Thursday, May 31, 2018

Getting Schooled: Fat Albert in Faking The Grade (1985)

College students had their final exams earlier this month. Locally, so did a private academy, such as LaSalle Institute. Other schools will have finals in a couple of weeks. Fittingly, then, we present an object lesson, courtesy of Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids.

Dumb Donald (Lou Scheimer, who went uncredited throughout the series' 13 year run as a voice actor, only taking credit as a producer) learns that his grades are failing, and he needs to man up to score a passing grade on his finals, otherwise, he'll be left back and won't advance with the gang. A slimy older student tries to convince Donald that everything will be okay if he's "Faking The Grade":



Ironically, this episode premiered in July 1985, after the school year had ended. Go figure.

Rating: A.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On The Air: Dallas & Robo (2018)

Debuting today on YouTube Red is Dallas & Robo, a warped sci-fi cartoon, and I do mean warped.

Dallas Moonshiner (Kat Dennings, ex-2 Broke Girls, who's also a producer) is a former stock car racer who now travels the galaxy with an AI with the soul of a poet, or he claims (John Cena, Total Bellas, American Grit, etc.). The all-star cast also includes Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night), Stephen Root, Clancy Brown, and Milana Vayntrub (Lily from the AT&T commercials).

The opener was posted on Reddit earlier, and is sanitized for your protection:



Cena doubles as an executive producer, but his performance resembles an average night for him in WWE. The mix of flash animation & CGI only works to a fault. I think series creator Mike Roberts might've wanted to pitch this to [adult swim], but may have been turned down, and YouTube offered him a slot on their Red channel.

Rating: B--.

Saturtainment: Tom & Jerry in Farewell, Sweet Mouse (1980)

You probably know that Cartoon Network & Boomerang have some of the shorts from the 1980 Tom & Jerry Cartoon Show in their rotation. Here's one of the better entries in the series.

A leaky roof creates issues for the boys in "Farewell, Sweet Mouse":



Yes, some of the gags were recycled from the old classics, but this was a trip. Oh, by the way, co-producer Lou Scheimer, I believe, is the DJ.

Rating: A.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Toon Legends: Woody Woodpecker in The Screwball (1943)

Woody Woodpecker takes his turn at-bat skewering baseball in 1943's "The Screwball".



Director Alex Lovy would leave Universal soon after, only to return in 1955, but might be better known for his later work in television at Hanna-Barbera.

Rating: A.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rein-Toon-Ation: The Chopper Bunch (2001)

While Wheelie & The Chopper Bunch marks its 45th anniversary next year, Cartoon Network, three years prior to the series' 30th anniversary, commissioned a Web Premiere Toon that featured the Chopper Bunch, but no sign of Wheelie or his gal, Rota.

Unfortunately, the only YouTube copy available was recorded off a camera phone. Scope it.

Edit, 2/25/20: The video was deleted by YouTube. No other copies are available.

Given what little time they had, there wasn't really enough time to really send up Japanese anime as they intended. Then, there's the fact that Scrambles, the weakest member of the Bunch, gets to be a hero? Crazy, man.

Rating: B-.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Family Toons: The Runaway Horse (These Are The Days, 1974)

These Are The Days was part of a freshman class from Hanna-Barbera sold to ABC in 1974, along with Devlin, Hong Kong Phooey, & the live-action Korg: 70,000 B. C.. Unfortunately, a lot of folks, especially in my market, didn't see the show due to the local affiliate blacking it out in favor of syndicated programming.

However, as the series approaches its 45th anniversary next year, episodes are finally available on YouTube. With the Belmont Stakes two weeks away as I write, why not take a look at "The Runaway Horse", in which Ben Day (Andrew Parks) corrals the title animal, and has to sweat out a waiting period before claiming the horse as his own. In the interim, he's talked into entering the horse, christened Pegasus, in a race at the county fair.

Voice talent in the series also includes Jackie Earle Haley (also heard on CBS' Valley of The Dinosaurs), June Lockhart (ex-Lassie, Lost in Space, Petticoat Junction), Pamelyn Ferdin, Frank Cady (ex-Petticoat Junction, Green Acres), Micky Dolenz (Devlin), William Schallert (ex-The Patty Duke Show), and H-B regulars Janet Waldo, John Stephenson, Don Messick, and Henry Corden.



