Take some of the grooviest icons of the 1970s—Dr. J, Scooby-Doo, Parliament-Funkadelic, Fat Albert—mix them together, throw them into a Saturday morning cartoon, and you might come up with something half as strange as The Super Globetrotters, the animated series that ran in the last year of that decade.
The premise was this: The Globies, who had already gotten the Hanna-Barbera treatment in the early '70s, were endowed with powers that exceeded the ability to make behind-the-back half-court shots. When alerted to trouble by the Crime Globe—a great basketball in the sky that said things like "Right on" in a robotic voice—members of the team dashed to their lockers and, with a cry of "Go, go Globetrotters!" emerged as their alter egos. There was Spaghetti Man, who could stretch to any distance; Liquid Man, who turned into water; Sphere Man, whose powers were undefined but whose body was a giant basketball; self-replicating Multi-Man; and, most memorably, Gizmo Man, who pulled surfboards, ladders, rescue rafts and various other deus ex machinas from his Kilimanjaro-sized Afro.
It may not have been the most obvious skill set, but it worked. Each week the Crime Globe dispatched the gang to fight such villains as Whaleman, Bullmoose, Banana Bob and, most chilling of all, Museum Man. More often than you might think possible, victory depended on an impromptu game of basketball. Of course, the bad guys went down as reliably as the Washington Generals.
Alas, the formula wasn't as elastic as Spaghetti Man. After three months The Super Globetrotters' run ended. By then the 1980s were upon us, and the world was a little less groovy—and a little less fun.