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Archive for the tag “OldHorseman”

Iron Man’s Double Disaster

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

A couple weeks ago we covered THE MIGHTY THOR, and before him, THE INCREDIBLE HULK. But these two weren’t the only new Marvel characters making the jump to the company’s TV wheel show just a few years after their four-color print debuts…

Ol’ Greenskin was the most successful of Marvel’s attempts to put their characters into live-action, prime-time TV in the ’70s. They brought him back to try and launch others (including Thor) in the late ’80s, but none took root.

Iron Man didn’t even get a tryout in either era. (No. EXO-MAN doesn’t count!) But he was there at the start of Marvel animation. (If you can really call it that, with art lifted directly from comics and CLUTCH CARGO level motion added.) And he got various animated appearances in later decades… But it wasn’t until the 21st Century MCU that Tony Stark’s armor-plated techno-hero became a household name. (The Black Sabbath song had nothing to do with the comic book character.)

Kind of funny that, groundbreaking as Marvel’s 1960s superheroes were, they still felt obliged to stick to genre conventions… A doe-eyed Lois Lame knockoff. (You’ve come a long way, Pepper.) The whole well-guarded secret identity thing.

The episodes featured today include the introduction of Happy Hogan, sort of Iron Man’s less-lame answer to Jimmy Olsen. We also see the introduction of supervillain Jack Frost (who would later go by “Blizzard”). You might think he’s a poor man’s Mister Freeze… Well, maybe Mr. Zero, since BATMAN’s villain hadn’t really been developed beyond his ’59 introduction until well after this story was published in the comics. From 1966. More from the OldHorseman.

Snuffy’s Turf Luck

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

It’s a oft-seen trope in popular culture. A minor character ‘blows up’ and ultimately becomes the star of a series that wasn’t meant to be about him or her. HAPPY DAYS (previously featured on this channel in both its original live action and cartoon spin-off forms) had Fonzie. FAMILY MATTERS was cursed with Steve Urkel… But it goes back way before television.

FRITZI RITZ and BLONDIE were part of a genre of newspaper comics that served as excuses for depicting hot gals (hey, we didn’t have Internet then either!) before the former got her strip usurped by her niece NANCY and the latter got married and the focus shifted to her husband Dagwood. THIMBLE THEATRE ran for a decade before POPEYE joined the cast.

BARNEY GOOGLE started way back at the dawn of the newspaper comic strip medium, actually starting on the sports page before the comics page was a thing. This little guy’s adventures were enormously popular, and he was celebrated in song and (silent) films… Then, in 1934, Barney’s travels brought him to North Carolina, where he met ornery little hillbilly SNUFFY SMITH, who soon became the star of the series.

King Features Syndicate, purveyor of newspaper comic strips worldwide, had enjoyed considerable success releasing a big batch of newly-produced Popeye cartoons to television starting in 1960. So they followed-up by trying the same with other comic strip characters. We covered BEETLE BAILY week before last. Now it’s Snuffy’s turn. Although he was rarely seen in the funny pages by this point, Barney Google turns up as a supporting character in this ‘toon.

BTW, after nigh-on three dozen years livin’ amongst Tarheels, I’ll attest that their depiction here is pretty much spot-on.  More from the OldHorseman.


Trapped By Loki

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

A couple weeks ago we covered the not-so-jolly green giant’s animated debut. But he wasn’t alone. Marvel’s other popular superguys were part of the wheel show. Including fellow Avenger, Thor.

I suppose you can only have just so many comic book heroes get their powers by alien origin, Mystical Eastern training, science accidents, or super-tech before it dawns on writers to say “Screw it! Let’s just recruit mythical gods!”

The Norse god of thunder was well suited for the gig, and had already been used in DC comics back in the ’50s. Marvel’s version traded in the traditional red beard for a clean-shaven fellow with blonde locks, but kept the mythical backstory for the most part.

