Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday Morning Recreated: ABC, Fall 1980

It's been far too long since I posted for this feature, and it's high time I did. Once again I'm visiting an old comic book ad for a TV network's Saturday morning lineup of the past and doing the best I can to recreate the experience here (well, recreate the lineup, if not the experience). For this round, I present the Saturday morning lineup for ABC in the fall of 1980! You can check out my two previous installments of this feature here and here.

First up at 8am Eastern time is a true Saturday Morning classic, Superfriends. Here they appear in "The Beasts Are Coming!"

Next at 9am is The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, an animated version of Happy Days. Yes, Happy Days. Except this incarnation involves time travel. And a humorous dog who gives thumbs up. ABC took this approach with a few of their live action sitcoms, but this started the trend. Just look.

At 9:30, ABC presented the Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show. Here, the canine duo (along with human Shaggy) wind up on a boat as "Stow Aways."

10am began the Richie Rich Show. I couldn't find any episodes, but here are the intro, outro, and interstitial bumpers.

10:30 brought us the comic strip cat Heathcliff, along with co-feature Dingbat, the vampire dog. Yes, networks tried everything on Saturday morning TV.

At 11am, we saw DC Comics superhero Plastic Man, a carryover from the previous season, but this time with a bouncing baby boy--literally.

This was followed at 11:30 by Thundarr The Barbarian. Character design was created by legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby.

Lastly, the morning (by this time, afternoon) ended with two ABC stalwarts, The ABC Weekend Special and American Bandstand. I've featured the Special before, and there are virtually no clips for Bandstand, so I'll stop here.

Quite a mixed bag here. Superfriends was a winner, and I was a fan of Thundarr, but Happy Days is laughable and the remaining lineup forgettable. I'll look for the other networks for this same time period to see how they compare.

I once again want to thank Kliph Nesteroff of the Saturday Morning Blog and Shawn of Branded In The 80s for permission to use the concept and comic book ad, respectively. Please send me any feedback you can so I can make this feature prime reading. Thanks!

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