June 25, 2022


Continuing our 8th anniversary celebration with the Saturday morning shows that are currently celebrating


This weekend marks the beginning of Saturday Mornings Forever's 8th year, and as usual we celebrate by recognizing the 5th anniversaries of the various Saturday morning programs over the last seven decades from the newest to the oldest. Join us, won't you? Here are the shows celebrating



(QUBE C-1, Nickelodeon, 1979-81)


QUBE, Warner Cable

            In terms of comic book-based television productions, Video Comics was extremely unique. In 1977, an experimental two-way multi-programmed cable TV system called “QUBE” was launched in Columbus, Ohio by Warner Cable, a division of Warner Communications. It would introduce several concepts that became standard in cable television: pay-per-view, special-interest cable services, and interactive services. Ambitiously, QUBE had to produce 10 channels of content all at once, which meant the quicker and cheaper the better. As Warner also owned DC Comics, it was decided to produce a filler series based around those comics that also encouraged children to read along. However, rather than employ the limited animation that had plagued rival Marvel Comics’ own productions in the 1960s, Video Comics instead chose to skip the animation process altogether. Instead, Video Comics was literally just a filmed comic book utilizing zooms, pans, fades, music, sound effects and voiceovers. Basically, an audio drama crossed with a book on tape.

            Video Comics debuted QUBE in 1979, eventually finding its way over to the Warner-owned Nickelodeon network shortly after its launch as a fill-in program. Some of the segments featured an intro of an artist working on pages or pictures of the characters being featured. All of the voices were provided by Diane Disque, William Hamilton and Charles Pickard, with Jon Cornell directing and editing and Dana Kadison producing. The episodes were produced at the local Owl Studios. Among the adapted series and characters were Green Lantern, Swamp Thing, Hawkman, Space Ranger, The Atom, The Flash, and Sugar and Spike for a total of 70 segments ranging from 10-20 minutes in length. Once the networks had sufficient programming in 1981, production on the series ended and it had largely gone forgotten. To date, only three full episodes and one partial exist on the internet, as well as a promo from during its run on Nickelodeon.

June 18, 2022



(Syndication, September, 1952-May 1, 1954)


T.C.A. Productions, Inc.


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were an American comedy duo whose partnership spanned from 1935-57. Their pairing came about on the burlesque circuit when Abbott substituted for Costello’s regular partner after he took ill. At the insistence of other performers and Abbott’s wife, the two became a permanent team with Abbott playing the straight man to Costello’s dimwitted antics. Their work spanned between radio, film and television, making them the most popular comedy team of the 1940s and early 1950s and the highest-paid entertainers in the world during WWII. Their routine “Who’s on First?”, which debuted on the radio in 1938 a month after their first broadcast, is considered one of the greatest comedy routines of all time. When changing tastes and overexposure reduced their popularity and their film and television contracts expired, the two went their separate ways; with Costello dying soon after in 1959.

But and Lou getting into antics with Mike the Cop and Sidney the landlord.

After being part of the rotating roster of hosts for The Colgate Comedy Hour, Abbott and Costello were given their own show. It was loosely based on their radio show and even shared the same title: The Abbott and Costello Show. The premise was that Abbott and Costello were unemployed actors sharing a rooming house apartment in Hollywood. A running gag featured Abbott constantly nagging Costello to get a job while he himself remained happily unemployed. Unlike typical sitcoms, the series was more of a showcase for the pair’s burlesque routines in a manner they could control (and own, as Costello owned the show with Abbott on salary) and put little emphasis on plot, character or continuity. If it was funny, it was in the show. Other characters included their landlord, Sidney Fields (himself); their neighbor and sometimes love-interest for Costello, Hillary Brooke (herself); Mike the cop (Gordon Jones), their dimwitted foil and occasional rival for Hillary; Mr. Bacciagalupe (Costello’s brother-in-law Joe Kirk), a stereotypical Italian immigrant that held whatever job the script required; and Stinky (Joe Besser), a 40-year-old little boy in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit.

Lou outside with Stinky.

The Abbott and Costello Show debuted in the fall of 1952, sold into syndication by MCA Inc. to approximately 40 local stations across the country; meaning it was broadcast on different days at different times in different cities. Despite airing on CBS in New York City and later NBC, the series was never carried by a national network. The only time it received network airplay was when CBS broadcast reruns as part of their Saturday morning schedule for the 1954 season. The original intro featured a montage of scenes from the pair’s early Universal films and was followed by a framing sequence with them on a stage addressing the audience (sometimes with another cast member) at the beginning, middle and end. For the second season, Brooke, Kirk and Besser were dropped, the intro was simplified, the stage segments removed, and a more traditional sitcom format adopted with tighter plots at the insistence of series director and season producer Jean Yarbrough. The series aired in reruns through the 1990s, and again from the 2010s to the present on MeTV and sister network Decades.

