January 30, 2017
Although he died on January 22, his death wasn't announced until today as per his family's wishes. You can read the full story here.
Masaya Nakamura was a businessman who founded the entertainment company Namco. Known as "The father of Pac-Man," his Pac-Man and Pole Position franchises served as the inspiration for two Saturday morning cartoons.
January 28, 2017
THE PROUD FAMILY
(Disney Channel, September 15, 2001-August 19, 2005)
Jambalaya Studios, Y.R. Studio
The Proud Family was created by Bruce W. Smith and followed the titular family on their daily (and sometimes bizarre) adventures. Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt) was the main protagonist and eldest daughter of the family which consisted of her immature snack inventing father Oscar (Tommy Davidson), level-headed veterinarian mother Trudy (Paula Jai Parker), toddler twin siblings BeBe and CeCe (both Tara Strong), and snarky grandmother Suga Mama (Jo Marie Payton). The series boasted an impressive list of guest-stars including Al Roker as a wish-granting version of himself; Samuel L. Jackson as homeless construction worker Joseph and Vivica A. Fox as his wife, Margaret; Ashanti as a department store manager; and Lou Rawls as himself. Solange Knowles, along with her big sister’s group Destiny’s Child, recorded the series’ theme.
|Meet the family: Trudy, Oscar, Puff, Suga Mama, CeCe, Penny and BeBe.|
The Proud Family was originally intended for Nickelodeon until it was picked up by Disney Channel. It was the first Disney Channel Original Series and the first on the channel to not be produced exclusively by Disney’s television animation department. It ran for 3 seasons, ending with a TV film as the same day as its series finale. During its run, it crossed-over with fellow Disney program Lilo & Stitch and was spun-off into a web series called The Proud Family Shorties that starred BeBe, CeCe and their dog, Puff (also Strong). In 2002, the series entered syndication and was rerun as part of ABC’s Disney’s One Saturday Morning programming block from May until September. Further reruns aired on BET, Toon Disney, The Family Channel, Centric and TVJ.
SABRINA: THE ANIMATED SERIES
(Syndication, September 6, 1999-February 27, 2000)
Archie Comics, Savage Studios, Hartbreak Films, DiC Entertainment, Buena Vista International
After over 20 years, Sabrina the Teenage Witch made a return to television. In 1996, Showtime aired a film based on the character starring Melissa Joan Hart in the title role. The film followed Sabrina’s discovery of her witchly abilities on her 16th birthday and how she tried to use those powers to get Seth (Ryan Reynolds) away from popular girl Katie (Lalainia Lindbjerg). The film performed well-enough for ABC to invest in a spin-off television series developed by Nell Scovell and Jonathan Schmock. Sabrina, The Teenage Witch revamped the movie’s plot for the pilot and followed Sabrina as she dealt with being a typical teen who just happened to have magical powers. Hart was the only actor carried over from the film, with Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick assuming the roles of her aunts Hilda and Zelda, Nate Richert playing love-interest Harvey Kinkle, and Nick Bakay as the voice of warlock-turned-cat Salem Saberhagen.
|DVD cover featuring Salem, Quigly, best friend Chloe, Hilda, Sabrina, Zelda, Harvey and rival Gem.|
In 1999, Savage Steve Holland spun the television series off into an animated series for a younger audience. Sabrina: The Animated Series followed the same premise as the live sitcom, but Sabrina (Emily Hart) was reduced to middle school age. Hilda and Zelda (both Melissa Joan Hart) continued their roles as Sabrina’s mentors, but had been reduced to teenagers as punishment by head-witch Enchantra (Jane Mortifee) for misusing their magic. Their guardian was a new character created for the series, Uncle Quigley (Jay Brazeau), who came from Sabrina’s human side of the family and possessed no magical powers. Bakay reprised his role of Salem, and Harvey (Bill Switzer) was changed from Sabrina’s boyfriend to having a mutual crush on her. The film and both shows were produced by Hartbreak Films, the production company run by Melissa and Emily’s mother, Paula.
|The Sabrina comic.|
Sabrina: The Animated Series ran in syndication for a single season of 65 episodes. It was shown concurrently on ABC’s Disney’s One Saturday Morning programming block and UPN’s Disney’s One Too block on Sundays, as well as on UPN’s weekday lineup. To commemorate the sitcom, Archie Comics had relaunched their Sabrina title with updated character designs reflective of the show. After 32 issues, the series was rebooted once again in 2000 and published adventures based on the cartoon. When the series was cancelled, Archie returned Sabrina to a teenager with #38 until an all-new continuity and a manga style was adopted with #58.
