Thursday, January 6, 2011

Toon Sports: Peter Puck (1974)

During their first go-round with the National Hockey League, NBC decided to spice up between-periods coverage by adding an animated instructional feature to school younger viewers on the game. Hanna-Barbera introduced Peter Puck to audiences in 1974, with actor Ronnie Schell (ex-Gomer Pyle, USMC) as the voice of Peter. In this sample clip, Peter talks about the rules of the game.

Traditionally, the networks would air hockey on Sundays during the winter, and NBC had picked up the rights to NHL hockey from CBS. Meanwhile, Peter also appeared on Hockey Night in Canada, and in recent times, a new set of shorts with Peter have been produced, this time with Peter interacting with current stars like Sidney Crosby. In addition the current Peter is a CGI creation, with a different actor providing the voice. Since NBC has aired NHL playoff games on Saturdays as well over the years (and so did CBS before them, and ABC after), Peter Puck merits inclusion in our archives.

Rating: B.

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