Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why Race Bannon is Cooler Than James Bond

Let's see - is tonight's episode of Jonny Quest the pygmies, dragons or perhaps the giant pterodactyl ?

I don't care as it has Race Bannon, covert actions, intelligence gathering, security, electronics and espionage.  He was the coolest guy on the show, way cooler than Jonny Quests father, some redheaded Scientist that usually had some lame plan like "we'll reverse the polarity of the beam. . . ".  Seriously, Dr. Quest was cute and all, but redheaded scientist?  Boy, I hope he can cook. :-)

Plus ,Race, assigned by "Intelligence One" to guard Dr. Quest and his son, can fly anything, jets, hovercrafts, alpacas (though those are a bitch to remove the gust lock from the rudder without a fight).  Then let's throw in firearms -pistols, rifles, slingshots, bazookas, he's an expert at them all.

Unlike the so called "role models" of today he doesn't consult with a committee or apologize before blasting an assortment of holes in the bad guys.  Arm Race with only a piano tuning fork and throw him in a room with a bunch of two legged mutant Brahma bulls with uzi's and in the next scene he'll be grilling burgers. 
It's better than being Bond, you probably get to drink a beer, not shaken vodka drinks and you never have to kill anyone with your cuff links wearing an uncomfortable tux. You prefer your quarry to fall for the old "whacked in the jaw with a hundred pound bench, breaking it in several places" trick, and soon the bad guy's evil plan is exposed (though Dr. Zin continue to have a burr under his saddle for multiple episodes over that whole gold thing).

You didn't see Race going to the store to buy someone feminine products.  He didn't have manicures or facials.  Heck, we never even saw Race taking Bandit out for walkies on the airport tarmac so he doesn't poop in the Quest jet. No he was too busy protecting the Quest family from the bad guys and monsters (seriously if the Questjet landed at my airport I'd be on the fast train south of here before all the giant komodo dragons showed up).  Jonny Quest had action, grisly deaths (lots of them) and an assortment of weapons and firearms and you didn't see any of us in my house ending up monsters.  No, we all wanted to grow up and be one of the good guys.
None of the monsters were a match for Race, including the invisible Monster Energy thing that left footprints in the sand (that scared the crap out of me as a little kid until they showed it and it looked like "ghost of Hostess Snowball") or the giant spiders that could walk by firing tanks without a scratch (I have two of  those at home that keep trying to sneak inside from the garage).

It wasn't just monsters. Race once took out a panther with a shot to the skull while elsewhere on television, Jim was off wrestling the giant Anaconda and Marlin was waiting in the safety of the jeep. And there was always the issue with the hotel that ALWAYS seemed to have a poisonous snake someone left for them ("yes, front desk, we specifically asked for the non-cobra suite.")

Sure he wasn't the star of the show, that was Jonny, a Cold War Era Huckleberry Finn every kid on my block wanted to be.  Think about it, you've got your own hovercraft and got to use a bolt action rifle when the other kids your age were begging for a "slip and slide".  Think about it, no school, no girls to interact with at recess, and all the cool weapons you could play with, it's worth a few lectures from Race about flying your hovercraft INTO the tunnel instead of having a Controlled Flight Into Terrain like the evil henchmen did.
And we'll always remember Hadji, Jonny's best friend from India, and Bandit (yes, a cartoon dog that actually ACTS like a dog) and Dr. Benton Quest (I was just kidding earlier, he was cool too).

It still brings back good memories, even all these years later. Yes, we had a show with violance, with monsters and guns, but always with a lesson, a display of moral code, not "how many points you can rack up by shooting something on a video screen".  Violence was not undertaken easily,  the destruction of a life done for the protection of the innocent, not for material gain.  The bad guys learned the hard way, especially with Race Bannon around, that violence to promote evil or take something that is not yours, was not a good idea.  With intellect and tools, came responsibility. That was a lesson not lost on us. We were a generation of kids who were not wrapped in bubble wrap so we never learned the difference between right and wrong, good and evil and deliberated courage versus "stupid should hurt".  There are those of you reading this who understand, the rest may simply say  "Jonny WHO?

So sorry Barkley, you're going to have to wait until it's done for that walk.


  1. So, how do you feel about Brock Sampson?

  2. Dammit, B, you're not supposed to make me giggle at bedtime. Now I'm going to have hover car battle dreams all night. :)
    I'd make Barkley wait too.

  3. Cute post, now I'm going to dream about hover car battles all night.

  4. Wow I hadn't seen those guys in years but I remembered the names though I would have misspelled them after all this time. That was in the old days for sure, they had to travel around the world to find trouble. Now the enemy is danger close.

  5. What do you get when you cross Race Bannon, James Bond and a cover squirrel?? Why you silly. bhahaha.

  6. Here ya go B.! A great jazz tune as well. BTDT! On s Sears Silvertone TV back in the day.

    Link to opening and closing credits.


  7. Ahhh, Jonny Quest. Always did like that show. Somehow Race always sounded like the dad on "Herculoids"
    which was confusing to my young ears. (Same voice actor) I often wonder how the youth of today would be if they had never cancelled the Bugs Bunny-Road Runner show.

