Saturday Morning Memories and any interest in a Discord Streaming group

I’m just curious on everyone’s Saturday Morning nostalgia as I’ve started going through my own personal collection. Whether your favorites, or dislikes, jot some fun ones down and lets make a nerdy dialogue.

Myself, I like the shows most rarely remember or shows that were kept from air in America. My top five are Garbage Pail Kids, Riders in the Sky, The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimmly, Science Court, and The Adventures of Ted Ruxpin. I will also say a guilty pleasure/ totally riff-able cartoon is Clutch Cargo. Honestly, if you don’t know Clutch Cargo, check YouTube.

On another note, how many would be interested in a Discord group that maybe once a week did a group streaming of Saturday Morning shows. Been thinking about it for a while and I want to put feelers out. I have a lot of shows in my collection so there won’t be a problem.

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Several years back, there was a weekend discussion on Satellite News about Saturday morning cartoon adaptations of MST3K films.

Weekend Discussion Thread: MSTed Movies as Cartoons « Satellite News (mst3kinfo.com)

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I was a kid in the 70s, the Golden Age of Saturday Morning. Back then the day was ruled by Sid & Marty Krofft and Hanna-Barbera, with Filmation and Ruby-Spears getting in a few hits. I remember organizing my morning around the Krofft Supershow.

The first girl I ever fell in love with was Joy from The Bugaloos. She’s the template of my Dream Woman to this day.

I continued to watch The Smurfs right into college… there was just something so relaxing about it. I actually have some of their DVDs and watch them on YouTube occasionally on Saturday morning. It’s about time to cue up their Christmas special, in fact.

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When that premiered, I didn’t know about Ed Grimley yet and only caught the tail end. I thought it was some pre-college Revenge of the Nerds something-or-other.

The following Monday, at school, all the kids were talking about their new favorites in that year’s Saturday morning lineup and a friend set me straight.

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Ahh Saturday morning cartoons. Get up a 6am (on a weekend!!) watch until 11am or noon. Good times. I don’t think Saturday morning cartoons are a thing anymore. Such a shame.

What was even better was when we moved to a new state (hey AF brat it happened every two years) one of the indy stations ran all the old westerns in the afternoons: Laredo, High Chaparral, Laramie, loved those old shows as a teen.

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Ohhhhhh I am almost too young for this thread. almost. I enjoyed Disney 1 Saturday Mornings, which had goodies like Doug, House of Mouse, Buzz Lightyear of Starcommand, The Proud Family. After that wasn’t a thing anymore the only reason we still got Saturday morning programming was cuz we didn’t have cable, so ABC would do disney channel shows on Saturday and the CW would have their own shows like Sonic X and Horseland and Saddle Club.

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CW had the last Saturday morning cartoon programming block for which the plug was pulled in 2014.

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Never revisit your childhood if you grew up in the 80s. You’ll find out that almost everything you loved was crap designed to sell toys.

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In my childhood in the 70s, it was still mostly “Hey, this is really popular with kids… let’s make some toys!” and hadn’t yet switched over to “Hey, we need to sell some toys… let’s make a cartoon!”

But it was already starting to move in that direction a bit. I think the He-Man/She-Ra universe was where it really took off.

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Saturday Mornings for the UK were a bit different than the US.

When I was growing up we had 4 channels, satellite/Cable was a thing, but far from the norm, and they didn’t have specific children’s channels yet.

So, Saturday morning I’d usually get up around 0530, and pop the telly on, all that would be showing was the test image, or sometimes pages from Ceefax/Teletext, which I had no interest in reading.

About 6am BBC1 would spring to life with some old Tom and Jerry cartoon, they’d keep these loaded to play when the schedule drifted and starting the day was their go-to move. We’d then usually get some rubbish shows about slightly posh London kids pretending to be working class London Kids dealing with a basic dilemma, not doing homework, being embarrassed by a parent, or meeting their older sister who was kidnapped as a baby, all while also solving some sort of mysterious smuggling based crime, all very Enid Blyton.

We might then get some “branded” cartoons, like Kissyfur (Dull as hell) or The Raccoons (banger of a theme song aside, also dull as hell) before handing the show over to the Magazine Show. I’m of the “Going Live” generation, GTG4LYFE, but all the variations were the same thing, a couple of hosts, some celebrity guests, a lot of “Today we’re in Widnes, and we’re going to look at the Widnes Model Train exhibition, but not actually look at the trains, we’re instead going to talk about how hard it is to be cool and also like trains” type stuff, usually presented by a child with the screen presence of a ball of wool wrapped around a turnip.

These excruciating shows went on for 2-3 hours a week, and to kill the tedium they did things like live call-ins, which were only fun when someone called in to be horrible to the guests, Pop star nightmares on kids telly - YouTube games where the person at home could “control” a game of some sort with their voice and win a prize, usually a celeb guest would do the actual playing, so if you ever wanted to see Robert Smith of The Cure fail to win a cheap bike for one of the producers kids, you were in hogs heaven my friend!

