|Seized with a serious case of Pac-Man Fever in 1982, ABC released two (count ‘em, two!) series feat+uring that omnivorous-and at that time omnipresent-yellow orb of video game fame. The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show aired immediately before Pac-Man in the network’s Saturday morning lineup.
Pac’s video game wife, Ms. Pac-Man, joined the series, along with newly-created Baby-Pac and pets Chomp Chomp the dog and Sour Puss the cat. The Pac-family lived in the Power Forest, where nourishing Power Wafers were abundant. Unfortunately, the evil Mezmaron coveted the wafers and sent his goons-Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Sue and Clyde-after them. But after munching a Power Wafer, Pac could chomp the ghosts, leaving them a powerless set of disembodied eyes, at least until they could get a new sheet from Mezmaron.
In a case of game imitates art imitates game, the video game-inspired series spawned its own video game, Pac-Land, in 1984.
The Little Rascals starred the popular characters from Hal Roach’s Our Gang movie shorts of the 1930’s. Everyone from Spanky to Buckwheat to Pete the dog (now a puppy) was animated for this show.
Richie Rich, a Harvey Comics character since the 1960’s, had already been on the air two years as half of The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show. This “Richest Kid in the World” went on globe-trotting adventures with his faithful dog Dollar, buddy Freckles, girl pal Gloria, butler Cadbury, and robotic maid Irona.
The three shows parted ways after one season. Pac-Man joined another 80’s fad for the Pac-Man/Rubik the Amazing Cube Hour, while Pac’s old showmates stuck together for The Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show. The latter properties proved to be more durable, with live-action films of both The Little Rascals and Richie Rich released in the early 90’s.