Saturday, September 28, 2019

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Waldo Kitty as Robin Cat (1975)

It's too bad Filmation never got to do a Robin Hood cartoon. The closest they came to it was this offering from The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty, in which Waldo (Howard Morris) imagines himself as Robin Cat.

Why am I not surprised that Prince John (or, King John, as depicted here) was presented as a pig?

Rating: B-.

You Know The Voices: Shari Lewis & Ted Knight (1975)

You know about Shari Lewis' best known puppets, Lamb Chop & Charlie Horse, and we'll see plenty of them down the road.

This clip, though, comes from an awards show of some kind in either the 70's or 80's, not sure which, as Shari introduces Baby to her audience, after Shari, in turn, was introduced by Ted Knight. Again, I'm not sure of the exact date of this clip, as this was probably during Ted's Emmy award winning run on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Shari passed away 21 years ago. Talent like this, however, is eternal.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: CMDF vs. The Atomic Invaders (Fantastic Voyage, 1968)

It's been a couple of years since we last looked at Fantastic Voyage, so we'll take a trip with the Computer Miniaturized Defense Force (CMDF).

Miniature aliens are the problem here, targeting nuclear reactors, in "The Atomic Invaders":

Rating: B.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

You Know The Voice: Bill Woodson (1966)

We had Bill Woodson's appearances on F-Troop, but WB put in a copyright claim with Dailymotion, so they were deleted.

What we're finding out, though, is that Bill did some other face acting. Here, from season 5 of The Lucy Show, Bill enters the picture around the 8 minute mark to introduce Lucy (Lucille Ball, of course) and Carol Burnett's cabaret act at a Palm Springs golf tournament, which is meant to be an analogue for some of the Pro-Am tournaments the PGA had back in the day.

Lucy & Carol did some specials together for CBS while Carol's variety show was still on the air, if memory serves me correctly. We'll check Bill's IMDB chart for other face acting jobs in the meantime.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Toonfomercial: Green Giant's LeSueur vegetables (1975)

We've mentioned that Green Giant (now made by B & G Foods) had a sister brand, LeSueur, named for the vegetable company's hometown in Wisconsin.

Here, Little Sprout's ready to go fishing in this 1975 spot, but a new product arrives before he can even leave the valley. John Erwin is the narrator. Other voices include Paul Frees (naturally) and Ike Eisenmann ("Escape to Witch Mountain").

It Should've Been on a Saturday: The Soupy Sales Show (NYC version, 1965)

New York was blessed with some very gifted kids show hosts back in the day, well before cable television came to the home district. Chuck McCann. Sandy Becker. "Officer" Joe Bolton.

And, then, there is Soupy Sales.

Soupy brought his act from Ohio to New York in the mid-60's, and landed at WNEW (now WNYW). Yes, the puppet characters, such as Pookie the Lion, who will be prominently featured in the following sampler, came with him, but at WNEW, Soupy was working with a new puppeteer, Frank Nastasi, rather than Clyde Adler, who would reunite with Sales 13 years later for a revival, based in Los Angeles, and later syndicated.

In between, Soupy finally landed a Saturday morning gig as a game show host, emceeing ABC's Junior Almost Anything Goes, but it was at a time when local affiliates blacked out network programming at noon (ET) in favor of more profitable syndicated programming.

One unfortunate hallmark of Soupy's run at WNEW was the infamous New Year's Day stunt where he asked his young audience to send him money from their parents' wallets. Yes, he did get in hot water over that.

As we've already seen, Soupy spent the 70's well versed in game shows, usually on What's My Line? and the various incarnations of The ------ Pyramid with Dick Clark.

Let's go back to 1965.

In recent years, reruns have aired on Jewish Life TV (check listings) of both of Soupy's shows from the 60's & 70's.

Rating: A.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Game Time: A different kind of Pyramid (The New Soupy Sales Show, 1978-9)

Soupy Sales was one of the all-time great game players, appearing frequently on What's My Line?, Hollywood Squares, and The $10 (20/25),000 Pyramid.

When Sales was given his own daily TV show again, this time in syndication, he worked out a deal to do a skit based on the then-$20,000 Pyramid, with Pookie the Lion (voice of Clyde Adler) as a contestant. Host Dick Clark is the guest.

We'll have a review of The New Soupy Sales Show in detail another day.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Toonfomercial: I've heard of making your jeans talk, but this is ridiculous (1977)

Somehow, I never saw this when it first came out in 1977, but Levi's came up with this cute little spot. Voices include Paul Frees (who else?).

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

From Comics to Toons: Baby Huey in Huey's 1st Haircut (1995)

When The Baby Huey Show returned for a 2nd season in 1995, some changes were made. Carbunkle Animation, which also worked on Ren & Stimpy, was swapped out in favor of Film Roman, which was producing its own shows in addition to doing animation for Matt Groening's Fox hit, The Simpsons. Also, Sid Raymond, Huey's original portrayer, was let go, in favor of Joe Alaskey. The Watervliet native is heard in "Huey's 1st Haircut":

The fox was meant to be Huey's nemesis, but was just another bumbling loser.