January 26, 2017
Best known for his role as a private eye on Mannix, Mike Connors continued his quest for law and order as police officer Chipacles in Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series.
January 21, 2017
(NBC, September 15, 1991-April 12, 1992)
Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, Hearst Entertainment, Unreality
Created by Jose Rivera and Karl Schaefer, with film director Joe Dante as a creative Consultant, Eerie, Indiana was a series about a small town. A bizarre small town. Marshall Teller (Omri Katz) and his family moved to the town of Eerie full of weird citizens, real urban legends, and other strange happenings. Marshall befriended Simon Holmes (Justin Shenkarow), the only other seemingly normal kid in town, and together they faced things like Bigfoot, world-conquering dogs and Elvis Presley (Steve Peri), alive and well. Halfway through the season, the show was retooled to introduce Dash X (Jason Marsden), an amnesiac gray-haired teen searching for the clues of his past.
|Marshall, Simon and Dash X.|
The show blended serious and comedic tones, contained numerous in-jokes and movie references, and had several episodes directed by feature film directors; all of which made it a critical darling. Unfortunately, the series failed to find much of a sustainable audience and it was cancelled after a single season of 19 episodes; one left unaired in its original run. The show aired in reruns on The Disney Channel from 1993-1996 before moving to Saturday mornings as part of the Fox Kids block in 1997. There, the show reached a new audience and a newfound popularity. It inspired FOX to greenlight a spin-off called Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension utilizing the same premise with a new cast set in an alternate dimension. Unfortunately, the new show failed to capture the same popularity and it also ended after a single season.
(ABC, September 23, 1962-March 17, 1963
Syndication, September 16, 1985-November 12, 1987)
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Screen Gems (season 1)
After successfully visiting the Stone Age, Hanna-Barbera set their sights on the future with The Jetsons. George Jetson (George O’Hanlon) lived with his family, wife Jane (Penny Singleton), teenaged daughter Judy (Janet Waldo), son Elroy (Daws Butler), and dog Astro (Don Messick), in an apartment in Orbit City. He worked an hour a day for two days a week as a literal button pusher at Spacely Sprockets, owned by the grumpy miser Cosmo Spacely (Mel Blanc).
When the animated sitcom debuted, it was heavily influenced by the Space Age sensibilities of the time. Cars resembled flying saucers, sidewalks moved on their own, food came from a machine with the push of a particular button, bathrooms bathed a person automatically; but despite all that, the residents of the world suffered the weariness of the daily grind. At the completion of its primetime run, ABC cancelled the series but aired reruns on its Saturday morning schedule. The show continued to be shown on Saturday for the next two decades across CBS and NBC. With a resurgence in popularity, Hanna-Barbera produced new episodes for its syndication package in 1985. These episodes put a greater focus on technology, giving more prominence to the Jetson’s robotic maid Rosie (Jean Vander Pyl) and George a work partner in the form of sentient computer R.U.D.I. (Messick). The family also got a new pet, a spring-legged alien named Orbity (Frank Welker). After the show’s end, the Jetsons made one last appearance in a big-screen movie, which served as the final performances of both O’Hanlon and Blanc.
January 19, 2017
Actor Miguel Ferrer spent the majority of his Saturday morning tenure as part of various comicbook-based programs, such as Dr. Lupo and his clone in Men in Black: The Series; Aquaman, De'Cine and Weather Wizard in Superman: The Animated Series; Sinestro in The Batman; Silvermane in The Spectacular Spider-Man; and Vandal Savage, L-1, Bibbo Bibbowski, Tribune and a National Guardsman in Young Justice. He was also Antaeus in Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series and the Shadowkhan King in Jackie Chan Adventures.
January 15, 2017
Professional wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was one of the featured characters in Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling during his tenure with the WWF (now WWE). Although he was voiced by a professional actor for the animated segments, Snuka would appear in the live-action segments featured in the show.
January 14, 2017
Dick Gautier starred as Louis in Foofur and Spike in The Tom & Jerry Kids Show. He guest-starred in two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series as Teddy Lupus, a cop and a lawyer. He also provided additional voices for Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, The New Yogi Bear Show, The Smurfs, Garfield and Friends, The Pirates of Dark Water, and The Addams Family (1992).
(ABC, September 17, 1964-March 25, 1972)
Screen Gems, Ashmont Productions (season 8)
Created by Sol Saks, Betwitched was the story of a mixed marriage. Deceptively young-looking witch Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) fell in love with and married mortal Darrin Stephens (Dick York & Dick Sargent). Darrin wasn’t comfortable with Samantha using magic, so she willingly refrained from using any (whenever possible, anyway). This didn’t sit well with her mother, Endora (Agnes Moorehead), who didn’t approve of the marriage and antagonized Darrin whenever possible. Adding to Darrin’s troubles was his constantly having to be on his toes to appease his fickle boss, Larry Tate (David White). Eventually, Samantha and Darrin had two children, Tabatha (Diane & Erin Murphy) and Adam (Greg & David Lawrence), who possessed their mother’s trait for magic.
