Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tooniversary: Rainbow Brite (1984)

Hallmark, having previously adapted Shirt Tales into an animated series (NBC, 1982-5), followed up by granting a license to DIC to adapt Rainbow Brite into another weekly series, this one as part of the Kideo TV syndicated package. Unfortunately, only 13 episodes were produced, with a feature film, "Rainbow Brite & The Star Stealer", following.

In "Chasing Rainbows", evil Blurky (Peter Cullen) creates a robotic duplicate of Rainbow Brite......



No rating. Never saw the show.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Daytime Heroes: Siegfried & Roy: Masters of The Impossible (1996)

World famous magicians Siegfried & Roy, who had done a children's show in their native Germany in 1994, took a shot at American children's television two years later with a miniseries that aired on Fox.

Siegfried & Roy: Masters of The Impossible didn't last very long. Just one story arc, subtitled, "The Legend of Samoti", and produced by DIC. Unfortunately, there is no record on Wikipedia or any other online source that would suggest the duo actually voiced their animated selves.

I didn't see this when it first aired, so there's no rating. We'll leave you with a sample clip:

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: Breezin' (1976)

You've heard George Benson's instrumental classic, "Breezin'", the title cut from his 1976 album, on the radio over the years. When Benson appeared on The Midnight Special, he was joined by another ace guitarist. Carlos Santana matches jazz licks with Benson here on this rendition of "Breezin'". I'd love to hear Ramsey Lewis queue this up on his radio show, Legends of Jazz. Dig it!

Retro Toy Chest: Remember Tin Can Alley? (1977)

Ideal had the idea of promoting marksmanship for young hunters-in-training with 1977's Tin Can Alley. Who better, then, to promote the product than The Rifleman himself, Chuck Connors.



Funny thing. I never saw the ads when they first came out......

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Coming attractions: Two sets of Teen Titans rumble

This is not what most Teen Titans fans were hoping for.

WB, in an effort to raise more revenue off Chumptoon Network's unfunny Teen Titans Go!, will pit the current team against their predecessors in a DTV due shortly. IGN serves up the trailer:



Only a masochist would want to sit through this. Robert Morse and "Weird" Al Yankovic are among the guest stars. Buy or rent at your own risk if you're not a TTG fan.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Toonfomercial: Snap, Crackle, & Pop go through the looking glass (1973)

Lewis Carroll never imagined this scenario.

Snap, Crackle, & Pop, the Rice Krispies elves, pop through the looking glass to offer the cereal to the cast of Alice in Wonderland in this 1973 offering. Paul Winchell voices the Mad Hatter.



Silly. That's all it is.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Toon Rock: Long Eared Drifter (2013)

From season 2 of The Looney Tunes Show:

Actor Damon Jones, who provided the singing voices for some of the characters on the show, spins the yarn of a stranger (Bugs Bunny) who rides into town on a mission to promote healthy food........



Lola never looked hotter.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Coming Attractions: Scooby-Doo & Guess Who? revisits the Scooby-Doo Movies concept

"Guess who's back?
Back again!
Scooby's Back!
Tell a Friend!"

(With apologies to Eminem)

Scooby-Doo returns to action next week in an all-new series airing on Boomerang. That's the good news. The bad? Scooby-Doo & Guess Who? is ticketed for the network's streaming service. and likely won't air on over-the-air television.

That sucks.

Scooby-Doo & Guess Who? revisits the format of the 1972-4 New Scooby-Doo Movies, but in a more compact format. 13 episodes have been ordered, with the season to run from June 27-September 19. Guest stars already announced include singer Sia, comedians Ricky Gervais & Wanda Sykes, and NBA star Chris Paul. There'll also be a healthy dose of the Justice League, with Wonder Woman and Batman scheduled to appear. The Amazing Amazon appears in the following trailer:



Just so you know, Kevin Conroy will reprise as Batman. The animation looks to be a return to the traditional format, after the last series, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo, bombed out due to audience complaints about the character designs. Hopefully, the writers will have gotten the message and straightened out the character flaws that have infected Fred & Daphne in recent years.

If Chumptoon Network and Boomerang could stop spamming certain shows and open some space on the schedule, then maybe this show has a chance to succeed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Getting Schooled: Captain Lou warns against drugs (1989)

Captain Lou Albano, in partial costume as Mario from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, has a harsh warning for anyone interested in drugs. This goes beyond just saying no.




