Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The All New Popeye Hour (1978)

Having lost the top spot in the Saturday morning ratings race to ABC, CBS needed an extra tentpole for their lineup, backing up Tarzan & the Super 7, which merged Tarzan with New Adventures of Batman and tacked on some additional segments.

Hanna-Barbera, which shared a license for the Caped Crusader with Filmation, came to the rescue, acquiring a license for another cartoon hero, Popeye, who was given a 1 hour show of his own in 1978. The format was similar to the All New Super Friends Hour the previous year over at ABC, but with 2 backup features:

Dinky Dog (previously reviewed), about an oversized pooch and his beleagured owners.
Popeye's Treasure Hunt, which has Popeye (Jack Mercer) & Bluto (Allan Melvin, ex-All In The Family) competing to find hidden fortunes across the globe.

In addition, there were the predictable health & safety tips, and 3 "regular" Popeye shorts. Here's the intro, uploaded by Muttley16:

Like Tom & Jerry three years earlier, Popeye & Bluto were more frenemies in this series, something that happened from time to time in the classic shorts, since both had served in the Navy. The anti-violence regulations in effect at the time had an adverse effect on this series, of course, as Popeye & Bluto couldn't directly assault each other, using various alternate means of combat.

After three seasons, the series was rechristened, The Popeye & Olive Comedy Show, buried at the bottom of CBS' lineup, and, sadly, things went from bad to worse. We've previously documented Olive & Alice the Goon's misadventures in the Army, one of the worst ideas, at least in execution, in history.

After 5 seasons, Popeye was shipped out, but would return a few years later, in Popeye & Son, which wasn't quite as successful, lasting but one year.

Rating: B.


Dennis Tamayo said...

I watched that show on Cartoon Network as a kid between the age of 7 & 11 years old.

hobbyfan said...

And how did you like it?

Dennis Tamayo said...

I still watched it in 2006.

hobbyfan said...

That doesn't answer the question. What did you think of it?