Saturday, September 17, 2016

Teenage Toons: Tabitha & Adam & The Clown Family (1972)

From the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie:

Bewitched had ended after 8 seasons, and reruns were airing 5-6 days a week on ABC. Though no longer united under the Columbia tree, Screen Gems & Hanna-Barbera collaborated on an animated spin-off pilot, Tabitha & Adam & the Clown Family, which premiered in December 1972.

The Clown Family, you see, are relatives of the now-teenage Tabitha & Adam Stephens. I'll try to explain the growth spurt shortly. Anyway, I believe this was meant to be a pilot for a series, but it just didn't pan out. As we all know, Tabitha & Adam would experience another growth spurt a few years later............

We've previously featured the Clown Family's "Love The World", but right now, scope the complete episode. The first 8 minutes or so are replayed after the closing credits. Don't ask why.



Gene Andrusco was also working on another 1972 frosh, The Amazing Chan & The Chan Clan, over at CBS, and it certainly sounds like Austin Roberts, using the faux-British accent he created in recording songs for Scooby-Doo two years earlier, was the uncredited vocalist, a couple of years before he'd finally hit the charts with "Rocky".

Anyway, let me try to explain the growth spurt of Tabitha and Adam. My theory is built around Marvel Comics' concept of time for some, if not all, of their characters. Bear in mind that Tabitha & Adam were not yet 10 years old when Bewitched ended a few months prior to Clown Family. Let's assume that from the point where Tabitha debuted, the series covered about one day in her life per episode, and the same would apply to Adam a couple of years later. To try to explain how they would add another 10+ years four years later in the initial Tabitha pilot is a little more difficult. The familiar voices heard in this show include Paul Winchell, John Stephenson, and Len Weinrib.

No rating.

4 comments:

Silverstar said...

I had heard and read about this special, but I'd never seen it before now. Yeah, this had all the eye-marks of a pilot which was never greenlit into a series.

Naturally, this being the early 70's, the Clown kids also had a rock band. I think toons in the 70's were just issued bubblegum rock instruments, like those sample packs of liquid detergent we suburbanites get in the mail.

But Aunt Georgia and the Clown family don't know that Tabitha and Adam are witches? Really? They've got a warlock on their tails; you'd think they'd have been able to entrust them with their secret, if no one else. If ya can't trust circus folk, who can ya trust?


hobbyfan said...

What H-B was doing was trying to counter the Archies as much as possible, despite getting a license from Archie for Josie & the Pussycats. Banana Splits. Cattanooga Cats. Chan Clan. Butch Cassidy. It was all about getting a piece of the pre-fab pop pie.

Too bad Sony hasn't remembered this pilot, else they could reimagine the Clown Family......

Silverstar said...

I may tackle this one on TV Special Showdown somewhere down the line...

hobbyfan said...

Go for it, man. You have my permission to make use of my commentary.