Now, doesn't it come as unsurprising that Pegasus' former owner saw an opportunity to reclaim it after all the abuse he heaped prompted the horse to run away in the first place? As Ben became obsessed with Pegasus, the previous owner had a different, less ethical obsession.

Had ABC seen fit to air the show at an earlier air time, this might've had a better chance of succeeding. As it is, four episodes were held back until the following season, as only 12 of the 16 episodes produced actually aired, with the remaining four making up season 2.

Rating: B.

Daytime Heroes: The Copy Cat Caper (The Dick Tracy Show, 1961)

Today, he is derided as a negative stereotype, but Go Go Gomez (Paul Frees) was a regular part of UPA's syndicated Dick Tracy Show in 1961. As this clip shows, this was reissued in 1989, ahead of Warren Beatty's live-action adaptation of Dick Tracy.

In "The Copy Cat Caper", Gomez is sent to track down Sketch Paree and the Mole, who are using a Tracy Halloween mask to pull bank robberies. But, first, a Crimestopper tip from Tracy (Everett Sloane).



Go Go was also UPA's answer to Speedy Gonzales, but not as funny.

Rating: B-.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

You Know The Voice: Louise "Liberty" Williams (1973)

Let's try this one again.

From season 4 of The Mary Tyler Moore Show:

Mary heads to New York with bestie Rhoda Morganstern (Valerie Harper) for the wedding of Rhoda's younger sister, Debbie (Louise "Liberty" Williams), who's only 21. Debbie falls into the category of forgotten siblings because she was never heard from again, and when Rhoda was spun off into her own series, she was given another sister, Brenda (Julie Kavner, currently on The Simpsons). Nancy Walker (McMillian & Wife) & Harold Gould play Ida & Martin Morganstern. Brett Somers (Match Game) also guest stars in "Rhoda's Sister Gets Married":



I think Debbie's parting gifts included a case of Bounty paper towels, which Nancy Walker was shilling for back in those days.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Getting Schooled: Fat Albert in Mainstream (1979)

You might want to fast forward past Brown Hornet for this installment of Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids.

I think it's fair to assume that Dennis, the gang's new classmate, would be diagnosed today as being autistic or having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), as the word "retarded" is no longer acceptable.

As for Brown Hornet, the never ending serial was on fumes by this point. This episode was first broadcast in 1979, but the wraparound open & close is for the 1984 syndicated series.



Brown Hornet gets a C.

The episode itself is a B-.

Animated World of DC Comics: DC Super Hero Girls finally comes to Cartoon Network

After being available only online and On Demand since their launch a couple of years ago, Cartoon Network is welcoming DC Super Hero Girls in an all new series coming later this year or next year.

Lauren Faust, whose resume includes Powerpuff Girls and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is on board as a show-runner. No firm premiere date has been set as of press time. To refresh everyone's memory, here's a compilation of season 1 installments, including the opener, which has previously been posted here.



Since then, more DC heroines, including Mera and one of the newest Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz, have been added to the cast. As long as CN doesn't screw around with it, we're fine.

Long as I'm talking news here, there has to be a downside to things.

CN also has green-lit a new Thundercats series. That's the good news. The bad is that it's another lame comedy series in the vein of Teen Titans Go!, but the character designs look more like the work of the Steven Universe crew. Take that however you wish. Thundercats Roar is set for a 2019 debut. Following is a trailer:



Turns out the show will look more like TTG than the above trailer.

Will they never learn?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Toons After Dark: Fred Flintstone as The Dabba Don (Harvey Birdman, Attorney-At-Law, 2002)

The Sopranos was one of the hottest cable shows at the time it was being parodied on Harvey Birdman, Attorney-at-Law during the latter's 1st season.

Fred Flintstone (voiced here by Maurice LaMarche) envisions himself as a Tony Soprano type, and tries to work out a business deal with Harvey (Gary Cole), while Peanut, the former Birdboy, is trying to insinuate himself with "Freddie". Archived footage from The Flintstones is used with new dialogue dubbed over.

Edit, 4/22/2020: The video was deleted. All we have now is this intro to the episode.



Why bring this up? Because [adult swim] is bringing Harvey back from the dead in an all-new special airing later this year. Cole and Stephen Colbert will return. With Colbert a little extra busy these days with the Late Show on CBS, one wonders if he'll promote the special.

One of the better episodes of the series, which from this desk isn't saying much.

