July 6, 2017 posted by

“Cartoons to the Rescue” – and Memories of Watching Animation in the 70s.

Although a short week, over the course of the last 7 days or so we’ve managed to get out the new finished special discs to everyone. Were close to getting out the rest of the special sets that were produced before.

Sadly, the Kickstarter for the Flip the Frog project didnt get funded, but we’re putting our collective heads together to work on the strategy moving forward.

Work continues on Fleischer Classics. Were close, with one film left to transfer. Hollywood Rarities, a live action set, will have its final films transferred Thursday along with other stuff including some Little King cartoons – some, more to come. Noveltoons and Flip the Frogs are getting cleaned up and looking amazing. The last of the Screen Songs are not here yet. Mid Century Modern 1 and 2 have finished masters; its now a matter of finances to send them in for replication.

Were doing another special set called Cartoons to the Rescue with 13 surprise cartoons. Some really cool things from Nitrate and some IB Technicolor. Proceeds will go directly to help with replication. Thanks to everyone for supporting these things through these years. Details on this new set here on the IAD forum:

CLICK HERE: A Special Disc: Cartoons To The Rescue

One of my friends read last weeks blog and asked me about my experiences watching animation growing up. From a fairly early age, fuller animation was always the thing I was most interested in. The early 70s were full of pretty limited animation shows of course, but they were also full of classic animated shorts showing on (mostly) UHF stations. I’m sure many of you remember how exciting it was when, all of a sudden, a whole new set of cartoons that you had never seen before showed up as a package on one of the stations.

The early 70s for me was filled with Popeye and Warner Bros. cartoons as well as lots of Saturday morning. Rocky and Bullwinkle as well as the TV Felix the Cat’s were probably the things I saw most.

Popeye was the *only* cartoon series in the Detroit market that had any films in Black and White. In seeing the first Popeye in the series (really a Betty Boop of course), I recognized Betty Boop from seeing drawings of the character, but had never seen a Boop cartoon.

WKBD showed a package of Lantz cartoons; mostly Woody Woodpeckers, but it also included some Swing Symphonies and other shorts, including Toyland Premiere (1934). I loved that film more than any other for some reason. A handful of these shorts became some of my favorite cartoons, including Tom Thumb, Jr (39), The Sliphorn King of Polaroo (45), Hysterical Highspots in American History (41), The Flying Turtle (53), A Horse’s Tale (54) and Termites from Mars (1952). I still find almost any of the Don Patterson shorts from the early 50s to be enjoyable.

Right around 1979 or 80, WKBD picked up the Tom and Jerry cartoon package. At first, they were showing them for a half hour at 4 in the afternoon, then switched to 7:30 am. EVERYONE I knew in 6th and 7th grade watched those cartoons and talked about them, especially the strange and amazingly funny Tex Avery cartoons that none of us had ever seen up to that point. I remember learning about the death of Tex Avery from a friends Fangoria magazine in 7th grade.

Sometimes the commercials that interrupted the shows were as well remembered as the actual cartoons. Channel 50 in Detroits line up of cartoons was easily the most watched (with The Little Rascals Brady Bunch and Batman thrown in between animated shows). This particular line up went on for many years, and often was interrupted by parents forcing the kids to get away from the TV and spend some time outside.

For years I tried to find several commercials that were shown for seemingly months and months in the mid 70s, advertising several albums with funny novelty songs. I always knew the animation was primitive on these spots, but my friends and I had them memorized, and would even reenact some of the scenes while singing the small piece of a song. Here’s 3 of them, some with some of the same songs on them. These must date from 1975 through about 1977. There is at least one more of these with different animation. Two of them have a pretty good Bullwinkle imitation. I wonder who did the animation (and who did that voice?). KTEL themselves put up three of these from decent 16mm prints, although cursed with the red fading Eastmancolor.




DUMB DITTIES – The Youtube says this is from 1977- that could be right, but I think I was it even earlier than that:

Growing up in Ann Arbor (and seeing all the shows coming out of Detroit), I saw this particular Car commercial a lot, for Allen Ford/ Ray Whitfield. It was animated by Ted Petok, and was also something as kids that we would sing a lot:

This Nesbits Orange Commercial was one of my favorites as a kid. It was great to find out that the essential Mark Kausler was one of the animators on this one, animating nearly the whole first half. Im embarrassed to say I didnt know that and actually asked Mark if he knew who made it!

