[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US LIVE RIGHT NOW!!! Remember, this is our first time using the LiveStream service, so be sure to give us plenty of feedback! You'll probably have to sign up for a LiveStream account, so be prepared. I did the "Log In Using Facebook" option and had no problems, so HOORAY there's a use for Facebook!

If you're having problems of any kind and can't get through to us on the LiveStream chat, feel free to leave a comment here or on any of today's watch-along posts, I'll be checking on a regular basis throughout the day.

See you there :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

In the wake of 1982's very profitable Pac-Man Cartoon advertising shenanigans, the folks at Ruby-Spears started snapping up the rights to pretty much every and any video game they could get. They didn't have a network, they didn't have a promise... they just realized that this was how it's going to work and so they did it knowing that the advertisers and the networks would come.

And so at 8:30 on saturday morning in 1983, CBS premiered "Saturday Supercade", a conglomeration of 11-minute videogame-based cartoon segments that weren't strong enough to carry their own half-hour series yet somehow, when lumped together, proved to be quite a ratings powerhouse!

The first season included segments on Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Pitfall Harry, Frogger and Qbert. Summaries:

DONKEY KONG escaped from the zoo and is chased around by Mario and Pauline (seems legit).
DONKEY KONG JR is looking for his dad and teams up with a teenager on a motorcycle to find him (Aww sweet).
PITFALL HARRY, his niece Rhonda, and a cowardly Mountain Lion(!?!) search for treasure
FROGGER is an investigative reporter(?!?)
QBERT is a 1950's teenager(???)

The second season dropped Pitfall Harry, Donkey Kong Jr and Frogger so they could ad "Kangaroo" and "Space Ace", which were both SO MUCH more like what they sound like than any of the previous season's cartoons had been.

Also aired at 9:30 and 11:30 in the 1984/1985 season
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Saturday mornings in 1982, over on NBC at 8:30 in the morning you could find the adventures of The SHIRT TALES, although if you're younger than me you *probably* remember this show from somewhere else and are getting ready to hit "Leave Comment" to let me know that I've made a terrible mistake.

HOLD THAT BUTTON, and read on...

Much like other perennial 80's favorites Strawberry Shortcake and The Care Bears, The Shirt Tales were created for the Hallmark Greeting Card Company (by Janet Elizabeth Manco) with no real story or reason other than to look cute on greeting cards. The Hanna-Barbera came along and gave them a storyline! Tyg Tiger (in orange), Pammy Panda (in pink), Digger Mole (in light blue), Rick Raccoon (in red), and Bogey Orangutan (in green) lived in a big hollow tree in Oak Tree Park (as Tigers, Pandas, Raccoons, Moles and Orangutans often do in the wild) and wore shirts which flashed various brightly lit messages reflecting their thoughts. They spent their time teasing the park ranger (Mr. Dinkle) and FIGHTING CRIME AS SOME SORT OF SUPER-SECRET AGENTS (as Tigers, Pandas, Raccoons, Moles and Orangutans often do in the wild). They zipped around the world in a vehicle known as the STSST (Shirt Tales Super-Sonic Transport) which was a car, jet, boat, submarine, and pretty much anything else they wanted/needed it to be.

The show ran for two seasons on NBC Saturday Mornings, 10 episodes in the first season and 13 in the second season. In the second season things changed *slightly* with the addition of "Kip" (a young Kangaroo) and an apparent power-struggle between Rick and Tyg. Rick was rarely seen in that second season, which i weird since he had been the apparent leader of the group in season 1. Weird.

Anywho, you *MAY* remember seeing this cartoon on CBS rather than NBC, and with good reason; in the Fall of 1984, NBC dropped Shirt Tales from their schedule and it was immediately snapped-up by CBS, who were looking for a last-minute filler to replace the low-rated "The Biskitts" cartoon at the last minute. CBS showed a mix of re-runs from both seasons of Shirt Tales.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
This is the most annoyingly complex entry I've ever had to make in this community, so bear with me and please excuse the cluttering of your Friends List. Usually I like to start these posts with a video clip of the show in question, but this one has no real official opening that I can find or even really remember...

It had been a long standing tradition on Saturday Morning to take several different cartoons that had 15-to-30-minute segments and slap them together in to an hour-long show of randomness in order to help boost new shows with existing show ratings. But here in 1982 they had something new to drop in to the mix; SEVEN MINUTE SEGMENTS.

First, the returning champion who had successfully survived being paired with Scooby and Scrappy; Richie Rich (follow the link for my crackpot theories about that).

And then we had the newcomers, The Little Rascals (who had no official opening credits of their own) and Pac-Man.

Although Pac-Man had been the STAR of the ABC Friday Night Saturday Morning Preview Show, it was for some reason decided that he needed to be introduced as part of a cartoon block interspersed with Richie Rich and Little Rascals bits. I've never ben able to confirm or deny a reason for this other than the assumption that they didn't have a full season worth of Pac-Man cartoon segment completed in time to fill a full half-hour show of its own on a weekly basis.

This infuriated me as a kid who tuned in Saturday morning expecting Pac-Man and getting only 7-to-15 minutes of the yellow fellow out of an entire hour of programming.

