“King Kong” and “Tom of T.H.U.M.B.”

King Kong is a New York City film icon.  He climbed to the top of the Empire State Building in the 1933 and 2005 King Kong films.  In 1976, he climbed to the top of the World Trade Center.

But the 1966-67 Saturday morning cartoon series King Kong depicted the title character as domesticated with a family in the jungle.

Produced by Rankin-Bass for ABC, this show revolves around King Kong and his the Bond family, consisting of Professor Bond and his children, Bobby and Susan.  Together, they find adventures on Mondo Island.  The show’s theme song describes King Kong’s size as “ten times as big as a man.”

Typically, the half-hour King Kong show featured two stories about King Kong and the Bond family.  In between the stories, Tom of T.H.U.M.B. segments aired.  T.H.U.M.B. is an acronym standing for Tiny Humans Underground Military Bureau.  These stories fell under the spy genre, a popular culture mainstay in the 1960s that began with President John F. Kennedy’s legendary endorsement of Ian Fleming as his favorite author.  Fleming created James Bond in 1950s novels.  Bond reached megastar status after Kennedy’s literary thumbs-up followed by Sean Connery’s portrayal in 1960s films.  There is no relation between Fleming’s Bond and the Bond family in King Kong.

Tom and his faithful assistant, Swingin’ Jack, inadvertently encounter a shrinking ray at U.S. Intelligence, thereby creating T.H.U.M.B. for missions calling for agents with diminutive proportions.

Tom of T.H.U.M.B. added to the list of fictional 1960s spy organization acronyms.  The United Network Command For Law Enforcement was better known as U.N.C.L.E. in the television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum.  The main antagonist for U.N.C.L.E. was T.H.R.U.S.H.  Novelizations of the television series describe the T.H.R.U.S.H. acronym as standing for Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.

In Get Smart, the good guys worked for C.O.N.T.R.O.L. and the bad guys worked for K.A.O.S.

T.H.U.M.B. had M.A.D.  The acronym stands for Maladjusted, Anti-Social, and Darn Mean.  Tom describes M.A.D. as “an organization of scientists bent on destroying the world for their own gains” in the episode For the Last Time Feller, I’m Not Bait.

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