Why doesn't cross-marketing genius like this happen anymore?
At the height of their popularity, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a '90s merchandising empire. Action figures, breakfast cereal, Saturday morning cartoons, and more video games than any other brand at the time were all printing money for everyone from CBS to Nintendo.
And nowhere was this 1990's madness more perfectly crystallized than by having daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey invite the turtles on as guests. They're not even the actors from the first 1990 feature film, they're just fours guys in shitty Halloween costumes talking about what it's like to live on a diet composed solely of pizza.
Oprah, surely before winning that Peabody, has to endure nearly 45 minutes of this with a straight face.
The most blatant transgression? Not a fucking ninja star, nunchuk, or katana anywhere. Scrubbed of any possibility of violence, the turtles were sanitized to the point of becoming antiseptic in order to promote their Coming Out of Their Shells album. You'll remember this was a time when most animated series were accompanied by at least one major label release.
If you've got 43 minutes to let your mind become unhinged as to how much money must have changed hands in order to make this happen, just remember, Mortal Kombat also went on a live tour in the '90s.