I’ve recently joined Coolandcollected.com‘s “League of Extraordinary Bloggers.” The idea is that once a week there’s a topic, and you write up a post on that topic. You don’t have to participate every week, but seeing as how I suggested this particular topic I figured I should. It was actually last week’s topic and somehow I completely missed it.
Anyway, the assignment was to create your ideal Saturday morning schedule. This was easy for me because I basically already did it, but here we go:
7am-8am: I never watched cartoons this early on a Saturday, being asleep like all normal people. Not even the lure of Cap’n Crunch or Froot Loops could get me out of bed before eight. Besides, the shows on at this time were usually terrible “educational” crap or infomercials featuring Hollywood has-beens or never-wases. Even at the age of nine or ten, I could sense the despair lingering in the air during those programs.
8am: Garfield & Friends
This wasn’t the best show, but for me, Garfield & Friends was indelibly associated with Saturday morning. I know it’s now uncool to admit any love for Garfield and to regard Jim Davis as a talentless hack, but I can’t deny that I loved Garfield as a kid. And this show could be funny sometimes, though usually during the U.S. Acres segments. Nonetheless, I’m relegating it to the 8am slot, where young Poe would only be sort of half-watching it while waking up and eating the aforementioned Cap’n Crunch.
This one’s a bit of a cheat, because I only started watching Ultraman recently. For the past six months my Saturday morning routine has included at least a half hour of the original 1966 series on DVD (available for a mere $7 on Amazon), so I feel it’s fair to include it here. As much as I’m enjoying the show now, I would have enjoyed it 3000% more had it been on a local station when I was a kid.
Seriously, I can’t believe this wasn’t being aired on some UHF station when I was a kid. As much as I loved Godzilla movies, how could I not have loved a show that gave me the best part of those movies – the monster fight – in every episode? The only negative is that at least half the monster designs are terrible, and the other half, while good, aren’t nearly as good as any given Godzilla monster (well, except Jet Jaguar, obviously).
9am: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
9:30am: Hey Vern, It’s Ernest
Okay, so this show was kind of a ripoff of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, or at least one suspects it got greenlit due to Pee-Wee’s success. But young Poe was a big fan of Ernest (though today I find Ernest Goes to Jail and, to a lesser extent, Ernest Saves Christmas are the only ones that hold up at all), and this was one of those shows that existed only on Saturday mornings.
Oh, the ’80s, when every popular ad mascot could get his or her own merchandise, video game, or if he/she were really lucky, television show. If today were like the ’80s, the Geico Cavemen sitcom would be in its fourth season, while elsewhere on the dial one could find Eat at Flo’s, The Late Late Show with Martin the Geico Gecko, an animated cartoon featuring Cleatus the Fox Sports Robot, and Some Damn Shit with the E-Trade Baby.
I was very tempted to put Beetlejuice in this spot, but I never really watched that on Saturday mornings – I caught more of it in syndication.
10am: Real Ghostbusters
Another one of those cartoons that anchored Saturday mornings for years. The early seasons are better than you remember; the later ones are as bad or worse. Still, it’s hard to argue with the awesomeness of eps like “The Collect Call of Cathulhu” [sic] and “The Boogieman Cometh.”
10:30am: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse
The second-greatest Saturday morning show of all time, but for the one below. This was a show with barely any merchandising associated with it (Matchbox toys notwithstanding), yet it was incredibly popular with kids and ran for years (until Paul Reubens’s utterly tragic and massively avoidable mistake).
11am-12pm: Muppet Babies
That’s right, a full hour of the best Saturday morning cartoon of all time. The fact that this show isn’t and probably never will be on home video – due to all the rights issues to the various clips used on the show – pains me. The fact that any and all future children of mine may never be able to watch this show (except some grainy bootleg torrents) makes me very sad.
Nonetheless, I’m grateful this show was on the air when I was a kid. It was truly a testament to the power of imagination.
But wait, there’s more! Lots more, if you visit the other members of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Many of them put a lot more thought and effort into this than I did, too.
- Gren Plastic Squirtgun
- Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks
- Memories of Toymorrow
- Rediscover the 80′s
- Of Flying Monkeys and Ewoks oh my!
- Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Cool
- Geek It Til It Hurts
- The Man Who Stares at Toys
- That Figures
- AEIOU and Sometimes Why
- The Sexy Geek’s House of Swag
- Branded in the 80′s
- Cavalcade of Awesome
- Monsterfink’s Midnight Monster Spookshow
- Top Hat Sasquatch
- Nerd Lunch
- Dork Dimension
- Michel May’s Adventure Blog
- Thought Bubbles
- Geek Cultural
- Q the Adult
- Team Hellions