It's a (hopefully) well-known fact that Chuck Norris had his own, sensationally short-lived animated series in the 1980s. In the height of the "30-minute toy commercial" era of animation, whereby cartoons would often be created to market toys of characters, Chuck Norris must have felt that this was the best way to educate and train the youth of the world in the ways of right, wrong and roundhouse kicksaplenty. And so, the Karate Kommandoes were given life, presumably based on dormant sentient beings living in the frontal lobe of Chuck Norris' left testicle. Naturally, a competitive line of action figures and vehicles were released in conjunction with the animated masterpiece including my personal favourite...
...the Chuck Norris Karate Corvette. With 'Shinobi Slicers'. There just isn't enough women in the world for the amount of sex appeal this car radiates.
In celebration of this perfect piece of media, I decided to do a live blog of Chuck Norris and the gang, as they face "The Menace from Space". I picked this episode because of how the idea of Chuck Norris and his fists going up against Space Aliens makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
- The episode begins with a cold open of a very topless, live-action Chuck Norris working out in a gym. He breaks the fourth wall and talks to us, the kids at home, telling us about how self-control is very important and how it "pays off in the end as you'll see in this adventure." I have a feeling the episode isn't really going to have much to do with Chuck Norris battling his anger problems and that they just shoehorned that in at the start.
- "Welcome aboard Mister Norris!" How can anyone not love that line?
- The big, secret bad guy's name is the Claw and he has sent his henchman Super Ninja, because he wants to steal the shuttle, according to Chuck Norris. Well of course that's what he wants to do.
- We're less than two minutes in and terrorists have sent an alligator parachuting into a high security space shuttle launchpad. How is this not brilliant?
- Like all 80s cartoons, the henchmen don't shoot guns, they shoot futuristic laser rifles. The FCC is so funny...
- Chuck Norris breaks Super-Ninja's sword. In half.
- So yeah, apparently Super-Ninja has some sort of bat-like flight harness.
- The Claw's snowy, mountaintop lair. The Claw is basically the Asian Ra's Al Ghul from Batman Begins, except with a mechanical claw for a hand, which he uses to kill his pet piranha, for no reason!
- "There's no way we can get anywhere near that shuttle, Mr President! It's too well-armed!"
"Looks like it's up to you, Chuck!" says the leader of the free world.
- The Karate Kommandoes nearly shit the bed at the sight of two alligators. Have they forgotten how Chuck Norris single-handedly wrestled one of them into submission a mere five minutes earlier in the episode?
- Just like Walker, Texas Ranger, this show gives us colourful sound effects for when Chuck Norris is using martial arts against his enemies. "FWHOOP! FHWOOP!"
- I've just come to the saddening realisation that this episode probably has nothing to do with aliens. It's just something to do with a communications dish. Sad.
- "NOR-RISS!" says the Claw, nefariously. One of television's great villains.
- "Rocket fuel?! Even Chuck Norris is going to need the base commander's okay! And a pile of paperwork!" Oh no! Not paper-work!
- Prioritising time over bureaucracy, the Kommandoes steal a tanker full of rocket fuel.
Meanwhile, Chuck Norris uses the ejector seats (I guess) to propel both himself and his two Kommando Kolleagues to the top of a building that could only be over twenty storeys.
- "This must be the baby they're going to blast the Earth with!" says Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris has affectionate name like 'baby' for apocalyptic weapons of mass destruction.
- Chuck Norris has a battle with Super-Ninja and his minions on board a space station where he uses low gravity to his advantage. Really it just seems like an excuse for the animators to be lazier.
- Chuck Norris makes a joke about the Claw maybe killing Super Ninja "behind the woodshed" and the Kommandoes all laugh morbidly at this horrific possibility.
- Live-action topless Chuck Norris informs us that "That was a close one," and how 'better training' led to a victory against the Claw. I would argue that in fact, the lack of any aliens and a bizarre abundance of weak alligators in an episode entitled "Menace from the Stars" is what ensured victory.