You just don't see a lot of sports cartoons on television these days, and there's a reason for this. They tend to be really corny, and they generally don't last very long.
And I can see why.
Athletes don't make for the best characters, and when your only noticeable talent lies in athletics, what possible story line can you create that won't be absurd?
Think about it. If you gave Tom Brady a cartoon, what would it be about? He's an entrepreneur who dates beautiful women by day and is a crime-fighting quarterback by night. And his arch nemesis is the evil David Tyree, the destroyer of dreams.
See, it's stupid. I would totally watch that, by the way.
Even when the cartoon doesn't directly involve a known athlete but is still related to sports, it's usually meant to make light of it. And other times, it's just unintentionally funny.
The following is 20 of the funniest sports-related cartoons ever created.
I don't know about you guys, but I've been saying for years that Tony Parker should get his own animated show. I said it at home, at the store, at the bar, at the strip club, and especially in the bedroom.
It's why she left me, but now it's here!
I wanted to call it, "Curious Eyebrows," but the shows creators had something else in mind. Those bastards are always ruining my ideas.
The actual show's called "High 5," and it centers around Parker coaching a team of five children who are traveling the US, trying to qualify for a national street basketball tournament.
This is in stark contrast to my idea. I wanted him to run around looking at things curiously for 30 minutes. Mostly, Eva Longoria's ass.
Apparently someone felt that the world needed to see a cartoon based on NASCAR, so they created "NASCAR Racers."
The cartoon is about rivals Team Fastex and Team Rexcor, competing in the futuristic NASCAR Unlimited Division.
I guess it's not particularly funny, with the exception of a moment or two. But it is funny stupid.
The video is from the episode, "All or Nothing." They really could have called every episode that.
I don't know what the NFL is thinking making this show. It's ridiculous to the point of being funny.
The show is called "Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core," and it's about a 10-year-old Chargers fan named Ishmael, who learns he must protect shards of a power source called "The Core," hidden at all 32 NFL stadiums.
Standing in his way is Sudden Death—how clever—the shows antagonist. Don't worry, though, Ish has help. Supporting him are three talking footballs, Huddle, Fumble and Scream.
The show intercuts real footage of NFL players doing awesome things—on the field, not juggling or fighting tigers—and it helps Ishmael understand his mission.
The video is of the shows first episode.
"Slam Dunk" is a Japanese manga series that was adapted into a cartoon. It ran from 1990-1996.
"Slam Dunk" follows Hanamichi Sakuragi, a down on his luck misfit who just can't seem to get himself a lady. But that's okay, because he's eventually introduced to the Shohoku basketball team, where he joins four others on a quest to with the national championship.
As with a lot of Japanimation, it's hilarious in its seriousness. Basketball is really intense, apparently.
The video is of a super awesome game between Shohoku and Ryokufu.
With a name like the "Mighty Ducks," it's perfectly understandable that someday someone would make a cartoon series about giant, hockey-playing ducks from another planet. And they did so in 1996.
The show followed a team of humanoid ducks from the planet "Puckworld," who came to earth to stop the evil Lord Dragaunus. And they played lots and lots of hockey in the meantime. And, for some reason, peoples' heads didn't explode when they watched a team of giant, terrifying ducks.
The video is from the shows intro.
"Sports Cartoons" was a series of animated shorts that ran on Nickelodeon in 1985, and it was even featured briefly on Adult Swim in 2003.
For the most part, the shorts featured a calm hippopotamus who was constantly being annoyed by a cat. Why the cat hated the hippo so much, I'll never know.
I found the shorts funny in the simplicity. Unfortunately, I can't find a clip on YouTube, but if you go to this site, you can download a small clip.
In a nutshell, "Speed Racer" is about, well, Speed Racer, racing against various bad guys in his awesome car, the Mach 5.
It's made fun of often, mostly because of the poor dialogue and the characters' odd manner of speech, making it remembered as more a comedy than anything else.
The video is a clip of Speed going crazy during a race, and it's weird as hell.
Athletes have feelings, too, as Cleveland finds out in the episode, "A Short Story and A Tall Tale."
When attending the NBA All-Star Game, Cleveland gets drunk and starts insulting the players, particularly Kevin Garnett's mother. To get back at Cleveland, they hunt him down to "set him straight."
The episode featured LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Garnett, Shaq, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
The video clip is of the making of the episode.
"Jackie Chan Adventures" ran from 2000-2005, and it followed Jackie—who's an Archeologist for some reason—as he and his homies search for magical talisman pieces.
Of course, he kicks ass with his awesome martial arts skills along the way.
Check out the intro intercut real shots of Jackie acting a fool.
I'm still not sure what Goofy is exactly, but why he's allowed to run around in public is beyond me. He's a damn menace to society.
This video is from an animated short from 1945 called, "Hockey Homicide." The title's kind of misleading considering that nobody dies, though they should because they're dumb as hell.
How dumb is he? He eats a puck thinking it's a hamburger.
Family Guy isn't a sports show, but they did have an entire episode where Peter Griffin, the shows main character, joins Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The Pats aren't known as a showboating team—for the most part—and Peter gets booted from the squad for excessive celebration. Who am I kidding, this is Family Guy we're talking about. The word excessive is a huge understatement.