Rating: B.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Saturday School: Smoke Gets in Your Hair (Fat Albert, 1976)

Fat Albert might come across as a self-appointed moral monitor for his friends, but who else is going to keep the rest of the Cosby Kids in line, anyway?

As Rudy discovers, taking up smoking so early isn't really the smartest of moves, a lesson that Wambly learns the hard way, seeing that his father is also risking his health. Here's "Smoke Gets in Your Hair":

Here, at least, Ericka Scheimer is credited as Ericka Carroll. Michael Lee Gray, not to be confused with Shazam! star Michael Gray, is the singing voice of Fat Albert.

Rating: B.

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: Baby Hold On (1977)

From The Midnight Special:

Eddie Money performs "Baby Hold On", with an introduction by Columbia stablemate Steve Perry of Journey.

In memory of Money, who passed away Friday.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Game Time: "Colonel Klink" (& friends) meets the Lone Ranger! (What's My Line?, 1970)

Hogan's Heroes was entering its final season when Werner Klemperer (Col. Wilhelm Klink) was invited to spend a week on What's My Line? as a panelist. Co-star Bob Crane had already been on the show after Line went into syndication a couple of years earlier. In fact, Klemperer is seated in the same spot that Crane had.

In the first of two mystery guest games, Clayton Moore, the definitive Lone Ranger, challenges Klemperer and the rest of the panel (Anita Gillette and regulars Arlene Francis & Soupy Sales):

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: For Once in my Life (1969)

On the same day that CBS debuted its new Saturday morning slate, delayed a week due to the US Open tennis tournament, a tradition that would continue into the 90's at least, American Bandstand dedicated an episode to Stevie Wonder, who opens the show with "For Once in my Life", which charted in the winter of 1968-9.

The clip, in black & white, comes from VH1's Best of American Bandstand:

Friday, September 13, 2019

Getting Schooled: Baby Huey in Pest Pupil (1957)

Baby Huey does the impossible in "Pest Pupil", a 1957 short. You'll see what I mean.......

Like, really?

Rating: C.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Toon Rock: The Touch (1986)

Singer-songwriter Stan Bush intended for "The Touch" to be used in Sylvester Stallone's 1986 film, "Cobra", but it wasn't used. However, it did make its way into another film that same year, the feature film debut of The Transformers, which was released two weeks before Christmas.

"The Touch" was resurrected last year for the "Bumblebee" soundtrack.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Toonfomercial: Singing mini-wheats? (2009)

Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats celebrates 50 years this year, but Kellogg's is kinda downplaying it.

Ten years ago, the company was producing Strawberry Mini-Wheats. Seems this spot was produced in, like, Canada, eh?

Like, it never played here in the US, eh, so this is new to you, eh?

You Know The Voice: Grace Stafford Lantz (1963)

I just couldn't pass this one up.

Grace Stafford Lantz, wife of Walter Lantz, and the voice of Woody Woodpecker for a number of years, appeared on What's My Line? in 1963. Fittingly, then, Kellogg's, for which Woody did a few commercials in the 60's, is this episode's sponsor.

Grace appears around the 11 1/2 minute mark, signing under her maiden name.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Toonfomercial: A different kind of Quick Draw McGraw ad (1959)

60 years ago, Quick Draw McGraw made his debut, with his show sponsored by Kellogg's. In this in-show spot, a young child and his father, off-camera, discuss Quick Draw, Baba Looey, and Sugar Smacks cereal. Barney Phillips (ex-Dragnet), who'd later work for H-B (1967-9), voices the father. Not sure about the kid.

Toons After Dark: No Man's Valley (1981)

In the 70's, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax presented viewers with a viewpoint on the environment.

In 1981, Lee Mendelson & Bill Melendez, known for the Peanuts & Garfield specials, took on the task of addressing the issue of endangered species with No Man's Valley, which, unfortunately, hasn't been seen on network television since its lone airing on CBS in 1981. Mendelson & Melendez, along with co-director Phil Roman, assembled an all-star cast, including Richard Deacon (ex-The Dick Van Dyke Show, Leave it to Beaver), Arnold Stang (Top Cat), Joe E. Ross (ex-Hong Kong Phooey), Barney Phillips (ex-Shazzan, Dragnet), Henry Corden & John Stephenson (The Flintstone Comedy Show), Hal Smith (ex-The Andy Griffith Show, uncredited), Art Metrano (ex-The Chicago Teddy Bears), Desiree Goyette, who was working on the Garfield specials, and Frank Buxton (ex-Batfink, Discovery) as Eliott, a California condor sent to No Man's Valley to recruit help in saving his species.

To my knowledge, this has not been shown anywhere in 38 years.

Rating: B.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Waldo Kitty as Catzan (1975)

Waldo Kitty (Howard Morris) imagines himself as Catzan in a parody of Tarzan. Morris & Allan Melvin also indulge in doing some impersonations, with Morris doing a Peter Lorre mimic for one villain. Not sure which of them was impersonating Sydney Greenstreet, though......

Catzan? More like a feline George of The Jungle.