Rating: B-.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Looney TV: Hollywood Steps Out (1941-2)

This Merrie Melodies entry, "Hollywood Steps Out", does its share of tweaking the show business elite. The original title card was lost from this print, and that explains the remastered, relatively generic version created two years ago.



Today, you couldn't do anything like this.

Rating: A.

Friday, May 18, 2018

You Know The Voice: Len Weinrib (1964)

From season 1 of Burke's Law:

Len Weinrib makes the first of his two appearances on the series in the episode, "Who Killed What's His Name?". Len plays Cully, a bartender, who provides the detectives with some info on a suspect in a murder case. Len shows up around the 20 minute mark in an episode that also features Dick Clark (American Bandstand) in a rare acting role.



Weinrib & Clark would each return in season 2, but in separate episodes and fresh roles. We had Len's 2nd season appearance before it was taken down, and we're on the hunt for it. As for Dick? Well, if you ask nicely, I'll keep an eye for it. Same goes for episodes with other Archives favorites such as Henry Corden and Jackie Joseph.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tooniversary: A complete episode of the Archie Show (1968)

Here we go with another Archie Show:

First up, Jughead (Howard Morris) decides he & Hot Dog are detectives, after getting a PI kit in the mail. Pity Archie & Reggie (Dallas McKennon & John Erwin). After gathering the pearls from Veronica's broken necklace, Jug mistakes them for thieves, and vice versa.

Then, Reggie's cousin Percy visits. If you thought Reg was a handful.....



Rating: B.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tooniversary: A Little Fairy Tale (1983)

From season 1 of The Littles:

When Henry Bigg's friend, Marie, is threatened with transfer to a private, all-girls school by her father if she comes home with a bad report card, the young woman decides to run away after getting a B and a C in addition to a set of A's. Lucy Little decides to run away, despite getting straight A's on her card, just like Henry. Her goal, however, is to try to encourage Marie to come home.....



Good stuff.

Rating: A.

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Isis meets Bigfoot (?)(1975)

From season 1 of The Secrets of Isis:

Reports of "Bigfoot" prompt Isis (Joanna Cameron) to investigate, only to discover the legendary man-beast isn't around after all. Neil J. Schwartz (Happy Days) and Scott Colomby guest star.



Yep, a tall hermit can be mistaken for a "Bigfoot". Back then, the frenzy over Bigfoot was just ridiculous.

Albert Reed (ex-Chase) played the school principal, but didn't appear in every episode.

Rating: B.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Animated World of DC Comics: Homecoming, part 2 (Teen Titans, 2005)

Let's not waste any time. Here's the conclusion of Teen Titans' 5th season opener, "Homecoming", marking the animated debut of the Doom Patrol.



All in all, it was predictable, and it certainly suggested that this was a backdoor pilot for a possible DP series, but Cartoon Network didn't take a chance. All that was missing was the DP's founder and original leader, Niles Caulder.

In the books, Steve Dayton (Mento) was the adoptive father of Gar Logan, aka Beast Boy, whose other identity hadn't been revealed on this show until this episode. As we've documented, the warped minds behind this series opted to give Gar a more bestial appearance, which hasn't improved much in the six years since Teen Titans Go! launched. If you want the "real" Gar, check out the DC Super Hero Girls shorts available On Demand or online, or the graphic novels in the series from DC.

Rating: B.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Animated World of DC Comics: The Teen Titans meet the Doom Patrol (2005)

Teen Titans kicked off its 5th & final season in 2005 (the five seasons were produced over a 3 year period) by introducing Beast Boy's old team, the Doom Patrol, in the 2-part episode, "Homecoming". Here's part 1:



We'll save the rating for when we present part 2, which will be tomorrow.

So, you might ask, what's the occasion? Well, word just came across the wires earlier today that DC has chosen the Doom Patrol for a live-action series to air on their new DC Universe streaming service, beginning next year. As with the forthcoming Titans live-action series, Doom Patrol is being entrusted to----who else?---Greg Berlanti, as if he doesn't have enough on his plate already. At the rate things are going, Berlanti may as well be offered a stake in the CW, even though he also has shows on NBC (Blindspot, just renewed for a 4th season), Netflix (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, coming soon), Lifetime, and, in the fall, two entries on CBS, in addition to the 2 DCU online entries. Now, that's busy with a capital B.

