April 28, 2018


(Disney Channel, June 7, 2002-September 7, 2007)

Walt Disney Television Animation

            Collaborators Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle had been working for Disney Channel for years on many of the movie-to-show based projects for the network. However, they desired to contribute something original and the network, looking for shows that featured ordinary children in extraordinary circumstances, let them pitch one. While riding in an elevator after lunch, McCorkle said the phrase “Kim Possible. She can do anything” which led Schooley to respond “Ron Stoppable, he can’t.” That, essentially, led to the creation of Kim Possible.

Kim, Ron and Rufus.

            Schooley and McCorkle developed the concept of Kim around the notion of giving their own daughters a character they could look up to and relate to as they had been provided in the things they enjoyed. Kim Possible centered around the titular Kim (Christy Carlson Romano), your everyday average high school cheerleader who just happened to fight crime on the side. Her partners were her klutzy best friend, Ron (Will Friedle), 10-year-old computer genius and Kim’s tech support Wade Load (Tahj Mowry), and Ron’s pet naked mole rat Rufus (Nancy Cartwright). Sometimes Kim’s other best friend, Monique (Raven-Symone), was brought along on missions to make use of her fashion skills, providing a bridge between Kim’s two worlds Amongst Kim’s usual foes was her arch nemesis, Dr. Drakken (John DiMaggio), a mad scientist seeking world domination with the aid of his far-more-intelligent minion, Shego (Nicole Sullivan); father and son billionaires Senor Senior, Sr. (Ricardo Montalban & Earl Boen) and Senor Senior, Jr. (Nestor Carbonell), who treated villainy as a hobby out of boredom; “world’s deadliest golfer” Duff Killigan (Brian George); and Bonnie Rockwaller (Kirsten Storms), Kim’s cheerleading rival and polar opposite (hey, high school is tough, man!).

Shego trying to keep her patience with Dr. Drakken.

            Kim Possible began airing on the Disney Channel on June 7, 2002 with a theme performed by Disney contributor Christina Milian. It ran for 3 seasons and two TV movies: A Sitch in Time and So the Drama. The show ended with Kim and Ron entering a relationship, which was planned from the outset. Schooley and McCorkle had already moved on to other projects when fans, interested in where that relationship would go, prompted Disney to renew the show for another season. It became one of the few Disney shows to bypass the 65-episode cap, running 87 episodes and being the longest-running on Disney Channel until it was passed by Phineas and Ferb in 2012. What they thought could have been a restricting mistake, exploring the relationship without making it a soap opera reinvigorated Schooley and McCorkle on the series. The show was nominated for eight Emmy Awards and won one, and also won a Parent’s Choice and Annie Award. In 2018, Disney announced on their Instagram plans to produce a live-action Kim Possible Disney Channel Original Movie.


(Syndication, October 5, 1988-February 20, 1989)

DiC Entertainment, Crawleys Animation, Hasbro

Bad boys bad boys, whatchu gonna do…oh, wait, wrong show…

            COPS (Central Organization of Police Specialists) was an animated series based on Hasbro’s action figure line C.O.P.S. ‘N’ Crooks. The toys were created by John Fertig as part of Marvin Glass and Associates, and gained their name after the original one, Police Man, didn’t market well. The figures were released between 1988 and 1989, with biography cards written by Larry Hama and package art by Bart Sears, Mark Pennington and McNabb Studios. Shortly before they were adapted into an animated series, DC Comics began publishing a comic based on the toys that ran for 15 issues.

Some of the COPS: Bowser, Bulletproof, LongArm, Mainframe and Sundown.

