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John Eric Bentley
'Fred & Barney Meet The Thing' was easily one of the most absurd cartoons to come out before the ultimate Saturday Morning Video Game Cartoon Massacre of '82. The Thing segments (I HATED the Flintstones so what their segment was about escapes me) had NOTHING to do with the Fantastic Four character other than his orange rocky hulk design. Instead, a goofy teenager has a pair of RINGS that he slams together and squeals "Thing Ring - DO YOUR THING" at which point a magical transformative implosion packs him in the exterior of the ever-lovin'-blue-eyed-Thing. And then he goes and fights crime! Actually... no. No, you see, the goofball is part of a motorcycle club (with your standard Hannah Barbara Scooby Doo / Captain Caveman / Jabberjaw / Speedbuggy analogs) and this is foggy, but I seem to remember that were in a cross country race. I'm not totally sure about that though. In any case, they are ruthlessly pursued by a scuzzy gang of leathered neer-do-wells, that for some reason, seem to like getting pulped by a giant crusty monster week after week.
My clearest memory is one of the bumper scenes where Fred & Barney ACTUALLY meet the Thing. They're on a dude ranch and Fred, Barney and The Thing do the 'Dosie Doe' dance. Amazing. Even at eight years old I was blown away by how stupid that was.
Yes, F&B.M.T.T. is bad, but not as bad as 'Rubick, the Amazing Cube', 'Q-Bert', 'Donkey Kong', or just about every video game / novelty toy commercial in disguise that KILLED Saturday Morning Cartoons in '82-'83.
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