Sunday, March 30, 2008

CBS 1974 Saturday morning cavalcade

And now it's CBS' turn in the Saturday morning spotlight. While it offered the longest lineup, it started things out with a few repeats.

8 a.m. Speed Buggy
Yet another Hanna Barbera cartoon with yet another anthropomorphic car, with yet more generic adventures. At least they had Mel Blanc doing the voice for Speed Buggy, so it had something going for it.

8:30 a.m. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

If you're reading this blog, I'm going to guess you're at least familiar with the concept of Scooby-Doo shows. Since you've all seen this intro likely a skrillion times, here it is in Polish!

9 a.m. Jeannie

Another law of the 70s was that a portion of the Saturday morning programming had to be an animated version of an old live-action show. NBC already had The Addams Family and Star Trek; here's another. I saw this a lot in syndicated packages, and I remember liking it a lot. Instead of blonde Jeannie and Major Tony Nelson, we had a decidedly nonblonde Jeannie and surfer dude Corey Anders, not to be confused with a later, curvier Kory Anders. Corey found Jeannie's bottle on the beach while on his way to Tosche Station to get pick up some power converters or something. Yes, voice artist supreme Mark Hamill provided Corey's voice.

Along for the ride with genie was Babu (I don't know if he was sweet), voiced by former latter-day Stooge, Joe Besser. Babu's job was to never get his magic to work right. And while Barbara Eden didn't return to portray Jeannie, Julie McWhirter did a fine job.

9:30 a.m. Partridge Family 2200 A.D.

Dear God, why? Why couldn't this have just been a Jetsons spinoff as it was originally planned? And even if that fell through, how did it end up being the Partridge Family? That would be like taking Fonz and the gang from Happy Days, teaming them up with a cutesy alien and sending them on adventures through time and space. Oh, wait. Um, never mind.

If you don't believe how awful an idea this is, just watch for yourself.

10 a.m. Valley of the Dinosaurs

Watch the intro first and see if you notice anything, um, unusual.

So let me get this straight: a family gets stranded in a strange land where there are dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures? Wasn't this just on at 9 a.m. on NBC?

I don't think I ever saw this, even in the days of independent stations. I weep.

10:30 a.m. Shazam!

The live-action tales of Captain Marvel, who was given his great powers by the wizard Shazam. In this TV incarnation, Billy Batson traveled with Mentor in a Winnebago, helping out where they were needed. One of the coolest episodes was a crossover with Isis, which was a later episode, but still pretty cool...

11 a.m. The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine

This is why I'm bummed out that I was only an infant when this was on. How can you beat that name? And how can you beat the Globetrotters? This had to be all kinds of awesome; much better than the crappy cartoon version.

11:30 a.m. Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show

Another one I would've liked to see, if only because it featured Rod Hull and Emu. Singers The Hudson Brothers hosted this variety show for kids. The theme song is pretty catchy. Five years after this show, Bill Hudson's daughter Kate was born. I wonder if he had copies of this to show her when she was little. That would've been a trip.

Noon The U.S. of Archie

Everyone was gearing up for the bicentennial in 1976, so there was tons of shows with an American history theme. And who better to tell kids about history than Archie, Jughead and the gang?

12:30 p.m. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

As a rule, I distrust cartoons with a laugh track. If nothing else, it just shows how dumb they think the target audience is. So why this ostensibly educational show had one is beyond me. Still, there is a soft spot in my heart for this show. I bet if they tried making it today, he wouldn't be able to be called Fat Albert.

As a bonus, here's an authentic elementary school Fat Albert joke:

What did Fat Albert say when he was sitting on the toilet?

Hey, hey, hey, bombs away!

Well, that about does it for a look at the various network offerings for the fall of 1974. Hopefully before too long, I'll be able to tackle 1975. The cartoons just keep getting better--and worse.

1 comment:

  1. Speed Buggy, Shazam!, and Fat Albert...those were the ones that did it for me.

    The rest of the time I was watching Battle of the Planets, and Looney Tunes.