COPS followed a group of highly-trained police officers in the future as they protected the fictional Empire City from Big Boss and his gangsters. The leader of COPS was Baldwin P. Vess, aka Bulletproof (Ken Ryan), an FBI special agent called in to help stop the rampant crime in the city. However, he was injured in his duties and had to be outfitted with a cybernetic bulletproof torso in order to recover. Unable to do it alone, he recruited and formed the rest of his team: P.J. “LongArm” O’Malley (John Stocker), who used an extending handcuff device for various functions; Donny “HardTop” Brooks (Darrin Baker), a rookie Empire City officer who drove the COPS’ Ironsides vehicle; David E. “Highway” Harlson (Ray James), an ace motorcycle cop; Colt “Mace” Howards (Len Carlson), who used a laser Mazooka and was known for tactical strategies; Stan “Barricade” Hyde (James), a soft-spoken officer who used a M.U.L.E. device and performed crowd control; Tina “Mainframe” Cassidy (Mary Long), a computer specialist; Walker “Sundown” Calhoun (Carlson), a former Texas sheriff that was an expert with a lasso and a sharpshooter; Suzie “Mirage” Young (Elizabeth Hanna), an expert in undercover operations; Hugh S. “Bullseye” Forward (Peter Keleghan), a great helicopter pilot; and Rex “Bowser” Pointer (Nick Nichols) and his robot dog, Blitz.

Big Boss stroking his weasel.

            The C.R.O.O.K.S. had their own team as well. Making up the syndicate was their leader, Brandon “Big Boss” Babel (Carlson), a businessman with a literal iron fist; Barney L. “Berserko” Fatheringhouse (Paul De La Rosa), Big Boss’ dim-witted and impulsive nephew; Edmund “Rock Krusher” Scarry (Brent Titcomb), a super-strong thug who used a heavy-duty jackhammer; Stephanie “Ms.” Demeanor (Tabitha St. Germain as Paulina Gillis), a deceptively super-strong woman who took issue with being called unfeminine; Ted “Turbo Tu-Tone” Stavely (Dan Hennessey), a skilled mechanic and getaway driver; Dr. Percival “Badvibes” Cranial (Ron Rubin), brilliant and deranged mad scientist; Rafella “Nightshade” Diamond (Jane Schoettle), a rich girl who turned to crime for the thrill; Constantine “Buttons McBoomBoom” Saunders (Nichols), armed with a submachine gun in a violin case he carried and two in his cybernetic chest; and Dirk “Squeeky Kleen” McHugh (Marvin Goldhar), Big Boss’ lacky who performed menial tasks for him. There were additional villains not necessarily part of the syndicate as well.

Promo ad for the show.

            COPS aired in syndication from October 5, 1988-February 20, 1989, running a total of 65 episodes. While based on the toys, the show and the comics utilized characters that never saw an action figure in the line, such as Mirage, Mainframe and Nightshade. When CBS reran the series on Saturday mornings in 1993, they retitled the show CyberCOPS in order to avoid confusion with the reality show COPS, which had debuted the month after the animated COPS finished its run. When USA Network reran the series in 1995, it restored the original COPS title.

April 26, 2018


You can read the full story here.

Oh provided a guest voice in an episode of Life With Louie.

April 24, 2018


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Dorough was heavily involved with the production of Schoolhouse Rock! as a writer, director, composer, performer, music director and even voice actor.

April 21, 2018


(CBS, June 28, 1951-December 1, 1953, January 4-March 29, 1955)

Hal Roach Studios

            Actors Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll began working in Chicago radio in the 1920s in the hopes of it leading to stage work. After selling some of their works to bandleader Paul Ash, they were able to become full-time broadcasters for Chicago Tribune’s WGN in 1925, and the Victor Talking Machine Company (now RCA Records) offered them a recording contract. WGN wanted the pair to adapt the popular Tribune comic strip The Gumps into a serialized radio show. Since neither was adept at imitating the female voices needed for the series and not wanting to taint their previous work in the event the show failed, they decided to offer an original series about “a couple of colored characters” that would allow them to use a dialect to disguise their identities and utilize their familiarity with minstrel traditions. The resulting show, Sam ‘n’ Henry, began on January 12, 1926 and became a sensation in the Midwest.

Ad for the radio show.

