I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about this, but I’m wondering what you think is, or was, the TV cartoon with the worst premise. (Which is different from the worst-executed cartoon.) Some bad cartoons have bland premises, and others have premises that are insane but kind of awesome, like Rocket Robin Hood. But others are based on ideas so desperate that even kids can sense the desperation.
There are many possibilities, from Laverne and Shirley in the Army to Rubik the Amazing Cube. But I’m going to nominate Hanna-Barbera’s Jabberjaw just because it is the ultimate collision of every bad cartoon cliche: You’ve got kids solving mysteries, playing in a band, a wacky animal designed entirely to sell merchandise, and who is also simultaneously a ripoff of at least four different characters: He’s a ripoff of Scooby-Doo, his voice — provided by, of course, Frank Welker — is a ripoff of Curly from the Three Stooges, his catchphrase is a ripoff of Rodney Dangerfield, and his species is a ripoff of the most popular movie character of the era, Jaws the Shark. That’s so crass it’s almost impressive.
Other nominations welcome. However, there is only one possible nomination for the title of “worst useless kid sidekick,” and no, it’s not Scrappy-Doo.