June 30, 2020

CARL REINER DEAD AT 98



You can read the full story here.


More known for his various television shows and movies, the legendary funnyman has lent his voice to a few projects. Among them was Prometheus in an episode of Hercules: The Animated Series, Santa Claus in an episode of The Penguins of Madagascar and Shimmer and Shine, Captain Treasure Tooth in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and the wizard Shazam in an episode of Justice League Action.









June 27, 2020

1970s SATURDAY MORNING PREVIEW SPECIALS

Saturday Morning Preview Specials were prime-time showcases for the upcoming Saturday morning season on the networks. They were typically hosted by stars from the network's other shows as well as other celebrity guests, and offered clips from the upcoming programs. Below you will find as many of the previews specials from the 1970s as can be found on the internet at the moment.

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1970s SATURDAY MORNING ADS

            It wasn’t until the late 60s that Saturday mornings were beginning to get into full swing. Content with airing primetime reruns and a few new shows here and there, that all changed in 1966 when CBS revitalized its schedule with an action-heavy slant. When CBS showed massive success, the other networks followed and Saturday morning suddenly became good business. So, how would the networks advertise to their targeted audiences to tune in every week? Simple: advertise in comic books! For almost every Saturday schedule for decades, there was an artfully designed cartoon representing the networks’ schedules in every major publication. They even made sure to cover their bases with ads in TV Guide and newspapers so that parents would be aware shows for their kids would be on.

                Below are some of the ads that ran for the 1970s:


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1979 Saturday Morning club application.

THE NEW FRED AND BARNEY SHOW


THE NEW FRED AND BARNEY SHOW
(NBC, February 3-October 20, 1979)

Hanna-Barbera Productions


MAIN CAST:
Henry Corden – Fred Flintstone
Mel Blanc – Barney Rubble, Dino
Jean Vander Pyl – Wilma Flintstone, Pebbles Flintstone
Gay Autterson – Betty Rubble
Don Messick – Bamm-Bamm Rubble, various
John Stephenson – Mr. Slate, various


For the history of The Flintstones, check out the post here.


            As part of Fred Silverman’s efforts to revitalize the last-place NBC, he decided to bring back some old favorites. One of them was the return to the classic Stone Age sitcom, The Flintstones.

Fred and Barney out for a round of golf.

            The New Fred and Barney Show was a direct continuation of the 1960s series. Pebbles (Jean Vander Pyl) and Bamm-Bamm (Don Messick) were reverted to their toddler forms, after having been depicted as teenagers in The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, although newer characters like the Rubbles’ pet hopparoo, Hoppy (outside of the intro), and the powerful alien visitor The Great Gazoo were nowhere to be found. Instead of dealing purely with the slice of life stuff that was the foundation of sitcoms, Fred and Barney often started off in seemingly mundane situations while ending up in increasingly fantastical ones. For instance, Fred (Henry Corden) and Barney (Mel Blanc) head out for an evening of bowling only to end up in the house of an evil witch. Frank Frankenstone and Count Rockula (both John Stephenson) were based on Frankenstein’s monster and Count Dracula, respectively, replacing The Gruesomes as the Flintstones’ spooky neighbors.  Original comparisons to The Honeymooners were also further reinforced with episodes of Fred and Barney that shared similar plots; such as Fred gaining an inheritance from a rich person he was nice to and it ending up being a bird (“Ralph Kramden, Inc.”), or finding a suitcase full of money and having to deal with the crooks who want it back (“Funny Money”).

Betty and Wilma ready for a night on the town.

            The New Fred and Barney Show debuted mid-season on NBC on February 3, 1979. The series’ theme was a reworking of the original written by producer Joe Barbera and composed by Hoyt Curtin, emphasizing the newness of the series and the return to classic Flintstones. Notably, it was the first time Corden would voice Fred for a regular series as original actor Alan Reed had died in 1977 (Corden previously provided Fred’s singing voice in place of Reed). The series was written by Doug Booth, Andy Heyward, Len Janson, Glenn Leopold, Chuck Menville, Bob Ogle, Ray Parker, Dave Stone and Chip Yaras, with Larz Bourne serving as story editor.


