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The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine 

Saturday morning variety show hosted by legendary basketball team The Harlem Globetrotters.








Series cast summary:
John Aylesworth John Aylesworth ...  Himself - Announcer (1974) unknown episodes


The Harlem Globetrotters (in their familiar red, white & blue uniforms) hosted this fast-paced variety show, which used blackouts, comedy sketches and music to entertain and educate children. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family | Sport







Release Date:

7 September 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


"The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" was one of the first shows produced by Viacom Productions. Viacom went on to produce such successful network series as "Diagnosis: Murder" starring Dick Van Dyke for CBS, "Matlock" starring Andy Griffith for NBC, and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" starring Melissa Joan Hart for ABC and then the WB Network. Viacom Productions was active until 2004 when it was folded into Paramount Television; like Paramount Television's product, CBS Television Studios now owns all the Viacom Productions shows, including this one. See more »


Followed by The Super Globetrotters (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wish I could see this again, too! Vote for it to be released on DVD!
10 August 2009 | by Moax429See all my reviews

I agree with raysond's comment 100%.

I also remember "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" very well, and it was also one of my all-time favorite Saturday morning shows (when the show debuted in September 1974, I was just beginning 7th grade at Lansing Catholic High School in Lansing, Michigan).

There were two segments I remember very well: first, there was an episode about staying healthy in which they parodied an old song. Here's how it went:

Globetrotters: "Button up your overcoat/ When the wind is free/ Take good care of yourself...."

Meadowlark: "Or pay a doctor's fee!"

And then in another episode, in which (the late) Esther Rolle (of "Good Times") guest-starred, the Globetrotters were dressed up like school kids and Ms. Rolle was their teacher. Ms. Rolle gave her "class" a pop quiz and asked John Smith to make up a sentence for her with the word "sentence" in it:

John (thinking out loud): "I have to give the teacher a sentence with the word 'sentence' in it."

Esther Rolle: "That's very good, John! You just gave me a sentence with the word 'sentence' in it."

And later in that same sketch, Tex Harrison, who didn't study for the pop quiz, wrote down what he thought was the correct answer to a question on one of his shirtsleeves (he thought he could get away with the situation by cheating - wrong-o!), and when Ms. Rolle called on Tex to give her an answer to a question - which was not geography-related - he replied:

Tex: "Yes, teacher. Albany, New York!"

I *couldn't* stop laughing when I first saw that sketch, let alone thinking about it while I'm typing this up now! (After all, who *couldn't* identify with the trials and tribulations of being a school kid while growing up, and suffering the consequences of not being prepared for a test? I'm sure we *all* faced dilemmas such as that one at one time or another in our school careers!)

One other aspect of the show I remember was during the closing credits, there was a disclaimer in fine print, stating: "This program was recorded." I believe "Popcorn Machine" was one of the *last* shows to carry this disclaimer, as by that time the majority of TV output was either filmed or videotaped, and live TV - unlike now, where it's used with some regularity - was restricted to special events. (I have a feeling that disclaimer was also used because young kids wanted to ask their folks if they could get tickets to see the show in person - if they ever went to California - as it was recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood.)

And raysond was right on another count - there *were* 17 episodes made in the series, but the first season - the one run on Saturday mornings - had 13 original episodes. The second season - the one run on Sunday mornings - had only 4 original episodes produced, because once CBS discovered flagging ratings during that Sunday morning time slot, the plug was pulled on the production of all future episodes. Thus, the first and second seasons were rerun during said Sunday morning time slot until September 1976.

For anybody who would like to see "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" get a DVD release - as *I* certainly would - I *strongly* urge you to go to TV Shows on DVD.com and vote for it; to date, the show has received 92 total votes, 90% of which, including myself, voted for the show in a complete series set. If there are 8 or more total votes, that should certainly get the attention of CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment - whom I'm *very* certain owns the rights to distribute "Popcorn Machine" on DVD - and maybe they'll do something about it!

(Explanation: "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" was a Funhouse production in association with Viacom Productions. Viacom Productions and Paramount Television became CBS Television Studios a little over a month before I posted this comment, so I do believe CBS DVD/Paramount Home Entertainment would own the rights to distribute "Popcorn Machine" on DVD, provided CBS still has the show in their vaults and didn't neglect to renew the copyrights on it.)

In addition to voting at TV Shows on DVD.com, I also *strongly* suggest e-mailing, snail-mailing, and/or telephoning CBS DVD's offices in New York City and requesting "Popcorn Machine" be put on DVD; after all, it was because of public demand in this manner CBS finally released "The Lucy Show" on DVD earlier this year. Another option would also be to e-mail, snail-mail, and/or telephone Shout! Factory; they would seem like a good candidate to release "Popcorn Machine" on DVD if CBS/Paramount isn't willing to do it themselves (I'm sure Shout! Factory could obtain the rights from CBS/Paramount). Shout! Factory's addresses and phone numbers should be given at their website.

In any case, let's see what we fans who grew up with "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" and would like to see it again can do about that!

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