Posted in Books, Christmas, Family, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

I Miss Saturday Morning Cartoons

1bull18I loved Saturday morning cartoons and other programs as a child…yeah, that’s it, only as a child.

I even willingly (more or less) went to bed Friday nights so I could get up early to watch cartoons like:
Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour,

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Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear (hey Boo-Boo!), Space Ghost,
Jabberjaw, The Pink Panther Show, The Jetsons, The Flintstones,

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1bull8Josie and the Pussycats (ok, they went to outer space;
smart, getting a bigger audience share), Shazam!,
Superfriends, Batman, Superman, Grape Ape,
Fantastic Four,
various Captain Caveman,
Harlem Globetrotters, Schoolhouse Rock,  
The Addams Family (the ill-fated cartoon version),
Return of the Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost,
The New Shmoo, The New Adventures of Gilligan,

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Godzilla (with Godzooky), Spiderman, Smurfs, Ewoks,
Star Trek (sigh, yes, boldly going into cartoons),
Cucumber Club (I was a member), Blackstar,
Inch High Private Eye, Fat Albert, Speed Racer,
Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Tom and Jerry,
The Banana Splits, Underdog, H.R. Puff’n’Stuff,
Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Droopy Dog,

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Hong Kong Phooey (before political correctness),
and probably more that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Just so you understand how sad this is, I can still sing all the words to all these theme songs.

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A graphic novel like Rocky and Bullwinkle takes me back to a simpler time. I know how old that makes me sound, but there it is.

Even as I read Rocky and Bullwinkle #1: The Psychic Sidekick by Roger Langridge (IDW Publishing/Diamond Book Distributors), I marvelled at the blatant anti-Soviet/Russian sentiment and thought, hmmm, I see why it’s making a comeback. Amuse children and adults, but wait, there’s more, also a propaganda tool! While not quite as funny as I remembered, but both R&B and Dudley Do-Right are still amusing in a cheesy way. Sometimes when they recycle these oldies but goodies they ruin them by modernizing or making them too politically correct, but no squirrel and moose are just as old school silly, yahoo!

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So when did Saturday morning cartoons die and why?
VCRs then other recording devices, cable, internet, video games, etc. were the beginning.

Animation changed, more as a business, with little art involved.

Needing children to be ‘busy’ every minute of their day was a big factor. Pushing for more ‘quality’ family time that involved paid activities, traveling, etc. another.

1bull29When I was young, quality time with my parents came later in the day, after they had slept in – their reward for a long work week.
My brother and I foraged for food, cereal or toast, leftover soup or spaghetti, if you were lucky, cold pizza from the night before. There were simple rules to Saturday morning: try to be quiet (I’m sure my brother and I were awesome at this rule) and don’t make a mess (if you do, clean it up). I think it taught my brother and I independence, and we enjoyed the time together.

There have been other changes in society. The divorce rate has increased significantly since then and now many children live between homes.
More recreational sports now. Anything else?

There are still many cartoons, but available anytime…

I kind of miss the days when you saw The Grinch and Charlie Brown’s Christmas once a year at Christmas, and cartoons only on Saturday morning.

Life should have seemed limited, but instead we just felt lucky to see them, not entitled.

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Author:

Very me

73 thoughts on “I Miss Saturday Morning Cartoons

  1. hmmm – as usual I find myself nodding my head as I read your post. No – I don’t remember as many cartoons as you do, but I totally agree with you about the sense of independence we had and feeling excited when a show we really wanted to see came on. You knew it was catch it now or lose out completely. Entitlement was certainly not something I ever felt.

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  2. I remember most of those shows! (We only got three channels and one of them was a sports channel.) I miss the Saturday cartoon thing! It was pretty much a thing of the past once my kids hit the age where they would have enjoyed it. Their generation wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they had to wait for Saturday morning to watch their shows.

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  3. I miss them too. That’s what Saturday mornings were all about in the 70s! Dad would come in and play games with us, then we’d get up, go downstairs and watch cartoons (there was just the one TV per house in those days, and it was black and white). Then there was often an old Tarzan film on, then lunch!

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  4. You have brought back my childhood! I did exactly the same thing, and the same cartoons! I was lucky to have a child and relive the “Saturday tradition” with her. The cartoons had changed, but the same rules applied. “We can’t wake Mummy”. Also an interesting coincidence. I posted today a new series honoring another childhood memory, the weekend funny papers. My brother, sister and I would fight to see who could get to comic section first.
    Thanks for the memories. 😉

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    1. Same idea. My Dad got the funnies first, but he would read them to us, we’d look over his shoulder to see the pictures and we’d all laugh. I’ll check out your post, sounds great. 🙂

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  5. Ha ha I grew up on a lot of these, too. And Gilligan’s Island and the Brady Bunch after school. (Too much TV!) I believe we’re off the bell curve in our parenting in many ways. Our TV doesn’t work – no functional channels. Our boy watches select DVDS, mostly ones that grow his brain. =)

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  6. I miss Saturday morning cartoons too! I especially remember watching them in the early to mid 90’s. My family didn’t have cable until later on, so it was just the very few basic channels that we had. I remember watching some of the cartoons you mentioned in your post too–The Flintstones, Looney Tunes, and–even though they weren’t Saturday morning cartoons–I absolutely love The Grinch and The Charlie Brown Christmas special. Those were the good old days… 😉

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  7. Oh, thank you for the memories! This post actually took me back to the simple moments of childhood. These pieces of our past can put a spark in our lives that actually makes out steps a little lighter.

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  8. Great post.

    Two of the classics that you mentioned – Bugs Bunny and Rocky & Bullwinkle were great in that they always had those two levels of comedy attached so that grown-ups could watch right along with the kids and they’d giggle over some lines that us kids would not get.

    Cartoons nowadays are dumbed down and mangaed up and everything is delivered fast-fast-fast and you can hear the brain cells suiciding all across the globe.

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  9. I remember Scooby-Doo, the Jetsons and the Flintstones. But my love of cartoons didn’t stop there. My kids watched the Smurfs. How about Pinky and the Brain? Yes, decades after childhood, I still enjoyed watching cartoons.

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  10. Fabulous post….all of my Cartoon memories in one place. My childhood Saturday’s were almost exactly the same as yours..except my younger siblings were of the female variety, and Mum would have us out of the way in order to strip the beds, rather than lay in them lol

    I could never work out why she’d save the bed stripping & bedroom hoovering for a *kids in the way* day – I do mine on a school day 🙂

    I really enjoyed this post, Thanks for sharing

    Kimmie x

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  11. OMG…Breaks my heart. The memories I have, and unfortunately my grand-kids will never have these memories. Lived for the old Bugs Bunny Show on Saturday mornings…it was to laugh. I am also sorry to see the holiday classic getting more than one play a year. Now they seem—less special. “Bullwinkle…pull another rabbit out of your hat!”

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    1. Those Saturday mornings were wonderful, it makes me smile just to think of them. 🙂
      Yes, the entire point of holiday specials was you needed to watch them the one time they were on, it made the specials more special. 😉

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  12. Ahhh…too many memories there, wonderful and scary. You’re not a fan of Laff-A-Lympics? Persnickety me always rooted for the Really Rottens (who only won twice).

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