Jan 5, 2021

1970s Saturday Morning Beefcake

During the late 1970s, there was a fad for live-action adventure on Saturday morning tv. Mostly low-budget, sometimes stage-bound, but with lots of cute boys and men for the preteen set.  Occasional shirtless shots and some buddy bonding.  In the fall of 1977, for instance:

At 8:00: Space Academy (1977-78), starring Jonathan Harris of Lost in Space as the headmaster of an academy for kids with paranormal powers.  The main hunk was second-in-command Chris (Ric Carrott, seen here in a later softcore porn flick).  But there was also the super-intelligent Paul (Ty Henderson), the super-strong Tee Gar (Brian Tochi), and their mascot, an orphan boy named Loki (Eric Greene).

At 8:30: Skatebirds (1977-78). A Saturday morning  ripoff of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, lacking the earlier series’ insightful social commentary or wry wit.  But one of the live action segments, Mystery Island, starred the muscular Stephen Parr , the robot from Lost in Spaceplus their two teen companions, played by Larry Volk and Lynn Marie Johnston.

At 9:00: Kids from C.A.P.E.R. (1976-78), about four teenagers working for the Civilian Authority for the Protection of Everybody: the leader P.T. (Steve Bonino), muscular Bugs (Cosi Costa), gentle Doomsday (Biff Warren, left), and intellectual Doc (John Lansing).  They displayed varying levels of heterosexual interest in the girl of the week, and the blond, muscular Doomsday, none at all.

At 9:30: Search and Rescue (1977-78): the Alpha Team consisted of Dr. Bob Donell (Michael J. Reynolds), Katy (Donann Cavin), Jim (Michael Tough, left), and some specially trained animals

At 10:00: The Red Hand Gang (1977-78), inner city kids who fought crime: leader Frankie (Matthew Laborteaux, center, who would go on to star in Whiz Kids), J.R. (J.R. Miller, right), Lil Bill (Johnn Brogan, second right), and Doc (James Bond III, right).

And there were many other with that I missed.

See also: More Saturday Morning Live Action Beefcake


  1. I was a big fan of "Kids from CAPER." Doomsday was my favorite, because he was sensitive and poetic, so I figured he was gay. I heard he died of AIDS during the 1980s.

  2. I have vague memories of "Space Academy" Ric Carrott's last credit on IMBD is an episode of "Three's Company" (1979). Did he change his name when he went into soft core porn?

  3. Boomer you might want to check out "El Cid" on Amazon- a series about the legendary Spanish hero. There is some nice beefcake on display, some buddy bonding and I think at least one character might be gay and yes plenty of sword fighting

  4. It's on my "to watch list." I'll probably get to it after "Alex Rider" and "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina"

  5. Ric Carrott was in "The Swinging Cheerleaders" (1974) that must be where that shirtless image is from.

  6. Michael Tough from Search and Rescue also appeared in the 1980 horror film "Prom Night" with Leslie Nielson and Jamie Lee Curtis. He still looks amazing today!

  7. Early 90s had a bit of a fad as well. While I remember it as the era of good superhero cartoons (Tune into Fox in 1992 and you could get Batman, Superman, or X-Men, and a year later, Spider-Man. Oh, I have a ton to say about these cartoons, especially the heterosexist mess they made to create a love triangle between Batman, Batgirl, and Robin. I mean, the other shows have their love triangles, but they're love triangles which already existed in canon.), this era also had Power Rangers and its clones, Eerie Indiana, some other horror-lite shows. Even Nickelodeon got in on it by reviving The Tomorrow People.

    There were also what I call Clarissa shows. Teen sitcoms, somewhat surreal to appeal to the kids. Clarissa Explains it All and Pete & Pete are probably the best examples, but I'd even include the Fresh Prince.


No offensive, insulting, racist, or homophobic comments are permitted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...