Still, superheroes of the era had to have a wimpy alter ego and some sort of weakness. In this case, the awesome immortal’s other self was a lame (literally) Dr. Donald Blake. Not only did Thor have to live as Blake when not saving the day, but he would involuntarily revert into that mortal form whenever Thor was separated from his signature war hammer for over sixty seconds!

Of course, he also got an ersatz Lois Lame (figuratively). We’ll not go into what has happened with her in our current, godforsaken, woke era!

Several attempts at live-action TV series starring Marvel characters were made in the 1970s. But Thor didn’t get a shot then. The only one of the bunch who really made it was the HULK. TV movie follow-ups to his series beginning in the late 1980s were used as tryouts for other Marvel characters, starting with Thor. Like the Hulk, he was considerably different from his four-color print incarnation. Unlike Ol’ Greenskin, his TV version didn’t succeed and was never heard from again.

He has, however, been a smashing success in the current MCU live-action blockbuster movies. But his on-screen career started with these humble, barely animated adventures. Lifted pretty much directly from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY comics, and produced by what was left of the old Paramount unit that did the theatrical POPEYE shorts, as well as some of the King Features TV output.

From 1966. More from The OldHorseman.

Double Trouble

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Jerry Lewis, perhaps best known to generations of Americans for his role in hosting the big MDA telethons from the ’50s into the 21st Century, actually had a diverse career in show biz. (Apparently achieving godhood in France, for some reason.)

Eddie Murphy owes a bit of his success to Lewis, as his 1996 NUTTY PROFESSOR hit film was a remake of Jerry’s most popular movie of the same title from ’63. Then Murphy’s sequel borrowed the concept of having the star in a bunch of different character roles from Lewis’ 1965 FAMILY JEWELS.

Also borrowing from the latter picture was the 1970 Filmation cartoon series WILL THE REAL JERRY LEWIS PLEASE SIT DOWN, featuring various Lewis characters in animated form. In this episode, the Professor character, apparently having learned nothing from STAR TREK TOS: THE ENEMY WITHIN, or any of the Superman comic origins of Bizarro, hits Jerry with a clonermajig and creates an Evil Twin… Not unlike Buddy Love from The Nutty Professor…

Though Jerry Lewis was involved with the series, his characters were voiced by none other than David Lander, best known as Squiggy from the live-action LAVERNE & SHIRLEY spin-off from HAPPY DAYS. Also on the show are Howard Morris, beloved by ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW fans as Ernest T. Bass, but also the voice of Jughead from the ARCHIES and the titular WALDO KITTY. (Both ‘toons previously featured on this channel.) Of course, we also have Jane Webb, who did most of the female voices in Filmation shows, from Batgirl to both Mary-Ann and Ginger, Betty and Veronica, not to mention SABRINA (previously featured here as well). More from The OldHorseman.

One of the wildest sketches in television history came when Howard Morris, the comedian from ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, joined Carl Reiner and Sid Caesar in a YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS spoof of THIS IS YOUR LIFE.   It’s funny from the first moment, but once Howard Morris shows up as Uncle Goopy, prepare to pee your pants.

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Ain’t He Unglamour-ace?

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Before he got CGI’d into the AVENGERS movies that drew all the money in the known universe at the box office… Before his somewhat less impressive CGI incarnation was featured in Ang Lee’s ‘meh’ film… Even before they slathered Mr. Universe Lou Ferrigno in green paint for the hit TV series… The Not-So-Jolly Green Giant made his first screen appearance (just a few years after his print debut) on the MARVEL SUPER HEROES, a wheel show featuring the comic book company’s more popular characters.

It doesn’t get much truer to the source material than this, with stories and art lifted directly from the comics. Animation was more than a little limited. But, in those days, we were watching standard def, analog, over-the-air broadcasts subject to static and fading, rendered on small, black and white screens. So this was good enough!

You may note that, this being at the dawn of his career, the Hulk is far from the gigantic, unstoppable force he would become. They also re-colored him green to match his usual appearance, despite the fact he was originally gray skinned in his origin story. For reasons I cannot determine, the villain was renamed from “Gargoyle” to “Gorgon” for TV. Confusing, since the latter name was used for at least two other Marvel bad guys.

