Thursday, February 09, 2006

if saturday morning was the buffet, then friday night was the appetizer

For yours truly Mr. Miller, here, there were three events throughout the year that would absolutely flip his can when he was a kid:
1.) Christmastime
2.) Halloween Night
3.) The new Fall Season of cartoons

scan from DCs Ghosts issue #44 (December, 1975)

For kids growing up in the 60s and 70s (and even into the 80s) Saturday mornings were king. It wasn’t even that you got a break from the slavery of school and homework. Man, it was the cartoons! Yeah, remember when Saturday mornings meant cartoons? None of this Good Morning America leftover stuff, or 30 minute infomercials (hell, the Popeil Pocket Fisherman only needed 30 seconds to get your can to the local Big N). Back then, Saturday mornings belonged to kids!

The first taste of Fall Season on TV would come in the last couple of weeks of summer, when the latest comic books would hit the stands. There in the center spread would be a two page ad that listed the Network’s new Fall cartoon lineup.

scan from DCs Ghosts issue #32 (November 1974)

A kid couldn’t wait until September rolled around after reading these ads. Sure, the ninth month inevitably meant that school was back in session, but those are the lumps you had to take in order to get to the new cartoons on Saturdays. And if Saturday was the buffet, then Friday night was the appetizer.

The Networks knew that cartoons meant millions of cereal loving, toy building, candy munching kiddies were at the disposal of their advertisers, so they did all they could to make sure they were watching. So when the new Fall Season was set to roll, the kiddies were treated to a sneak peek look at the coming Saturday schedule on a special Friday night show. These Friday night previews were plain mint! Imagine watching cartoons at night time. Man!!

These shows would have catchy names like ABC Funshine Saturday Sneak Peek or maybe just something plain like the CBS Saturday Preview Special. Most likely, they’d be jam packed with the Primetime stars of the moment, from shows with high kid-recognition – like Lee Majors from The Six Million Dollar Man, or Dukes of Hazard’s baddie Boss Hog. Sometimes they’d go for the pretty boy hearth throbs like Scott Baio, or old stand-bys like the perennial teenager Dick Clark.

ABC Saturday pix from X-entertainment

Yeah, nothing said kids more than Saturday mornings. Now, with cartoons on the tube nonstop for 24 hours a day with their own blessed channels, who needs Saturday mornings? And for that matter, who needs the Friday night Saturday Sneak Peeks? These folks seem to think that Saturday’s need to be returned to the kids.

If you want a sneak peek at a Sneak Peek, check out this article. Or if you want a good look at a bunch of comic book cartoon ads, check these out at toyadz.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this.

S.B. said...

God, I how I looked forward to these specials, but they were a double edged sword...these events also signaled the end of summer and the begining of the school year. At least I had my Star Wars lunch box complete with thurmos and smell of Baloney sandwiches!

Great site!

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