Local lifestyle columnists

Saturday morning TV used to be golden

By From page A2 | September 13, 2013

I loved watching Saturday morning TV as a kid. My faves ran the gamut from animated shows like “Super Friends” to live action ones like “Shazam!” and the trippy Sid and Marty Krofft production “Lidsville.” I also loved the music shows “American Bandstand” and “Sooooooooooul Train.”

A few years ago my brother Kelvin and I watched a DVD of another show we loved as kids – “H.R. Pufnstuf” – and were completely underwhelmed. Sometimes, memory lane is better left un-strolled.

Others looked back on Saturday morning TV:

Terrence J. Mulich: “Johnny Quest” seemed to always put me on the edge of my seat and his dad strangely enough always reminded me of the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island.”

Jude Mastin: “Hong Kong Phooey.” The only super hero who was also a janitor – other than the Toxic Avenger.

Keith Hayes: I would never miss “Bar 7 Theater” every Saturday morning when I was young. It was three to four hours of B westerns with Bob Steele, Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix, etc.

Cheryl Tate: As kids we were on our bikes and out of the house as early as possible. Saturday was the day our stepfather always found a home improvement project for us to help with.

Vicki James: I liked “Kimba The White Lion.” I liked the idea that all (well, most) of the animals in the forest got along with each other. Not too realistic I know, but hey, it was a cartoon . . . right?

Tracy Vest: I was a huge “Schoolhouse Rock” fan. When I went to college in New Jersey we would sing the songs. My personal favorite was “I’m Just a Bill.” I even dressed up as a bill for Halloween in Georgetown and had people “sign” me and became a law at midnight.

Randy Michaels: I started my Saturdays with Bugs Bunny and a bowl of cereal and ended it with “H.R. Pufnstuff.”

Paula Lindsey: My favorites were always the nonanimated shows with real people and (mostly) believable animals like Fury, Flicka, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. I really liked “Sergeant Preston King of the Yukon” and his dog Yukon King. King was an Alaskan malamute and from the first time I saw him pulling that sled I wanted a big, beautiful dog just like him. Well, years later we did finally get a dog . . . a poodle. He was great, but not the dog of my dreams. When I was out on my own I almost got my malamute, but wisely decided against it.

Jeanine Del Ponte: I liked “Looney Tunes.” I would eat carrots like Bugs Bunny. When I watched Popeye I would have to eat my spinach straight from the can and cold even. I don’t think I could do that now.

Doug Rodgers: I still like “Looney Tunes,” and have a small collection of the Saturday morning cartoons that I would wake up early to watch. Cartoons now are terrible.

Bill Pendleton: My dad hated that my brother and I watched cartoons Saturday mornings. He thought it was such a waste of time – until he saw Wile E. Coyote. He started watching the Road Runner every Saturday with us.

Dan Monez: Old-time baby boomers will recall the very first “interactive” kids TV show, “Winky Dink and You” (1953-57), hosted by infamous game show host Jack Barry. Each week, cartoon character Winky Dink would get into an adventure that only could be resolved by the viewer drawing something using “magic” Winky Dink crayons on a special vinyl sheet that covered the TV screen. For example, maybe Winky Dink needed to cross a river to save the day and you would have to draw him a bridge.

The concept was marketing genius. Not only did it bond kids with the character, but the merchandising brought in tons of extra revenue. That is all well and good unless you had parents, like mine, who wouldn’t buy you the Winky Dink supplies. Not being too savvy at 5 or 6, I didn’t quite understand the concept of vinyl screens so I just drew directly on the TV screen.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected].

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • Next DoorSeptember 13, 2013 - 11:14 pm

    Wow, no one mentioned the three stooges , how about the Land of the Giants, F-troop, Time tunnle and that wacky show called It's About Time it was like a dream of jeannie Gillagans Island meets cavemen played by indians from F-troop .... check it out on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QebFI-3zMO0 I loved that stupid show as a kid...

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  • Tony WadeSeptember 14, 2013 - 6:27 am

    Actually, there were LOTS of other responses.I am just limited by space and had to choose the ones that worked best together in the column. Back then nothing beat Moe, Larry, and Curly (and sometimes Shemp) along with a big bowl of Cap'n Crunch on a Saturday morning!

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