            When WGN refused their proposal to syndicate the series, Gosden and Correll quit the station and went to WMAQ. They offered more money and a syndication deal for a show similar to Sam ‘n’ Henry since WGN owned the rights to the original show. Gosden and Correll went on to create the show Amos ‘n’ Andy, utilizing names they heard two elderly African-Americans greet each other by in an elevator one day. Naïve but honest Amos Jones (Gosden) and gullible dreamer Andy Brown (Correll) were Georgia farmers who moved to Chicago in search of a better life. There, George “Kingfish” Stevens (Gosden) would often try to lure the pair into get-rich-quick schemes, or into various kinds of trouble.

Poster for Check and Double Check.

            The show became one of the first radio comedy series and ran as a nightly serial from 1928-43, then as a weekly situation comedy from 1943-55, before becoming a nightly disc-jockey program frim 1950-60. In 1930, RKO Radio Pictures planned to capitalize on the popularity of the show by making a film, Check and Double Check (a catchphrase from the show), starring Gosden and Correll in blackface. The film didn’t go over well with audiences and everyone involved, making it the only time Gosden and Correll performed the roles on camera. They did lend their voices, however, to animated shorts produced by the Van Beuren Studios. Finally, the radio show was adapted into a television sitcom by Hal Roach Studios for CBS.

Kingfish hanging over Andy and Amos.

            Initially, Gosden and Correll planned to voice the characters while having black actors portray them on screen and mouth the lines, but instead they just recorded samples of how the characters spoke as a guide for the actors. Alvin Childress assumed the role of Amos, Spencer Williams as Andy, and Tim Moore as Kingfish. The program debuted on June 28, 1951 and became one of the first shows filmed with a multicamera setup. The NAACP lodged a formal protest against the series and its sponsor, Blatz Brewing Company. The pressure led Blatz to end its sponsorship in 1953 and, despite strong ratings, CBS ended the show as well after 65 episodes. CBS did continue to air it in reruns, including 13 previously unaired episodes beginning in 1955. Mounting pressure from the NAACP and the growing civil rights movement led CBS to remove the show from broadcast altogether in 1966.


(ABC, October 15, 1954-May 8, 1959)

Screen Gems

            Rin Tin Tin was a German Shepherd rescued from a World War I battlefield by soldier Lee Duncan. Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin and secured him silent film work. He was a box office success, appearing in 27 films and gaining worldwide fame and increasing the popularity of his breed as household pets. After the death of the original in 1932, others from his lineage continued on the tradition of appearing in radio and film.

Rusty, Lt. Masters and Sgt. O'Hara with Rin Tin Tin.

            In 1954, Screen Gems produced The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Initially, Rin Tin Tin IV was planned to star in the show, but most of the work was performed by Flame Jr., owned by trainer Frank Barnes, and Rin Tin Tin’s descendant Hey You. The series followed the adventures of Rusty (Lee Aaker), a boy orphaned in an Indian raid and now residing at Fort Apache with the US Cavalry, as he and his dog, Rin Tin Tin, helped the soldiers establish order in the American West. James Brown played Lt. Ripley “Rip” Masters, Joe Sawyer played Sgt. Biff O’Hara, Rand Brooks played Corporal Randy Boone, and William Forrest played Major Swanson.

Protecting the west.

            The series premiered on ABC on October 15, 1954. It was made on a low budget and featured a small troupe of 12 actors who often had to play multiple roles—sometimes in the same episodes. The show ran for 5 seasons and 164 episodes. Following its conclusion, ABC moved it from Friday evenings to late afternoons until 1961. In 1962, CBS acquired the broadcast rights to the show and reran it on Saturday mornings until 1964. In 1976, a new package of reruns aired with the film prints tinted brown and given a new color opening and closing sequence. Present day reruns were remastered by Cerulean Digital Color and Animation with new music and some lines redubbed by different actors.

April 17, 2018


You can read the full story here.

The former First Lady of the United States made two appearances in Saturday morning-related media. She was one of the participants in the TV documentary Sing! Sesame Street Remembers Joe Raposo and His Music and also appeared on the show during the 21st season. She also provided an intro with George H.W. Bush for the home video release of Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, an anti-drug PSA that starred a variety of Saturday morning characters across all the networks.

April 15, 2018


You can read the full story here.

