Welcome back to the Shameless 1980’s Nostalgia Tournament. The premise is simple. We pit two awesome things from the 80’s against each other and our expert panel of Nostalgia Profiteers decide which awesome thing is more awesome.
First Round Matchup #9 –
Saturday Morning Cartoons
A real blockbuster matchup of two very different staples of 80s life.
Saturday Morning Cartoons are the populist choice here. They crossed all lines. Every kid had at least one show that was their show because there was literally a million cartoons trotted out each year. You had your straight forward Cartoons – Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Garfield, Looney Tunes. Your Hit Movie Knockoffs – Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Beetlejuice. Your Pop Culture tie-ins – Kid n Play, ProStars, Mister T, Captain N, Hammertime. Basically if you had even the tiniest amount of success doing literally anything in the 1980s then you had a good chance of being turned into a Saturday Morning Cartoon.
Madballs was on the very opposite end of the 80s spectrum. Hi-Top is always a gender friendly place so no judgements here but I don’t think it’s out of bounds to say that the Madballs user demo was most likely 99% elementary school boys. And even within that broad segment Madballs probably still only appealed to a certain type of boy. But here’s thing, even though only a small group liked Madballs or found them entertaining every kid knew about Madballs because there was always in every grade one kid that was obsessed with Madballs. He collected every single one. He carried them around with him everywhere. He wanted to play stickball with them even though they were absolutely useless as actual playing balls. He even had the VHS Madball movies that made no sense and were terrible. And that is all that kid talked about. Madballs 24/7.
A surprisingly tough call here. While Saturday Morning Cartoons were a touchstone of 80s kid life they are not inherently 1980s specific. The practice of showing cartoons on Saturday mornings started in the 1960s and continued into the early 2000s. But Madballs could have only come out of the minds of people living in the 1980s. Madballs are a true “Do you remember” gem. Madballs are the 80s.
Winner – Madballs