Friday, September 30, 2016

Game Time: Endurance (2002)

It was Survivor for teenagers, but it wasn't on CBS. Instead, Endurance aired on Discovery Kids (now Discovery Family) and NBC, rising from the ashes for a failed Fox Family series, Moolah Beach, which, as memory serves, also aired on Fox.

Both series were created by actor-game show host-producer J. D. Roth (ex-Fun House), who enjoyed his greatest success with Endurance, which lasted 4 years on NBC (2002-6), slighly longer on the Discovery networks.

Here's a sample clip:



As you can see, as with Survivor, subtitles were added with each succeeding season. Unfortunately, while Survivor continues with two "seasons" per year, Endurance ran out of steam, especially after NBC decided to get back into an all-cartoon lineup, which it is abandoning again this year.

Rating: B.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Looney TV: Sylvester & Tweety for Miracle Whip (1999)

Just when it looks like Sylvester has finally gotten the best of Tweety, it seems a certain condiment is getting in the way.......



Like, even Sylvester knows what works best on a sandwich.......

You Know The Voice: Jack Sheldon (1964)

Two years before Run, Buddy, Run, Jack Sheldon, noted jazz musician and actor, tried his hand at stand-up comedy. Sheldon was among the ensemble appearing on the unsold pilot, The Nut House, which came from the twisted imagination of Jay Ward (Rocky & His Friends).

We'll talk more about The Nut House over at The Land of Whatever another time, but right now, let's check out the comedy stylings of Jack Sheldon as he spins the tale of "The Falcon".

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Looney TV: Bugs Bunny shills for Dr. Pepper (1979)

Dr. Pepper pitchman David Naughton is limited to a cameo in this spot. Not sure who the African-American actor is who is starring. Could be an early appearance by either T. K. Carter (later of Good Morning, Miss Bliss and other shows) or Arsenio Hall, but can't get a make. Anyway, Bugs Bunny (Mel Blanc) makes a cameo as well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Teenage Toons: The Wonder Twins in Initiation (1977)

This is one of the Wonder Twins shorts that would later be altered by [adult swim] for their own attempt at comedy. Here's "Initiation".



Hokey, but, just the same, it's short and sweet.

Rating: B-.

Getting Schooled: Remember the Teachers' Guide to Television? (1979)

Back in 1979, NBC ran this PSA, presumably during primetime. Peter Thomas narrates.



Now, don't ya think they could still do something like this today?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Space Ace (1984)

In season 2 of Saturday Supercade, Ruby-Spears dismissed three of the regular features, and brought in adaptations of Kangaroo and our next entry, Space Ace.

Not to be confused with the human leader of Astro & The Space Mutts three years earlier, this Ace (Jim Piper) suffers from the same kind of malady as was seen in the live-action Big John, Little John in the 70's. At the most inconvienent times, due to being exposed to an Infanto-ray, Ace morphs into a young boy named Dexter (Sparky Marcus), which frustrates Officer Kimberly (Nancy Cartwright, in one of her earliest toon roles).

The concept of the Space Ace video game came from veteran animator Don Bluth, whose other video game, Dragon's Lair, was also adapted for television by Ruby-Spears, albeit for ABC, but also lasted one season.

Right now, let's take a look at "Dangerous Decoy":



In recent years, Space Ace had been used as filler between shows on Cartoon Network & Boomerang, but currently sits in CN's vaults. Maybe it's just as well. There was a reason Big John, Little John failed, too.

Rating: C.