Friday, July 3, 2015

Summertainment: Popeye in Beach Peach (1950)

This weekend, folks will be hitting the beaches just as much as they'll be looking for someplace to watch the fireworks go off on Saturday night (or, for that matter, tonight and Sunday, too). So, it makes sense to join Popeye in 1950's "Beach Peach":

So, Popeye gets a blond bully instead of Bluto for a change. Otherwise, same old story, same ending.

Rating: B.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Saturday School: The Shot Heard 'Round The World (Schoolhouse Rock!, 1976)

As America celebrated its 200th birthday in 1976, the folks behind Schoolhouse Rock added America Rock to the rotation. From March 1976, Bob Dorough wrote and sang "The Shot Heard 'Round The World".

The US turns 239 on Saturday. Ready to party?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Game Time: Q*Bert (Saturday Supercade, 1983)

Time to return to the Saturday Supercade. It's been a long time since we scoped things out here, so let's check out the debut adventure of Q*Bert in "Disc Derby Fiasco":

All Ruby-Spears did was copy what Hanna-Barbera did a year earlier with Pac-Man, and create an entire community for Q*Bert's adventures. Nice idea, but who remembers this now?

No rating.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On The Air: Numb Chucks (2014)

Viewers have waited for Numb Chucks, a Canadian series, to debut on Cartoon Network since last year's upfront. So what happens? The numbnuts at CN sit on it and pass it over to sister network Boomerang, where it made its American debut in January.

Numb Chucks is about a pair of woodchuck brothers who, despite being inept at their jobs, try to protect their hometown from bad guys. Noble? Yep. Popular? Remains to be seen. The series is in its 2nd season in its native Canada, but it still boggles the mind that CN would delay the American debut of this show nearly a year. Currently, it airs on weekend afternoons at 1 (ET).

Here's the open:

I guess they figured that a cartoon about beavers had been done already (The Angry Beavers, nearly 20 years ago), but not one about woodchucks, and that doesn't include any Donald Duck shorts that might've had Huey, Dewey, & Louie as Junior Woodchucks (Disney's answer to the Boy Scouts). However, a cartoon with two protagonists that aren't exactly brain surgeons has been done to death over the last several years.

Rating: Incomplete.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Saturtainment: 2 Hip 4 TV (1988)

By the mid-80's, local affiliates stopped blacking out the bottom portion of network Saturday morning schedules. Unfortunately, by 1988, NBC stopped airing shows that kids cared about at that hour.

2 Hip 4 TV was the network's attempt at a lunch hour comedy-variety show, attempting to fill the void created by ABC dumping American Bandstand (which had moved to USA Network and moved back to Friday afternoons). The network brought in comedian Colin Quinn (Remote Control) as series host. Amazingly, Quinn never did any cross-promotion on either show, but he did begin a lengthy association with NBC that would resume when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live a few years later. Quinn was joined by Ahmet Zappa, the last of Frank's kids to reach television, as brother Dweezil had been a summer VJ at MTV for a few years by this point, and of course, Dweezil and Moon had a duet, "Let's Talk About It", that was in heavy airplay for a while.

However, after the Seoul Summer Olympics, there was a change. Zappa was gone, replaced by comedian Barry Sobel, who'd parlay the gig into a recurring role on NBC's primetime series, 227, but, as you'll see in this clip with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sobel is not the least bit funny.

Chad Smith hadn't yet joined the Chili Peppers, and the African-American drummer was on loan from the Dead Kennedys, in case anyone wonders. 2 Hip lasted just a few more months before being cancelled.

Rating: D.

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Ricochet Rabbit in Jail Break-In (1964)

I've heard of breaking out of jail, but a con wanting to stay in jail?? It could only happen to Ricochet Rabbit in "Jail Break-In":

Weirdest outlaw you ever saw.

Rating: B.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rare Treats: Boogie Woogie Boy of Company B (1941)

Inspired by the hit song of the same name, Walter Lantz and Universal released the animated "Boogie Woogie Boy of Company B" in September 1941. It hasn't been seen on TV in several years because of its portrayal of African-Americans, particularly the title character, a jazz trumpeter who's, well, conscripted instead of drafted into the Army.

Voices are not given screen credit, as was the custom of the time. After all, it took a few more years before Mel Blanc began getting credit for his work at WB. "Boogie" is included on a Woody Woodpecker DVD compilation, though, so it is accessible, just like it is on Internet Archive.

The song was big in 1941. The Andrews Sisters recorded it, and performed it in Abbott & Costello's "Buck Privates" that same year. I've no memory of seeing this cartoon, so there's no rating.