80s, 90s, Cartoons, Quick Lists, TV — July 4, 2012 12:02 pm

7 Pop Stars with Kids Shows

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In olden times, there were no criteria for children’s shows. Were you just a baby version of an already-existing cartoon? Bam! You have your own show. Were you a random pop artist with no ties to television and no solid plot ideas? Bam! Series. Here are a handful of memorable pop stars who were thrust into their own shows targeted toward children.

7 – Hammerman


The talking shoes absolutely sold this show during test groups.

Too legit to quit, MC Hammer had his own show in the 1990s that ran for a whole three months. As the Hammerman theme states (and states so thoroughly you don’t even need to watch the series), a long time ago there were some magical shoes. These shoes were eventually bestowed upon youth center worker Stanley Burrell (a.k.a. MC Hammer) and turned him into Hammerman. In the episodes, Hammerman combated various social issues so the network could get their moral quota up. Overall, I just wanted an excuse to put up the Hammerman theme again.

6 – The Jackson 5ive


No expense was spared on this animation.

The Jackson 5ive cartoon originally aired from 1971-1973, perhaps a little too far back for some of us, but it did re-air in 1984-1985 as Michael Jackson was enjoying a ridiculously successful solo career. Outside of the opening sequence and some already-filmed live footage, the Jackson 5 didn’t appear in the show—but that was all chalked up to scheduling conflicts. Apparently Diana Ross wasn’t too busy though, as she was able to voice her animated self in the first episode.

5 – Kid ‘n Play


At least I’ve found my husband’s inspiration for dancing at weddings.

Kid ‘n Play, a.k.a. Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin (good call on not calling yourselves Chris ‘n Chris), also enjoyed their own cartoon series. While they didn’t voice their animated selves, Kid ‘n Play did appear in the opening theme as well as in live-action wraparounds. Like all Saturday morning cartoons of the era, Kid ‘n Play had a hidden message—get along with each other and stay out of trouble. A chilling message. Although the series lasted for only one season, it did spawn a comic from Marvel, which lasted nine issues.

4 – The Weird Al Show


The best parts of the show were the short TV clips and commercials.

Fans of “Weird Al” had high hopes for this show, which provided some amusing clips, but mostly flopped with boring morals and lacklustre band performances. It lasted a season, now available on DVD and sitting in my basement unwatched. To Al’s credit, his vision was to create a smarter, funnier show, but interference from CBS put a stop to that.

3 – The Beatles


By far, Ringo has the most striking animated face.

Airing from 1965-1967, The Beatles is definitely outside of our late 70s-80s-90s nostalgia range, but is included in this list as the pioneer of pop stars having their own kids series for no apparent reason. The series was rebroadcast on MTV in 1986 and 1987 as well as on the Disney Channel, so there is a chance you may have watched it. The Beatles had three seasons, beating out the rest of the shows on this list. The actual members of the Beatles had nothing to do with the series—in fact, they hated it while it was on, but later admitted they can enjoy it in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way.

2 – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park


Sometimes we just need to be reminded that yes, this really happened.

Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park isn’t a series, but it needs to be on this list. The 1978 made-for-TV movie follows Kiss using their superpowers against an evil inventor to save an amusement park. Apparent from just the short clip above, no one in the band had prior acting experience. This resulted in the film being really, really bad. So bad that it’s good, but then goes back around to bad again. The band hated it and even banned people who worked for them to even mention it.

1 – New Kids on the Block


Could it get any worse? Well, the New Kids could have done their own voice work.

The New Kids on the Block were everywhere in the late 80s and early 90s, before falling off the face of the earth entirely until their reunion in 2008. Before they were busy touring with what’s left of the Backstreet Boys, NKOTB had their own Saturday morning cartoon series for a whole season. As was the trend, members of the group appeared in the opening and live-action bumpers, but voice actors were used for the animated characters’ voices. The series followed the New Kids as they battled very relatable situations, like escaping rabid fans and being late for shows.

Did we miss your favorite children’s show based around a pop star? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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