            Fred and Barney ran for two short seasons for a total of 17 episodes. For the second season, Fred and Barney was combined with one of Hanna-Barbera’s latest offerings, The Thing (loosely based on the Marvel Comics character), in the package program Fred and Barney Meet the Thing. Despite the misleading title, the two sets of characters never interacted outside of the package’s intro and commercial bumpers. Beginning on December 8th, the package was expanded to 90 minutes to include The New Shmoo and was retitled Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo. The package show continued on in reruns through 1980, when it was replaced by The Flintstone Comedy Show. Different versions of Frankenstone, his family and Count Rockula would appear in two prime-time Flintstones specials: The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone and The Flintstones’ New NeighborsThe series has been made available to stream on Amazon Prime.


EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1:
“Sand-Witch” (2/3/79) – Car trouble leads Fred and Barney to seek a telephone in a house that belongs to a man-eating witch.

“Haunted Inheritance” (2/10/79) – Because he was kind to an aristocrat disguised as a quarry worker, Fred gets entered into a competition for an inheritance.

“Roughin’ It” (2/17/79) – Feeling modern living is making life easy and boring, Fred tries to go back to old-fashioned caveman living.

“C.B. Buddies” (2/24/79) – Fred and Barney cause trouble when they overpower their new CB radios.

“Bedrock Rocks” (3/3/79) – Fred tries to hook the Slates up with members of a rock band Mrs. Slate wants to see on her birthday, but failing that he and Barney impersonate them.

“Blood Brothers” (3/10/79) – Fred and Barney end up saving a reformed Count Rockula from a car accident, and he does his best to befriend them and make them his “blood brothers”.

“Barney’s Chickens” (3/17/79) – Barney ends up accidentally hypnotizing a bunch of people into believing they’re chickens.

“The Butler Did It…and Did It Better” (3/24/79) – Fred is happy with his new robot butler, until the robot proves to be better than him at everything.

“It’s Not Their Bag” (3/31/79) – Fred and Barney find a bag of stolen money while playing golf and must evade the crooks looking for it.

“Barney’s Luck” (4/7/79) – Fred tries to prove that a coin Barney found isn’t responsible for his string of extraordinary good luck.

Season 2:
“Stone Age Werewolf” (9/8/79) – Fred and Barney head out in search of a werewolf, but a storm forces them to take shelter in the cabin of a friendly old man.

“Fred & Barney Meet the Frankenstones” (9/15/79) – Needing a break, Fred and Barney head to a spa they discover is run by Frank Frankenstone.

“Physical Fitness Fred” (9/22/79) – Jealous over his wife’s fawning over a celebrity, Fred decides to get fit to turn her head.

“Moonlighters” (9/29/79) – Fred and Barney try to compensate for rising prices by taking various part-time jobs.

“Fred Goes to the Houndasaurs” (10/6/79) – Wilma adopts a new Houndasaur that causes trouble for both Fred and Dino.

“The Bad Luck Genie” (10/13/79) – Fred finds a genie while fishing whose wish-granting ends up causing more trouble than they’re worth.

“Dinosaur Country Safari” (10/20/79) – Fred and Barney take their wives on a safari which ends up with their landing in a pterodactyl’s nest.

June 20, 2020

BUFORD AND THE GALLOPING GHOST


BUFORD AND THE GALLOPING GHOST
(NBC, February 3-September 1, 1979)

Hanna-Barbera Productions




MAIN CAST:
Frank Welker – Buford, Nugget Nose
Pat Parris – Cindy Mae Boggs, Rita
Dave Landsburg – Woody Boggs
Henry Corden – Sheriff Muletrain
Roger Peltz – Goofer McGee
Hal Peary – Fenwick Fuddy


            Yogi’s Space Race was a 90-minute program featuring the titular Yogi Bear (Daws Butler) and a cast of returning and all-new Hanna-Barbera characters. The program was comprised of four unrelated segments that shared some of those characters. It failed to perform on the struggling NBC and was cancelled halfway through its sole season. In order to make it more maneuverable on their schedule, all of the segments were broken up into three separate programs. Buford and the Galloping Ghost was a combination of the two 11-minute segments of Space Race: The Buford Files and The Galloping Ghost. 






            The Buford Files was the latest clone of Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo franchise. It followed the adventures of lazy bloodhound Buford (Frank Welker). Buford lived in Fenokee Swamp with twins Cindy Mae (Pat Parris) and Woody Boggs (Dave Landsburg). Together, the three of them solved mysteries that baffled local law enforcement: Sheriff Muletrain (Henry Corden) and Deputy Goofer McGee (Roger Peltz). Buford, when actually active, could move his ears around like radar dishes and had a nose that worked like a Geiger counter when looking for clues. However, two things often stood in his way: his penchant for howling at the moon (usually at the worst times), and an antagonistic raccoon that knew karate.



