TV Thursday: Laff-A-Lympics

In 1977 besides being in the grip of the nationwide fever of Star Wars, I was also totally hooked on Hanna-Barbera’s Laff-A-Lympics on Saturday Mornings. Perhaps it had something to do with all of these cartoon character mingling and competing in an Battle of the Network Stars sort of way that kept me so riveted. Unfortunately it only lasted a mere season before being repackaged with 8 new episodes in reruns under the title Scooby’s All Stars for its second season. I’m not sure how many of you have watched this but I have to admit I’ve always cheered for the Scooby Doobies…perhaps it was because they had Blue Falcon and DynoMutt as well as Hong Kong Phooey on their team?

Thanks to bmsallee over at Flickr for this awesome team line-up!

Make sure to head over to the Retro Television section of the site when you have the chance. Browse the large numbers of television memories and better yet, leave some of your own in the comments, or add a television show that we might have missed.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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6 thoughts on “TV Thursday: Laff-A-Lympics

  1. tcv says:

    I just want to point out that Snagglepuss’s anti-Really Rottens bias has been clean for some time.

  2. @tcv I remember one episode where, due to cheating naturally, the Really Rottens won the Gold…I can recall feeling almost betrayed when it was announced. Luckily the camera spots them cheating and they are stripped of the Gold, I think it went to the Yogi Yahooeys.

  3. Michael says:

    I still like the original Laff-a-lympics. I’ve always thought what if Warner Bros. Animation rebooted it into an hour-long show? Keep most of the same characters, keep the teams as they are, add more worldly locations for contests, add a few more characters, anything. That’s what I would like to see.

  4. Drahken says:

    I never caught the original airing (to the best of my knowledge, but considering I was still an infant at the time…), but I remember watching it in the early 80s, and again many years later when it was on USA or cartoon network or something. I always loved it. The show itself was nothing all that special, but it had a certain holiday atmosphere to it that I adored.
    It’s odd, I never liked wacky races at all, loved laff-a-lympics, and felt that yogi’s space race fell somewhere between the 2. All 3 shows are a very similar format, so I should like each one roughly the same as the others. This has been puzzling me for decades now, and the only answer I can come up with is the focus on the audience.
    In wacky races, the entire focus is on the race, with no apparent audience & the announcer as nothing more than a backdrop to tie things together. In contrast, laff-a-lympics focused primarily on the audience & announcers, with the events taking more of a background position. The net result of this is that you feel more pulled-in and involved, like you’re actually part of the show instead of just watching some cars race around.

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