He puts on a full production called, "Shipoopi." Unfortunately, I can't find a clip of this because YouTube cracked down, but I did provide a clip of the audio.
I'm not the biggest fan of Family Guy, but this episode had its moments.
Hulk Hogan used to be really cool. Like, "He has his own cartoon" kind of cool. Now he's trapped in a perpetual state of thinking it's still 1990.
At least his daughter's hot.
Once upon a time he had a Saturday morning cartoon called "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling" that aired in 1985-1987.
Hulk and his wrestling buddies would run around foiling the plots of various bad guys. And wouldn't you know it? They did so without wrestling! So why the hell are they in their wrestling gear, then!?
It's just weird if you ask me. What's stranger is that Hulk had a full head of hair. And all this time, I just assumed he was born that way.
The video is from an episode where Hulk beats down some bad guys on a train.
LeBron has a lot of personalities, most of which can't finish games. Hell, all of them can't finish games. But they can star in their own animated show.
"The LeBrons" is a cartoon that features the four LeBron's: Wise LeBron, Business LeBron, Athlete LeBron and Kid LeBron. I think they missed Sucks At Life LeBron. Each LeBron is supposed to be representative of his complex, multilayered—I can't believe I just wrote that—personality.
The shows premise is to teach kids valuable life lessons, and who better to do that than LeBron James? After all, he is the modern day Confucius.
The video is of the first episode, where LeBron teaches us that, "two wrongs don't make a right."
The Simpsons have had a lot of athlete cameos over their one billion year run, but I particularly enjoyed their take on soccer in the episode, "The Cartridge Family."
When Mexico and Portugal come to Springfield, the entire city attends to check out the action, or lack thereof. Less than a minute into the game, everyone wants to leave.
Sideshow Mel: I can't bear this any longer, I'm leaving.
Moe: Hey, not before me you ain't!
Flanders: Now, now, there's plenty of exits for everyone.
That sounds about right. Unfortunately, I can only find a clip in Spanish, so you'll just have to get the gist of it, or find the episode online.
"ProStars" was a Saturday morning cartoon that aired for a one season in 1991. The shows motto was, "It's all about helping kids."
Featuring Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzkey, the cartoon sought to teach kids valuable life lessons. They did this by fighting crime and protecting the environment, helping children in the process.
They even had their own breakfast cereal!
The video is of the shows opening. My favorite line is "Jordan jams in yo face, gonna put them in their place," because nothing solves real-world problems like dunking on someone.
But if dunking is something you like, click here for some awesome dunk faces.
"Mister T" aired in 1983-1984, and it centered around Mr. T as a gymnastics coach who traveled the world and solved mysteries.
I don't know which part of that is the stupidest. I know that when I need something solved, Mr. T is the first person who comes to mind. Who needs brains when you could just pity some fool into telling you what happened?
The video is of the cartoon's intro. It's as absurd as it is hilarious.
The "Harlem Globetrotters" was a Saturday morning cartoon that ran from 1970-1972, featuring, you guessed it, the Globetrotters.
And it was truly baffling.
In short, the premise of the show was that the Globetrotters would solve all of their problems by challenging an opponent to a game of basketball, where they'd win, of course, and their conflict would be resolved.
This is an excellent life lesson, and it holds true in every instance. Your girlfriend getting on your nerves? Challenge her to a game of basketball. The boss breathing down your neck? Challenge him to a game of basketball. Another country threatening you with weapons of mass destruction?
Oh, you better believe that's a game of basketball.
The video is of an episode where the Globetrotters meet...Snow White? What the hell? It's a can't miss, so check it out. You'll never guess the ending!
I don't know what series this is from, but it's an old—and funny—Bruce Lee cartoon that seems incredibly racist. Actually, is racist the word? Probably not. Insensitive?
I don't know, but it's something.
It's a bit of a drug trip, too.
He's flying around with three eyes and boobies and making crazy noises while slapping himself. Also, there's a fox.
Just watch it.
MadTV's Aries Spears loved impersonating Shaq, and he did so in one of my favorite clips from the show, a cartoon called, "Shaq and the Super Lakers."
After Kobe is tempted by a cute chick, the Super Lakers' game against the Roaches is in jeopardy. Luckily, Shaq has enough sense to keep Kobe from another mistake.
Kobe: Hi, pretty white teenage girl. Would you like to come up to my hotel room later and get my autograph?
Shaq: Move along ho. The Super Lakers don't hang out with no skanks.
I love Futurama, and their episode, "Time Keeps on Slipping" is one of my favorites.
When the commander of the Globetrotters, Ethan "Bubble Gum" Tate, suddenly comes to earth to challenge any takers to a game of basketball, Professor Hubert Farnsworth accepts, with the intention of making a team of super mutants to defeat them.
Here's how that went:
Ethan: "...now, for no reason, we challenge you to defend your honor on the basketball court!"
Fry: "What happens if we lose?"
Ethan: "Nothing! There's nothing at stake and no threat! Beyond the shame of defeat!"
In the process of making the mutants, Professor Farnsworth accidentally screws time up, and it starts skipping. The Globetrotters team, of course, helps resolve the issue.