Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Shazzan (1967)

In 1967, Hanna-Barbera supplied CBS with three more superhero series. The Herculoids was set on a distant jungle world. Herman Melville's Moby Dick was rebooted as a heroic whale helping a pair of boys on some undersea adventures, and shared a half-hour with Mightor, a Stone Age superhero whose debut predated the campier Captain Caveman by a full decade. Finally, there was Shazzan, a towering genie at the service of a pair of New England teens who were transported through time to the days of the Arabian Nights. Cosminmq uploaded the open, which also includes a short introduction to the storyline, to YouTube:

Sadly, production was halted on the series before Chuck & Nancy (voiced by Jerry Dexter & Janet Waldo) could deliver the two-part ring to its rightful owner. Only one season's worth of episodes was produced, and continued to air for at least a 2nd season.

Hanna-Barbera would revisit ancient Baghdad again the very next season, with the Arabian Knights as a component of the Banana Splits Adventure Hour. However, Shazzan & the Knights would never meet, though logic suggests that, in the right hands, such a team-up could take place to bring closure to both series' storylines. Of course, the broken ring gimmick would also be used again, in 1979's horrid reboot of the Fantastic Four's strongman, The Thing.

Rating: A.


The Aardvark said...

I am searching for the opening narrator, but it sounds nothing like Don Messick.

hobbyfan said...

Upon closer examination, I believe you are correct, and have made the appropriate adjustment until I can get full verification.

magicdog said...

I remember this show!

Just like similar shows that begin with a quest, they almost never have a definitive ending.

When The Arabian Knights cartoon turned up, I was disappointed the folks at HB never had Chuck & Nancy appear, as it would have solved both show's dilemmas and given them proper closure.

In my imaginination Chuck & Nancy met up with the Knights, and saved one of them from a grisly fate, and finding out that the ring once belonged to Prince Turhan's father; with him deceased, Turhan would be the rightful owner. He would have had Shazzan remove Bakar from Baghdad in short order and the genie would then send the siblings back home.

There was an episode of "Batman The Brave and the Bold" in which a tribute to Kaboobie was seen - Bwana Beast was riding it into battle against Starro!! It goes to show ya that some characters are iconic!

hobbyfan said...

Having Shazzan meet the Arabian Knights would've been great---had NBC picked up rerun rights to Shazzan after CBS cancelled it. Today, with the questionable relationship between the US and certain Arab countries, as I noted in reviewing the Knights, revisiting this series would be difficult.