You Know The Voice(s): Dallas McKennon & Robert Ridgely (1971)

Daniel Boone had been off the air for nearly a year or so by the time this Ford truck ad began airing. Dallas McKennon (Cincinnatus) is featured, along with future 70's icon Pat Morita and Robert Ridgely. Not sure if that's Robert impersonating "The Duke" himself, John Wayne. Anyway, Dal took a break from recording Archie's TV Funnies for this spot.



Not sure if Dallas did any other live-action work after this, or just went back to doing cartoon work.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Isis in The Show-Off (1975)

From season 1 of The Secrets of Isis:

In "The Show-Off", an arrogant student learns a lesson in humility the hard way. First, Isis (Joanna Cameron) rescues him after his ladder breaks. Later, on a Science Club trip, he and some of his classmates, along with teacher Rick Mason (Brian Cutler), are trapped in a cave with an escaped gorilla.



The episode was directed by Arnold Laven, which reunited Laven with one of his former charges at Four Star, producer Arthur H. Nadel. The two previously worked together on The Rifleman years earlier. What I'm not sure of is if it's either Bob Burns (Ghost Busters) or someone like Janos Prohaska (ex-The Andy Williams Show) as the gorilla.

Rating: A-.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Toon Rock: Genius of Love (1981)

The Tom Tom Club was a spin-off from the alternative rock combo, Talking Heads. The husband & wife team of Chris Franz & Tina Weymouth were the core of the band, aided by Tina's sisters and ace guitarist Adrian Belew.

1981's "Genius of Love" was credited with inspiring Heads frontman David Byrne with continuing with the band, as Tom Tom Club released their album in between Heads albums.

Toons You Might've Missed: Aesop's Fables (1971)

Hey, hey, hey! Before he launched Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, Bill Cosby began his association with Filmation with a primetime special, an adaptation of Aesop's Fables.

Cosby has the title role in what appears to be a pilot for another series, this one a collaboration between Filmation and Lorimar. Jerelyn Fields (Curiosity Shop) co-stars, and would return to Filmation 10 years later to work on The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! for NBC.

I should note that Cosby's first project for CBS may have been the TV-movie, "To All My Friends on Shore". I'll have to check that.

Anyway, Filmation regulars Jane Webb, John Erwin, Dallas McKennon, & Larry Storch provide the voices for most of the animated characters, and I'd not be surprised that co-producer Lou Scheimer may have contributed as well, uncredited. Speaking of uncredited, that brings us to the idea that the talking tree's voice may actually have been that of Ted Cassidy, who'd later return to Filmation for a guest gig on Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. Cassidy is not listed on any source guides.







Sounds like Larry Storch is the hare. John Erwin is definitely the fox, as there's no mistaking his voice. The Tortoise & The Hare had been adapted rather loosely for shorter pieces by Warner Bros. (2 Bugs Bunny shorts) and Jay Ward (Aesop & Son), but this may have been one of the more definitive adaptations.

Rating: B.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

From Comics to Toons: The Day The Earth Moved (Archie's Weird Mysteries, 1999)

If you think the "Tremors" movies are wack, you might want to check this episode of Archie's Weird Mysteries.

Archie is forced to carry on a family tradition on the first day of spring, unaware that it has attracted a giant albino worm, which is destroying Riverdale. "The Day The Earth Moved" has no connection with an ABC TV-movie from 25 years earlier.



Rating: B.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Animated World of DC Comics: Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases (Batman: The Brave & The Bold, 2011)

From Batman: The Brave & The Bold:

Bat-Mite makes his first of two appearances in the series, serving as a guest host for a trio of tales as diverse as night & day, hence "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases".

1. In an adaptation of a tale from Mad Magazine, "Batboy & Rubin" (Frank Welker & Jeff Bennett) hunt down a trio of gangs. The twist ending, when I read the original story years earlier, is one you should've seen coming, considering the source. Rubin's mannerisms suggest the tallest "Robin" ever was modeled after Jerry Lewis.

2. The second adaptation comes from a Japanese Bat-manga, as the Dynamic Duo pursue Lord Death Man (Diedrich Bader, normally the voice of Batman on this show).

3. The producers pay homage to Batman & Robin's appearances on The New Scooby-Doo Movies nearly 40 years earlier, by pitting the Caped Crusaders & Mystery, Inc. against the Joker (Corey Burton) and the Penguin (Bennett). Welker fills in as Batman here. Song satirist "Weird" Al Yankovic adds to the fun.

Oh, by the way, Bat-Mite's voice is performed here and in the series finale by Paul Reubens.



We showcased the last segment previously, but now it's time for the whole enchilada.