NEXT YEAR (1983) Pac-Man will get his own proper full half-hour show, and The Little Rascals will *kind of* get an opening title sequence when they make an awesome mash-up opening featuring Richie Rich, Little Rascals and new comer The Monchichis... buit till then we get this slapped-together Frankenstein of Saturday Morning snippets.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(Sorry for the poor sound quality, it was the only ORIGINAL 1981 OPENING with the voice-over that I could find)

Saturday morning at 8:30 in 1981, NBC and Hanna-Barbera made history with the debut of The Smurfs. What can I tell you that isn't already common knowledge (to people like us) about this show? Fred Silverman (President of NBC at the time) had bought a Smurf doll while on vacation in Colorado (the toys started hitting US shelves as early as 1976) and Fred thought "Hey, I'll bet that would make a good cartoon".

Anybody else know any good stories about The Smurfs?
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Tune in to your local CBS affiliate station at 8:30 on Saturday morning in 1981 and you'll be watching Trollkins - Like a cross between the Smurfs and The Dukes Of Hazzard. SERIOUSLY. Multi-colored Smurfs, with cars and Southern hayseed accents, living in trees that make up "Troll Town". If the two cartoons hadn't been made by the exact same studio (Hanna-Barbera) and debuted on the exact same day in the exact same time slot, you'd swear that one was a rip-off of the other.

And you'd be right.

The third-hand story behind this show as I have heard it repeated from fairly reliable sources (HOORAY FOR GOSSIP YAAAAY!) is that when Hanna-Barbera got hold of the rights to make an American animated version of the beloved European comic strip characters The Smurfs, it was decided (and nobody will take credit for this) that was "too intelligent" for the youth of America and it needed to be dumbed down. The concept was passed around through all the various lawyers, marketing executives and Censors to make "notes" on how to "improve" the show.
  • All of them being just blue could be seen as being racist. Make them a multitude of colors.
  • Mushroom houses could be a drug reference, have them live in trees.
  • The Dukes Of Hazzard is popular right now, make them all sound Southern.
  • Put them in vehicles - easier to sell as a Happy Meal Toy if this cartoon takes off.
  • Villains are too threatening, make our conflict be with a biker gang that is just non-conforming and annoying.
  • They need a dog. EVERY Hanna-Barbera production should have a dog in it because Frank Welker needs work.

This was given the green-light and went into production before they checked with Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs. When they showed him the Trollkins, he said something like "That is a very nice cartoon, and I can hardly wait to see what you can do with a GOOD concept like my Smurfs!"

Nobody spoke of the Trollkins ever again. One season and *done*, never to be spoken of again, put in to lots of syndication packages as padding.

I don't know if that story is true, but I love it :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour from Filmation has been mentioned here before, but for continuity sake let's bring it up again.

Filmation had a ton of 15-minute adventure cartoons featuring Tarzan that they kept running and re-running with various new cartoons all through the 1970's and well into the early 1980's. This show was officially called an "Adventure Hour", although it rarely went hast 30 minutes per scheduled episode. For 1980 and 1981, the Tarzan cartoons were packaged with brand new Lone Ranger and Zorro cartoons as part of a bait-n-switch scam that I've never ever forgiven them for; I'd tune in hoping to see a new Lone Ranger cartoon and ALWAYS get an episode of either Tarzan and Zorro, or just a double-dose of Tarzan re-runs :(

They are why I have trust issues.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(Cross-Posted to Tumblr)

The Daffy Duck Show (10:30 Saturday morning on NBC in 1980) started in 1978 and slowly petered out over the course of the early 80's. Much like the rivalry between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, the battle between The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Show and The Daffy Duck Show was decidedly lopsided. Bugs Bunny was given 90 minutes each morning; Daffy was given a measly half-hour. Bugs had the entire catalog of Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes; Daffy was limited to the "On The Cheap" made-for-TV WB cartoons of the late 60's.

Also aired in 1981 and 1982 at noon as "The Daffy/Speedy Show", which had an excellent opening title sequence where Daffy and Speedy Gonzales fought over who's name would be on the show, but for the life of me I can't find ANYWHERE on the internet.

During the final 1982/1983 season it was moved to CBS and brought to a full hour at 8:30, renamed "The Sylvester & Tweety, Daffy and Speedy Show" before finally leaving the air in 1984.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(Cross Posted from Tumblr)

DYNOMUTT, DOG WONDER - Tuning in to your local NBC affiliate at 8:30 on a Saturday morning would bring you to the second half-hour of the Godzilla / Dynomutt Hour. Much like the Godzilla cartoons that they were paired with, the Dynomutt cartoons used in this show were just reruns of the two seasons that had run from 1976 to 1978 with no new content other than the opening title sequence. The show was about a Batman-esque super hero (Blue Falcon) and his assistant, bumbling yet generally effective robot dog Dynomutt, who could produce a seemingly infinite number of mechanical devices from his body. As with many other animated super-heroes of the era, no origins for the characters were ever provided so you should go ahead and start writing your FanFic *NOW* :)


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