Faygo was a favorite part in these parts. Although these commercials were made in the 50s, they continued to use at least one of them. They were directed by John Hubley at His Storyboard, Inc Studio. There;s a really nice copy of the first one here- the one I saw in the late 70s:

There was also the infamous show The Ghoul – created by and featuring Ron Sweed. The Ghoul was patterned after Ghoulardi played by Erie Anderson, a popular Cleveland TV horror movie host in the 60s. Sweed had worked as an assistant for Anderson when he was a teenager. Sweed first had the Ghoul show in Cleveland, but he spent much of the 70s on a few of the Detroit stations, including stints at channel 50, Channel 20 and channel 62. As an 8-year old, watching The Ghoul both host and interrupt mostly public domain movies, adding ad libbed soundbites throughout, was the perfect subversive hero against all that was correct. I remember thinking that he must collect Wacky Package Stickers and read Mad and Cracked magazine.

He would often beat up (or kill) Froggy the Gremlin, an old character from the Buster Brown show/Andy’s Gang in the 50s. Sweed must have had the toy of Froggy made in the late 40s and made a mold of it, casting new ones to destroy each week. The Ghoul would stick a Boom Boom either in or near Froggie, setting him actually on fire (in the studio) or blowing up that particular puppet. Heres a (later) example of the kind of mayhem that I watched as an 8-year old:

Time for Timer was also a seemingly ever present interruption in short animated segments during Saturday Morning Programs. Even as a kid, I thought these were aimed more at parents than the kids.

The character Timer first appeared in the one hour “After School Special” The Incredible, Indelible, Magical Physical Mystery Trip (1973) Animation by Depatie-Freleng:

Heres a small segment from the sequel to that special, The Magical Mystery Trip through Little Reds Head (1974).

…and, here are the interstitals that you memorized if you watched Saturday morning stuff in the 70s into the early 80s:

You are what you eat:

Time for Timer: Hanker for a Hunk of Cheese

Quick Snacks:

What was shown locally in your area- and what years were the most memorable for you? Have a good week everyone!


  • it always amaaaazed why anyone (in their right mind) would want to watch “new Popeye cartoons”….when we had those Fleischer masterpieces! Helloo???

    • Who knows, sometimes when you’re a kid, you didn’t always know that unless you really cranked through the dial to find it! There was a lot of cartoons I didn’t see locally because stations didn’t care to pick ’em up, I had to switch to Detroit or Cleveland for a lot of these forgotten gems!

  • Never saw those particular record ads. But the stores! Roses, Woolworths . . . Won’t be long until K-Mart is gone.

  • I loved those old Timer PSAs as a kid! Several years ago, I managed to get good copies of both full-length specials as well as the slate of interstitials. Lennie Weinrib is the greatest!

    My other favorite from that time period was the PSA for making a “Saturdae”…

    My childhood after-school leaders were

    Mr. Peppermint (the late, great Jerry Haynes)

    And B.J. and Lester

    I think kids today could use more puppets!

    • Briefly lived in Texas as a kid, and I remember not only watching Mr. Peppermint on WFAA channel 8, but also Slam Bang Theater with Icky Twerp on KTVT 11.
      Time for Timer… “Hanker for a Hunk of Cheese,” and “Sunshine on a Stick” (how to make ice tray popsicles)… and I recall “Nutty Gritty” which didn’t have Timer, but the “Bod Squad.”

      Did Detroit’s other famous “pop,” Vernor’s Ginger Ale, have any animated spots?

    • Ah, yes! One of Fort Worth’s finest… Bill Camfield!

      Here’s an excellent repository of some of his work from “Slam-Bang Theatre” (as Icky Twerp) and the late-night horror film series “Nightmare” (as Gorgon).

      There’s also a very interesting promo short about a Three Stooges (and Adam West) film called “The Outlaws is Coming” that featured a slew of kiddie show hosts from around the country (including Camfield as Wyatt Earp).

    • I had returned to central Texas in the mid-70s as a teen (my dad was visiting an old friend), tuned in KTVT and found Slam Bang Theater was still on, but Icky and pals were long gone… it was just a couple of cartoons (one, a Famous-era Popeye) and a Three Stooges short.