Of course, the most memorable thing about the series is the theme song! They could’ve skipped the origin story, as it is brilliantly and hilariously encapsulated in a few seconds. Here is the original 1966 cartoon The Origin of the Hulk that aired in September 1966. More from the OldHorseman.

P.S. We took a one-week breather from Saturday Morning Cartoons last week, owing to there being too much news to report. We won’t try to preempt the cartoons again anytime soon. Higher priorities!

The Exterminator

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (Basically ersatz DOBIE GILLIS characters crossed with the old I LOVE A MYSTERY radio show plus a semi-anthropomorphic dog thrown-in for good measure.) was a big hit for the studio in 1969. Not only did it get a second production season, which was kinda’ rare for Saturday Morning Cartoons, but is spawned a slew of follow-up series, one-shot video features, and even big-budget live-action movie adaptations.

Scooby and the gang also became the go-to template for many of HB’s ‘toons through the ’70s, as YOGI BEAR had been for the ’60s. Just rename the Meddling Kids, and swap-out the dog for a semi-anthropomorphic car, phantom, cat, shark, or even a goofier-looking dog, and there’s your new show. Heck, even the Justice League got a pair of Meddling Kids and their dog when HB took over the superheroes’ license with SUPERFRIENDS.

Scooby’s second program, the NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES, had the mystery adventures extended to an hour-long, and featured guest stars. And what a mixed-bad that lot was! Sometimes real people, like Cass Elliot, Davy Jones, or Jerry Reed, voiced by their real-world selves. Sometimes fictional characters, like Batman, the Addams Family, or the cast of other HB Scooby-esque cartoons. Sometimes a splitting of the difference, with the onscreen personas of real people voiced by impersonators, as with the THREE STOOGES and LAUREL AND HARDY due to the originals being retired or dead.

This October 1973 episode features Don Adams voicing himself in the style of his GET SMART character. For some reason, even though the kids recognize him as a TV star, he’s working as an exterminator trying to get rid of the termites in a haunted house so the bank can sell it. C’mon! His post Agent 86 career wasn’t THAT bad! More from the OldHorseman.

From The Memory Hole

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Last week I featured Barney Bear, MGM’s first original cartoon star, created by Rudolph Ising. Of course, Ising and his partner Hugh Harman had been in the biz since the early silent era, working for Disney when young Walt was making Felix The Cat knockoffs in Kansas City, ultimately winding-up with him in California making Oswald the Lucky Rabbit pictures for Universal. Seeing how Walt lost Oswald to his distributors, Harman and Ising made sure to copyright their own character creation for themselves.

The character they created is of considerable importance to the history of American animation. But, due to the cancer of Political Correctness, has been downplayed and subjected to revision for decades. For, you see, Bosko was a little n*gger… Back in the 1980s I saw an early model sheet at a museum exhibit, and that’s exactly how he was identified on the page. (Minus the asterisk, which is for BitChute’s censors.)

A Negro caricature wasn’t considered offensive in the early 1930s, when people were too busy surviving the Depression to be a bunch of oversensitive snowflakes. Mickey Mouse and many other ‘toons were basically minstrel show blackface as well. But Bosko didn’t have the fig leaf of being a non-human in later years.

He was the first star of the LOONEY TUNES before Bugs, Daffy, or even Porky had been thought-of. When things went sour between Harman-Ising and the middle-man selling their shorts to Warner Bros., they were able to walk and take Bosko with them! They then used him in some of the HAPPY HARMONIES pictures they made for MGM distribution… Now with Bosko in color, for what little difference that made. His ’20s design didn’t benefit much from the added spectrum, and was becoming dated pretty quickly. So he got a major redesign…

And here’s where all the later apologists who claimed he was a “living inkblot” of no particular race, ethnicity, or even species fall on their faces. In ’35 Bosko got updated with far more realistic detail, and was undeniably a negro boy.

