And climb the stairs to the beach...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Morning Cartoons

I hate to admit it, but TV was still in it's infancy or at least it's toddlerhood when I was a kid. We had our select shows, of course, but there were few to pick from and TV was not on 24/7 like it is today.

Watching the test pattern while we waited for our cartoons to start on Saturday mornings with a bowl of Sugar Krinkles and a jelly glass of milk on the coffee table is a memory that my kids won't ever have.
Typical of the jelly glasses we had that predated the Flinstone glasses.
My all time favorite cereal.
Saturday mornings were some of the few times we were allowed to eat in the living room by ourselves while our parents slept in a little.

Our cartoons were often in black and white until I'd say 1960 or so. But we didn't really care. They were cartoons! But, there were some disturbing characters in some of those old cartoons. Merrie Melodies cartoons had almost all animal characters, almost never people. There were cows and pigs and cats and dogs all dressed like people, pushing baby carriages, going to ball games. But no people!
The cigar-smoking policeman was always a bulldog. The "people" he interacted with usually wound up being hit over the head with the nightstick he wielded.

Merrie Melodies also had Porky Pig, who I did like, although he never wore pants and his stutter was frustrating, but fun to imitate.  I never liked Daffy Duck or Sylvester. I hated how they spit when they talked and they were infuriatingly dumb and often dethpicable. And again, no pants. Tweety was really just a little wise guy who I didnt like either, but I always wanted to like him.  Bugs Bunny was  also a wise guy whose constant tormenting of Elmer Fudd bothered me and wasn't really funny. Hey, wait a minute! Elmer was a person. I guess there are exceptions to every rule. I did like Elmer.  

But some of the more contemporary cartoons that never really became classics, were some of my favorites.  I never really liked Rocky and Bullwinkle, especially Boris and Natasha, but I watched the show because Mr. Peabody and Sherman were on that program. Mr. Peabody was a dog, who wore horn rimmed glasses and a bow tie and walked on all fours. He and his "boy" Sherman, who also wore horn rimmed glasses went on journeys back in time to historical events in the "Way-back" machine that Mr. Peabody had invented.

There would always be something amiss when they arrived at the historical event. Perhaps Nero wasn't fiddling, instead he was playing a drum, or something along those lines. But they'd figure out a way to fix things so history was corrected. At the end of each cartoon Mr. Peabody made some stupid pun about the historical event like Custer's Last Stand really being a hot dog stand. Then Sherman would end the episode by rolling his eyes in annoyance and saying "Oh, Mr. Peabody." Maybe you had to be there, but some of them were very funny.

Then there was Tooter Turtle and Mr. Wizard, a lizard. They had some sort of time machine, too, and at the end of his visit back in time, Tooter would always be in some kind of trouble and Mr. Wizard would have to quickly bring him back. Then Tooter would be swirling around in a spiral, tornado thing and Mr. Wizard would say. "Twizzle, Twazzle, Twuzzle, Twome. Time for this one to come home."

Why do I remember this? I actually find myself reciting that little rhyme sometimes when it's time for me to leave. Nobody, I mean nobody, ever gets that reference. I can't understand it! I loved that one and don't know why it wasn't ever a classic!

And a little later in my cartoon watching career, there was Clyde Crashcup with his assistant Leonardo who never said anything, except when he whispered into Clyde's ear. He was the Penn of the 1960s. (Or was he Teller? I never know which one is which.) But Clyde was some sort of scientist and had a very distinctive voice, sort of  a low Pee-Wee Hermany sort of voice, with a very professorial tone.

His experiments were usually failures, but he could draw things and they would become real. If he needed a door to go through, he'd draw one and step through it. It was very cool and I always thought quite funny.

These  cartoon duos seem to have held some sort of attraction for me. Maybe it was just that for the most part they were people, not animals in drag. Be that as it may, I wonder if today's kids ever watch the cartoons we watched? Probably not. They weren't very sophisticated and they have so many more to choose from than we did. After all, Sponge Bob does wear pants.

Well, "Twizzle, Twazzle, Twuzzle. Twome. Time for this one to go home." Or at least time to get another cup of coffee and start my day.

Have a great Saturday morning everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I was doing a search on the Big Chief Test Pattern to find a t-shirt of that graphic and happened upon your musings. It seems like we were becoming conscious at just about the same time. You may be about 18 months ahead of me because my sister has the more detailed memories like yours. Mine are just kind of blurred sequences of happenings, but I loved the cartoons. Remember the dog "Snuffles" who would go into fits of hugging himself if he got a bone? I think it was on the third hug that he would hug himself straight up, then slowly drift back to the planet. Anyway, I just love your site. I haven't had time to get through it all, but I've added you to my bookmarks, so I'll be back. Do you remember Captain Kangaroo? If so, do you remember the Banana Man? I've only met two people in my adult life who do, but that keeps me from thinking I'm a little mad. If you feel like it, drop me a line at I'm not a creep or a stalker, just a 65-year old looking for someone who remembers the Banana Man! :-) Thanks for the memories!


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