Monday, June 17, 2019

Summertainment: Baby Huey in Beach Blanket Baby (1994)

This Baby Huey entry sells itself.

Huey and his pop spend a day at the beach, and Huey ends up making friends with the humans. Here's "Beach Blanket Baby":



As silly as it seems. It also reminds me of a Magilla Gorilla short 30 years earlier. Not sure if the show's musical mavens covered the Surfaris' "Wipeout", or they used the original.

Rating: B.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Getting Schooled: Fat Albert in Heads or Tails (1980-4)

Fat Albert tries to warn Weird Harold and the gang about gambling.

Harold gets the gambling fever, and of course falls prey to a scammer by acting as a runner for the bookie. Here's "Heads or Tails":



Originally produced in 1980, this was reissued four years later. Oh, and did you catch that Quackula cameo while Albert was channel-surfing?

Rating: B.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sunday Funnies: Three Stooges in Crime on Their Hands (1948)

The Three Stooges are janitors at a metropolitan newspaper until they convince their boss to let them cover a diamond robbery. The usual chaos erupts in "Crime on Their Hands":



Rating: A.

Saturtainment: Meet the Dilly Sisters (The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, 1968)

The Dilly Sisters appeared a couple of times at least on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour during the first season. All these two ladies did was play acoustic guitars and sing "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay", a vaudeville number that dates back to 1891.

At least Drooper (voice of Allan Melvin) seems to be entertained. Check it.



Sadly, some jerkwad decided to deconstruct the Splits into homicidal killers for a DTV due later this year after a premiere on SyFy. The trailer for that abomination is over at The Land of Whatever, where it belongs.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Saturday School: When I Grow Up (1988)

CBS launched this series of interstitals back in 1988. Somehow, since I only watched Superman as part of the CBS lineup with any regularity, I never saw this until today.

When I Grow Up was CBS' answer to One To Grow On over at NBC, but no celebrities were needed. Instead, CBS went with sponsorship from McDonald's.

SatAMBrainFood offers this sample about a "Toy Maker":



Rating: A.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Looney TV: Dynamite Dance (2019)

Warner Bros. has unleashed a new batch of Looney Tunes shorts during the Annecy festival.

"Dynamite Dance" is a compact summation, if ya will, of Bugs Bunny's classic feud with Elmer Fudd. However, is 92 seconds really enough?



In comparison to recent revivals of Popeye & Woody Woodpecker. this falls closer to Woody's side, even if there is no dialogue this time.

Rating: A.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Game Time: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (2019)

Well, it's here.

As Nickelodeon is reviving some of their classic properties, they also acquired the former Fox series, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, which is being co-produced by Viacom & MGM. Wrestler-actor John Cena takes over as host. I guess original MC Jeff Foxworthy was either off auditioning for Jell-O commercials or teaching Sunday School at the time of the taping.

As with the syndicated version of the series, it's a half-hour instead of a full-hour, but don't despair. If you miss any episode, Nick has it on its YouTube channel, and it'll be available On Demand before long. Of course, Nick will spam each week's episodes on Saturday or Sunday depending on the ratings.

Tonight's opener is on the Nick YouTube channel:



Ok, the Kool-Aid Man entrance was a bit on the hammy side, and Cena's self-written theme song plays as he learns how to walk the runway. I guess he hasn't seen Lacey Evans on Raw or Smackdown acting like a runway model when Vince McMahon can't be bothered to put her in a match on a given night.

Does it live up to the original? Foxworthy could relate better to these kids. Cena's got a ways to go. Watch. He'll open one show with a tray of Jell-O pudding.

Rating: B.

Retro Toy Chest: Hot Wheels Hulks out! (1979)

Mattel latched onto a licensing agreement with Marvel to put the image of the Incredible Hulk on one of their Hot Wheels vehicles. Joseph Cali does the shilling.



Hulk, of course, was hot at the time with his CBS live-action series on the air.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

You Know The Voice: Mel Blanc (1960)

In 1960, Mel Blanc was all over the dial. No, really.

In addition to The Flintstones & The Bugs Bunny Show airing on ABC in primetime, Blanc was still making  appearances on The Jack Benny Program, and that led to his being cast as a salesman in an episode of Jess Oppenheimer's Angel, which, like Benny, aired on CBS.

This video also appears at The Land of Whatever:




Thursday, June 6, 2019

Game Time: The Bradys play Remote Control (1989)

Three months before The Bradys brought Sherwood Schwartz's famous family back to Friday nights, three of the now-grown-up Brady Kids played a game of Remote Control in the series' syndicated premiere. Barry Williams (Greg), Eve Plumb (Jan), & Susan Olsen (Cindy) play for charity.