            The Galloping Ghost was about the ghost of a gold prospector named Nugget Nose (Welker), who had taken a shine to two young girls who worked at the Fuddy Dude Ranch: Wendy (Marilyn Schreffler) and Rita (Parris). They met Nugget when they accidentally crashed into his resting place (think bed rather than grave) in a cavern in an abandoned mine. Nugget took great delight in tormenting their grumpy old boss, Fenwick Fuddy (Hal Peary), whenever he did something mean towards the girls. Wendy could summon Nugget whenever they needed help by rubbing the special gold nugget necklace she wore. Along with having traits typical of a ghost, including levitation, Nugget got around by riding his invisible horse.

The Buford Files character models.

            Buford and the Galloping Ghost debuted on NBC with the rest of Space Race on September 9, 1978. When NBC began breaking up the show, it remained paired with Space Race in an hour-long block until February 3, when it was finally broken off into its own program. Of the three resulting programs, Buford and the Galloping Ghost lasted the longest; remaining on NBC’s schedule until that September when it was removed for the new season. The series was written by Herb Armstrong, George Atkins, Jack Bonestell, Doug Booth, Chuck Couch, Gary Greenfield, Len Janson, Mark Jones, Glenn Leopold, Ray Parker, Sam Roeca, Jim Ryan and Susan “Misty” Stewart, with music by Hoyt Curtin and Paul Dekorte. The series was animated at Filman in Madrid, Spain and the characters were designed by Bob Singer.

Layout drawing of the Fuddy Dude Ranch.

            Following the conclusion of Buford and the Galloping Ghost and Yogi’s Space Race where the characters also appeared, Buford, Nugget Nose and their friends all largely disappeared. The series was seen again in reruns as part of USA Cartoon Express and on Cartoon Network and Boomerang



EPISODE GUIDE:
“The Swamp Hermit / Phantom of the Horse Opera” (9/9/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae discover their friend has been kidnapped by escaped convicts. / Wendy and Rita dream of stardom when a Hollywood producer visits the ranch.

“The Vanishing Stallion / Too Many Crooks” (9/16/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae witness a horse disappear during a race. / An escaped convict takes refuge at the ranch.

“The Swamp Saucer / Sagebrush Sergeant” (9/23/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae investigate a UFO that landed in the swamp. / Fuddy’s army sergeant sister visits the ranch and puts everyone on a strict exercise and work regiment.

“The Man with Orange Hair / Bad News Bear” (9/30/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae investigate the theft of silver skates stolen by someone with orange hair. / Nugget and the girls try to hide a bear from Fuddy and a safety inspector.

“The Demon of Ur / Robot Round-Up” (10/7/78) – A statue disappears from a train under Goofer’s watch. / Fuddy hires a robot to work at the ranch, threatening the girls’ jobs.

“The Missing Bank / Pests in the West” (10/14/78) – Goofer sends off $10 million in an armored car, but the bank claims it never arrived. /

“Scare in the Air / Rock Star Nuggie” (10/21/78) – An amphibious plane goes missing. / Nugget becomes jealous when the girls fawn over a visiting rock star.

“Buford and the Beauty / Frontier Fortune Teller” (10/28/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae must investigate the kidnapping of a movie star dog. / The girls turn to Nugget to help expose phony fortune tellers looking to steal Fuddy’s furniture.

“Peril in the Park / I Want My Mummy” (11/4/78) – Buford, Woody and Cindy Mae try to get a job at the amusement park, but the park is shutting down due to sabotage. /

“The Magic Whammy / Mr. Sunshine’s Eclipse” (11/11/78) – Banks are being mysteriously robbed. / Nugget is called to scare away an annoying TV prankster visiting the ranch.

“The Haunting of Swamp Manor / Klondike Kate” (11/18/78) – Burford, Woody and Cindy Mae investigate a haunted mansion. / Nugget is reunited with the ghost of an old girlfriend he promised to marry when he struck gold.

“The Case of the Missing Gator / A Ghost of a Chance” (11/25/78) – Smugglers go through the swamp looking for stolen diamonds. / Fuddy tries to capture Nugget in order to get $1 million from a guest looking for proof ghosts exist.

“Don’t Monkey with Buford / Elmo the Great” (12/2/78) – Duchess’ diamond collar is stolen during a parade by a chimp. / The girls buy Fuddy a horse for his birthday, but he ends up being too much trouble.