Rating: B.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Getting Schooled: So Much For So Little (1949)

Chuck Jones' 1949 documentary, "So Much For So Little", earned an Academy Award. Jones also co-wrote the piece with Friz Freleng, though neither are credited for writing. Frank Graham is the narrator in a rare WB cartoon not involving Mel Blanc.



Rating: A.

You Know The Voice(s): Gary Owens & Mako (1966)

In addition to voicing Space Ghost in 1966, Gary Owens also had a recurring role as a TV news anchor on The Green Hornet. Owens was also doing promos for CBS' Saturday lineup, a gig he had at least through the 1969-70 season while also on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and also served as a studio announcer for ABC around this time, often heard doing commercial bumpers for shows such as Bewitched.

In "The Preying Mantis", Owens is heard in 2 segments, but the focus is on the plot itself. Low Sing (Mako) has corrupted a local Chinese tong while in the employ of mobster Duke Slate. The climatic battle between Low Sing and Kato (Bruce Lee) is worth the price of admission alone.



Years later, Mako would endear himself to cartoon fans as the voice of Aku, the big bad of Samurai Jack, but passed away before [adult swim] could revive Jack, which has since concluded its story.

Rating for "The Preying Mantis": A.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Toonfomercial: Remember this ad for Scooby-Doo? (1969)

I think this aired quite a bit during Scooby-Doo's 1st season (1969-70) and the prior summer. Gary Owens (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In), who would also narrate The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, narrates this ad.



To think Scooby turns 50 next year. Zoinks!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Game Time: Double Dare 2000 (2000)

Seven years had passed since Nickelodeon cancelled Double Dare and its clones. At the turn of the millenium, the series was brought back, but Double Dare 2000, which basically was a reboot of Family Double Dare, lasted just 1 season.

Original host Marc Summers had moved on, so comedian Jason Harris was brought in as the new host. As before, the show combines elements of common quizzes, with a heapin' helpin' of Beat The Clock, though sources also cite the Ideal game, Mouse Trap, as an influence.

Here's a sample clip:



Why bring this up? Because, like Clarissa Explains it All, Double Dare is being brought back by Nick, set to air later this summer. No host has yet been announced as of press time.

Rating: A.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Doubling down on the stupidity: The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour (1982)

ABC cancelled Fonz & The Happy Days Gang after 2 seasons, and without a plausible ending to the series. No matter. Fonzie (Henry Winkler) clearly made it home, as he was added to Laverne & Shirley in The Army for its 2nd & final season. Unfortunately, Mr. Cool (Frank Welker) tagged along, if but because Hanna-Barbera, Paramount, & ABC hadn't figured out yet that he was twice as annoying as the poster child for toon apathy in those days, Scrappy-Doo.

Worse, the network commissioned Ruby-Spears to develop an animated version of Mork & Mindy after that series had finished a 4 year run. Taking implausibility to insane proportions, it was decided that Mork (Robin Williams) would go further back in time to when his future wife, Mindy (Pam Dawber), was in high school.

And, if you thought this was crazy, consider that H-B & R-S were also joined together when ABC decided that Scooby & Scrappy-Doo would be paired with The Puppy's Great Adventures for another hour-long block. Don't ya wish they pink slipped the marketing nerds who thought these were great ideas?

Ok, The Mork & Mindy-Laverne & Shirley-Fonz Hour was doomed from the get-go, as whatever magic was generated on Tuesdays (Happy Days & Laverne & Shirley) wasn't there, and Fonzie & Cool were like square pegs in a round hole.

Could this have worked better? Of course, by separating the component parts.

1. You come up with the definitive series finale to Fonz & The Happy Days Gang as part of a TV-movie to set up Fonzie joining Laverne & Shirley on their Saturday show......but not in the Army. Trying to stretch out a 2-part Laverne episode without one of its key ingredients (Vicki Lawrence) didn't work the first time around, and yet it was renewed, probably at the bequest of some know-nothing network suit.

2. The Mork cartoon could've actually been a continuation of the live-action series, with Mork & Mindy married and raising Mearth (Jonathan Winters, who'd later come to work for H-B), and coming up with story ideas that couldn't be used on the parent show. If ABC hadn't figured out that the ratings from the evening shows weren't fully translating on Saturday mornings, why double down on the fool's follies?

Anyway, this video not only includes the open for the block, but bumpers narrated by Winkler & Williams, a network interstital, and two sets of closing credits.



