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Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Saturday Morning Memories

The idea for this thread came from J. Elvis, who tweeted this:

When I have memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons, this is the show onscreen:

The animated series premiered 44 years ago today, Sept. 8, 1973, on ABC.

I replied:
I think I’d have to pick this.

So here’s the topic: When you think of watching Saturday morning cartoons, what image/video comes to mind?

(How is this MST3K related?, you may ask. Well, remember, the Comedy Channel originally scheduled the show on Saturday mornings. Good enough for me!)

57 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Your Saturday Morning Memories”

  1. Sitting Duck says:

    Regarding the Ewoks cartoon, back then it bugged my sister and me how they were shown speaking English rather than the C-3PO translated gibberish from the movies. It didn’t occur to us at the time that subtitles would have been a hard sell for a kids’ show.


  2. MajorMac says:

    My 70’s Saturday morning consisted of a double-header of Land of the Lost and The Ghost Busters (Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch). Both shows prepared my poor innocent brain quite nicely for the absurdity of MST3K years later.


  3. Turquoise Plastic Pith Helmet says:

    I did most of my Saturday Morning TV watching in the 70s, and I practically lived for Saturday Morning Cartoons. I have fond memories of Superfriends (Wendy & Marvin was my favorite season, I love the endless parade of mad scientists & misguided environmentalists), Fat Albert, Scooby Doo Where Are You?, Land of the Lost, Shazam! and most of all the Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show. Those were the shows that stuck around the longest, but I also had vague memories of short-lived ones like Isis, Valley of the Dinosaurs, The Hudson Brothers’ Razzle-Dazzle Show, Space Academy, Ark II, Ghost Busters (live action with that gorilla), all of Filmation’s adaptations of live-action shows like Star Trek, Brady Kids, Gilligan, etc. and many more. I’d be up by 7 AM and was glued to the set until Fat Albert ended at 1 PM. Then it was either out to play until dark OR another 3 hours in front of the tube if there was a Godzilla/Gamera pair on The Creature Double Feature from 1 to 4. Once 1 Million Years B.C. was on the 4 O’Clock movie and I had myself an 11 hour marathon! Can’t make it past 2 hours now without dozing off. Boy, am I out of shape! Must be from all that “toxic cereal” someone mentioned that I ate while watching. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention all those endearing PSAs like Schoolhouse Rock, Time For Timer, Woodsey Owl, In the News, and some random one-offs like Don’t Drown Your Food. Not to mention all those wonderful and often times bizarre toy and cereal commercials. It’s so sad that none of that exists anymore.


  4. Ro-man, aka one of several possible Steves says:

    Let’s see, in no particular order: The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show, the Banana Splits. Land of the Lost. Yogi Bear/Huckleberry Hound/Snagglepuss. H. R. Puffnstuff (yike – talk about a nightmare-fueled world) Oh, yeah, Fat Albert. Johnny Quest. Maybe the best: Underdog.

    … wistful sigh …


  5. Dan Baldwin says:

    Interesting to see all you youngsters, I grew up on Jay Ward as well as WB [Rocky & Friends/Bullwinkle with Mr Peabody, etc – George of the Jungle w/ Superchicken, whose theme I still remember and Tom Slick]. Adventures of Superman with George Reeves [Mike Kelly: easy to get mixed with Steve “Hercules” Reeves for MSTies], Hanna Barbera, Captain Kangaroo for live shows. Oh, Jonny [sic] Quest was PRIME TIME [!] but fits into the memorable cartoon category [the reboot “real JQ” is a terrible attempt at creating a cash cow from nostalgia]. Some live shows were Sgt Preston, Sky King, Roy Rogers.. ” does anyone else remember the short-lived animated Beatles show?” Yeah, yeah, yeah. ” 8 Man, the twisted Americanized anime about a murdered detective whose mind is stored in a super-android’s body so he can continue to fight crime. ” They ran that on local Access TV for a while, at least 1 episode involving a super tiger[?]
    More I found mentioned: Space Ghost [coast to Coast, too], Top Cat [Phil Silvers style voice], various Gerry Anderson [Fireball XL-5 a favorite, had the lunchbox].
    Mention of Sid & Marty Krofft reminds me of Nick, Jr and their Mutt & Stuff, which had a guest appearance by H.R. Puffinstuff [never watched]. That brings me to my current “cartoons” on Nick Jr: PAW Patrol and Bubble Guppies. You’re never too old to appreciate good cartoons.


  6. wonderfly says:

    Matthew Mikell:
    My earliest Saturday morning memory–in fact, my earliest memory, period–is of watching 8 Man, the twisted Americanized anime about a murdered detective whose mind is stored in a super-android’s body so he can continue to fight crime. This US-made opening got pretty much everything wrong about its own show (including the character’s design) but the jingle is hilarious:

    In contrast, I remember watching the 90’s version on Saturday mornings on the Sci-Fi Channel:

    “Saturday Anime” was the gritty animation that us high school/college kids were into in the 90’s. Thing is, I think that’s what got cancelled to make way for MST3K on Saturday mornings in the late 90’s/early 00’s.

    …a little bit more to the topic at hand, I was born in 1976, so my early “Saturday morning” memories revolve around the more traditional shows of Scooby Doo, Superfriends, and “Spider-man and his Amazing Friends”.


  7. The Bolem says:

    My current Saturdays are packed solid, but better late than never:

    Like many others, the cornerstone of my earliest Saturday morning memories was Muppet Babies. Probably the best non-toy ’80s toon, so creative that it could get any 4-9 year old’s imagination firing on all cylinders, and probably primed a lot of future MSTies with its use of random stock footage. Home video had given us all access to older movies recently enough that there was greater interest in them anyway, but at least two bits relate directly to MST: footage of the robots from Undersea Kingdom in their Journey to the Center of the Earth ep, and clips from, of all things, White Zombie, including Bela doing his hand-interlock-hypnosis move later homaged in Bride of the Monster.

    Others I watched around ’85 included The Getalong Gang, Shirt Tales, Pink Panther and Sons, The Wuzzles, The Littles, Scooby and Scrappy, Kidd Video, the Snorks, and of course their land dwelling cousins the Smurfs (they all wore that same hat for a reason; to hide their shrunken vestigial head tube!) Before the cartoons got going, at 6:00 or 7:00, there was live action show called Tid-Bits, consisting of a guy demonstrating science experiments to bland yet catchy theme music.

    IIRC, ABC had the most vestigial remains of the glory that was ’70s Saturday morning, those in-between segments: Timer demonstrating his sunshine sticks and cheese+cracker “wagon wheels”, and the Schoolhouse Rock “Electricity” and “Chomper” bits. Oh, and Captain O. G. Readmore, usually near morning’s end, possibly to promote the occasional book-based special in the afternoon, which I never caught.

    On NBC, the commercials were flavored with One To Grow On PSAs, with stars from their prime time sitcoms teaching kids to use deodorant and not deliberately break car radio antennas. How fitting then that an ep of one of the ALF cartoons, an animated spin-off funnier and written on a more adult level than the live-action show it was based on, began with “Another Dumb Skit to Grow On”, the first PSA parody I ever saw.


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