June 16, 2022



You can read the announcement here.

He worked as a character designer on The Real Ghostbusters and Godzilla: The Series, the latter of which he also served as an executive design consultant as he did on Men in Black: The Series. He also provided animation for “The Worm Winter Games” episode of Sesame Street. 

June 11, 2022



You can read the full story here.

He provided the English voice for Fubuki Sumiye in Beyblade Burst and guest-starred as Navareth in the “Witches Before Wizards” episode of The Owl House.



(CBS, September 20, 1955-September 11, 1959)

The CBS Television Network



Created by Nat Hiken, the series centered on the adventures of Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko (Phil Silvers), the head of the motor pool of the unremarkable army post of Fort Baxter in the fictional town of Roseville Kansas. Bilko was a schemer who was always involved in some kind of swindle or get-rich-quick scam while trying to do as little actual work as possible. Under him were his right-hand men Captain Rocco Barbella (Harvey Lembeck) and Captain Steve Henshaw (Allan Melvin), as well as CaptaiN Sam Fender (Herbie Faye), Private Duane Doberman (Maurice Gosfield), Private Dino Paparelli (Billy Sands), Private Fielding Zimmerman (Mickey Freeman), Private Gander (Tige Andrews), Private Mullen (Jack Healy), Private Irving Fleishman (Maurice Brenner), Private Stash Kadowski (Karl Lukas), Private Claude Dillingham (Walter Cartier) and Private Sugarman (an African-American defying the segregation still prevalent at the time, played by Terry Carter). In charge of all of them was Bilko’s long-suffering commanding officer, Colonel John T. Hall (Paul Ford). Bilko’s men were fiercely loyal to him, despite the fact they were just as likely to be the target of his schemes as the participants. However, Bilko did have his own code of honor: only he got to fleece his men and would often turn his shady skills against anyone else that tried.

Bilko and his men.

Originally titled You’ll Never Get Rich during its first season, The Phil Silvers Show debuted on CBS on September 20, 1955, with a theme and music by John Strauss. Despite television production beginning to move from New York to California at the time, Hiken insisted on filming the show in New York and like a stage-play: in sequence in front of an audience (which often resulted in a lot of improvisations to cover for flubbed lines; particularly from Ford). When Hiken left the series after the third season, the show moved production to California and adopted an out-of-sequence format that everyone found easier. The setting was also moved to Camp Fremont in California to realistically allow Hollywood guest stars. Actor George Kennedy, who was a veteran, was the show’s technical advisor and got his acting start with a minor role as a military policeman. The series was nominated for several Primetime Emmys, winning a couple.

A face you can trust?

After four seasons and 143 episodes (not counting the original unaired pilot), CBS abruptly decided to end the show. It was too expensive to produce due to the large cast and they wanted to try and recoup some of the cost in rerun sales, which they felt couldn’t be done while a show was still airing. CBS sold the rights to NBC, who saw massive returns when they aired it five days a week. Silvers’ Bilko persona outlined the rest of his career; playing similar characters in various television shows and films. Hanna-Barbera would take inspiration from the character to churn out the titular character from Top Cat (which starred Gosfield) and Hokey Wolf, and even The Flintstones’ Dino had a Bilko-style voice for his debut episode (he just barked for the remainder of his appearances). The series would air in syndicated reruns off and on for the next several decades between network television and cable, sometimes under the titles Sergeant Bilko or Bilko. In 1996, a film adaptation starring Steve Martin was released to theaters by Universal Pictures called Sgt. Bilko. It was a critical and box office flop.

June 04, 2022


(Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, October 25, 2000-November 14, 2006)
Klasky-Csupo, Nickelodeon Animation Studios
            As Told by Ginger was created by Emily Kapnek and produced by Klasky-Csupo. The series followed junior high school student Ginger Foutley (Melissa Disney) and her friends Darren Patterson (Kenny Blank), Deidre Hortense “Dodie” Bishop (Aspen Miller) and Macie Lightfoot (Jackie Harris) as they tried to improve their geeky social standings in school while dealing with typical life drama. Ginger’s standing was slightly helped by the fact that the most popular girl in school, Courtney Gripling (Liz Georges), took a liking to her based on her quirky “Gingerisms”, as she called them, and often invited Ginger along on social functions. Courtney’s right-hand-woman, Miranda Killgallen (Cree Summer), makes sure to keep Ginger in check and from replacing her. Ginger’s younger brother, Carl (Jeannie Elias), often got up to his own mischief with his best friend Robert Joseph “Hoodsey” Bishop (Tress MacNeille). Always available for guidance and advice was their divorced mother, Lois (Laraine Newman). Ginger documented her daily activities in her diary.

