Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters

In the 70s, one needn’t even be a hoops fan to know who the Harlem Globetrotters were. Formed in 1927 by millionaire Abe Saperstein, the Globetrotters were heralded around the world for their acrobatic and gravity-defying antics on the court. Whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown” all along the way, their celebrity appeal soared to slam-dunking heights and a Saturday morning cartoon show soon followed.

Harlem Globetrotters debuted in 1970, produced by none other than Hanna-Barbera. The whole crew was there, from Meadowlark Lemon to Curly, Geese to Gip. Granny managed the team and drove the patriotic Stars and Stripes bus, always accompanied by Dribbles, the team’s canine mascot.

With each stop of the tour bus, the Globetrotters would find themselves involved in some sort of conflict that would lead to a score-settling basketball game. While their opponents often rigged the contests to ensure defeat, somehow the team always managed to bounce back in the second half, their invincible reputation secure.

The show lasted for three seasons before ending in 1973 and holds the distinction of being the first Saturday morning animated series to feature African-American characters. The real players portrayed themselves, with additional voices by Scatman Crothers and Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, best known from The Jack Benny Show. Prolific voice artists Daws Butler (Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound) and Don Messick (Scooby Doo, Bamm-Bamm) also lent a helping hand.

The end of the series didn’t spell the end of the animated Globetrotters – not by a long shot. They would appear in The New Scooby Doo movies in 1972 and 1973, and in The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, which ran from 1974-76. They would pair up with C.B. Bears and The Herculoids in the 1978 Saturday morning series, The Go-Go Globetrotters, and in 1979, they wrapped up the decade with The Super Globetrotters, which three months later became The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour.

If you remember spending your Saturday mornings in front of the television watching the Harlem Globetrotters, we’d love to hear any of your thoughts and memories in our comments section below.

One Response to “Harlem Globetrotters”

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  1. Gina says:

    Don’t forget The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island!

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