Last week's Classic Clip Monday on The Bloodhound Gang got me thinking about another kid TV gang that I loved. This one's much less known: Give yourself an "A" in retro if you remember "The Red Hand Gang."
(Hey, look! It's on DVD!)
Apparently it only ran for 12 episodes in 1977, but it affected me and my friends and across-the-street cousins so much that I remember we briefly formed a copycat gang. I think we called it The Black Hand Gang. We loved how they left red handprints to show where they'd been. We had a clubhouse and a few meetings and then quickly forgot about it and moved on to other games, but it always stuck in my head.
The show starred Matthew Laborteaux, the dog from "Here's Boomer," and a bunch of other kids that I don't really remember (although one was named James Bond!). However, as with "The Bloodhound Gang," at least one of them has already left this world. The only girl, tomboy Joanne, was played by Jolie Newman, and the New York Times reports she died in 2002. So much sadness.
Here's the goofy opening credits (their "la la la" theme song is not NEARLY as fun as the "Banana Splits" one), and the beginning of the first episode. Kids were always getting kidnapped and tied up and gagged in those days, which is pretty creepy. The kids in "Benji" get the same treatment. Anyway, I digress. YouTube has more clips. The person posting them there says the show was hugely popular in the U.K., which somehow surprises me.