The series largely used the magic as an allegory for the troubles a young married couple would typically face in life as well as social issues such as racism. Despite the show’s instant success, ABC wanted a greater use of magic and farce. Producer Danny Arnold, who tried to keep the show grounded, left after the first season and ABC slowly got their wish. Halfway through production, a back injury sustained during the filming of a movie caused York to have to leave the show after season 6. Sargent replaced him for the remainder of the show’s run. The show’s ratings began to decline and ABC moved it around its schedule; putting it up against stiffer competition with each move. The show was finally cancelled after its 8th season, but continued on in daytime and Saturday mornings until 1973 when it entered syndication.
THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR.
(FOX, August 27, 1993-May 20, 1994)
Boam/Cuse Productions, Warner Bros. Television
After the success of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, FOX executive Bob Greenblatt approached Jeffrey Boam and Carlton Cuse, who had worked on the story and development of the film, to develop a television series with a similar style. Taking inspiration from serials like the movie had, Cuse and Boam combined the most common genres—Westerns and science fiction—with a healthy dose of comedy to bring The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. to screens. The series focused on lawyer-turned-bounty hunter Brisco County, Jr. (Bruce Campbell) being hired to track down and recapture John Bly (Billy Drago) and his gang. The Bly Gang was responsible for the murder of his father, Marshall Brisco County (R. Lee Ermey). Bly was on the hunt for a mysterious Orb of supernatural power, which he sought to use to conquer his home—in the future. Aiding Brisco was fellow bounty hunter, Lord Bowler (Julius Carry), and his employers’ liaison, Socrates Poole (Christian Clemenson), as well as his incredibly smart horse, Comet (Copper, Boss, Ace Strip & Comet).
The show made use of anachronistic technology to enhance the humor, aided by inventor Professor Albert Wickwire (John Astin), had its act structure broken up by cliffhangers and titles to further emulate the serials that inspired it, and took a different approach to Westerns by having Brisco use his mind to escape trouble over his gun (he typically shot it at objects rather than people when he did use it). Despite a strong push by the network, the series was ultimately doomed by being shown in the Friday night death slot and was cancelled amidst poor ratings after a single season. The show has gone on to have a loyal cult following, and after extensive requests by fans was finally given a DVD release in 2006. The series’ theme, composed by Randy Edelman, went on to be used by NBC for their coverage of the 1996 Olympics and the 1997 World Series.
Hello. My name is Rerun Van Pelt. They asked me to talk to you about reruns. I guess since it’s my name.
Reruns are when new TV shows become old TV shows and they show them again. Did you know TV stations used to be limited? I couldn’t imagine. I couldn’t imagine not having something to watch on TV whenever you want. I rely on TV to keep my sister Lucy happy when she gets in one of her moods.
Believe it or not, there weren’t always Saturday morning cartoons. TV stations would put on lots of rerurns on weekends. Soon, they decided to give us kids new TV shows so we could enjoy weekends more. Although, sometimes, they would run out of TV shows and show more reruns again.
So, this month, this blog will be talking about the reruns that used to air on Saturdays to fill up TV schedules. At least we have something to watch, right?
*This is meant as a tribute/parody. Saturday Mornings Forever has no affiliation with or endorsement from Peanuts. Rerun is TM & © Peanuts.
2016 was a rough year for a lot of us, especially for our pop culture icons who seemed to leave us left and right. Saturday morning veterans weren't as hard hit as they were last year, but we still lost quite a few of them. Here we present to you our final collective tribute to those we lost in 2016.
Pat Harrington, Jr. (January 6) – Actor, played The Atom and Chrystal Man Officer on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, and reprised The Atom along with Speedy on Aquaman; the Inspector on The Pink Panther Show and The Pink Panther Laugh and a Half Hour and a Half Show on which he also played Sgt. Deux Deux; Hi-Rise and First Cyclone in Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family as part of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie; Moe Howard on The New Scooby-Doo Movies; William Shakesbear on Yo Yogi!; and Shorty McGint, Cop #2, Washington and Boss on Aaaah!!! Real Monsters. He also provided voices for The Addams Family (1973) and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.
Richard Libertini (January 7) – Actor. Voiced Dijon in both DuckTales and DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Wally Llama in Animaniacs, Talleyrand in Pinky and the Brain, Ragtag in Static Shock and Dr. Myrell in The Zeta Project. He also guest-starred in an episode of Life With Louie.
