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: The Franchising of Ewoks
Three Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: My Kind of Zoo

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