      Dad was in the military, and I spent a couple of years of my childhood in the Philippines (mid-60s). Mainly we watched the Armed Forces Radio/TV Service station and Channel 7 DZBB. AFRTS had most of the American shows (where I first saw the then-hot Batman) with some odd interstitials filling the space originally occupied by commercials. The only one I recall was footage of a golf ball rolling across various lawns, with “Holiday for Strings” playing on the soundtrack. DZBB had a show hosted by its American owner, Bob Stewart, and ran many well-worn cartoons, like the Commonwealth package of silent Terry cartoons (with the Valentino/Major Records needledrops), some Fleischer/Famous (NTA, mostly) – and an oddity called “Tales of the Genie,” which, if memory serves, consisted of Van Beuren cartoons, with new wraparounds. This may have been another Commonwealth production, I could be wrong.

    • Mr. Peppermint’s program did see some coverage nationwide via limited syndication to a number of stations in the late 80’s/1990’s, I remember seeing him pop up on Toledo’s WTOL “Toledo Eleven” after they canned Patches & Pockets.

    • I’d never have heard of Mr. Peppermint if it hadn’t been for Something Positive.

  • I was really bummed that the Kickstarter didn’t work. It might not be a bad idea to try Indiegogo. I believe you get to keep any funds you raise, even if the goal isn’t met. That would at least net you some of the funds to proceed.

    • I am the big fan of animated cartoons in popular culture in TV films comics animation & media throughout the world. Thanks! From:Wayne

  • Can confirm that “Dumb Ditties” was 1977. Because (1) I had the album, and (2) here’s the Discogs entry:

    You might be thinking of the original 24-song LP version of “Goofy Greats” (1975).

    Or – and I have no idea how they got away with this – “Looney Tunes” (1976).

    Had ’em all when I was a wee bairn. Their Ronco counterparts too.

    And I turned out like this.

    Like most K-Tel albums at the time, they would’ve been much better had they not been polluted with badly recorded remakes and severely shortened versions of some of the songs.

  • Timer will live on in young peoples’ minds through his guest appearance on Family Guy (“I just smoked a whole bunch of crack!”).

    • Which is a little sad they went that way but I suppose it was inevitable.

  • I missed this one for the post.. but Ktel put this one up too- stealing the Looney Tunes logo!

    • Yah, I can’t believe that didn’t land them in cartoon jail. It’s pretty brazen. I guess WB was a tad less conscious of their cartoon brand back then. That’s all I can figure.

    • I have this album, and loved it! I suppose it also didn’t matter since they used several tracks credited to Warner Bros. Records on this compilation, maybe they did ask to use the LT name just for this release through that, but who knows.

    • That record was also released and advertised here in Australia back in 1977. I remember a friend of mine having it on cassette tape back then.

  • I remember the Time for Timer PSA “Hankering for a Hunk of Cheese with Timer”. They were two versions of Hankering for a Hunk of Cheese both voiced by Lennie Weinrib version one had the original voice of Timer and the second version had Timer talking as a tough rough Yosemite Sam type of “Cowpoke”.

    Other PSA of my childhood of the late 1960s and 70s were

    The PSAs featuring the Looney Toons

    Woodsy Owl’s Give A Hoot Don’t Pollute,

    The Chopper


    Don’t Drown Your Food with Arnold Stang as Louis the Lifeguard telling viewers not to “drown” your food in gravy,creamy salad dressing and condiments (mustard,mayo,etc)

    The kid shows that were shown in SoCal/Los Angeles tv market in the 1970’s were:

    Skip and Woofer (KCOP CH 13)

    Tom Hatten and Popeye (KTLA CH 5)

    Dusty’s Treehouse (KNXT CH 2 now KCBS TV 2)

    That’s Cat (KNBC CH 4)

    Domingo (KABC CH 7)

    Romper Room (CH 13) featuring FilmFair of England’s Simon and the Land of Chalk Drawings and Paddington Bear with a special greeting by Michael Holdern the narrator of the Paddington cartoons of the 1970s in the prelude to each episode

    The Froozles (KHJ 9 now KCAL 9)

    Anime programming and anime mini series that aired on KSCI CH 18

    And a unique version of the Bugs Bunny that aired on KTTV 11 that used acrobatic Bugs Bunny puppet and a HO Scale train that switched the titles with a smiling Yosemite Sam as the engineer.

