Tag Archives: Saturday Morning Cartoons

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 3: A song that reminds you of summertime

Who is this super hero? Sarge? NO!

Rosemary, the telephone operator? NO WAY, MAN!

Penry, the mild-mannered janitor? COULD BE!

Every time I hear this deep cut by Sublime, it brings me back to summers and weekends, cruising around Cobb County, Georgia in a 1996 Ford Windstar with the best mates an oddball kind like me could hope for! The album, Saturday Morning, Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, and this track in particular, served as the soundtrack to many an ill-advised jaunt around the greater metro Atlanta area. Adventures that led to destinations like Funcoland for old video games (we were retro gamers when the N64 was still new), to Peachtree Industrial for new airsoft guns, or even the occasional detour to Crescent City Beignets for an afternoon of caffeine, muffalettas, fried dough, and enough powered sugar to kill a small animal.

I first discovered this track while watching the MCA Records-produced TV special on Cartoon Network’s Mr. Spimm’s Cartoon Theatre (this was during the early days of Cartoon Network, before classics such as Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls even existed), and I thought it was the coolest thing to see theme songs to shows that I loved performed by contemporary artists that I was enthralled with! I mean, Sublime, Helmet, Wax, Reverend Horton Heat–what’s not to love about that? Sadly, this was also the days before the widespread adoption of the Internet, so there was really no way to find a copy of this video at any of my local outlets.

Sometime in the late 90s, I happened across the soundtrack on CD at Disc-Go-Round (RIP), tucked in the back corner of the shop among copies of Titanic and The Bodyguard that no one seemed to want anymore. Of course, I let out an audible shriek and plunked the $17.95+tax onto the counter before gleefully running out the door to listen to my newest treasure in the Sony Walkman that I had stashed in the center console of the minivan (routed into the stereo by way of a cassette adapter, naturally). From that day forth, the merry band of misfits known as Angst Haben had a new freak flag to fly, compliments of that 3rd-wave ska band out of Long Beach and the first black superhero on television (who also happened to be a dog).

Memories of Adam West’s Batman 1966

This groovy theme from the 60’s Batman series always conjures up a specific image in my mind: one of eating breakfast on the “back porch” of the Yellow House (really the extended kitchen/dining room area leading to the actual back porch), an unfinished solarium where we had a small aluminum and plastic dining table. There was a small Sears color television sitting on the corner of the table that I was watching Saturday Morning Cartoons on. It was late into the block, and the last shows to air were on WXIA (Channel 11, the local NBC affiliate): Batman and Superboy. It was hard to get a decent picture, so I was constantly getting up to adjust the rabbit ear antenna to catch the broadcast signal as it meandered around the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain and bounced against nearby Lost Mountain.

WXIA stopped showing Batman reruns not long after that, replacing them with a block by producer Peter Engel that included Saved By The Bell and the knock-off California Dreams. I don’t recall what happened to that TV set, either. We may have given it to a relative in need or it may have just died altogether; it was the 1980s.

Also to be noted was the little family in-joke when my dad and I would get into his old 66 Chevrolet truck wherein one of us would start the familiar checklist and the other would finish:

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Aw yes, children, this is happening

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Tra la laa, laa la la laa. Tra la laa, laa la la laaaa…

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This Is the First Weekend in America With No Saturday Morning Cartoons

The end of an era.

Saturday morning American broadcast TV was once animation’s home field. Filling a cereal bowl with artificially colored sugar pebbles and staring at the tube was every kid’s weekend plan. Not any more: For the first time in 50-plus years, you won’t find a block of animation on broadcast this morning. It’s the end of an era.

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