Ricardo Montalban once channeled Khan in his battle against Freakazoid!
Star Trek is such a long-running, widely encompassing property that it’s hard to keep track of every bit of information. From proper pronunciation to spelling, to characters and actors who have portrayed them and all the way to the parities that were inspired by them. Star Trek has been everywhere over the last 50+ years; which is probably why Ricardo Montalban channeling Khan Noonien Singh in his animated battle against Freakazoid! never gets brought up.
For those unfamiliar, Freakazoid was Warner Bros. attempt to add a funny superhero cartoon to their growing list of home run kids entertainment from Kids WB block. The group of shows was famous for its Saturday Morning and after-school block of programming which included some huge hits. Animaniacs was the obvious big hit, but the block also included Tiny Toon Adventures, Pinky and the Brain, its spinoff Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, and Histeria!
Tiny Toon Adventures was a modern take on Looney Tunes, Animaniacs was a satirical take at Hollywood, Pinky and the Brain was just a silly spinoff, and Histeria! was a show that focused on historical events but with a humorous lens. Freakazoid was supposed to be the superhero show to fill out that block.
Ricardo Montalban goes full Khan for Freakazoid performance
Freakazoid and the other Kids WB shows had the full backing of Steven Speilberg, so they were able to get massive guest stars like Ricardo Montalban. Montalban played Armondo Guitierrez and was the first villain of the series. A series that sees young Dexter Douglas get zapped into cyberspace to become the fast-talking, joke-cracking, god-like creature known as Freakazoid.
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The plot for the episode is rather simple; Guitierrez wants to find out how Freakazoid became Freakazoid and captures Dexter Douglas (Freakazoid’s alter ego), and his family. To convince Dexter and his mentor, Roddy MacStew, to give up the information, Guitierrez tortures the other Douglas family members by forcing them to watch a Marty Ingles comedy special.
After MacStew gives up the information, he begs for Dexter Douglas to be released but Guitierrez goes full Wrath of Khan in response;
"…Because he tasks me. He tasks me. Round the moons of Snibya, I chuckle at thee. Beyond the Corpian clouds, I chuckle more at thee. Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins. Kirk, old friend, I… Oh, sorry."
Obviously, they couldn’t do the actual speech from Wrath of Khan, as they’d have been sued, but Montalban captures the essence of the Khan at this moment and really hammers home a great tongue-in-cheek callback to his time as James T. Kirk’s most notorious villain.
Seeing how this episode of the show was from over a decade after Wrath of Khan premiered, it really showed just how lasting the quote, the character, and the film really was some 13 years later.