The Harlem Globetrotters on What’s My Line (1956)

The Globetrotter lineup in when this aired on December 30, 1956 was impressive (when is it not). You had Andy Johnson, Roman Turman, Charles Hoxie, Clarence Wilson, Woody Sauldsberry, Carl Green, Leon Hillard, Willie Garner and of course the esteemed Meadowlark Lemon. It is very cool to see this lineup on TV back in the 1950s and very interesting to see how they handle a squad with the standard What’s My Line format.

The real bonus comes out the end when Hillard, fully attired demonstrates his amazing dribbling ability.

The Harlem Globetrotters Need More Exposure

As I was putting up my Christmas tree for the year and hanging ornaments I got nostalgic for the Harlem Globetrotters. What do the Harlem Globetrotters have to do with Christmas? Hallmark released a Keepsake Ornament that is my favorite of the bunch this year. It reminded me how much the team has been out of the spotlight since the 1970s and early 1980s.

Sure they still trot around the globe throughout any calendar year but they don’t have the multi-media presence they once did. Back then they were all over television teaming up with Scooby-Doo and Gilligan, serving as hosts of their own variety series, acting as spokesmen for products and having their games broadcast on Wide World of Sports.

As much as I hate Cartoon Network branching out into live-action programming I think airing the occasional Globetrotter game would work. The team is meant to appeal to children mostly and they are basically live-action cartoons anyway so it makes sense. It would just be nice to see them on television again.

More exposure would have with identifying some or all of the current roster. Today’s team doesn’t have the individual player recognition like those of yesteryear. Where are the Meadowlark Lemons, the Curly Neals, the Sweet Lou Dunbars, and the Geese Ausbies?

Additionally, I think the team can regain its multi-media presence by utilizing the Internet better. HarlemGlobetrotters.com isn’t very interactive. The team should get permission to stream episodes, if not the entire series, of both their animated shows, Harlem Globetrotters and Super Globetrotters. Back in 2009 it was announced the team would star in a new animated series but nothing has happened with it yet.

I think it could work as a Web series. If it gets produced hopefully it’s a throwback to the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon series where the team just traveled around solving problems and mysteries.

I also think the Harlem Globetrotters is perfect for a video game, either released for a console, an app or something for their Web site. After a little bit of research I was able to find out that the team has been interpreted into two video games. One for the original Nintendo back in 1991 and one for the Game Boy Advance back in 2006. With today’s mobile devices and next generation consoles, the team is ripe for a new game.

If you have children and have never seen the Harlem Globetrotters. I saw them when I was 12 back in 1982 and loved it. I only saw them that one time. I don’t have children but if I ever do he or she will definitely be exposed to Sweet Georgia Brown.