It's like ABC thought that just because Happy Days Gang, a comedy-adventure knockoff of Josie & The Pussycats in Outer Space, was a hit, then adapting the others into animation would work, too. I've heard of being a little slow on the uptake, but this was ridiculous.

Rating: D.

Well, look who's coming back!: Clarissa Explains it All merits a sequel

Sometimes, you can go home again.

More than two decades after the series ended, Nickelodeon is planning on reviving the 1991 sitcom, Clarissa Explains it All, but this time, Clarissa Darling (Melissa Joan Hart) will be a mom herself, and presumably explaining things from her own point of view as before.

Both Hart, who recently finished her last series, Melissa & Joey, and series creator Mitchell Kriegman, are on board for what amounts to a sequel to the previous series. As of this writing, there's no exact timetable for the relaunch to begin. What you probably don't know is that after the series ended, Kriegman wrote a novel, Things I Can't Explain, which was meant at the time to be a coda to the series. Too bad it hasn't already been adapted into a movie, or is that also on Kriegman's & Nickelodeon's plate?

Viewers watched as Melissa Joan Hart grew up before our eyes on Clarissa and the even bigger Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (1996-2003, ABC & WB).

Edit, 1/26/22: Unfortunately, Dailymotion deleted the video. In its place is a title card.



Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Kong: The Animated Series (2000)

Nearly 35 years after his first animated series premiered, King Kong returned, but now in the simpler titled Kong: The Animated Series, which aired initially on Fox for a short time in 2000, then was farmed out to Fox Family (now Freeform), and bounced around after its lone 40 episode season.

This time, Kong is linked cybernetically to a young human, Jason, whose grandmother has invited the lad and his best friend, Tam, to Kong Island. There, Team Kong has to fend off the machinations of greedy Professor Ramone De La Porta. Well, you know how that goes.

Co-executive producer Stephanie Graziano had disbanded Graz Entertainment, and joined forces with a Filipino animation house, among others to develop this series. 2 DTV's came out well after the series ended, intended to cash in on Peter Jackson's reboot of the original 1933 movie.

In the episode, "The Aquanauts", Team Kong travels to Atlantis (!), which is based beneath Scotland (?), while De La Porta takes control of the Loch Ness Monster.



Contrived? Well, somewhat, which is why it ran just 1 season. Impatient Fox suits took the show off the air when the ratings didn't meet expectations.

Rating: B.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Two King Kong adventures (1966)

Time for a trip to Skull Island to visit with King Kong and the Bond family.

In "The Electric Circle", Kong and the Bonds run afoul of an enemy scientist.

In "Mirror of Destruction", Dr. Who, who'd menace Kong again in the live-action movie, "King Kong Escapes" (also co-produced by Rankin-Bass in one of their rare live-action efforts), tries to capture Kong for his own nefarious schemes.

There are also bumpers. Carl Banas is the voice of Professor Bond, with Billie Richards (Rudolph) as Bobby Bond, Kong's sidekick.



In a way, King Kong was posited as ABC & Rankin-Bass' answer to Frankenstein, Jr. over on CBS.

Rating: B.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Toonfomercial: Remember when Scooby-Doo had his own cereal? (2003)

Zoinks! Kellogg's obtained a license in 2003 to produce a Scooby-Doo cereal.

Predictably, Scooby's fractured speech leaves a waitress confused in this spot. Yes, that's Frank Welker and Casey Kasem as Scooby & Shaggy.



Unfortunately, it didn't survive the decade.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Animated World of DC Comics: Shock to The System (Static Shock, 2000)

Our Famous First episode for May is the series premiere of Static Shock, which, over the course of four years, was shuffled in and out of Kids' WB!'s lineup due to the network being committed to anime imports such as Pokemon and having next to no space for "domestic" cartoons to air on a consistent basis. Such was the ratings war between WB & Fox in those days for the kiddo's.

Virgil Hawkins, aka Static (Phil LaMarr, MadTV), is cocky and talkative, just like Spider-Man when he started out nearly 40 years earlier. You think maybe the web-head was an inspiration to the late Dwayne McDuffie, Static's creator? Check out "Shock to The System":

Edit, 6/12/2020: Unfortunately, Dailymotion deleted the episode. In its place is an excerpt picked up from YouTube:



Too bad Chumptoon Network & Boomerang can't be bothered to even schedule this show once in a while.

Rating: A.