We are, we are ProStars!
Occasionally, the Time Dilation Accelerator defies the laws of space and time by going back to review the best (or the weirdest) aspects of the early 90s.
This show is fucking amazing. Seriously. We could write a whole article about how insanely ridiculous the show’s opening is, but we’ll try our best to cram the entire awesomeness of the cartoon into just one article.
You see, once upon a time, athletes, instead of being steroid popping jackasses, were heroes that kids could look up to (actually, they were just better at hiding their dirt). Since sporting good endorsements weren’t bringing in enough cash, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson decided to lend their names and likenesses to a cartoon (because that’s where the big bucks were in the 90s). Thus, ProStars was born. The cartoon, which was produced by DIC Entertainment—the geniuses behind Alf: The Animated Series, Captain Planet, the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, and a whole list of craptactular abominations (and a few good shows)—ran on NBC for four months in 1991.
The show’s premise was fairly simple: Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson worked for Mom—an annoying Jewish stereotype who ran a super secret crime fighting organization out of her gym. Each week, the three would battle an irritating villain whose evil plans threatened either: a) the environment, b) some random kid, or c) our heroes' athletic reputation (in one episode a villain even steals the Stanley Cup).
Yikes! Something’s not quite right with this scene.
Like most early 90s cartoons, this one is almost unwatchable today, as every goddamn aspect of the show is littered with painfully annoying jokes.
Wayne: “Let’s go kick some butts—Dr. Lobe’s per-‘butts’ that is!”
Also, did we mention that a baseball bat that shoots baseballs is the coolest weapon ever.
While the writing sucked, we still love the concept. What’s cooler than athletes using their sporting skills to fight evil robots? Nothing, except maybe if each of the characters were given a personality that in no way reflected their real life personas.
You see, some brilliant writer decided that Jordan should be the fast-talking genius of the group, because we all remember Michael for his technical skills and inventions, right? Jackson, who looks like an advertisement for steroids, was the superhuman tank of group with the personality of a slug. Finally, Wayne was the funny one who couldn’t stop eating. Yeah…the funny one?
That’s probably the one word that we would never use to describe Wayne Gretzky, ever. Wayne’s a great hockey player, and a Canadian icon—but a comedian? Not in a million years. In another spark of inspiration, the writers also made Wayne obsessed with food, despite the fact he only weighed 185 pounds.
Wayne gets his sandwich on.
You see, in the early 90s, every cartoon needed a character obsessed with food. Sonic was obsessed with chili dogs, Michelangelo with pizza, and Wayne just wanted to stuff his face—just like in real life. We fondly recall the Oilers games where Wayne would jump the boards, accost the hogdog guy, and choke down forty hotdogs. What’s even weirder is that Townsend Coleman, the actor who voiced Michelangelo in the 1987 Ninja Turtles cartoon, also voiced Wayne Gretzky.
While the three stars didn’t voice their respective characters, they did appear in an opening live-action segment to discuss the theme of the upcoming episode (yes, like every stellar 90s cartoon, ProStars had a moral to teach). Usually, these segments, which were filmed on different sound stages, only featured Jackson and Gretzky, but were edited to make it appear like they were having a conversation. Jordan, who apparently had more important things to do, only occasionally appeared, and rarely said more than a few lines.
ProStars, it’s all about helping kids line our wallets.
Now, for the best part of the show: the opening theme. The show first debuted with a knock-off of Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” entitled “We Are, We Are ProStars!,” Later, this theme was replaced with a different slower, remixed version. Although both themes are “Jammin’,” the second theme has better lyrics.
Jordan jams in your face, gonna put them in their place! ProStaaars, show staaars!
Blue line, crunch time. Wayne will score, just in time! ProStaaars, all staaars!
Big swing, Bo’s the man. Gonna hit a grand slam!
Prostars, it’s all about helping kids.
ProStars was only around for a few months, but it might be one of the best representations of kids programming in the early 90s—the show has everything. Over the top early 90s lingo? Check. Hokey moral lessons? Check. Cereal tie-in? Check. Cash desperate sports stars fighting robots in the not-too-distant future. Double check.
Looks kinda like Alph-bits, with only one shape.
All screenshots from come the ProStars cartoon show. The cereal box image comes from eBay.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
By Stephen M.