That redesign lasted just seven outings. But he got yet another over half a century later, when he and his girlfriend Honey made a comeback in an episode of TINY TOON ADVENTURES on TV. For that appearance, they retconned the couple into anthropomorphic animals of vague species.

Here are his first WB and MGM pictures, along with his 1935 MGM new look. More from the OldHorseman.


Wonderful World Of Color

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Okay, cheating just a wee bit here, as this was originally from the other side of the weekend. BitChute viewer Alkaline777 requested the brainy uncle of a certain animated, white waterfowl a few weeks ago. So here’s the first appearance of Professor Ludwig Von Drake!

Uncle Walt’s showcase had already been a staple of Sunday evening TV programming for years before color broadcasting really started to catch-on. So he moved his series over to NBC, which was on the cutting edge of the technology. The premier on the network featured Walt’s first created-for-TV cartoon character, who served as a co-host. The first half of this episode is a veritable infomercial (decades before those became a thing) for color televisions… The leading manufacturer of which happened to be NBC’s parent corporation.

The second half features an Oscar-nominated educational-ish ‘toon from a couple years earlier starring Ludwig’s nephew. “Donald In Mathmagicland” is the very first in all of Disney’s stable of cartoon shorts to be aired on TV in color.

From September 1961. More from the OldHorseman.

For Scent-imental Reasons

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

I was going to bring in a certain hyper-educated quacker uncle from the Mouse’s domain, as requested by BitChute viewer Alkaline777… But, since CancelCulture has set its sights on Toondom’s ultimate mascot of masculine self-confidence, I’m gonna feature him first.

Before the Leftards decided to attack Pepe for “glorifying rape-culture”, the TV networks had butchered this film pretty heavily for suicidal elements. Shabby way to treat an Oscar-winning picture! Of course, we’ll be having none of that here!

This is the first one to have the tables turned on the amorous Mephitis. (Weird that people think the blue paint somehow cloaked his scent, when the ‘toon makes it clear that Penelope’s snoot is too clogged up for her to smell anything.)

Trivia: Skunks are a North American species. The European polecat found in France is not black/white, and is unrelated.

Directed by Chuck Jones in 1949. More from the OldHorseman.

Elmer’s Candid Camera

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Although Egghead and Elmer Fudd have been treated as distinct characters in relatively recent ‘toons and comics, here we have more evidence that Elmer originally evolved out of Egghead. In his first fully-recognizable appearance, complete with the iconic Arthur Q. Bryan voice (previously used for the title character in DANGEROUS DAN MCFOO), Elmer is still wearing Egghead’s signature stiff-collar, green, baggy, outdated suit and hat. That, along with the fact that Egghead was actually identified as “Elmer Fudd” on-screen in one earlier picture, and on lobby posters for another, makes it a lock that Elmer and Egghead were indeed the same character…

Or does it?!

Turns out that a case can be made that the baggy-suit guy used as a running gag in cartoons mostly featuring other characters and elements was never Egghead at all, but ‘Elmer’ from the start. Unlike the wide-eyed, verbose, central-player who looked a bit like him and was also created by Tex Avery, he was never explicitly named as Egghead.

If this is the case, it’s a modern error to depict the derby-hatted, proto-Elmer as Egghead, when that was a different character from cartoons of the same period.

In any event, the Egghead and Elmer characters sort of merged in today’s picture to create the Elmer Fudd we all know. He looks like the running-gag proto-Elmer drawn in greater detail, but he is the central star of the cartoon like Egghead.

With Chuck Jones largely taking-over the character from Avery, the new Elmer gets rather a gentle introduction as a would-be amateur nature photographer. Until he gets unprovoked harassment from a certain rabbit, who is only about midway through his own evolution from the little white bunny that messed-up PORKY’S HARE HUNT a couple years earlier into Elmer’s legendary arch-rival: Bugs Bunny.

From early 1940, here’s ELMER’S CANDID CAMERA. More from the OldHorseman.

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