The 1980's were a great time to be a kid. Hasbro was pumping out some really sweet toys, the 8-bit Nintendo system was just taking off, and Saturday morning cartoons were completely off the fuckin' hook. Transformers, Thundercats, He-Man, M.A.S.K., Voltron, and a horde of other awesome animated programs had me glued to the screen every weekend, rocking my world with rad tales of space travel, giant robots, and battles in mystical lands. As an adult, I look back with a critical eye on those times and realize a fatal flaw many of these cartoons shared: the villains were super WEAK. I guess being a total wuss douche would be inherent in a job where your sole function is to be defeated every week by the same group of sissy do-gooders, but some of these dudes were just unforgivable. To back up my claim, I'll give you a breakdown on this, my list of THE TOP 5 WEAKEST CARTOON VILLAINS OF THE 1980'S:
SKELETOR - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
"Those curtains look awful in the den, Beast-Man. Let's go back to IKEA."
Skeletor was a whiner. Not only did he get his ass kicked by He-Man every episode, but he delivered his lines in a nasal lilt, giving one the impression that he was constantly complaining about something. Upon casual inspection, it would seem that Skeletor had it made. He was totally YOKED, sat upon a throne made of bones, and had a horde of evil half-man, half-animal henchmen at his command. But he constantly managed to blow it, and then complain about blowing it in each episode. His hollow threats to He-Man were always delivered in a moment of defeat, and he never came through on any of them. Chump.
Hordak from She-Ra was a way more sinister villain, and that show WAS FOR GIRLS!!!
COP-TUR - CHALLENGE OF THE GO-BOTS
Cop-tur was lame. Not only were Go-Bots mediocre rip-offs of the awesome Transformers, but the show was boring, poorly drawn, and cheesy (even by 80's-cartoon standards). The Renegades were a lame group of bad guys who were continually thwarted by the even-lamer Guardians, and Cop-Tur was the lamest of them all.
A typical picture of Cop-Tur getting his ass-kicked by Flip-Top
He was the Starscream to Cy-Kill's Megatron, the Cobra Commander to his Destro. And what the hell was up with his name? Cop-Tur? Add one letter and it's COP-TURD. Even a 7 year-old could figure that one out. Shame on the Go-Bots, shame on the Renegades, and shame on you, Cop-Tur, for phoning it in when your homies needed you.
A rare shot of the Guardian STEAMER (actual name), who defected over from the Renegades after a lover's spat with Cop-Tur.
STARSCREAM - TRANSFORMERS
Another annoying second-in-command. How many times did you hear his shameful cry of "Megatron is defeated, follow MEEEEEE!!!"? Like, every episode, approximately. Always trying to pull rank on the big man, Starscream was a coward, a schemer, and an all-around dickhead. And I'm halfway convinced the same guy who did Skeletor's voice did Starscream's, too. Bummer.
GARGAMEL - THE SMURFS
Gargamel had issues. Apparently isolated from any sort of normal human interaction, he lived in a castle out in the woods, his only companion an androgynous cat named Azrael. He spent nearly all of his time chasing around tiny, blue dudes in a vain attempt to turn them into gold. Guess what, Gargamel? News flash! If you would have gotten off your ass and got a job instead of running around the forest chasing elves all day, you probably could have had a decent income. Hence negating your need for gold altogether! Part of me felt sorry for the guy. He obviously never got laid, probably had some sort of psychological disorder, and talked to his cat WAY too much. A complex character, indeed, but still SUPER LAME.
Gargamel reads up on how to tame his deep-seated social neuroses.
COBRA COMMANDER - G.I. JOE
"You there! Put down that china teacup! It was very expensive!"
Cobra Commander: Another whiny, annoying sack of shit. Now that I think about it, he had a voice very similar to those of Skeletor and Starscream. Screechy and grating is how I would describe it. The creators of G.I. Joe tried to give him a re-vamp a few years in, replacing his expressionless chrome faceplate with a blue hood, but it didn't help. He was just as weak as ever. I guess I can't blame him, if I was that much of a toolbag I wouldn't want anyone to know who I was either. I bet after a long day of ineffectual plotting against the Joes, C.C. got home, took off his mask, and suited up for his night shift at Taco Bell. He probably even lived with his mom.