Abe Vigoda (January 26) – Actor. Played Salvatore Valestra in the Batman: The Animated Series film Mask of the Phantasm.
Joe Alaskey (February 3) – Actor, best known as the permanent voice for Warner Bros.’ Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester Cat and Tweety Bird.
Played Plucky Duck and his father in both Tiny Toons Adventures and The Plucky Duck Show and their related media, amongst other guest voices including Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, and Wade Pig. Also Starred as Sourpuss in Mighty Mouse, the New Adventures; the sheriff in two episodes of Back to the Future: the Animated Series; provided Daffy’s voice for the opening theme of The Bugs n’ Daffy Show; reprised his role of Stinkie from the Casper movie and was the Gorey Narrator on The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper; the short bug and a truck driver on an episode of Men in Black: The Series; Sylvester and Tweety on The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries; the soda and newspaper vendbots in an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command; Grandpa Lou Pickles and various other minor roles in Rugrats and its follow-up, All Grown Up, as well as their related media; the chief in an episode of Teamo Supremo; and Sylth Vester, The Royal Tweetums, Stoney the Stone and Melvin the Martian in Loonatics Unleashed.
He also provided voices for Where’s Waldo?, Life With Louie and Timon & Pumbaa.
George Gaynes (February 15) – Actor and singer. Reprised his role of Henry Warnimont from Punky Brewster in its Saturday morning animated spin-off, It’s Punky Brewster.
George Kennedy (February 28) – Actor, guest-starred in two episodes of Aaahh!! Real Monsters as Bones Duvalier.
Eric Medalle (March 13) – Creative design director for Pokemon since 2003. Some of his work was featured in the ongoing Pokemon animated series.
Larry Drake (March 17) – Actor, guest-starred in Superman: The Animated Series as Mr. Eelan, Batman Beyond as Jackson Chappell and What’s New, Scooby-Doo? as Moss T. Meister/Scooby Snax Monster.
Ken Howard (March 23) – Actor, guest-starred in Batman: The Animated Series as Hartness.
Chris Kirby (March 29) – Actor and ventriloquist. Although he didn’t appear in a Saturday morning production per se, he was a featured player in the 1976 preview show ABC’s Satuday Sneak Peek.
Don Francks (April 3) – Actor, singer and musician. Provided several voices in Inspector Gadget including that of Dr. Claw in some episodes; was Jann Tosh and Boba Fett in Star Wars: Droids; Dr. Arcane in Swamp Thing: The Animated Series; Girth and Hobbs in Cadillacs and Dinosaurs; Sabretooth in X-Men: The Animated Series; the Hunter, the Exterminator and Red Beard in two episodes of Tales from the Cryptkeeper, the Swamp Hermit on two episodes of Goosebumps; Kalek in an episode of Silver Surfer, and the Sandman on an episode of Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension. He also provided voices for The Care Bears Family, ALF Tales and Piggsburg Pigs.
Doris Roberts (April 17) – Actor, guest-starred on Aaahh!!! Real Monsters as Eunice and Doris. She also played herself on NBC’s 1986 Saturday morning preview special Alvin Goes Back to School.
William Schallert (May 8) – Actor, guest-starred as Dr. Cowtiki in The Angry Beavers; Judge Linden in The Zeta Project; and Farmer P, Neville Popenbacher and Professor Pomfrit in What’s New, Scooby-Doo? He also provided additional voices for Dinky Dog,
Alan Young (May 19) – Actor, singer and writer. Best known as the long-serving voice of Disney’s Scrooge McDuck since 1974, Young was also Mr. Frump in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends; the Cyclops Computer in The Incredible Hulk (1982); Gaggy Rogers in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show; Farmer Smurf, Scaredy Smurf, and Miner Smurf in The Smurfs; Tod Baker in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series; Mr. McDonald in an episode of Static Shock; and several roles in episodes of ABC Weekend Specials. He also provided additional voices in Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979), Rubik the Amazing Cube, The Dukes and Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983).
Muhammad Ali (June 3) – Boxer, starred as himself in the short-lived animated series I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali.
Theresa Saldana (June 6) – Actor, played Rosa in New Kids on the Block and a mother in an episode of Batman Beyond.
Janet Waldo (June 12) – Actor. Best known for her role of Judy Jetson in every iteration of The Jetsons (excluding the 1990 movie where her lines were dubbed over), Waldo had a long Saturday morning career primarily working for Hanna-Barbera.
