SPORT BILLYMedium: TV animation
Produced by: Filmation
First Appeared: 1982
Please contribute to its necessary financial support.
Amazon.com or PayPal
While it's true that American TV cartoons of the 1980s had the occasional superhero (e.g., Jem & the Holograms) and similar action and adventure (e.g., M.A.S.K.), by and large they weren't concerned
with the visceral pleasures of bashing and zapping — Care Bears and The Get Along Gang were more characteristic of the time. Sport Billy was an action hero, but toned down. He fought for good sportsmanship, whereas his arch-enemy, Queen Vanda of the planet Vandalucia, was against it.
Vanda and her weasely henchman, Sipes, weren't the only space aliens on the show. Billy himself came from the planet Olympus, whose wise and highly advanced leaders sent him here to travel the world promoting fair play among the primitive, backward athletes of our benighted planet. He was assisted by a girlfriend, Lilly, and a dog, Willy. Also, like the TV incarnation of Felix the Cat, he carried a bag of tricks. His dispensed equipment for whatever sport was relevant to the current story, from golf balls to lacrosse sticks. Vanda's reason for taking the trouble to travel here and oppose him is unclear.
The show was produced by Filmation (He-Man, Fat Albert), and began in syndication during June, 1982. NBC picked it up on July 31 of the same year. Billy's voice was done by Lane Scheimer, whose other credits include cartoon spin-offs of live-action shows, such as Lassie and The Brady Bunch. Vanda's voice (and that of Lilly) was by Joyce Bulifant, mostly a face actress. Willy and Sipes were voiced by Frank Welker (Buford, Foofur).
Sport Billy ran two seasons on NBC, a total of 26 episodes. Afterward, it had a little renewed life in overseas distribution, but by now it's long gone and nearly forgotten.