And Knowing is Half the Battle

One thing that Alex and I agree on is recognizing the comedic value of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is, for me, one of the top shows on television. The jokes and sarcasm make me laugh like a little girl. I'm up every Saturday at 8 a.m. with a hot cup of coffee, waiting for two hours of jokes that I wish I was witty enough to make.

That being said, they haven't made a new episode of MST3K since 1998. Each rerun has been rerun multiple times (especially since the Sci Fi channel only shows episodes from the final three seasons of the show. While I don't mind watching "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" or "Squirm" over and over again, when "Space Mutiny" came on this past Saturday, I had to draw the line.

"I know," though I. "I'll watch some Saturday morning cartoons." Sure, I'm much more mature now. But I like The Simpsons, and that's animated. And I'm certain that the cartoons I used to watch are no longer on the air, but there has to be some sort of suitable replacement on, right?

Nope. Pokemon. Digimon. Crappy-mon. Blue's Clues? Is it possible for a dog to be retarded? And I had no idea the Power Rangers were still around. Didn't Jerry Fallwell think that the purple one was gay? Recess looked servicable, but beyond that the Saturday morning cartoon lineup looked like a vast wasteland. I briefly got excited when I saw Transformers but it's apparently a "newfangled" version of the old show-- i.e., Optimus Prime was not in the house.

Oh, and Mary-Kate and Ashley In Action isn't nearly as exciting as the title may make you believe. At least not yet. Let's see how far that Full House bubble takes them. You're in big trouble, mister.

So I began pining for my youth, as I am wont to do, and began thinking about all of the cool cartoons that were on the air when I was a kid. Here are just a scant few that I used to love, and their appropriate grade.

Muppet Babies

C'mon, sing it with me. When your room looks kinda weird and you wish that you weren't they-ere... Yeah, I watched Muppet Babies. Wanna make something of it? (I also read the first four books of The Babysitters' Club series. You're free to make something of that.) I always liked this one. Beaker was the most entertaining. MEMEMEMEMEMEME. Rowlf was entertaining, doing his free-form jazz interpretations on his piano. And did anyone else besides me question Skeeter's sexual orientation? Nanny was a combination of Bob Saget and the neighbor from Home Improvement, teaching important lessons about life without ever showing her face. B+

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero

As a kid, I needed to have EVERYTHING that Hasbro produced that had a G.I. Joe logo on it. Tanks. Cannons. Bivouacs. The Destro Halloween costume. Flint Flakes cereal. The Official Lady Jaye brassiere. Okay, maybe not that last one. But I'm betting I would have bought it if they had sold it. Anyway, it naturally makes sense that I would love the G.I. Joe cartoon. I did. I wonder if the man who did Cobra Commander's voice developed polyps. I can't recall my favorite part of this cartoon-- it might have been Shipwreck, the sailor who wasn't really a sailor because he didn't swear. He did have a loud-mouthed bird, though. I also liked the way Roadblock would lay down life advice while cooking souffles. I also could swear that David Hyde Pierce from Frasier did the voices for twins Tomax and Xamot. Guess not. Apparently there's a DVD being released next year with some cartoon episodes on it. I'm trying to figure out if buying it would be a good idea, or if I should just leave the memories alone.

Incidentally-- no one ever died in a series based on war. I'm convinced that's why Hasbro created BATS (Cobra android fighters)-- just so they could start blowing stuff up. A

The Real Ghostbusters

I remember watching The Real Ghostbusters in the morning before middle school while my mom put gel in my hair. Don't ask. The characters from the cartoon didn't really match the ones from the film (Egon dyed his hair blonde and Ray got fat.) Interesting fact-- in the first season, Lorenzo Music did the voice for Pete Venkman and Arsenio Hall did the voice for Winston. After that, Music was replaced by Full House's own Dave Coulier. So instead of sounding like Garfield, Venkman sounded like ass. But I digress. Included also was Slimer, a bad-ghost-gone-good rehab story who was an annoying sympathetic character. I'm not a Star Wars guy, but I'm guessing Slimer affected me similarly to how Jar Jar Binks affected real fans of that series. B-, burned by the presence of Dave Coulier.

Transformers

More than meets the eye. I wasn't quite as materialistically attached to Transformers as I was to G.I. Joes, but I think I had most of them. It was the Autobots versus the Decepticons, led by Optimus Prime and Megatron, respectively. This cartoon spawned the animated Transformers movie in 1986. In that movie Optimus Prime gets killed-- I remember that making me more sad than hearing the truth about Santa Claus. B

Superfriends

This was always the first cartoon I watched on Saturday mornings-- set the table pretty nicely. If you watched the show with any regularity you can hear the narrator's voice-- "Meanwhile back at the Hall of Justice..." It was like the All Star Game (or at least what the All Star Game used to be) with Superman, Wonderwoman, Aqua Man, Batman & Robin together fighting as one. You also remember the Wonder Twins, I'm guessing-- combine to form bucket, water. We really need to revive that in my circle of friends. Combine to form buffalo wings, bleu cheese dressing. Wonder powers activate. C+

The Bugs Bunny Show

Definitely the best for last. Even though these cartoons were thirty to forty years old by the time I watched them, they were still funny. Mel Blanc's voices had a lot to do with it. I think I'd watch The Bugs Bunny Show regularly if it was on today-- even if I've seen all of the episodes more than I've seen the MST3K reruns. But oh what heights we'll hiiiiit.. On with the show this is it. A+

-WA

 


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