Ermey became a character actor after serving as a drill instructor in the army,  fact that was often made use of in the roles he was cast to play. On Saturday mornings, he starred as General Thorton in Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot; played Sergeant Goonther in an episode of The Angry Beavers; reprised his role of Sarge for Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins; Colonel O’Malley in Recess: School’s Out; Colonel Thrift in an episode of Fillmore!; and the warden in an episode of Spongebob SquarePants.

April 14, 2018


(The Disney Channel, Syndication, September 7, 1990-August 8, 1991)

Walt Disney Television Animation

            You can take the animal out of the jungle…and put them in a seaplane.

Higher for Hire in the city of Cape Suzette.

            Disney tasked Jymn Magon and Mark Zaslove with coming up with a new animated series. They were stuck for an idea until the theatrical re-release of Disney’s The Jungle Book hit theaters, inspiring them to make a show around the character of Baloo (Phil Harris in the film) and incorporate all the characters.

TaleSpin cast: Louie, Wildcat, Baloo, Kit, Molly, Rebecca, Khan, and Air Pirates Don Karnage, Gibber, Mad Dog and Dumptruck.

They updated the setting from the jungle to the fictional city of Cape Suzette, which was set in a fictionalized version of the 1930s, with the primary form of entertainment coming from radio programs. The manga Hikotei Jidai inspired them to make Baloo (Ed Gilbert) a pigheaded seaplane cargo pilot who often encountered air pirates, led by the egotistical Don Karnage (Jim Cummings, using inspiration from Desi Arnaz’s Ricky Ricardo). Cheers, the most popular television show at the time, led to the creation of Rebecca Cunningham (Sally Struthers) as an ambitious, yet inexperienced, manager who took over Baloo’s business and became his boss and influenced their relationship dynamic. Casablanca saw the creation of Louie’s Place, an island neutral zone where everyone could gather for a respite with Louie (also Cummings) taking the place of Humphrey Bogart’s Rick. Late in the show’s development, it was decided to add Shere Khan (Tony Jay) as a ruthless businessman whose schemes often led to paths being crossed with Baloo and his friends. Looking to keep the impressionable son/bad father dynamic prevalent in the film, they replaced Mowgli with new character Kit Cloudkicker (R.J. Williams & Alan Roberts); a young cub who was Don Karange’s protégé until he decided to quit the air pirates, meeting up with Baloo and becoming his navigator. Other characters included Rebecca’s daughter Molly (Janna Michaels), and their mechanical genius (though ultimately clueless) mechanic, Wildcat (Pat Fraley).

The Sea Duck at the mercy of the air pirates.

            After a preview run from May 5-July 15, 1990 on The Disney Channel, TaleSpin officially began that September with the television movie “Plunder & Lightning”. The movie saw Baloo meet Kit and lose his business to Rebecca. Baloo stayed on as a pilot for Higher for Hire after Rebecca paid to rebuild his plane, the Sea Duck, after it was destroyed saving the city from the air pirates. The film was the only nominee for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 1991 and was later broken up into four episodes for syndicated reruns. The series followed Baloo on his adventures that came with his deliveries and schemes to get rich and get his plane back, often finding him at odds with the air pirates, the nation of Thembria (loosely based on the Soviet Union) or Shere Khan. The show ran for 65 episodes on the syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon. It remained there until 1994 before returning to Disney-owned cable channels for further reruns, where episodes were extensively edited due to their content such as instances of terrorism, particularly after 9/11. When the series was finally released to DVD, however, the original syndicated episodes were restored.


