Thank You, Hanna Barbera: Samson And Goliath

Most people are familiar with some sort of bible, regardless of whether the people in that bible are white or Asian or reptiles or aliens. However, the employees of Hanna Barbera were more familiar with the Christian bible then anyone had any right to be. So familiar, that they had knowledge of a previously unreleased biblical chapter – one where Samson had become a sexually questionable teenager on a moped and Goliath had become a dog.

I don’t know how to draw cancer, but I imagine this is pretty close.

Samson and Goliath is what I imagine was the answer to people saying “The cartoon line up needs to hit the religious demographic as well.” In this case, the hit was a low blow as the characters of the cartoon bear little to no resemblance to the super strong characters in the bible. It would be like, if someone wanted to do a remake of Jaws but decided that, instead of a shark, they’d use a VCR.

Samson is the main character of the show and has this amazing habit of speaking absolutely everything that is obvious. Many hyperbolize this, but, in Samson’s case, it’s true. Samson will vocalize anything and everything, leaving nothing to the viewer’s or his own imagination. This is surprising, considering how willing government officials seem to be to let Samson and Goliath come to top secret weapon displays and meetings. “Man, these government secrets sure are neat! Have you heard them? Well let me tell you – (crunch of Samson’s neck caused by an agent in a black suit.)”

Samson also seems impervious to common sense, as he is constantly getting captured or needs Goliath to save him from whatever collapsing cave or enemy jail cell he has stumbled into. Samson doesn’t plan ahead when investigating crimes. His methods follow 2 steps. 1. Go head first into dangerous shit. 2. Talk out loud about how dangerous the shit is.

The Opening: We start with Samson and Goliath riding on a moped (one no longer made, as the automotive company “Very Possibly Extremely Gay” went bankrupt as soon as the show aired) for what seems like forever. We then cut to Samson and Goliath flashing back and forth between their super counterparts- buff woman and a lion. Not a larger dog or some kind of mutant dog hybrid, but a completely different animal from a completely different genus, thus nullifying any reason that Goliath is a dog in the first place. We move to a montage of Samson and Goliath fighting a robot, doing gymnastics and then punching a Buddha esque character, something I believe Hanna Barbera inserted to show Barberism as superior to all other religions. If that’s the case, every unlucky cartoonist working on this show stood up at least once from his desk and screamed “Who is your god now?!”

The show itself: Samson and Goliath managed to never not be where danger was. If there was a problem, one could be assured that Samson and Goliath were a few yards away, vocalizing on their moped. After hearing only the loosest of facts about the trouble, Samson would make up his mind to find whatever it was and then beat the hell out of it. Samson would get captured, Goliath would save him, and then Samson would beat his two power wristbands together to turn himself into a giant transvestite. From there, the villains stood no chance. Samson and Goliath in their super forms were unbeatable. Nothing stood in their way. Due to their indestructibility, the only dramatic tension that the show created was whether or not the viewer would finish tying their noose before the episode ended.

Necessary: Not sure. I’ve never spoken to Jesus, but I imagine he’s pretty furious that his “savior of mankind character who turns into a large, Russian yeti” was dropped from the show’s main cast. That’s gotta make the cartoon somewhat dispensable.

Legacy: This show has a legacy with one person: The person who received the Samson and Goliath coloring book (pictured below) as a child and is still missing their eyes.

Childhood comes and goes, but the pain is eternal.


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