Intrepid side kick of Thundarr The Barbarian. He was tall and hairy, almost certainly fashioned after Chewbacca. In the opening credits he learns to fly an ancient helicopter by kicking the control panel out the bottom of the craft.

There is anecdotal information suggesting Ookla was actually named after being recovered as an infant from a crate that Thundarr had found on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles and was labeled with the university's acronym, UCLA. This sort of Planet of the Apes plot twist is ludicrous but common in the Apocalyptic Future genre and is certainly within the bounds of reality set by the show. Never mind that a wooden crate wouldn't survive rot and decay for 2000 years; vehicles still have fuel in them and remain operational. These are immaterial points that children aren't concerned with and the reason they think all of us adults are so boring.

Although I've heard different details, this is a persistent rumor, that Ookla took his name from UCLA in some fashion and it’s nothing more than a phonetic of the acronym. Some say that Thundarr and Ookla met at the UCLA campus near the stadium as adults, others cite the crate scene. It's unclear whether the scene they refer to is similar to the scene in the opening credits where we see Princess Ariel rescuing Thundarr and Ookla from the clutches of a sorcerer. This scene implies that such was the first meeting of Ariel and Thundarr, but it never appears in any of the episodes and has no dialogue.

Unfortunately, while info about Thundarr himself is relatively easy to come by, there is little information about Ookla's origins and the few episode guides that litter the internet have not been forthcoming on this detail. It turns out that the phonetic of UCLA, "Ookla", is a rather common name and spelling for UCLA fans and teams, but it remains unclear if this predates the show, or is in fact inspired by it.

There are some other resources that illuminate this debate though. In 1981 MEGO acquired the rights to Thundarr the Barbarian and hoped to cash in on the shows popularity by producing a line of action figures based on the characters. The show was cancelled though and MEGO had its own problems in the beginning of that decade. Unfortunately, the toys were never produced, although several prototypes were and these can occasionally be found on Ebay or at Sci-Fi conventions. Among these recovered jewels of what might have been is a card back for an Ookla the Mok figure with the name spelled as such.

If the research and licensing departments of MEGO toys isn't sufficient to quell the half remembered sugar cereal spastic memories of your ill spent youth, then let IMDB be your guide. It lists the voice actor Henry Corden as having performed as Ookla the Mok, not UCLA the Mok.

We may never resolve the debate as the company that maintains the rights for Thundarr the Barbarian has refused to release it for home distribution in recent times and the few VHS copies that remain are world weary and closely guarded by the same sort of fanatics that sing the Life Day song from the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special as they dry hump their pillow, fantasizing it as a monchichi, while answering polite email requests for info in bizarre and indecipherable mixtures of Klingon and High Elven dialects.

Sources
www.imdb.com
http://www.toymania.com/334archives/thundar/

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