  • That Nesbitt’s Orange commercial was a real masterpiece! Looks like they had a nice budget, of course, but it was so much more than slick. I guess they didn’t play it on Houston stations… we would’ve been quoting it nonstop.
    And I’ve often quoted “hanker for a hunk o’ cheese” to my wondering daughters, but I hadn’t remembered that oh-so-familiar voice. That has to be H.R. Puffinstuff himself.

    • Lennie Wienrib starred on H.R. Pufinstuf.

  • Didn’t grow up in the 70s, but I kinda like those K-Tel ads. The animation reminds me a bit of Sesame Street animations from that era. Not really sure why one would consider “Hot Rod Lincoln” a “kooky toone”, though.

  • Another animated version of “Tennessee Birdwalk”(from KOOKY TUNES) was produced for Chuck Jones’ CURIOSITY SHOP series.

    • I got that film in my collection!

  • Never saw a complete Betty Boop growing up in the late 50s/early 60s. My parents took us to this new housing edition to check out the model. In the garage they had a projector and were showing cartoons to keep the kiddies (like me) amused. All I remember is Betty and something to do with a birthday cake. I never saw her again until the late 70s and early VHS. Fleischer Popeyes pretty much disappeared from Indianapolis airwaves when everyone went color in 65-66. They took with them The Three Stooges and Little Rascals, anything black and white. I would rarely catch a Fleischer like 4 in the morning in Atlanta in the early 70s. I never saw any other Fleischer product, other than Popeye, until 1977, and a traveling animation Festival shown in local theaters. There was a sparkling print Superman in The Mechanical Monsters.

    • Sounds like you saw “Fantastic Animation Festival”, the print though of “The Mechanical Monsters” they used wasn’t very good though, a typical dupe job of the time.

    • Hi Robert, for whatever it’s worth, MeTV is running original 1930s Hal Roach Our Gang/Little Rascals talkie shorts early on Saturday mornings.

      – William

    • MeTV will probably be running the chopped-up King World prints. (When CBS bought King World, they were apparently no longer syndicating the Rascals to local stations.)
      In the ’70s when most stations showing the Little Rascals were running the edited KW versions, there was one station in my area that still ran the uncut (except for titles) Monogram/Interstate prints (and a few Official Films “Famous Kids Comedies” prints – probably distributed by whoever had the TV rights between Interstate and King).

    • Let’s bring back the classic cartoons to TV including my favorites like Popeye,Casper,Gumby,Beany & Cecil,Sinbad Jr.,Three Stooges,Roger Ramjet,Dick Tracy & et al a true classic animated cartoons as collectors item in popular culture in TV films comics animation & media throughout the world.

  • does anybody know where I can get the sun maid raisin kid commercial from the 60’s…he had a prairie dog sidekick…I can’t find it anywhere….and if I ever do I can die happy

  • Well, the 1970’s was a dry period for me. Most of my classic cartoon favorites had disappeared from the New York area, and I sadly mourned the “passing” of my favorite MGM cartoons…until one year when I went out to visit my sister who lives in the San Francisco area. As the kids were watching TV one morning, I heard familiar voices and sounds that turned out to be a print of “BATTY BASEBALL” the classic Tex Avery cartoon. I screamed “I haven’t seen these in years!!” My sister’s kids thought I was nuts, not believing that those cartoons dated back to long before they were born and, although I had lost all of my remaining sight by that time, I just had to tune in every morning and afternoon, just to hear the sounds and soundtracks of those classic cartoons, as well as hearing again some classic pre-1948 LOONEY TUNES and MERRIE MELODIES that were also slowly disappearing from the New York area. Back home, they were showing only the classic TOM AND JERRY cartoons from the golden age, mostly the Chuck Jones variety, and the usual suspects from the Hanna-Barbera library were heavily edited. That trip out West put a smile on my face that hadn’t been there in a long time. Other than that, I wished I’d known some film collectors in the 1970’s, as I hear, from this weblog, that so many of my favorites were being secretly swapped and passed around among the privileged film collector community, keeping the knowledge of some of those forbidden titles alive once again. Local California TV were very, very hip to the history of classic cartoons. I was amazed when I called one such station just to congratulate them for airing the variety of toons from the classic studios. They were equally delighted that an adult like myself was bothering to watch. So the cherished stuff was still out there, but the “tour” had taken on a different location, and I knew that they just would never return to New York. By the way, Steve, I cheerfully just sent you the money for that CARTOONS TO THE RESCUE disk. Can’t wait to check that one out and I’m very much saddened that the FLIP THE FROG kick-starter wasn’t more successful. I hope that you find such funding real soon and that the project is not just another unfulfilled dream. I long to see the finished FLIP THE FROG DVD set. Your job on the WILLIE WHOPPER cartoons is still mightily appreciated around here. It should have won you some kind of award! I never thought those cartoons would ever look and sound that good again.