(Syndication, September 18, 1987-November 28, 1990)

Walt Disney Television Animation, Tokyo Movie Shinsha (season 1), Wang Film Cuckoo’s Nest Studio

            Disney was seeking to make a new animated series that exhibited a high quality of animation, after having found previous success with Adventures of the Gummi Bears. They looked towards the world of Duckburg largely created by comic book artist Carl Barks for inspiration and came up with DuckTales. Developed by Jymn Magon, the series followed wealthy Scrooge McDuck (Alan Young) as he went on adventures with his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie (all Russi Taylor). Often, these adventures involved discovering some lost treasure to increase Scrooge’s fame and wealth, but other times it was protecting his businesses and interests from rival Flintheart Glomgold (Hal Smith), his #1 dime from evil witch Magica De Spell (June Foray), or his beloved money bin from the Beagle Boys (Frank Welker, Terry McGovern, Chuck McCann and Brian Cummings), and sometimes one of inventor Gyro Gearloose’s (Smith) inventions run amok.

From top: Gyro, Launchpad, Duckworth, Mrs. Beakley, Huey, Dewey, Scrooge, Doofus, Louie and Webby.

            While largely inspired by Barks’ comics, DuckTales did have some differences. Scrooge wasn’t as much of a miser as he was thrifty, for example. Other changes saw Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo), who played a large part in Scrooge’s adventures, only present for the first episode to drop off his nephews; Glomgold, due to America’s tensions with South Africa, had his nationality changed to Scottish, amongst others. New characters included Scrooge’s butler Duckworth (McCann), housekeeper Bettina Beakley (Joan Gerber) and her granddaughter Webby (Taylor), accountant/superhero Fenton Crackshell aka Gizmoduck (Hamilton Camp), accident-prone pilot Launchpad McQuack (McGovern), and the boys’ friend Doofus Drake (Cummings), amongst others.

The family that steals together... Ma Beagle and her Beagle Boys.

            DuckTales premiered in syndication on September 18, 1987 with a 65-episode first season. A second season of 10 episodes and a third of 18 followed. In 1990, the series was given its own feature-length movie, Treasure of the Lost Lamp, which while successful, didn’t quite reach Disney’s expectations shelving any further entries. A 7-epsidoe fourth season, which featured three episodes held over from the previous, aired as part of the inaugural season of The Disney Afternoon syndicated programming block and remained there until 1992. After its conclusion, Launchpad was spun off into the show Darkwing Duck, and he and Scrooge appeared on Raw Toonage. DuckTales, meanwhile, entered into syndicated reruns, particularly on The Disney Channel, between 1995-99.

April 09, 2018


You can read the full story here.

McCann had a wide pedigree in television and film, starring both on and off the camera with a distinctive, easily recognizable voice, and also working behind the scenes. McCann co-created, produced, and starred as Barney in Far Out Space Nuts for Sid and Marty Kroft, as well as wrote several episodes of their show Wonderbug.

Other starring roles included Boogie and Blubber in C.B. Bears; Billy Joe in The New Shmoo; Mummy Man in Drak Pack; Blinky and Pinky in Pac-Man; Orlock in Galtar and the Golden Lance; Duckworth, Burger Beagle, Bouncer Beagle, and several minor roles in DuckTales; Mayor Grody in Toxic Crusaders; Dumptruck, Gibber and a rhino goon in TaleSpin; and Beefsteak in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1991). He also guest-starred as Number One, The Owl, Tom McCool in Cool McCool; Badladdin in an episode of The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show; Artemis and some mutants in an episode of Thundarr the Barbarian; Moving Man Grizz, Billy Beagle, Roary, Cousin Wilton, and several minor roles in The Get Along Gang; Biff Barker in Pound Puppies (1986); Cashmore and additional voices  in an episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo; Sir Gaya, a knight, a chef and a tadpole in episodes of Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears; Heff Heffalump and a Tigger lookalike in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; Uncle Ed and a dog in two episodes of Garfield and Friends; Codger Eggbert in an episode of Animaniacs; Santa Claus in an episode of ABC Weekend Specials; a worm and talents of trial in two episodes of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat; and Filth #2 in an episode of The Tick (1994).

McCann also provided unspecified additional voice work for Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979), Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Space Stars, Richie Rich (1982), Snorks, The Smurfs, Where’s Waldo?, Tom & Jerry Kids Show, and All-New Dennis the Menace.

