Monday, January 2, 2012

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The New Shmoo (1979)

While Al Capp's seminal comic strip, L'il Abner, never became an animated series, one of the supporting cast made the transition, and it wasn't very successful.

Hanna-Barbera acquired a license in 1979 to bring the armless, shape-changing Shmoo to television, but by taking him out of his familiar milieu and pairing him with a generic group of amateur crime-solvers, who were also running a small comics company for their primary vocation, they felt required to christen the series, The New Shmoo. Seanmc uploaded the open:

Two months into the season, the series was merged with Fred & Barney Meet The Thing to form the equally ridiculous 90 minute Fred & Barney Meet The Shmoo, but all that did was postpone the inevitable. Shmoo shuffled off the air after 1 season, and the rights lie with either the Capp estate or with WB, as I believe reruns have aired on Boomerang in recent years.

Today, if someone wanted to revive the Shmoo, it would be a CGI series, you can bank on it. And it might work the second time around.

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I remember this show! It's been forever since I've even seen the opening credits and reminded me that Shmoo wasn't always teamed up with Fred & Barney!

I never knew who Shmoo was since the Lil Abner comics weren't running in any of our area newspaper strips, although my parents DID know. I thought Shmoo was an entirely new creation! Silly me!!

It looks like the creators were looking to merge Scooby Doo, Goober & The Ghost Chasers and Fangface all in one show. No wonder it didn't do well.

hobbyfan said...

The merged Fred & Barney Meet The Shmoo was more of a misnomer, really, since they only appeared together in interstital skits, IIRC.

As for Shmoo's solo series, H-B can be counted as guilty of plugging Shmoo in as another Scooby-Doo clone, but what else could they have done back then? That was the formula that was successful, regardless of how many failures came from that.