    Thanks B, now I got a night of old cartoons on youtube ahead of me. :)

  8. Sterling Archer is better than either of them.

  9. A good bit of current kiddie entertainment produced today is fairly decent IMHO. It isn't all "Dog With A Blog" (seriously, Disney?).

    If you're channel surfing one night looking for decompression TV and you happen across a blue jay talking to a racoon, stop and watch. A lot of adult shows aren't written as well as that program ... even if the characters call each other "dude" a lot.

  10. Doc, ya gotta cut back on the pizza..really.

  11. lol I never looked so critically at Johnny Quest....but I do recall on several occasions that Race ...some times, could not hit the broad side of a barn when firing a weapon. But he usually was there when it counted :D

  12. Oh thanks a lot Brigid.. because of this post I looked up Jonny Quest on Wikipedia and fell down the "Wiki Hole"

  13. I LOVED Jonny Quest!
    And I loved Bond, although (from the books) he had self doubt, weakness, was obviously addicted to benzedrine, tobacco and alcohol. And sex, something JQ was missing.

    Question - What was 'Race' Bannon's real first name? (I think it was revealed only in episode 1)


  14. My absolute favorite cartoon growing up. Everything stopped for Johnny Quest, I'd even get up early to watch it in an unheated family room in the winter.

    Favorite episode was the one with the Sargasso Sea!

  15. Amen. Sadly kids today miss out on solid heroes and role models like that. In exchange, they get Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians and a prison bus full of rappers. No wonder kids today grow up rudderless in a sea of questionable morality.

  16. Except the one time Race died himself purple. Just did NOT want to wash off. ;)

  17. Devil's Tower, mad German Scientist, stick grenade in the wing of monoplane. Boom. Great stuff.

  18. Arm Race with only a piano tuning fork and throw him in a room with a bunch of two legged mutant Brahma bulls with uzi's and in the next scene he'll be grilling burgers.

    This. This right here wins the internets.

  19. We did get the good shows, didn't we? Of course, we also got some stinkers too, like The Brady Bunch, but at least there were SOME good ones. I haven't watched anything from any networks other than PBS and Discovery (Mythbusters - yes!) in years.

  20. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! One of my finest moments in my grandson's early years was introducing him to Johnny Quest. We still watch every time he visits.

  21. Big Guy - Cartoon guy with Mullet?? I've not watched.

    sobriant74 - Barkley wants me to buy him one to chase cats.

    Monkeywrangler - I also have Rocky and Bullwinkle on CD. :-) Next to Firefly, Dr. Who, Archer, and Dead Like Me, it's sort of an odd pairing.

    Rob - well thank you!

    Keads - the music was perfect for the show. Thanks for the link.

    PA State Cop - oh, the commando swimmer thing!!!

    gfa - he had the same name as a family member so I always remembered it. Roger.

    Chris - then my work here is done :-)

    BePrepared - I didn't know it was the same guy!

    Fuzzy - well thanks! Hope to see you at the next little get together, hopefully we'll have one organized afer the holidays are past.

    Murphy's Law - My Dad probably said the same thing about the Monkey's though. But you are so correct.

    mikelaforge - stick dynamite. The Perfect party favor!

    PPPP - The Brady Bunch usually ended upwith someone attempting to remove the tube from the television (we only got caught once, after it was out and on the floor).

    Matt - an excellent episode

    Roscoe - dog with a blog? I'm glad I am a cheapskate and don't have cable at my house, just cd's I find used or at half priced books. BTW - we're going to do something with the train you sent for our Christmas decorating, will send you a photo when it's done.

    Sunnybrook Farm - but the skills Jonny taught us serve us well now, don't they (except for gardening, I need a little more help with that).

    Six - Indeed

    Greg - that's on the shelf too.

    Skip - that and 16 hour days :-)

    Immagikman - and did you notice when they were running from something bad they'd pass the same house like 5 or 6 times?

  22. yes, check out Venture Brothers. It's just one huge JQ parody.
    JQ and the Scooby Doo gang make some disturbing cameos...

  23. Loved Jonny Quest Got the DVDs also DVDs of Rat Patrol and my Favorite 12 O'Clock High. For Jonny Quest I got to eat Dinner in the Living Room if i wanted to.

  24. "but always with a lesson, a display of moral code, not 'how many points you can rack up by shooting something on a video screen'."

    My nephew is obsessed with videogames, particularly the Star Wars one, that every time I seem to come over he's doing the Bounty Hunter one where he blasts away a small town (trees, walls, buildings, even a stray person or two) and runs over flowers with a Quad-four to get points for the next Mos Eisely level. Just blasting away, no moral value attached to the property damage, casually mentioning getting points for killing people, but not animals -- NEVER the ANIMALS That's immoral.

    I'm going to have to see if I can get him started on Johnny Quest.
    Either that or induce his acolyte of a mother to look at that section of the game a bit closer.


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