  • Growing up in Ann Arbor (and seeing all the shows coming out of Detroit), I saw this particular Car commercial a lot, for Allen Ford/ Ray Whitfield. It was animated by Ted Petok, and was also something as kids that we would sing a lot:

    I did too, though I suppose it was more of a distant memory for those of us in the Toledo area, where Telegraph Road technically ends here. I used to go to a shopping mall right on that street before it went belly up. But commercials like the Ford/Whitfield dealerships was way familiar with us as well as Father & Son’s jingle!

    Faygo was a favorite part in these parts. Although these commercials were made in the 50s, they continued to use at least one of them. They were directed by John Hubley at His Storyboard, Inc Studio. There;s a really nice copy of the first one here- the one I saw in the late 70s:

    Too bad it’s missing the final part showing the Faygo Kid’s ears popping out (the commercial techincally lasted a minute and 20 seconds tops)! Faygo stuck their copy up a while back, albeit pretty wavy quality-wise (it’s like they copied it from the RF cable or something else interfered with the picture).

    What was shown locally in your area- and what years were the most memorable for you? Have a good week everyone!

    I’m sure either me or you already mentioned “Patches & Pockets” already, anyone who needs to know that can go look up the clips!

    Someone recently uploaded a few clips featuring another local Toledo kiddie show host named “Uncle Ben”, whos “General Store” was seen on WSPD (later WTVG) channel 13 throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I remember this coming on early Saturday mornings before the NBC schedule came on (as 13 was an affiliate with them before the ABC buyout in the 90’s).

    Unlike Detroit, Toledo did have a WXON or a WKBD that ran cartoons independent from the others, so our ABC affiliate at the time (WDHO, later WNWO ch. 24) picked up the slack until the mid 80’s, I remember watching a block of cartoons they did in the early 80’s called “The Fantastic Fun Festival”, which combined the packages from Warner Bros. and MGM/UA (Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery, Pink Panther and other DFE toons) together in a half-hour or hour-long presentation, but by 1983 a new show came out that ended up taking most of that time away, He-Man, of course I wasn’t born until ’77 so I wasn’t around to know what it was like in the 70’s but I’m sure most were still using outdoor towers to pick up Detroit stations anyway. In 1985, Toledo FINALLY got it’s own indie UHF station, WUPW, ch. 36, though sadly it became Fox very quickly, but I do remember their lineup often being a mix of old and new during that time (one nice oddity was watching Rocky & Bullwinkle Saturday nights at 11PM).

    It seemed like the stations my parents watched all the time were from Detroit rather than Toledo, and it was like an odd habit that we never grew out of for a long time, but when you have limited channels on the dial, some things got to give.

  • In Columbus, Ohio, we had Flippo, the King of the Clowns on the CBS affiliate with Popeye cartoons (B/W and color) and Casper the Camel on WTVN (ABC) with early WB cartoons (no Bugs…only Porky). The NBC affiliate had a bunch of PD cartoons. This is where I first saw Flip the Frog, the FIRST Tom and Jerry and early B/W Terrytoons. WLW-C had a bizarre show around 9 am after the Today show where they showed these cartoons SILENT along with “beautiful music” playing over the films. So, you could watch all sorts of Flip the Frog violence accompanied by Mantovani- type music. They had a opening where an announcer introduced the show as something like “Cartoons for the Kids with Music for the Moms to Do Their Housework By”.

