The 1980’s were a magical time. Stallone and Arnold were in their prime, Nintendo came to America with its 8-bit glory, and you could watch Mr. Rogers tell a story...
Now I want you to think long and hard about all of your favorite 80's cartoons and TV shows. How about Mr. Belvedere? Small Wonder? Count Duckla? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The Super Mario Brothers Super Show? Do any of these classic shows ring a bell? But what about things that are hard to remember?
Once upon a time in 1989, there was a show called King Koopa's Kool Kartoons. For those not familiar, King Koopa's Kool Kartoons was a Krusty the Clown type show…
A man dressed in a King Koopa costume played cartoons for a live audience of children and gave away prizes like gift certificates, power gloves and other NES gear.
When I was a wee lad, I would religiously park myself in front of the TV after school and watch the best hour of TV my young self had yet to experience. First was the Super Mario Brother Super Show, I will always have a warm place in my heart for Capt. Lou Albano. Next was King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons. Sometimes I would use my VCR and tape such occasions.
More recently, I tried "Googling" King Koopa's Kool Kartoons and found nothing. I tried "Googling" The King Koopa Show and alas, found nothing. Then I found RetroJunk.com and spent hours reminiscing about fond memories and old TV shows and cartoons. I searched for my beloved show on RetroJunk and still found nothing!
I then decided to take it upon myself to enlighten all of you RetroJunk junkies. I added the show to Retrojunk's database and decide to write this article.
Then I remembered my old video tapes... I know I used to tape these shows! So the search began. Looking through mounds of old tapes with blank labels, fast forwarding through hours of tape looking for the lost show. Nothing... I was about to give up hope but then I found it! An old tape labeled Super Mario Bros Cartoons.
"Could it be?" I thought to myself, racing to my VCR. I felt like a young Indiana Jones about to discover the Arc's final resting place. I put the tape in, pressed play and there he was. A tear formed in my eye. This tape not only included 2 full episodes of King Koopas Kool Kartoons, it also included an episode of Small Wonder, 2 Episodes of The Super Mario Super Show as well as various, priceless, 80’s commercials. Like one for the Powerglove. What memories! It was like going back in time. My young life flashed before my eyes... A feeling that's indescribable over took me… I quickly transferred the videotape to my computer, forever preserving this lost treasure.
When I re-watched King Koopa's Kool Kartoons some 16 years later, I realized that I must have been a lonely, lonely, sad child... Like most fond childhood cartoons, re-watching them when you are grown up just isn’t the same.
The King would play very old cartoons from the early 1920's and 1930's none of which were very good. Even the live action part of the show with the King wasn't as funny as I remembered and it was a bit cheesy. The funniest part was realizing how unrehearsed the show seemed to be. It’s almost like the show’s writers wrote the script and material a day before it aired, like procrastinating on a school paper. I guess that is what happens when you are 16 years more mature...
When most kids would dream about flying or super heroes, I would dream about being one of King Koopa's Troopas. Although it was short lived this show must have made a major impact on my young brain. Long Live King Koopa!!
I have come up with a simple hypothesis. This show may have only been aired in Southern California. I watched it on Fox 11. Until now, history or information on this show was nowhere to be found online! Perhaps it's because of the shows limited broadcasting range....
I recommend that you search RetroJunk.com now for King Koopa's Kool Kartoons. I wrote the summary and I also donated the show's intro. Enjoy!
Best wishes my fellow RetroJunk.com Junkies, and I bid you farewell.
Mike “The Koopa Troopa” Iacono