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What 'G.I. Joe' Taught Us

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On September 12, 1983, the animated series "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" premiered and, looking back, it seems as old-fashioned as Ren Faires and horse-drawn carriages. It's a record of a simpler time when the Iron Curtain held strong and the only concern we had about climate change was that COBRA might build a Weather Dominator.

Remember when ruthless terrorist organizations could be easily distinguished by their enormous rotating thrones and shiny metal faces?

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Except, of course, when they were busy wearing someone else's face. Go ahead, try and use logic to figure out why Major Bludd was wearing his eyepatch underneath that mask of a scientist — it won't do you any good.

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Yes, this hi-tech device looks — and based on the cartoon's description sounds — suspiciously like magic. But you know that it's actually technology because it's powered by radioactive crystals, heavy water and a meteorite. Science!

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In the '80s, weapons of mass destruction weren't even a thing. Back then we were worried about three things:

1. Karate

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2. Hang-gliding

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3. Giant robots who could be disabled by spinning them around. Needless to say, this was before Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced us to killer robots who weren't susceptible to schoolyard games.

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Back then, the most effective defense against a hail of bullets was to cartwheel directly into the line of fire. Men, of course, may opt for a simple front flip.

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Some things never change. Then, as now, when the government gets its gear from the lowest bidder, it can lead to shoddy weaponry and performance anxiety in the field.

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And, as always, nothing stops a well-armed enemy combatant like being shoulder blocked, William “The Refrigerator” Perry-style, into a pig pen.

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YO JOE!

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