What Happened To These Forgotten 80s’ Saturday Morning Cartoons?
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You were just a kid, maybe 7 to 10-years-old. The time would be 6 AM. You stretched in your two piece race car or princess pajamas. You’d scatter carefully on your tippy-toes down the stairs (or across the hallway if you didn’t have a staircase) into the kitchen to grab yourself a bowl of a cereal of Kellogg’s finest variety, and then inevitably you’d sit yourself down in front of the TV, and there would be a whole entire schedule of colorful, fun cartoons lined up for your entertainment. This was what I looked forward to as a little kiddo.
Thing is, after doing some sentimental research, I found some cartoons I completely forgot ever even existed, maybe due to the possibility of the show having a rather short and forgetful run or maybe because this show simply never really struck me as interesting as a little kid, leading me to forget all about it on my own. Well, that old metaphorical shoebox full of TV shows of Saturday mornings past has opened back up, and like forgotten ghosts of my childhood, all these television oddities that have been residing in the back of my brain for years have flown right back to the front. Now without further adieux, I am glad to share with you, some of the 80’s Saturday morning cartoons we thought we would never hear of again:
6:00 AM: Blackstar
If Flash Gordon and of He-Man had a love child, that would definitely be John Blackstar. This guy was an astronaut who “swept through a black hole into an ancient alien universe,” according to the show’s intro. This strapping hunk lacks a shirt for some reason, and he protects the peaceful Trobbits of planet Sagar with the swing of his trusty Starsword. Actually, believe it or not, this show actually came before He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!
6:30 AM: The Biskitts
The Biskitts were primarily known as “the smallest dogs in the world,” this fantasy-driven show’s plot was torn between Pound Dogs and The Smurfs. This Hanna-Barbera production unfortunately only lasted a mere season (thus why I probably forgot about it so easily). HOWEVER, it lived on through the eyes of military children overseas because- fun fact, it was eventually adopted by the Armed Forces Network and broadcasted throughout the rest of the 80’s.
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7:00 AM: The Gary Coleman Show
If you don’t recall, yes- this was actually a thing. The teeny tiny Diff’rent Strokes icon spun off his TV movie, The Kid with the Broken Halo, for this particular cartoon showcase. Coleman’s character would help people and earn wings for each good deed. Another Hanna-Barbera Production gone wrong, this unlucky concept only lasted 13 episodes back in 1982.
7:30 AM: The Kiwi Koala Show
Tex Avery, the animation legend behind What’s Buzzin’ Buzzard and other well known MGM cartoons established this late-career obscurity for Hanna-Barbera. The adorable star of the show was resembled many traits of Avery’s previous doodle, Droopy.
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8:00 AM: Meatballs and Spaghetti
Meatballs & Spaghetti was cartoon about a husband-and-wife rock duo who would tour the country in their raggedy old mobile home. He played guitar, she played key-tar, their corny friend Clyde played bass, and their trustee dog was the super jivey drummer. This Marvel Production was made for CBS in its short lived career between 1982 and 1983.
8:30 AM: Saturday Supercade
We all know that the arcade industry basically owned pop culture back in the 80’s. This television favorite consisted of the most popular game characters at the time: Frogger, Donkey Kong, Q*bert, Donkey Kong Jr., Pitfall, Space Ace and Kangaroo (don’t worry if you don’t remember Kangaroo… No one really does).
Are you an 80’s-arcade-culture head? Check out our article on the famous arcade-inspired film article on the famous arcade-inspired film The Wizard!
9:00 AM: Shirt Tales
This show is about a greeting card designer who creates a bunch of stuffed animals who go by the names: Tyg Tiger, Pammy Panda, Digger Mole, Rick Raccoon and Bogey Orangutan (yes, he was in fact an ape possessed the same mannerisms as Humphrey Bogart. ) These stuffed animals, would fight crime all over Mid City. Nancy Cartwright, (who also voiced Bart Simpson,) did the voice for Kip Kangaroo.
9:30 AM: Goldie Gold and Action Jack
Predating the concept of Richie Rich, Goldie Gold was a young millionaire who inherits a journalistic fortune from her family. She travels the world with her colleague/reporter “Action Jack” Travis and her cute little dog Nugget. The team’s transportation device is a glass-topped airplane with that has its own swimming pool! Now when is an airline going to pick up on that marketing technique?!!
10:00 AM: Laverne and Shirley in the Army
Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams would actually play themselves in the animated spinoff of the beloved show Laverne & Shirley. This cartoon appeared every Saturday morning in the later months of 1981. The two military rookies fought aliens, werewolves and even Bigfoot. Their boss was Sgt. Squealy, a talking pig, who was played by Ron Palillo — (who also played Horshack in Welcome Back, Kotter?!)
And finally, 10:30 AM: The Dukes
The two well known boys of Hazzard travel the globe on the run from Boss Hog in this incarnation of the popular live-action television series. Unfortunately, the cartoon did not score as many seasons as the latter. Bo and Luke, a newer set of Dukes was voiced by the actual two live-action stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider) during the second and final season of yet another failed Hanna-Barbera production, furthermore insisting that the phrase “You win some, you lose some” can definitely be applied here with Hanna-Barbera.
After some desperate attempts of redeeming social value, Hanna-Barbera and other companies would fill the slots in between our favorite cartoons with the tryouts for new and what they hoped would be up-and-coming Saturday morning cartoon personalities. What they didn’t realize was that these gems would unfortunately be forgotten… Until now…
Can you remember any Saturday morning cartoons that you left back in your 80’s vault along with your old spaghetti socks? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
To read the full story, click here: 80s Saturday Morning Cartoons You Totally Forgot About
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