Ginger and (mostly) her friends.

            As Told by Ginger debuted on Nickelodeon on October 25, 2000, airing on the TEENick programming block. The show’s theme was “I’m in Between” written by series composer Jared Faber and Kapnek, and performed by Macy Gray. The series became notable for its unusual approach compared to other animated productions at the time. The characters were allowed to age, ending up in high school by the middle of the third season, and changed clothes every episode (sometimes several times in an episode, depending how many days it spanned). It also dealt with heavy topics, such as the school believing Ginger was suicidal after she wrote a creepy poem, Ginger becoming addicted to caffeine, and the death of a teacher (prompted by the untimely death of her voice actor, Kathleen Freeman). In 2002, the series became part of the Saturday morning Nick on CBS programming block; however, it was dropped after two months to make room for NFL coverage. As Told by Ginger was allowed to air fully in international markets, but was taken off the Nick schedule with several episodes left to air as its popularity had declined (largely due to constant schedule shifts). Two additional episodes would make their American debut on sister channel Nicktoons in 2004 and 2006, and the three-episode series finale was released as a direct to video film in 2004. In 2016, four additional episodes finally aired on TeenNick’s NickRewind block, “The Splat”. In 2021, the entire series was made available to stream on Paramount+.


(Channel C-3, Nickelodeon, December 1, 1977-July 31, 1984)
Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment
            Pinwheel was a children’s television show aimed at preschoolers aged 3-5. Created by Dr. Vivian Horner and produced by Sandy Kavanaugh, two veterans of Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), the series was set around a large Victorian-style boarding house called Pinwheel House (and happened to be powered by a pinwheel on the roof). Like CTW’s Sesame Street, human characters lived alongside and interacted with puppet ones. The humans included storyteller and artist Franci (Franci Anderson); Parisian mime/handyman Coco (Caroline Cox Loveheart & Lindanell Rivera); music enthusiast Jake (George James, also the series’ composer), who liked to collect unusual sounds in small boxes for future musical inspiration; elderly couple Smitty (Dale Engle) and Sal (Betty Rozek) who published local newspaper The Daily Noodle; and Kim (Arline Miyazaki), the house’s resident artist. The puppets included Aurelia (Brad Williams), a bohemian-style character who owned the house and worked as a fortune teller; Ebenezer T. Squint (Williams), an inventor and part-time magician that lived in the basement; Luigi O’Brien (Williams), an Italian produce vendor that worked out of the backyard; Aurelia’s nephews Plus (Williams) and Minus (Jim Jinkins) who were opposites in every way; Molly the Mole (Olga Felgemacher), an elderly mole that lived in a tree and introduced cartoon shorts; Admiral Bird (Craig Mann), a pirate bird that was elusive and hard to catch; Silas the Snail (Mann), constantly on his way to a snail gathering that he never makes due to his slow speed; siblings Herbert (Mann) and Lulu (Felgemacher), a pair of bugs that danced and played on the hedges; the Wonkies Tika, Gorkle and Woofle (all Anderson), aliens that live in in Franci’s garden terrarium; and Spiderbelle (Anderson), a bonnet-wearing spider.

            Pinwheel debuted on Columbus, Ohio’s Channel C-3 on December 1, 1977. Like similar programs, episodes dealt with concepts such as sharing, manners, the environment and other topics children should be exposed to. Short skits were interspersed with song numbers, mostly performed by Jake. It was specifically geared for the short attention span of younger children. In 1979, the network went national and became Nickelodeon, making Pinwheel one of the first programs broadcast on that network. Along with the shift came a bigger budget, allowing production to move from Columbus to New York City, the inclusion of imported animated shorts, and an expansion into a full hour (edited down to a half hour for international distribution). After five seasons and 260 episodes, production on Pinwheel ended in 1984; however, the network continued to air it for the remainder of the decade. Following the cancellation of Captain Kangaroo, Bill Cosby’s Picture Pages segment was incorporated into Pinwheel’s reruns. When Nickelodeon launched the Nick Jr. programming block, Pinwheel became the first program aired on it; promoted by Nick running a series of commercials where the logo took the shape of two pinwheels. In 1990, Pinwheel was finally taken off the air, making way for another puppet series aimed at preschoolers: Eureeka’s Castle.