Thoughts from a somewhat mature husband, father, teacher, and Christ follower.
Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos: The Greatest 80’s Cartoon Ever Created
Chuck Norris may be an internet punchline these days, but there was a time when Norris was known for being a legitimate martial artist and action star, not just a Texas Ranger or someone who counted to infinity twice. This time was the 80’s. Most of Norris’ best action films came out in the 80’s, masterpieces such as The Delta Force, Missing in Action, Lone Wolf McQuade, and of course Firewalker. It was during this time that Norris himself decided to go for the jugular and influence a whole new generation of heroes by creating something that would be a hot knife into the hearts of the youth: a Saturday morning cartoon. And so, in the year of our Lord known as 1986, Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos was born.
First, let us look at the intro to the episode Deadly Dolphins.
Lets recap shall we? In the opening credits alone we see:
Chuck Norris’ full name being said 9 times within the one minute opening.
A super ninja named Super Ninja.
The Claw, who is obviously the martial arts inclined relative of Claw from Inspector Gadget.
A crack team of “Kommandos” consisting of Chuck’s teenage apprentice, his sister, a sumo wrestler, a samurai warrior, and a ethnic adopted boy named “Too Much” after his gloriously over used catch phrase “Too Much”.
Chuck beating people to a pulp.
More Chuck Norris.
The great thing is that each episode begins and ends with Norris himself giving moral lessons to the kids. This always seems to happen whilst in the middle of an intense workout. Why this happens I’m not sure, I guess Norris always thinks best when pounding out some reps.
Come, let me give you some martial arts related wisdom.
The entire show feels like something you’d see on SNL in the TV Funhouse. The fact that this show was made 20 years before the Chuck Norris Facts craze blew up on the web is mind blowing. This show has no regards for physics or reason. You’ll see Chuck use a snake as a rope to escape from prison, battle someone on a tight rope stretched between a car and a speeding train, fight zombies, ride dolphins, and other completely ridiculous exploits.
Legend says the Norris wears that very outfit during his home Total Gym workouts.
Chuck is helping train super intelligent dolphins. The head scientist on the project is kidnapped by The Claw to build a machine that can create tidal waves. Chuck saves the day by riding a dolphin into Claw’s secret base, utterly humiliating Super Ninja, then simply pulling the plug on the machine before the wave destroys Tokyo. How pulling the plug on a machine stops a wave dead in its tracks without any sort of damage or after effect is a physics quagmire that baffles me to this day.
Target: Chuck Norris
After Norris prevents Claw from stealing a NATO defense chip, Claw and Super Ninja decide they are going finish Chuck once and for all by putting a bounty on his head for his capture. Instead they capture Too Much because being kidnapped is pretty much the only purpose Too Much plays on the show. Chuck is angered by this and starts punching people.
The plot of this episode is pretty much the movie Speed, but with a train. Except Speed didn’t feature snakes being used as ropes, Chuck Norris stealing motorcycles (and using the greatest excuse ever to justify it), fights on a tightrope between a car and a moving train, or a chase scene that manages to destroy every physics book you’ve ever read. This whole episode is so implausible it feels like a 6 year old wrote it while on a sugar high.
Menace From Space
This episode features parachuting alligators, Norris using a fire extinguisher to propel himself through the vacuum of space, breaking into a space shuttle while in space, and a zero gravity fight with the bad guys. I can’t make this stuff up people.
I feel like no words can do this justice.
Island of the Walking Dead
Chuck Norris and his team go to an island to battle zombies, a voodoo doctor, Super Ninja and being temporarily paralyzed to recover a downed Army satellite that can control the entire military. If you’re wondering about the whole “temporarily being paralyzed thing”, Super Ninja uses a voodoo doll to paralyze Chuck Norris. This doesn’t last very long, probably because Chuck’s beard is too powerful for such nonsense.
Zombie Chuck Norris on the top left.
Guys and gals, hear me out. If you ever get a chance to watch these, do not hesitate. You can buy the series on Amazon, watch clips on YouTube, or find the series online for download. You owe it to yourself to watch these. SERIOUSLY. Why? Because if you don’t, Norris will find you.
Follower of Christ, husband to Amber, father to Ellie, stepfather to Kade, high school teacher, obsessive note-taker, stressed out sports follower, dog lover, movie nerd, book reader, sometimes outdoors guy, sometimes writer. Give me more coffee.
View all posts by Jarrod Terry