Question: When I was young, in the late '60s and early '70s, I watched a Saturday morning show about a guy and his dog traveling all over. He had these bracelets he would clap together in times of trouble and then he would turn into this superhero. When he clapped the bracelets a second time, his dog turned into a lion with wings (I think). He would fly with the aid of his companion. Do you remember the name of the show? Am I making you go way back or what? Bill in Toronto
Televisionary: I've got to tell you, Bill: Yes, you are. That's one of those shows I watched as a kid, but may never have thought of again if I wasn't paid to write about such things. Whoa.
You're thinking of Hanna-Barbera's Samson & Goliath, which ran on NBC's cereal-selling schedule from September 1967 to the following August. In what I accepted easily as a child but now see as an utterly bizarre setup, young Samson was a clean-cut kid who tooled around, helmetless, on a motor scooter with his dog, Goliath. (No, that's not the strange part, wiseguy.)
In the time-honored hero tradition of transformations triggered by capsules, watches, rings, lamps, belts, etc., Samson did indeed smack his bracelets together, shouting, "I need Samson power!" whenever things got rough. He became his powerful namesake, complete with super-strength, muscles galore, Erroll Flynn-esque haircut and a skin-tight outfit to make a trapeze artist proud. Staying faithful to the Bible, Goliath transformed into the sultry Delilah, who betrayed Samson, cutting his hair and robbing him of his vaunted might in every episode.
Okay, so I made that last part up. Actually, in a startling departure from the classic tale, Goliath inexplicably transformed into a powerful lion who could fly and shoot laser beams from his eyes. If you think about it, that's far weirder than the junk I came up with. Trivial notes: The show's title was changed to Young Samson to distinguish it from the religious claymation show Davey and Goliath, which featured a boy, his dog, and a supreme being said to be so powerful he didn't need no steenkin' bracelets. Also, Samson was voiced by actor Tim Matheson (Animal House, Fletch), who also handled those duties as the animated Jonny Quest.