One of the biggest coups for these shows was when Margaret Thatcher, then Prime Minister, appeared on Saturday Superstore, and actually took part in the pop-music review segment where she completely destroyed the career of the band Thrashing Doves by reviewing them positively, a death-toll for a late 80’s indie band. Margaret Thatcher on Saturday Superstore (edits) | 10/01/1987 - YouTube

BBC2 would show Open University shows, which was a lot of VERY 70’s looking dudes calmly explaining things that an 8-year-old wouldn’t care about, but presented in a fashion that hungover people would greatly appreciate. Academic Beard from 1973 - YouTube

ITV was very similar to the BBC, but would do more “branded” shows, Ovid Video, Galaxy High, or Snorks, for example, and usually had their magazine show going to different towns every week in a “roadshow” format, so on a cold morning you’d get the hosts, and a pop-group with something to promote, huddled together in a truck trailer as children stand in the drizzle outside.

They also had an “early” magazine show called “The Wide-Awake Club” which went on in the TVAM slot (ITV’s early mornings were produced by a separate company) before the main Saturday Morning show, it was pretty much the same, except it stayed in the London studios, so actually got better guests, this was the place to go if you wanted to see Depeche Mode lackadaisically lips sync Master And Servant at 0850 on a saturday! Depeche Mode Master and Servant Wide Awake Club 85 - YouTube

The magazine shows would usually show at least 1 cartoon, and it would be a PROPER American one, like Jem, or Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, but they’d show these at random time, so you’d have to watch the whole show to be sure to catch it.

An aside here, I was (and remain) a HUGE Transformers fan, part of the reason I got up so early on Saturdays is because my Transformers comic would be delivered, and I wanted to read it right away, so the Cartoon was something I was excited to see, but it was only shown on weekdays in 2-3 minute segments, at times that are great for London kids to see it, but were 10 minutes after I started school. I remain mad about this to this very day.

Channel 4 didn’t really do anything on a Saturday that interested me, all sports shows and something called “California Highways” which was a lot of footage of highways in California, where nothing happened, seriously, just… pictures of roads for half an hour. Signation: California Highway (Carl Joachim Ludwig) - YouTube

the kids shows would usually wrap up around 11am, and then every channel would do news, or sports shows that didn’t show sport, just old men talking about sport, so this is when the kids would start spilling into the street to do a bit of shoplifting or a casual racism, as was tradition at the time.

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You had Blue Peter though. From what I’ve seen of it, it’s better than most American programming for kids.

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Blue Peter was pretty great, still very BBC Upper-Middle class “What ho! Let’s go see what the foreigns are doing”, but competently made. I remember there being some outcry when they hired their first person from THE NORTH.

It was a BBC show, so wasn’t allowed to use brand names, “Sticky-Backed Plastic” became a joke in and of itself.

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Saturday morning cartoons were the best. I can’t remember all of them, and I may be mixing up Saturday morning cartoons with after school cartoons but I liked:

Muppet Babies (Awesomeness.)

Gummi bears (Didn’t like the show but loved the theme song.)

Dungeons & Dragons (I remember this as coming on last and it was the weakest in the lineup. I’d tune out after the first minute or two.)

He-Man, She-Ra
Inspector Gadget
Thundercats (I wanted to be Lion-O when I was 6. Got the costume for Halloween and never wanted to take it off)
Jem (the doll came with a cassette tape of the theme song! it was truly truly truly outrageous!)

And older shows were always on TV, like the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, stuff like that.

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Muppet Babies was indeed awesome, as was Gummi Bears.

I refused to watch He-Man and She-ra, the way they moved is still incredibly creepy to me even to thus day. Rotoscoped animation is just upsetting.

I liked Dungeons and Dragons, but the cliffhanger it ended on is just a downer, there’s a modern take on the concept in the comic “Die”, which I do like.

Inspector Gadget though, it made me FURIOUS, Inspector Gadget was rubbish, and dangerous, and only stole success from the little girl and dog who did all the work. The first time I ever got in trouble for disliking Police was a direct result of me writing “ACAB” in my homework diary so I could write a rubbish essay about how bad Inspector Gadget was at his job.

I was just the most insufferable child you could imagine.

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I wasn’t a big Inspector Gadget fan, but I really wanted Penny’s computer book. Now they have stuff like that and I don’t really want an iPad or a Surface Tablet.

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I remember that one… WPIX out of New York did that. I think the game was Asteroids and the caller had to say “pix” to fire. They would do that in the after-school time slots on weekdays, too.

In the 70s the networks were very competitive about their Saturday morning kids’ lineups. They would even run prime-time specials to introduce their new shows for the year.

Back then advertisers were still allowed to market directly to kids, so a lot of the commercials were directed at us and are still remembered as clearly as the shows.

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But, man, those toys were bitchin’!

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They were better than the shows designed to sell them, I’ll give you that.

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Transformers when it first came out…
Smurfs…
Snorks…
Muppet Babies…
Scooby-Doo…

All good memories, but the show that locally was on at 7:00am on a Saturday for reason that looking back what were they thinking, and that sent me down a deep rabbit hole… ROBOTECH.

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That’s something that happened a bit later, the games I’m talking about were literally a kid on the phone saying “Up, Down, Left, Right, Fire” to the guest that would do the actual requested moves, usually something like a crossbow with a sucker arrow.

So you’ve got around 3 second delay for the kid to get the picture, and another 3 seconds for the command to come, it would always be hopelessly out of sync.

The same thing happened with the video game based version, but at least a c-list celeb didn’t have to get involved!