In 2001, Comedy Central’s “TV Funhouse” imagined Black Sabbath as an animated “lost cartoon” from 1974

By on January 23, 2016

According to a recent post by Rolling Stone, whoever runs the Black Sabbath Facebook page — and it’s doubtful the original Sabbath band members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward had anything to do with it — recently re-discovered the clip on Youtube, which originally aired on Comedy Central’s short-lived spinoff series “TV Funhouse” in 2001.

The animated cartoon — simply titled “Black Sabbath” on IMDB — was originally 7-minutes long and part of a “TV Funhouse” episode called “Caveman Day,” and showed the prot0-metal rock band animated and stylized to look similar to the Beatles’s animated cartoon series — enjoying a post-tour vacation together in Hawaii, back in 1974.

It’s presented as though the cartoon might have originally aired in the mid-70s and we’re flashing-back to it as a “lost” cartoon, but we’re pretty sure we would have remembered it if we’d seen it on a Saturday morning series, airing between “Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch” and “Emergency plus Four,” for instance.

Rolling Stone scribe Kory Crow recently re-discovered the “lost” cartoon (Dangerous Minds and many others have blogged about it over the years), and describes what happens, plot-wise:

“In the clip, the foursome — known for their copious intake of drugs and alcohol in the Seventies — are celebrating the end of what would have been their tour supporting 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Osbourne walks around in his underwear on a plane, Ward speaks incoherently and swallows gallons of alcohol, and they all put up with a shaggy dog named Doom Doom. They get into some calamities at a Hawaiian luau and pay the price in a typically outrageous way.”

Read more at Rolling Stone.

The cartoon was produced by Robert Smigel, animated by John Schnall and written by former “TV Funhouse” writer/producer Tommy Blacha (he also wrote the Oprah-bashing “Stedman: Secret Agent” cartoon with Andy Breckman) for the show, which aired on the Comedy Central basic cable network for only one season (eight episodes) after its popular run on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Blacha has a long resume of comedy writing and producing credits, including co-creating the Cartoon Network’s animated “Metalocalypse” series, which aired as part of their “Adult Swim” program (2006 – 2012), and he has also been a contributing writer on HBO’s “Da Ali G Show” (2003), and was a writer on the talk show “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” (1994-1995), a job he landed at the start of his TV writing career, in 1993, through his friendship with Andy Richter (they had both been involved in the Chicago Comedy scene).

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.