These topics get more difficult every week, forcing me to choose favorite things over one another and inevitably toss something beloved by the wayside. It's like having to choose which of your zombified children to shoot first.
You’ve been hired to program the ultimate Saturday morning experience for kids across the nation–create your own ideal Saturday morning cartoon schedule.
I still remember the excitement of watching the network's Sneak Peek shows that showed off what was coming Saturdays in the fall. I realize the traditional heavily promoted time slots didn't start til 8 am but I had to squeeze all this in one morning! So rub that sleep out of your eyes and grab a giant bowl of sugary cereal!
6:00 am - 7:00 am WB Power Hour
Start your morning off right with classic Looney Tunes. Not this newer stuff, not even the '80s stuff. I'm talkin good ol fashioned, cross dressing, lipstick wearing, Elmer Fudd kissing, Bugs Bunny! I'm sure these must still be in rotation on cable somewhere but I feel today's kids are missing out on them. I can't tell you the number of times in my life these have been quoted.
Followed by a half hour of Animaniacs and Freakazoid shorts. They were both ahead of their time in terms of writing and gone too soon.
7:00 am - 8:00 am Hero Time
Challenge of the Superfriends
Arguably the best incarnation of the Superfriends, the episodes featuring the Legion of Doom are certainly among my favorites of the series. Unfortunately, they wouldn't introduce one of my favorite DC heroes, Firestorm, until the Super Powers toy commercials...er, episodes.
Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends
It was a tough call between these two, so I included both. Spidey introduced Firestar to the Marvel Universe and had a lot of great guest star episodes. I nearly lost my mind during 7 Little Superheroes when Dr. Strange showed up.
8:00 am - 9:00 am Fantasy Land
Dungeons & Dragons
I had just started exploring D&D around the time this started airing so this was extra special for me. Hank's bow is awesome but I really wanted Sheila's cloak. Just about everytime I play a computer RPG I'm some kind of thief. This is one of those shows that really needed a toy line. While there was a D&D toy line, they never made action figures of the kids.
Thundarr the Barbarian
One of my absolute favorite cartoons. Magic, super-science and sorcery in a post apocalyptic setting. What's not to love? Also sorely needed a toy line during its original run.
9:00 am - 10:00 am Super SciFi Slot
Honestly, this slot was originally going to Space Ghost. I totally forgot about Space Stars until I started poking around Wikipedia's Saturday Morning schedules. Space Ghost AND Herculoids? I'm in!! I kind of liked Teen Force too. It didn't hurt that they had an occasional crossover episode.
Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
There will always be a place in my heart for Battle of the Planets, which was something I played with my friends a lot. But since being exposed to the original, unedited, not cutsified for round eye kids version, there's really no going back. The original would never fly on Saturday morning in the '70s/'80s due to its violence, mild profanity and transgenderism.
10:00 am - 11:00 am G-G-G-GHOSTS!
Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated
The modern day version of those meddling kids has elevated the series beyond the monster of the week formula. Not only is there an over-arching plot to the series, but the main characters actually have personal lives and are growing and changing. There's also plenty of pop culture references and the occasional cameo of characters from other toons. I never would have imagined anyone could take the Scooby gang in this direction.
The Real Ghostbusters
What better companion to Scooby-Doo than the Real GBs?
They came, they saw, they rocked our Saturday morning.
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Monster Hour
Land of the Lost
Wow I forgot there was even a '90s version on Nick. As dated as this looks now, it was some of the best writing on Saturday mornings. It was like Lost of kids! I think the time is right for this to make its way back to TV. Kids always love dinosaurs and Sleestaks. And I'm going to go right on pretending the movie was a drug induced hallucination.
The Aquabats Supershow
Originally, this slot was going to be Krofft Superstars featuring rotating sci-fi shows like Electra-Woman & Dyna-Girl, Wildboy & Bigfoot, Dr Shrinker, Far-Out Spacenuts and the Lost Saucer. Then I remembered this show. It sort of encapsulates all that plus some Power Ranger crazy-ass-ness. Why not combine the original idea and put Land of the Lost in the rotation? Because it's just that important to me.
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm The "Aww, I Don't Wanna Go Outside Yet" Slot
Nothing to do with wrestling or the CBS cartoon block.This..is..STARCADE! If you're around my age, this was the game show you wanted to be on. Playing arcade games for achance to take one home? Yes, please! Unless it was one of the crappy non-A list games.
Well, there you have it! I think I did my inner kid proud by including the Saturday morning staples: classics, superheroes, fantasy, sci-fi, ghosts, monsters and video games. Now if we can get smash those all together, we can run that show all morning long.
Of course there's still hours upon hours of stuff I didn't touch on: Trans-Formers, GI Joe, all the relatively recent DC animated shows, HB greats like Yogi Bear, the Banana Splits Show, live action like Isis and Ark II, any of the Force Five...Oy!
Here's what other Leaguers posted
That Figures has a few of the things I dropped from my line-up
Dan at Of Flying Monkeys and Ewoks (great name!) has a good lineup
Not surprisingly, Rediscover the 80s has a very 80s-centric lineup