Battle of the Network Stars - Robin Williams

1977’s Battle Of The Network Stars Was Intense!

Battle of the Network Stars was kind of a big deal. In my youth I certainly didn’t pay much attention to sports. Perhaps the occasional basketball game or boxing match would pique my interest. However on the whole I just wasn’t that interested. Until of course I caught wind of the Battle of the Network Stars. This was a sporting event that not only myself but my Family became addicted to. Say what you will about an basketball upset – I ask though how that can compare to the likes of William Shatner and Richard Hatch competing against Tim Reid in canoes? Of course you also had the fact that your favorite networks were naturally going head to head in Battle of the Network Stars!

[Via] TV News Themes 1

The whole point of the television show, which began in 1976 and always aired on ABC. Was that three teams composed of the top talent for each network would face a variety of challenges. Golf, tennis, cycling, swimming, obstacle course, running, bowling and more were the types of events the stars would compete in.

Furthermore each of the teams would pick a team captain. Generally a team consisted of eight to nine stars. I will definitely admit that there were certain celebrities that I didn’t recognize. But that added to the fun as in fact this caused my Family to pick different stars to root for. For example my Father and Grandfather were huge fans of Robert Conrad of The Wild Wild West fame. While my Grandmother and myself were rooting for Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica!
Battle of the Network Stars - Richard Hatch

One of the absolutely joys of watching these old broadcast, in which there were 19 specials from 1976 to 1988. Is of course to see all of these celebrities hanging out and having fun. Although having said that, at some of these events things got a little too serious. Nothing physical of course but I recall some of the stars getting into shouting matches once or twice. Although those instances were very rare in my personal opinion.
Battle of the Network Stars - Robert Conrad

How could you not want to tune in to see the likes of WKRP in Cincinnati‘s Tim Reid competing alongside LeVar Burton (Roots) and The Incredible Hulk‘s Lou Ferrigno.
Battle of the Network Stars - Levar Burton - Lou Ferrigno - Tim Reid

Actually friends, Reid would appear as Venus Flytrap in WKRP in Cincinnati beginning in ’78. It was probably his roles in Maude or What’s Happening!! that got him a spot in the Battle of the Network Stars. Besides the many celebrities such as Gabe Kaplan, Robert Urich, Debby Boone, Charlene Tilton, Joyce Dewitt, Maren Jensen, and many more – the legendary Howard Cosell would act as host and commentator on the events.
Battle of the Network Stars - David Letterman

When all of the major competitions were completed the network that had the least amount of points were disqualified. Leaving the remaining two to go head to head in an epic tug of war to crown the winner.

Enough background on the Battle of the Network Stars. Ready to watch this 1977 compilation featuring the likes of Robin Williams?

[Via] Clippety

Actually there was one other sporting events that I was a fan of in my youth. That was of course 1977’s Laff-A-Lympics!

[Via] Hewey 1972

The Speed Buggy Board Game (1973)

I have quite a lot of love for Hanna-Barbera’s Speed Buggy. It is one of the earlier programs I can vividly recall watching every Saturday morning, laying on my stomach in the middle of the living room floor with a big old bowl of sweet, sweet Boo Berry cereal.

[Via] Cartoons Intros

The other day I had a free moment and spent it visiting a local flea market. I happened upon a Speed Buggy board game from back in 1973, released by Milton Bradley. I was sorely tempted to pick up after I did a quick check to see the condition of the board and if all the pieces were present, it all looked good but the price was just too much for my blood. At least I was able to snap a photo of it, that is the image I used up top.

I certainly do not recall ever seeing the game back in the day although I do remember a comic book series from Charlton Comics and of course Speed and Tinker being part of the Laff-A-Lympics as members of the The Scooby Doobies. Thanks though to the always awesome BoardGameGeek I learned how not just the gameplay was handled but can share these great photos.

The game is designed for 2-4 players. By using a spinner, the player moves their personal Speed Buggy the number of moves they earned, interestingly enough a player must travel only in a straight line and they must use all of their moves – if a player finds themselves at an obstacle or end of the board and still has moves they must turn their Speed Buggy over losing their next turn as they right it. I find those rules really gives the illusion of racing around the track!

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.Com

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.Com

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.Com

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.Com

I’m keeping my eye on some listings for the Speed Buggy board game on ebay…I might just make a video of a playthrough if I can get my hands on it!