August 2, 2012

The best of minorities in cartoons: The Olympics

The best of minorities in cartoons: The Olympics

In a change of pace and in honor of the Olympics, I thought I’d highlight any Olympics (or similar competition) connections some of my previous “minorities in cartoons” entries’ characters have had… so, here goes.

Cyberchase

Jackie and Inez from “Cyberchase” probably top the list, as they both competed in an Olympics-like sporting event held by Zeus himself, in the episode “Team Spirit.” Hard to beat a sporting event held by Zeus, I suppose.

FoxTrot

Marcus and his pal Jason in “FoxTrot” once saw the rest of the Fox family hogging the TV set during the games, and realized they’d be “pre-empted” from watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The two were dressed as Picard (Jason) and Geordi (Marcus), with Jason’s pet lizard Quincy dressed as Worf.

Other strips show Jason and Marcus having “creative” ideas of what the Olympics committee should have as “events.”

DC Comics

Part of retconned-in Golden Age superhero Amazing-Man‘s backstory is having participated in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Marvel

Northstar also has a backstory of having been a (Winter) Olympics athlete (pre-superhero career) in skiing competitions.

Archie

Kevin Keller #4
“Kevin Keller” #4 (August 2012). Art by Dan Parent.

Kevin Keller in the August 2012 issue of his own comic sees him with his family attending the Olympics in London.

Laff-a-Lympics

“Laff-a-Lympics” is a parody of the Olympics (as well as 70s TV series “Battle of the Network Stars”). It featured most of Hanna-Barbera’s then-current roster of stars competing in a series of athletic events. Said events were held in various locations around the world (from Australia to Quebec). Three teams competed for gold medal glory:

  • The “Scooby Doobies”, a team led by Scooby-Doo and composed of H-B’s then-recently-created characters, such as Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, and Hong Kong Phooey.
  • The “Yogi Yahooies”, a team led by Yogi Bear and composed of the classic 50s and 60s H-B funny-animal characters. One post-60s funny-animal character was included—the Great Grape Ape.
  • The “Really Rottens”, an all-villain team of original characters (though some were pastiches of earlier H-B characters).

Dee Dee of “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels” was a recurring contestant on 70s series “Laff-A-Lympics,” as a member of the Scooby Doobies.

Miscellaneous

Many of the other minority characters I’ve covered have participated in sports in general. One example is Franklin playing on Peppermint Patty’s baseball team in “Peanuts.”

(Updated 1/13/17)

Tags: animationBest of minorities in cartoonscomics triviaMediaminorities in cartoonsOlympicssportstrivia