I can’t tell you why but as a kid I used to watch a lot of bad shows (Salute Your Shorts, Count Duckula, Wild & Crazy Kids, Webster, Captain Planet). Shows that I knew were bad. I guess I was a glutton for punishment. Maybe I did it out of loyalty to those networks like The Family Channel or Nickelodeon that catered to kids. Most of these shows fell on the weekend when there was absolutely nothing to do once I had exhausted myself on Nintendo and staged as many interesting battles as I could between my action figures. Going outside? NO WAY! Not really an option most of the time for me! Nossir, I was going to stay inside and watch something I didn’t like. Screw the sun and fresh air.
Well, C.O.P.S. (that’s Central Organization of Police Specialists) was one of those shows I would watch yet didn’t really like. I have to admit though, looking back, they had a pretty good theme song so I at least have a little fondness for that but the show as a whole didn’t grab me. It just seemed a bit too low key. And remember, I’m going purely by memory so if there’s any C.O.P.S. fanatics out there going “WHAT !! The show had TONS of action!!!!!” — don’t kill me. I’m not the biggest scifi fan now and I wasn’t then either. I liked straight up action/adventure shows that didn’t seem too far fetched (the M.A.S.S. Device is possible, right?). Then as a kid I couldn’t care less about noir, so a scifi-noir police cartoon? No thanks, I’ll pass… Is what I should have said.
Even though the show had a short original run from September 1988-December 1988, C.O.P.S. seemed to be everywhere. It was syndicated coming on really early in the morning 5 days a week then it was on either The Family Channel or WGN coming on in the afternoons and it was later broadcast on CBS Saturday mornings in 1993. You see how hard cartoons got milked in those days? A new episode hadn’t been made in FIVE YEARS and CBS was putting it on their Saturday morning lineup. No wonder Saturday mornings have sucked since the ’90s. Anyway, I remember sitting through this show in the afternoons waiting for classics like Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling, Fun House (seriously one of the greatest game shows of all time) and Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Again, I couldn’t take those 30 minutes to color, draw, read or ride a bike. I had to sit and wait for the other shows to begin. The punishment I put myself through before the internet!
Of course, virtually EVERY action ‘toon has to have a total merchandising bonanza so Hasbro introduced the “C.O.P.S. ‘N’ Crooks” line of figures while DC Comics ran a C.O.P.S. comic book for 15 issues. Just like Captain Planet, the toys were too big and goofy to associate with any other figures of the day without having to work some story of gigantism into their history. I did pick up one of these figures though but that’s only because I got him on clearance at Kay Bee Toys because the line wasn’t successful. I don’t have Taser anymore but he was actually one of the cooler looking figures in the line because C.O.P.S. just had a of wacky looking characters. Taser didn’t much crime fighting in my household. Instead, I used him as a giant-sized pro wrestler and had him frequently teaming up with the likes of Big Boss Man, Dick Tracy and Mahoney & Tackleberry from Police Academy.
For those of you still interested in the show, there are two volumes out on DVD now available from Shout! Factory. Volume 2 can be purchased exclusively through Shout’s website.