Back in February of 2011, I shared some details about the 1984 NBC Saturday morning preview special called Laugh Busters. While most other Saturday morning specials from the 80s are easy to come by these days, Laugh Busters has always been one that has never surfaced. Unfortunately for me, that was the one that I wanted more than any other. I had an audio copy of the special recorded the night it initially aired almost 30 years ago...but after ten years or more of searching for any sign of a video copy, I had always come up empty.
Until last week.
A recent post on FASTE verifying the existence of the short-lived Going Bananas inspired me to reignite my search. After a quick stop at iOffer.com (other than YouTube, my favorite place for finding hard-to-find videos), I found that a video of Laugh Busters had finally surfaced. A quick purchase negotiation later and a DVD arrived in my mailbox today.
You can read my previous post about Laugh Busters for a full recount of the special, but let me tell you, seeing video footage of this for the first time since it originally aired in 1984 was beyond exciting for me. I'll do my best to provide you with some brief highlights...
Before getting in to the show itself, let me tell you how cool it was that the entire original broadcast was included on this DVD...commercials and all!
Shows just don't use bumpers anymore, do they?
Now for the actual Laugh Busters special...here's a look at the "director", D.W., and his assistant.
Representing Going Bananas is the recently-departed James Avery.
And then there's the evil Gargamore. Not Gargamel (from the Smurfs) but Gargamore O'Dette.
Lots of celebrity appearances including Thom Bray from Riptide, Alfonso Ribeiro from Silver Spoons, Danny Cooksey from Diff'rent Strokes, KITT from Knight Rider, Roxanna Banana from Going Bananas, and the entire Kidd Video band.
Several bad character costumes can be found in this special -- not far removed from what you might find at a nearby amusement park -- including Spider-Man and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Mr. T shows up. Sort of. At least an arm that is supposed to be Mr. T's shows up.
The special ends with a dance number that I didn't remember and didn't expect at all! Look closely and you'll see everyone from Danny Cooksey and Alfonso Ribeiro to the Kidd Video band all movin' and groovin' in honor of a successful Saturday morning special!
I realize that Laugh Busters is likely not considered a "holy grail" item in your eyes...but you have to realize something. My brother and I recorded this special onto an audio cassette the night it originally aired. That tape has survived all these years, most other Saturday morning specials have surfaced at one time or another, but Laugh Busters has always been a missing piece. I couldn't be more thrilled that this hole has been filled.
Now the search continues for the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood of Make-Believe playset and an adult-sized Beastie Bucks shirt.