When I was a kid, Saturday morning was my favorite time of the week. Mom and Dad would sleep in. Jeff and I (and later, Tony) would wake early in order to find ourselves some fun.
During the rare periods that we had a television, I’d be in front of it even before the good Saturday morning cartoons began. I can remember watching the Star Trek animated series on a small black-and-white television for a short time: every Saturday morning at 6:30. 6:30! For an eight-year-old, that’s a big deal.
During much of my childhood, we didn’t have a television. During these times I was forced to find other ways to get my fix of Saturday morning cartoons. When I stayed over at friends’ houses I was able to see them. We were friends with Kurt Gunderson, who lived a half mile away, in the housing development. Many Saturdays I would bike over to his house, sprawl on the shag carpet eating Trix or Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops, and get my fill of Super Friends and Fat Albert. Most often, though, we’d just try to listen to the cartoons on the radio. Channel six came through at the far end of the FM dial, and this allowed us to listen to the CBS cartoons. Listening to Bugs Bunny is not the same as watching it, however; most of the humor is visual.
Though I didn’t see many Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, I had some favorites:
- Super Friends (“Wonder Twin powers: activate!”)
- Thundarr the Barbarian
- Hong Kong Phooey
- Fat Albert (“Hey hey hey!”)
More than the cartoons, I liked the various live-action shows, which tended to be more science-fiction oriented:
- Jason of Star Command was my favorite
- Shazam! and Isis were okay, but a bit hokey
- Ark II was fun, but I never understood the plots
- Space Academy
- The Land of the Lost
I never liked some of the more popular cartoons. For example, Scooby-Doo always seemed tedious, too formulaic (though I would never haved known to use that word at eight years old). I’d watch it, but only if nothing better was on.
Once American Bandstand came on, I knew that the cartoons were over.
In the afternoons, Channel 12 would show old Tarzan movies and the old Tarzan television series, and other action-adventure fare that we devoured. The evenings featured Buck Rogers (which I loved) and The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.
Saturdays were television days.
I must have watched Saturday morning cartoons often. However the only real memory I have of watching them is at Grandpa�s house. I slept on the sofa in the den, so I did not even have to get up to watch. Grandpa would come out, and we would watch �Road Runner� while everyone else slept in.
We have started shutting out four cats out of the bedroom at night. It seems that at any given time at least one is awake and wanting to play. This makes sleeping very hard. This morning they have made a toy out of the bathroom rug. They take turns burrowing under the rug only to be attacked by one of the other cats.