Saturday Morning Cartoons #1: Shazzan

I think Shazzan, repeated the same storyline more than any other show in history. Saturday after Saturday, it never swayed from the format: (1) Chuck and Nancy get into trouble, so they call on their genie for help, (2) Shazzan busts some ass and saves the kids, (3) the kids get into even worse trouble and have to call on Shazzan again, (4) Shazzan opens an even bigger can of whoop ass, saving the kids once more. The End.

Scooby Doo was repetitive, but this was extreme.... and yet, 70's kids didn't really need much variety sitting in front of the TV in their PJ's, sporting a bad case of bed head, and munching on Frankenberry.  It was repetitive, and we liked it that way.

Recycled story elements wasn't the shows biggest problem. The biggest liability was Shazzan's godlike powers. He literally had total control of time and space, could create and destroy matter at will, and make any villain his bitch within seconds.  He had no vulnerability whatsoever - no kryptonite type plot device to stifle his awesome powers and make things interesting.

In fact, when the kids put their rings together and called on him, Shazzan would only be in the picture for 30 seconds - that's all it would take to subdue any foe, no matter how numerous or deadly.  In fact, Shazzan always laughed and told lame jokes while he humiliated and degraded his victims.

But who can forget Kaboobie? He was Chuck and Nancy's flying camel who sounded EXACTLY like Scooby Doo.  He was voiced by Don Messick, who I guess was so happy with Kaboobie's voice, he used the exact same sounds for that mystery solving Great Dane.

Nancy was voiced by Janet Waldo, who also was the voice of Judy Jetson, and wife of the guy who wrote the play Inherit the Wind.

And, finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Shazzan was created by Alex Toth, the mastermind behind Space Ghost and a host of other well known cartoons. Toth was also a prolific comic book artist, often ranked up there with Will Eisner and Jack Kirby.


  1. I remember it well. Seemed to me to go on for years, but I bet it was only something like 13 or 16 episodes, right?

  2. I remember Robert Smigel did a rather disturbing spoof of Shazzan for Saturday Night Live a few years ago...featuring a Shazzan who didn't just defeat the villians; he dismembered them and fed them their own cooked body limbs, all with that happy Shazzan attitude. Then later, he started bawling over Daddy issues.

    Like I said...disturbing.

  3. I remember when I was growing up Cartoon Network was just getting started and they mostly had all the old Hanna-Barbera fare for programming since H-B was owned by Turner and Turner owned CN. It was all Scooby-Doo and The Herculoids and Space Ghost and Hawkman for me, and I loved it, even though I was watching them fifteen or more years "too late."

    It's amazing how cartoons stick with you. I even did a whole series about it on my blog.

  4. Youtube.com, dudes....