Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
By the time
the 1990s rolled around, Macaulay Culkin--barely a decade old--was a major
movie star. He began acting at age 4, appearing on stage in Beach Babies with
the New York Philharmonic. He graduated to
television with roles in the television film The Midnight Hourand
in an episode of The Equalizerbefore finally breaking into the movies with Rocket Gibraltar. The
film that propelled him into superstardom was 1990’s Home Alone, which
saw him as the young Kevin McCallister, accidentally left behind when his
family went on vacation, protecting his house from a pair of bungling burglars.
Of course, NBC would try to capitalize on
Culkin’s growing celebrity to try and breathe new life into their limping animated
Nick making a wish with Slobber looking on.
S.p.A., Wish Kid followed the adventures of young Nick McClary
(Culkin), whose baseball mitt became imbued with magic when a miniature
shooting star hit it. Every week, Nick could punch his mitt three times and
make a wish and it would come true—for a limited time. Sharing this secret with
Nick was his best friend, Darryl (Stuart Stone), who was often included in
those wishes (though not always happily), Nick’s baby sister, Katie (voiced by
Culkin’s real sister, Quinn), and dog, Slobber. Nosey neighbor Mrs. Opal was
also aware of Nick’s secret, frequently spying on his house when he made one,
however she was never able to convince anyone of what she saw (reminiscent of the neighbor from the 1960s
especially not her husband, whose face was always obscured.
Darryl having to help Nick out of another fine mess.
wishes tended to backfire, either by fulfilling his desires in unconventional
and unexpected ways such as making it so a pair of bank robbers become his new
parents by hiding out at his house, or by running out at inopportune times.
Another major hurdle for Nick was neighborhood bully Frankie Dutweiler (James
Rankin), who took any opportunity to harass and torment Nick and Darryl and
often got Nick in trouble through his actions. Frankie especially went off if
anyone dared to call him “Francis”. Other characters included Nick’s parents,
Mel (Andrew Sabiston), a writer/reporter often struggling to advance in his
career, and Adrienne (Marilyn Lightstone), a real estate agent.
Frankie the bully.
debuted on NBC on September 14, 1991. Half of the episodes included an
appearance by a live-action Culkin at the beginning talking to the audience and
promoting the show, with a few featuring just his voice over describing the
events of the upcoming story. “Love at First Wish” and “The Best of Enemies”
featured Frankie’s voice-over instead. The entire series was written by Jeffrey Scott and featured
music by Clark Gassman.
Animation duties were handled by Hung Long
Animation and Cartooneurs.
The live-action segments were directed by Christopher Brough.
didn’t quite bring in the audience NBC was hoping for, and ultimately the
network followed through with their plan to eliminate animation entirely from
their Saturday morning schedule in favor of trying to replicate the success of Saved
by the Bellwith a focus on live-action teen-oriented comedies. Wish
Kid did have the distinction of being the last of the cartoons to remain on
NBC’s schedule when it was cleared for the 2-hour news program Saturday Todayon August 1st,
1992 before the fall season began. Reruns of the show aired on The Family
Channel and did well enough that the network expressed interest in commissioning
a new season, but plans for that fell through. Originally, the show’s theme
song was a parody of “Chantilly
Lace” by The Big Bopper.
Rights issues about the music forced DiC to remove the lyrics for
syndication, leaving only the singular line “Yo, baby, wishing’s what I like!”
The line also tied into Nick’s unexplained exclamations of “Yo, baby!”
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