Susan would later partner with Control host Ken Ober as a morning drive radio team in LA post-Control.



SO not digging John Ten Eyck's attempt at impersonating Casey Kasem. Alicia Coppola took over reading the fee plugs at the end of the show, at least for this episode, probably to save Colin Quinn from laryngitis.

Rating: B.

Toon Rock: Can You Feel The Love Tonight? (1994)

25 years ago, Disney's "The Lion King" charmed audiences, and became a franchise, spawning a sequel and a prequel, and two spin-off series, the most recent of which, The Lion Guard, is I believe still airing on Disney Junior.

What helped the movie succeed at the box office as much as the story itself was the soundtrack composed by Tony Award winner Tim Rice and Grammy winner Elton John, who each added an Oscar for "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" the following winter.



Next month, a CGI remake of "The Lion King" hits theatres, with James Earl Jones the only cast member returning from the original, now joined by Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and Beyonce.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

You Know The Voice: Hal Smith (1977)

Hal Smith (Davey & Goliath) was doing a lot more live-action work in the 70's. He appeared in one of the Afterschool Specials that introduced Timer, for example.

Here, though, Hal appears on Redd Foxx's short-lived ABC variety show in 1977, playing a talent agent, I think, who brings along beer salesman Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. (Bill Saluga). Billy Barty, one of the busiest men in Hollywood at the time, is along for the ride as Raymond's sort-of Mini-Me, well before that name was coined by Mike Myers for Verne Troyer's character in the "Austin Powers" movies.

This clip is also at The Land of Whatever:




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: Sister Golden Hair (1980)

America's brooding "Sister Golden Hair" was released in 1975. By 1980, Dan Peek had left the group to reinvent himself as a Christian singer. Gerry Beckley & Dewey Bunnell soldiered on with a touring band behind them.

From October 1980, here's "Sister Golden Hair":




Saturtainment: Collision of The Aquarius (Sealab 2020, 1972)

A malfunctioning sub crashes into the Challenger Seamount, forcing the inhabitants of Sealab 2020 to evacauate. Captain Mike Murphy (John Stephenson) takes point on this mission, especially considering it involves a man from his past with a grudge.

Edit, 3/15/22: The episode has been deleted. In its place is a title card for the show:


A commentator on YouTube and animesuperhero.com believes Stephenson was also the voice of Captain Glenn Morton. I don't think so. It might have been Ross Martin essaying a dual role, or someone was brought in, uncredited, like Marvin Miller, who otherwise never did any credited work for Hanna-Barbera in his long career.

30 years later, [adult swim] adapted this episode into the Sealab 2021, "7211".

Rating: A.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Game Time: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (2007)

In 2007, adults were challenged to prove their intelligence opposite a group of kids on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, which spent two years on Fox, then two more in syndication, before being put to bed.

Now, however, the series is making a comeback, without original host Jeff Foxworthy.

You probably know by now that Nickelodeon has acquired the rights to the series, and the new version, hosted by wrestler-actor-rapper John Cena ("Bumblebee"), launches June 10 as a nightly series. Cena, who has hosted the Kids Choice Awards, and has made some movies and guest appearances on Nick shows, doubles as an executive producer.

To give you some idea of how the game is played, here's a sample from Foxworthy's run, with special guests Drew & Nick Lachey.



That Cena is hosting probably shouldn't surprise anyone that knows about the past association between the show & WWE.

Rating: A.

Sunday Funnies: Would a log ever be a child's toy? Of course not! (1991)

From season 1 of The Ren & Stimpy Show comes a parody of those famous Slinky commercials. Here, a child's idea of a toy is a log......



The sad part about the show is, if you believe Wikipedia, new episodes only aired every other week at first, which makes little sense, especially considering it was placed in a mid-morning berth. If someone can clarify all this, I'd appreciate it.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Famous First Episodes: Godzilla in The Firebird (1978)

In 1978, NBC & Hanna-Barbera decided to try something bold. The studio acquired a license to adapt Godzilla into a weekly animated series, as Rankin-Bass did for ABC with King Kong 12 years earlier.

In the opener, Godzilla (vocal effects by Ted Cassidy) faces off with "The Firebird":



With a new Godzilla movie in theatres, I thought this would be appropriate for June.

Rating: B.