GALAXY GOOF-UPS


GALAXY GOOF-UPS
(NBC, November 4-December 2, 1978)

Hanna-Barbera Productions


MAIN CAST:
Daws Butler – Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, various
Joe Besser – Scare Bear
Mel Blanc – Quack-Up
John Stephenson – Captain Snerdley, General Blowhard, various


For the history of Yogi the Bear, check out the post here.


            Yogi’s Space Race was a 90-minute program featuring the titular Yogi Bear (Daws Butler) and a cast of returning and all-new Hanna-Barbera characters. The program was comprised of four unrelated segments that shared some of those characters. It failed to perform on the struggling NBC and was cancelled halfway through its sole season. In order to make it more maneuverable on their schedule, all of the segments were broken up into three separate programs.

The Goof-Ups: Yogi, Huckleberry, Quack-Up and Scare Bear.


            Galaxy Goof-Ups featured Yogi reunited with his old pal Huckleberry Hound (Butler) in the future as intergalactic patrolmen known as the Galaxy Guardians. Joining them were the new characters carried over from the Space Race segment, the eternally-frightened Scare Bear (Joe Besser) and the crazy Quack-Up (Mel Blanc), as their partners. Exclusive to the series was Captain Snerdley (John Stephenson, impersonating Joe Flynn) as their commanding officer, and his superior, General Blowhard (also Stephenson). Yogi and his friends were the ineptest officers on the force and often slacked off on the job; much to the chagrin of Snerdley who often bore the brunt of their foul-ups from Blowhard. However, things always managed to go their way in the end and the criminals always managed to end up in the clink.

The Goof-Ups crash to the rescue.

            Galaxy Goof-Ups debuted with the rest of Space Race on NBC September 9, 1978. As it was the most popular segment out of the four, it was the first to be broken off into its own program when NBC cancelled Space Race. The independent Goof-Ups series debuted on November 4. The segment was written by Haskell Barkin, Chuck Couch, Mark Fink, Ray Parker and Jim Ryan, with Parker serving as story editor. Music was composed by Hoyt Curtin and Paul DeKorte, with character designs by Willie Ito.

General Blowhard and Captain Snerdley.

            Despite its popularity, Goof-Ups was the second portion of the Space Race bunch to leave the air; with fellow spin-off Buford and the Galloping Ghost lasting until the new season schedule that September. In the following years, it has been seen in reruns on USA Cartoon Express, Nickelodeon, TNT, Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Clips from the show are also available on Boomerang’s YouTube channel. Beyond that, Scare Bear and Quack-Up have largely disappeared from the Hanna-Barbera stable. 



EPISODE GUIDE:
“The Purloined Princess” (9/9/78) – A princess is kidnapped and used as bait to trap the goof-ups, but it ends up backfiring on the villains instead.

“Defective Protectives” (9/16/78) – The goof-ups set out to capture the Space Spider so that the General can get a good night’s sleep to present the plans for foiling the Spider’s plots.

“Whose Zoo?” (9/23/78) – Sagar the hunter wants the goof-ups for display in his interplanetary zoo.

“The Space Pirates” (9/30/78) – The goof-ups are tricked into handing over the gold they’re transporting to space pirates.

“The Clone Ranger” (10/7/78) – Tacky Cat wants revenge against Snerdley, so he steals a cloning machine and kidnaps Snerdley to operate it.

“The Dopey Defenders” (10/14/78) – Zangra tricks the goof-ups into loading top-secret equipment onto her ship, but then they accidentally take off with her ship.

“Tacky Cat Strikes Again” (10/21/78) – Constantly being nagged by his wife because of how they live, Tacky ends up abandoning their evil plan and surrendering to the goof-ups.

“Space Station USA” (10/28/78) – The goof-ups are assigned to bring an ancient ship to the museum, but the richest man in the galaxy will stop at nothing to make it part of his collection.

“Hai, King Yogi!” (11/4/78) – Investigating a new jungle planet leads to Yogi being worshipped—and courted by their queen.

“Dyno-Mite!” (11/11/78) – Tiny space villain Dyno-Mite steals a new weapon, the Stretch-Shrink Ray.

“Vampire of Space” (11/18/78) – Count Vampula plans to take over the galaxy and decides to turn Snerdley into his slave to trap the goof-ups.

“The Treasure of Congo-Bongo” (11/25/78) – The goof-ups race a pair of villains to retrieve a crashed computer that can produce precious metals and gems.

“Captain Snerdley Goes Bananas” (12/2/78) – Lozar disguises himself as a doctor to poke around Snerdley’s mind when the General sends him to a sanitarium.