TV Tidbit: When Saturday Mornings Were Epic
What has become of Saturday mornings is a travesty. In the 70s and 80s, watching Saturday morning cartoons was a ritual. You’d climb out of bed at the crack of dawn, grab a blanket, go to the kitchen and pour yourself a bowl of Fruity Pebbles or Cocoa Krispies, make your way to the living room, and ready yourself for a marathon of sitting in your pajamas and watching the world of Hanna-Barbera unfold before your eyes. Hanna-Barbera created most of the cartoons of the period (though, there were others), one cannot help but notice their names at the end of every cartoon: Scooby-Doo,The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Super Friends, Yogi Bear, Speed Buggy, Josie and the Pussycats, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Hong Kong Phooey, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Jabberjaw, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Pac Man, Jonny Quest,and Shirt Tales are just a handful of the hordes of cartoons that Hanna-Barbera productions were responsible. Saturday mornings were also plentiful with commercials for toys, breakfast cereal, lunchbox snacks, and fast-food (all the things that are important to kids). We occasionally received lessons in nutrition and good health from O.J. Simpson (he was hero then), our eating habits were kept in check by a little butter yellow man in a hat named Timer (These were known as the Time for Timer series, perhaps best known for his quotes “I hanker for a hunk of cheese” and “Don’t drown your food”), and we were given musical lessons in math, grammar, history and science from the people at School House Rocks. We never even knew were learning, they were so much fun. Sometimes, we found time to build a blanket fort, or brought out our toys and played along with some of our favorite shows. You knew the morning was coming to an end when Loony Toons came on. It meant one last-hour before the magic was over for the week. Saturday mornings were a glorious time for kids and we knew how to make the most of it. Why did television and audiences let this weekly ritual fade away?
Fun Fact: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera produced over 150 cartoons over careers than spanned more than four decades.