April 07, 2018


(Disney XD, December 5, 2014-July 28, 2017)

Mercury Filmworks (season 1), Top Draw Animation (season 2), Disney Television Animation

            Sometimes, being a hero just runs in the family. At least that’s true for Penn Zero (Thomas Middleditch), whose parents Vonnie (Lea Thompson) and Brock (Gary Cole) were part-time superheroes. However, when the evil Rippen (Alfred Molina), a part-time villain, trapped Penn’s parents in the Most Dangerous World Imaginable. It fell on Penn to take up the family business and travel to alternate dimensions, assume the role of the hero in that world, and save it from the threat of Rippen and his part-time minion and Penn’s principal, Larry (Larry Wilmore), and Phil (Sam Levine), his Slavic assistant who operated his interdimensional portal. Aiding Penn was his friends Boone Wiseman (Adam DeVine), a part-time wise man, Sashi Kobayashi (Tania Gunadi), a part-time sidekick and eventually Penn’s girlfriend, and Phyllis (also Levine), the grumpy Slavic woman who operated the portal that sent Penn and his friends to other worlds. The late Adam West portrayed recurring character Captain Super Captain, an electrician from a world where everyone has superpowers, in one of his final roles.

Boone, Penn and Sashi.

            Created by Levine and Jared Bush, the series premiered on Disney XD on December 5, 2014 as a preview before officially beginning that February. The series ran for a total of two seasons and 35 total episodes, ending in an hour-long finale. Before and after the show’s run, it began making the rounds on Disney XD’s international counterparts while also rerunning in the United States on Saturday mornings.


(ABC, September 18, 1964-March 11, 1965)

Hanna-Barbera Productions

            Comic book artist Doug Wildey was tasked by Hanna-Barbera to design a series around the radio drama character Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. Wildey crafted a presentation using magazines Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Science Digest for inspiration in crafting the world and technology featured. When Hanna-Barbera was unable to secure the rights, Wildey was asked to rework his presentation into an original character. It became Johnny Quest, which took inspiration from Jackie Cooper and Frankie Darro movies, the comic strip Terry and the Pirates, and the film Dr. No. Other names proposed for the series were The Saga of Chip Baloo and Quest File 037. The name Quest was selected from the phone book for its adventurous implications.

Race, Johnny, Dr. Quest, Hadji and Bandit.

            Johnny Quest followed the adventures of 11-year-old Johnny (Tim Matheson) as he journeyed around the world on adventures with his father, scientist Dr. Benton C. Quest (John Stephenson for the first five episodes, Don Messick for the remainder), special agent, bodyguard and pilot Roger T. “Race” Bannon (Mike Road) and his adopted Kolkatan brother, Hadji (Danny Bravo). Johnny’s dog, Bandit (Messick combined with actual dog barks), was conceived and designed by animator Dick Bickenbach as the show’s comedy relief. Together, they investigated scientific mysteries that typically ended up being the work of various villains, leading them to fight foes such as robots, monsters, mummies and dinosaurs. They also had a recurring nemesis in the form of Dr. Zin (Vic Perrin): a yellow-skinned Asian criminal mastermind (a common depiction with Cold War-era fiction at the time). The show was the first attempt on television to depict realistic-looking characters in an otherwise fantastic world. Scenes from the abandoned Jack Armstrong series were recycled in the end credits and were part of the package Wildey used to sell the show to ABC.

Dr. Zin.

            Johnny Quest was broadcast in primetime on ABC for 26 episodes. Despite being a critical and ratings success, the series wasn’t renewed for a second season. When it entered syndicated reruns in 1967, it became a big money-maker. Reruns aired on CBS from 1967-70, and NBC from 1971-72, making it one of the few to air on all three major television networks. It was heavily featured on Cartoon Network from its launch in 1992 through 2003 and was also shown on its sister network Boomerang from 2000-14.


            Hey, gang, and welcome to another RERUN MONTH.

            This month, we’ll be taking a brief look at some more of the programs that aired on Saturday morning after having been aired elsewhere. Since they’re not Saturday originals, we won’t be going as extensive into them or providing an episode guide, but we think you’ll still get your money’s worth (and since reading them is free, probably even more than that!).