Rating: B-.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Getting Schooled: Carrascolendas (1970)

Carrascolendas was produced by a PBS station in Texas, and was distributed not only to PBS stations, but also in syndication, resulting in the series airing in New York first on WNBC, then on WPIX, which is where I found the show back in the day.

As memory serves, during its 'PIX run, Carrascolendas alternated with another bi-lingual children's series, Villa Allegre. Unfortunately, complete episodes of this series are not available on YouTube. As a result, we have this intro from its WNBC run:

This is the sort of programming that should be on the air now, in today's more diverse society.

No rating. Didn't see enough of the show.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Toonfomercial: Pillsbury's brownie mix (1950's)

This next item looks like an in-show ad from the original Mickey Mouse Club, judging from the first few seconds. Apparently, Pillsbury was one of the show's sponsors, and used the opportunity to plug their brownie mix, though they used a different animation house than Disney.

Poppin Fresh would come along a few years later.

Saturtainment: Puttin' on The Hits (1984)

The knock on musicians appearing on variety shows for years was that they often had to lip-sync their performances, probably because they were on tour, and needed to save their voices for the live shows. However, in recent times, it's gotten to the point where some artists actually lip-sync in concert, too, because management has so much invested in them, and....!

For all the complaining and drama from today's fans, there was a time where Joe Average could get up on stage and do it himself. Lip-sync, that is.

Jimmy Fallon's hit series, Lip Sync Battle, airing on the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV), wouldn't be where it is if it wasn't for an 80's series that has spawned other like series, including Battle.

Puttin' on The Hits ran for four seasons (1984-8), co-produced by Dick Clark (American Bandstand) and Chris Bearde (The Gong Show, Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Andy Williams Show, etc.), distributed through MCA, meaning that NBC-Universal and/or Clark's estate owns the show today.

Locally, Hits was slotted after the early evening news on Saturday nights, and was heavily promoted because the show's host, Allen Fawcett, hailed from the 518 (specifically, Burnt Hills). Unfortunately, I'm not sure if there were enough contestants from the home district that got on the show.

Complete episodes are not available, just excerpts, like this one, from the series finale in 1988.

No rating. I didn't see enough of the show due to other commitments on Saturdays, including summer reruns.

Monday, September 2, 2019

From Comics to Toons: Hard Hat Huey (1994)

Baby Huey, depending on how his age translates to human years, may just be the youngest employee in history. Here's "Hard Hat Huey":

I'd imagine Huey would have to wait a few years before getting another job.

Rating: B-.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

On The Air: She-Ra & The Princesses of Power (2018)

In 1985, Filmation & Mattel introduced She-Ra, Princess of Power as a companion series to He-Man & The Masters of The Universe, which had actually ended production, though He-Man himself would be a recurring player in the new series.

When He-Man was revived on two occasions, She-Ra didn't return with him, though there were plans to bring her back had the 2002 Cartoon Network series been renewed for a 3rd season.

What it finally took to take viewers back to the world of Etheria was Lumberjanes creator Noelle Stevenson, who serves as executive producer, writer, and cast member on Netflix's She-Ra & The Princesses of Power. Stevenson has said that she already had 4 13 episode arcs written before the first season dropped last year. Seasons 2 & 3, already available, should actually make up just season 2, but just the same Stevenson is halfway to her goal.

As with the 2002 He-Man. Adora (Aimee Carrero, Elena of Avalor) and the rebels of Bright Moon have been de-aged to teenagers, as has Catra (AJ Michalka, Schooled, The Goldbergs), who was Adora's best friend in the Horde Academy. As was the case in the original series, Adora discovers the truth about Hordak and the Horde, and joins the rebellion.

This trailer for the first season will get you up to speed....

What I don't get is that as She-Ra, Adora grows to 8 feet tall.

SAY WHAT??? It's not quite the same as Billy Batson becoming Shazam and changing from juvenile to adult in the blink of an eye. The height change makes little sense. Stevenson and co-executive producer Chuck Austen, another comics veteran, are looking at making She-Ra larger than life. Literally. In this age of internet shipping, it seems fans are reading more into the friendship of Adora & Catra than there really is. Kind of like Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy, if you get my drift.

The anime-style artwork is influenced by the works of Moebius and Miyazaki. Expect the same when He-Man returns with similar artistic style next year, also on Netflix.

Rating: B.

Tooniversary: Dinosaur Train (2009)

Our featured Famous First for September is for a series marking its 10th anniversary this year.

PBS' Dinosaur Train launched in 2009 after a pilot episode had been presented 18 months earlier. The reason the series has had just 5 seasons over 10 years has to do with the CGI animation needed for the show.

Series creator Craig Bartlett is well versed using animation as a teaching tool. Did the same thing several years earlier with Nickelodeon's Hey, Arnold!. Train is co-produced by the Jim Henson Company, and the late puppeteer was, of course, associated with the long running Sesame Street (turning 50 in November) for many years until his passing.

So, let's not wait any longer. Here's the intro:

Edit, 1/2/21: Have to change the video, hence the intro:

While PBS is waiting for new episodes to arrive, the series can be seen on the PBS Kids channel as well as on the core PBS network.

Rating: A.