CITV Memories – Freakazoid!

Freakazoid! (1995-1997)

As well as the likes of Tiny Toon Adventures, Taz-Mania and Animaniacs, another great Warner Brothers cartoon that was shown on CITV in the mid-90s was Freakazoid! As far as I remember Freakazoid! was always shown on Fridays on CITV so I associate that great “just got home from school and the weekend’s started” feeling with watching, and I became a big fan.

Freakazoid! was about a rather unusual superhero, and when the show’s opening theme wasn’t going on about chimpanzees it explained the idea. Ordinary teenager Dexter Douglas is someone who has spent far too long on the information superhighway (well, it was the mid-90s) and he gained his abilities from the code in a computer bug, becoming the all knowledgeable hero in the process. He can instantly transform into his alter-ego by saying “freak out!”, although his family have no idea about his new identity. vlcsnap-00748

Because he was a superhero, dealing an alien invasion was just an everyday occurrence for Freakazoid, but he also had battle with several baddies to help save the world. These included Longhorn and Cave Guy, but his main enemy was The Lobe, a rather strange character who had no head but he did have a brain with a face on it and he spoke in an English accent. In his rare moments of spare time from trying to take over the world he liked to do the Hokey Pokey (as they seem to call it in America). vlcsnap-00743

Of course, one thing I liked about Freakazoid! was the streak of weirdness going through the show. An announcer would usually appear to try to explain the situation but as the episode progressed he found it a struggle, and the concept of TV was played around with, with episodes randomly stopping and the Animaniacs title sequence beginning as if it had suddenly turned into another programme, there were strange cutaways to unrelated archive footage, and lots of people were parodied, from celebrities to presidents, and it seemed that no-one was safe from a ribbing. There were also odd credits and a post-credit sequence featuring a character making a quick joke to end the show. vlcsnap-00745

Freakazoid! was a fairly short-lived show and it only ran for two series and 24 episodes, it didn’t become as popular as the other Warner Brothers cartoons, and it hasn’t been released on DVD in this country. As well as being shown on CITV, in more recent years it has been on Cartoon Network where it gained a new following, and I remember setting the video once for an episode that was shown in the morning during the Christmas holidays one year, you definitely wouldn’t see something that odd on ITV now at any time. I was always happy to watch and support the show though, because if I didn’t they’d be unemployed. vlcsnap-00738

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