Heh, Ninja Turtles was a comic before it was a TV show, and they watered it down quite a bit for the Saturday morning audience.
The original comic was and is a glorious mix of about equal parts crack (And now let's do The Fugitive! Only instead of Dr. Kimble, let's have a MAD SCIENTIST who accidentally turned himself into a ROBOT! And instead of Lieutenant Gerard, we'll have ALIEN TRICERATOPS! In SPACE!!!) and hardcore badassery (And now we shall dedicate an entire issue to Leonardo beating the shit out of a jillion ninja! No, lets make it an even zillion!).
The old comics are gradually being archived here, if you're interested.