She lent her voice as Jenny in The Space Kidettes; Lana Lang in The New Adventures of Superman; Granny Sweet in The Atom Ant Show along with Flora Rugg in The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show; Nancy in Shazzan; Princess Pearla in Fantastic Four (1967); Penelope Pitstop in Wacky Races, its spin-off The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, and Yogi’s Treasure Hunt; Jenny Trent in Cattanooga Cats; the eponymous Josie McCoy in Josie and the Pussycats and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space; Belinda Maze in Around the World in Eighty Days; Grandmama Addams in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies; Curvia and Henrietta in The Roman Holidays; Marybell and Georgia in an episode of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie; Morticia Addams in The Addams Family (1973); Mrs. Anders in Jeannie; Arlene Wilcox and Beth Crane in The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour; Circe in an episode of Thundarr the Barbarian; Zerona and Shanna the She-Devil in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends; several roles in various episodes of ABC Weekend Specials; Mother in The Puppy’s Further Adventures; Hogatha in The Smurfs; and a female dinosaur in Dink, the Little Dinosaur.
She also provided a variety of voices for The Secret Squirrel Show, The Abbott & Costello Show, Help!...It’s the Hair Bair Bunch!, Inch High Private Eye, Hong Kong Phooey, The New Tom & Jerry Show, Clue Club, Jabberjaw, CB Bears, Yogi’s Space Race, The New Fred and Barney Show, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Rubik the Amazing Cube, The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, Mr. T, The Dukes, Alvin & the Chipmunks and Tom & Jerry Kids Show, as well as on The Jetsons.
Ann Morgan Guilbert (June 14) – Actor. Whether she’s known as Millie Helper from The Dick Van Dyke Show or Grandma Yetta from The Nanny, on Saturday morning we knew her as The Witch from an episode of The Ghost Busters.
Garry Marshall (July 19) – Actor, writer, director and producer. Created Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork and Mindy, which each had animated counterparts on Saturday mornings. He also guest-starred in an episode of Pinky and the Brain as The Devil, aka Mr. Itch.
Barry Jenner (August 9) – Actor, guest-starred as a traveler in an episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
Fyvush Finkel (August 14) – Actor, played Jackie the Schtickman and Jackie Jarr in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and Shlomo in Rugrats.
Jack Riley (August 19) – Actor, voiced Stu Pickles and several minor characters throughout the Rugrats franchise and played Tyrone in an episode of Garfield and Friends.
Marvin Kaplan (August 25) – Actor, writer and producer. Starred as Choo-Choo in Top Cat, which he later reprised for the weekday series Wake, Rattle & Roll, and as Shellstock “Shelly” Turtle in the Frogger portions of Saturday Supercade. He also played Sutcliffe and Mouser in two different episodes of ABC Weekend Specials, Angel Puss in an episode of Garfield and Friends, and Skeech and Sculptor in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. He also provided additional voices on an episode of The Smurfs.
Harry “Mr. Fuji” Fujiwara (August 28) – Professional wrestler. His character and likeness was used for the animated series Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling.
Jon Polito (September 1) – Actor. Guest-starred in an episode of Batman Beyond as a Major and lent his voice to an episode of Life with Louie.
Ron Grant (October 28) – Composer. Provided music for Tiny Toon Adventures, Mother Goose and Grimm, The Plucky Duck Show and The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper.
Florence Henderson (November 24) – Actor and singer. Guest-starred in three episodes of Loonatics Unleashed as Mallory Mastermind.
Ron Glass (November 25) – Actor and director. Guest-starred in an episode of Disney’s Aladdin as Kwanseer and Superman: The Animated Series as a news anchorman, and had a recurring role as Randy Carmichael in Rugrats, its related media, and the spin-off All Grown Up! He also provided the voices of Dr. Lazenby and Tech #2 in the Recess movie School’s Out.
Bernard Fox (December 14) – Actor. Played several roles in two episodes of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, provided additional voices for Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, and appeared as Dr. Jinga-Janga on an episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
George S. Irving (December 26) – Actor. He was a regular in Total Television productions, playing a variety of roles in Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, King Leonardo and his Short Subjects, Underdog (for which he was also the narrator) and Go Go Gophers.
Debbie Reynolds (December 28) – Actor, singer and producer, and the mother of Carrie Fisher who had died just the day prior. Had the recurring role of Louise “Lulu” Johnston (later Pickles) in Rugrats and two of its movies: In Paris and Acorn Nuts & Dipey Butts. She also guest-starred in an episode of The Penguins of Madagascar as Granny Squirrel.
William Christopher (December 31) – Actor. Played Angel Smurf in several episodes of The Smurfs as well as provided additional voices.
Know anyone we missed? Let us know so we can add them ASAP.