    • Odd if that was the rational to put together such a show like that, John. I suppose it was better than music over a test pattern though that wasn’t so much a thing over here back then it seems.

      Flippo also had a spot on what became the first interactive cable service in the Columbus area, QUBE.

  • I can’t find those ABC “Funshine Saturday” bumpers on line with the clown figure. I made a list of all of them when I was a kid in the seventies and there were at least a dozen. They ran during the same era as the “Timer” segments. There was a whole “Funshine” song that was only done all the way through for one specially long segment; usually just a bar or two was adapted for some one quick tableau of some kind. Kids were very aware of the Funshine segments — I wonder if they still exist?

  • I can’t find those ABC “Funshine Saturday” bumpers on line with the clown figure. I made a list of all of them when I was a kid in the seventies and there were at least a dozen. They ran during the same era as the “Timer” segments. There was a whole “Funshine” song that was only done all the way through for one specially long segment; usually just a bar or two was adapted for some one quick tableau of some kind. Kids were very aware of the Funshine segments — I wonder if they still exist?

    • Wait–not *the* John McWhorter?

  • We had a wonderful variety here in Ozzieland in the 1970’s, ending sadly in the late 80’s I really
    thought it would last forever. I don’t think I realised just how blessed we were and then to have
    the VCR invented. I loved Walter Lantz’s remark of the importance a significance of the VCR
    Morning cartoons were replaced on one station with Live News breakfast shows, This Won’t
    Last…I thought to my self but alas it did last and gradually infected the other networks and the
    cartoons slowly withered away.
    What we didn’t have here were any of the Screen Gems or Van Beuren cartoons all I could do
    then was read Mindrot over and over and imagine I was watching them in my mind. Also
    missing from our screens here were the Fleischer/Famous Popeye’s We did have the King
    Features episodes some of which are embarrassingly poor while others are great fun. You had to
    watch them to tell though lol Directed by Seymour Kneitel would appear in my dreams. I enjoyed Gene
    Deitch’s Krazy Kats …Come to think of it we didn’t have Gene’sTerrytoons or Deputy Dawg and
    Gandy Goose but we had pretty much all the other colour Terrytoons. In 1997 I got PayTV and
    was so excited to be able to see (and record) the black and white Popeye’s on Cartoon Network
    Sadly they were coloured up but still very much a joy to behold (as are the three dvd sets) So for
    a while then Television was great again but this time too it didn’t last. dvd’s and blu-Ray’s are
    great but it’s a different experience and I do love being able to show classic cartoons to friends
    and strangers but Television you didn’t know what was going to air next and it was so
    exciting…although sometimes I would ring the stations and they would tell me which cartoons
    they had sitting out ready to be run next. I remember the first time I saw “Chew Chew Baby”
    Mum was with me and when it finished there was silence in the room for several seconds while
    we came to grips with what we had seen. Wow!!

    Regarding the Flip the Frog funding Steve, could the short double as a pilot ? I was lying in bed
    last night thinking about it and wondered whether the likes of Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network
    would be worth approaching with the idea of producing new Flip’s along the lines of the Mickey
    Mouse Get A Horse cartoon. One could have Flip’s Great, Great, Great Grandson (Too many
    Greats ??) who is given the new Flip the Frog Blu-Ray for Christmas and decides (as you do in
    these ‘er pictures) to build a time machine and travels back to meet Great Great Great Grandpa
    Flip and they have fun adventures together, in the past, in the present and sometimes even in
    the future. (It’s your Kids, Flip !!!)

    • Lyndon- I wish that the Flip could be a pilot- rights are intended just for this set (and with permission).

      John: someone had posted some of those Sunshine Saturday on ABC spots a few years back. The one that had the actual animation with the clown isn’t up any more but was before- darn it!

      Here’s an audio only one:

  • I remember watching the Inedlible,Magical,Physical Mystery Trip on tv back in the 70s.To me it got rather scary when Timer (who I thought resembled Willy Wonka a little) talked about ‘It’ (Death) and his forces to the kids and ‘It’ was depicted as a creepy abstract thing. I found out later that the special was made by DePatie-Freleng and that Timer was voiced by Lennie Weinrib,who I remembered voiced the majority of the characters in the DP-F Dr.Dolittle series as well as the Secretary Bird in Disney’s Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.