USA Night Flight presents Dynaman. 1980s. "Plot -- The Jashinka empire (Combination of the Japanese words for 'evil,' (Jashin) and 'evolution' (Shinka) as an English Word as evilution ) rises from the depths of the Earth to conquer the world. To stop them, Dr. Yumeno assembles five inventors to his laboratory, Yumeno Invention Laboratory and gives them the power to become Dynamen. Each member has their own goal, but as the Scientific Squadron Dynaman, they are united to stop the Jashinka empire in their tracks." There is also a flying octopus.
Garry McDonald, aka Norman Gunston, aka the "little aussie bleeder," may be well known out Australia way. For most Americans, however, Norman G remains far, far down under the radar. But he's the forefather of the UK's Ali G; he's Canadian Nardwuar thee Human Serviette's nerdier dad; he's America's Lazlo Toth (US) with a combover and a microphone; he's Jiminy Glick's Jack Sprat. Perhaps you saw Norman long ago in a segment on USA Network's Night Flight variety show. [bonus: many many youtubes of Night Flight segments, courtesy of this awesome website.] But I bet you didn't know he released a KIckaSS single (among others), jammed with Frank Zappa, and was at the right place and time to upstage a piece of Australian History. Not bad for someone whom Keith Moon dumped his drink on and called a "great pooftah." [more inside]
Night Flight aired Friday and Saturday nights on the USA Network from 1981-1988 in the heady early days of cable. It was one of the first places to see shorts old and new, music documentaries, and conceptual, artistically-intended music videos -- not to mention MST3K-style parody, general weirdness, and 420-addled wonderfulness.
Jac Mac and Rad Boy Go! Speaking, as we were, of the late great Night Flight, here's another classic of the era. Written, directed, and "starring" Wesley Archer, who later worked on The Simpsons and King of the Hill.