Episode 122: Saturday Mourning

This week, we mourn the loss of an institution of animation. Every weekend, we’d race to the TV with a bowl of cereal and remote control at the ready. It was Saturday morning. Six hours of animation across three networks. It was the event you waited for all week.

And then one day, it went away. What happened? Was it the advent of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network? Was it the glut of crap? Was it the unwarranted invasion of teen comedies? Was it all of the above? Could be!

We talk about all of these things with guest Thomas Revor!

5 thoughts on “Episode 122: Saturday Mourning

  1. Damn, patent trolls. For a moment there, that kinda reminded me of Ken Penders.

    Even Animax, which use to be an all-anime channel, started showing live-action shows that really defeats the purpose of that channel. Only exception is that they were Korean dramas instead of tween sitcoms. God damn Suits.

  2. Some of the Disney Saturday morning stuff was kind of cool like Recess and Fillmore. There was the Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat which got some air time on CBS in the 90s that I wish would get a dvd release. I kind of doubt that will ever happen though.

    • That Felix cartoon was animated pretty well, from what I remember.

      Actually, that reminds me of the one thing that I regret not mentioning, which is Mighty Mouse The New Adventures by Ralph Bakshi, which was awesome. And it came before Batman TAS, Animaniacs, and Ren & Stimpy.

  3. Too bad this was one of your shorter episodes. I would have loved to have heard more of your reminiscing. But you are exactly right. Saturday morning was an event. There were so many cartoons to choose from, so you just found the ones you liked the most and flipped around. From about 7-11 it was cartoons on the three networks. I have always been an early riser, so I was up around 6:00 or 6:30 and there were some puppet shows or shows like Captain Kangaroo on at that time. I don’t recall the name of the one I watched, but it had a tiny red dragon.

    Anyway, Saturday morning was something I know I looked forward to every week. Sunday morning there were no cartoons, so we soaked in Saturdays. Looking at your graphic, which I seem to remember from an ad in comics at the time, I didn’t remember that Gummy Bears was a Saturday morning show. I guess it was later rolled into the Disney afternoon.

    So what killed Saturday morning? Probably a lot of things. As you and others have often mentioned, it was Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and other 24-hour cable channels. But in short, I think it was cable. When all you had were the big networks, that’s where the shows were because that is where the eyes were. And it took a while for Nick and CN to get good original content. Now that’s where the hot shows are hosted…well, there and The Hub. Saturday mornings aren’t what they were. Most stations carry local news for four hours or more. However, I just moved and the local stations here are running cartoons later in the morning, however, they are for very young children. Mill Creek’s Cookie Jar brand is distributing a series of cartoons. Two of the stations here were showing cartoons early in the morning, but it certainly isn’t the big deal it was in our generation.

    It is sad that Saturday morning cartoons don’t really exist. CN and The Hub have been making an effort to make it special. I loved seeing Green Lantern, Young Justice, and the new ThunderCats on CN Saturday mornings. It was something to look forward to every week, until they killed that. But sadly, the days of the networks vying for young eyes by pounding out hours of animated content for kids are gone. Too bad because I would love to see what possibilities there could be with creators coming up with new shows on a regular basis.

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