Bill Laimbeer Was a Sleestak

February 09, 2005

No, seriously: Bill Laimbeer, the widely loathed giant who played center for the Detroit Pistons from 1982 to 1993, appeared as a Sleestak in at least one episode of the cheesy ’70s show Land of the Lost, a program that terrorized a generation of young kids on Saturday mornings. I discovered the Laimbeer connection on my own a couple of years ago, when I watched a two-episode LotL videotape I had bought during a bout of nostalgia. This obscure bit of trivia is, I admit, probably only of interest to North Americans born between about 1963 and 1973 who remember the nightmares caused by those hissing, rubber-suited monsters. Like the entire show itself, the Sleestaks seem hilariously campy now, but they were terrifying to a six-year-old. Also terrifying was the show’s incredibly weird music, a bizarre amalgam of eerie synthesizer bleeps and down-home banjo pickin’.

This image is from the opening credits of a Walter Koenig-penned episode called “The Stranger” that aired in late 1974, when Laimbeer was 17:

Bill Laimbeer was a Sleestak

One of these Sleestaks is Laimbeer:

No, seriously: Bill Laimbeer was a Sleestak

Laimbeer went from menacing Marshall, Will, and Holly as an adolescent to menacing the entire NBA as an adult.