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What Happened to Saturday Morning Cartoons?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 23, 2024
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During the earliest years of television, most children's programming consisted of live broadcasts hosted by adult hosts such as Bozo the Clown, Buffalo Bob Smith, and Captain Video. Local television stations could also produce their own children's entertainment shows, many of which were based on their national counterparts such as the Howdy Doody Show or Romper Room, a show designed to simulate the learning environment of an actual schoolroom. Children raised between the 1960s and 1990s have similar memories of a newer form of children's entertainment, the Saturday morning cartoons. Cartoons were originally designed to fill a programming void at a time when both children and their parents may be watching television together, an ideal time for advertisers to pitch family or child-oriented products such as toys or breakfast cereals. Although cartoons are still shown on some stations, a combination of a growing costs, increasing requirements on what the shows needed to contain, and declining popularity have led to their decline.

The first Saturday morning cartoons shown on network channels were largely culled from a stockpile of animated shorts originally screened in movie theaters before the main feature film. Warner Brothers and MGM studios produced thousands of these cartoons, which featured such popular characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and the self-destructive comedy duo Tom and Jerry. Other cartoons were commissioned from independent animation companies, which resulted in such favorite characters as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Magilla Gorilla, and Huckleberry Hound.

Others, such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons, were originally produced as prime time cartoons, much like the modern animated series The Simpsons or Family Guy. The three broadcast networks used these cartoons to attract a specific demographic on Saturday mornings, partially in hopes that these children would later act as amateur pitchmen for the products advertised between shows.

At one point in television history, Saturday morning cartoons were promoted just as heavily as any prime time programming. Special preview shows, hosted by popular actors or musicians, would regularly appear on a Friday night just before the premiere of the new cartoon season. Networks produced or commissioned connective bits of animation such as the Laff-a-Lympics, a mock competition between familiar ABC cartoon characters shown between the main programming.

Unfortunately, many of these cartoons and promotional material disappeared from Saturday morning programming by the mid 1990s, replaced with more generic offerings from foreign studios or live programming aimed at a teen audience. While the older cartoons can still be seen on cable stations or purchased in DVD or videotape form, the era of broadcast networks showing cartoons all Saturday morning appears to be over.

A number of contributing factors may have led to their demise, some of which may have been self-inflicted. One major reason broadcast networks stopped showing certain studio-produced cartoons was content, and these cartoons were originally geared towards a different audience with a different sense of humor. The violent antics of Tom and Jerry or the anti-social behavior of Bugs Bunny may have worked well in movie theaters, but parents of young children became concerned that these images would have a negative impact on young and impressionable minds.

Network executives during the 1970s took these concerns very seriously, and many of the most controversial studio-produced cartoons were heavily edited for content or pulled from public broadcast altogether. New cartoons faced the same sanitation process as comic books produced after the 1950s. Themes often needed to demonstrate positive moral or ethical values, such as good always triumphing over evil or teamwork succeeding where individual or selfish efforts failed. By the 1980s, many animation companies found it difficult to produce new material under such limiting conditions.

Another blow to Saturday morning cartoons came from the cartoon industry itself. The sudden demand for new animated programs during the 1970s and 1980s put a significant strain on the relationship between networks and production companies. Voice artists, many of whom were members of a very powerful union, were routinely asked to provide vocally-challenging services for literally hours at a time without sufficient time to recover. A called strike by unionized voice-over artists resulted in better working conditions, but also resulted in many network executives looking for non-union or syndicated programming elsewhere.

With Saturday morning cartoons declining in popularity during the 1990s, all three networks looked for other formats to fill the void. New or extended versions of morning news shows began to appear in place of the earliest cartoons, with mixed success. Sports programming also appeared earlier and earlier in the network line-up, replacing the final cartoons or live action shows. What had started as a three or four hour block of cartoons had become little more than a two hour package of corporate-owned material culled from kids' cable channels.

A ruling from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not improve matters. Concerns over the content of the generic "invaders from space" or Japanese anime offerings led to new requirements for children's programming. Networks were now required to broadcast three hours of programming designated as "educational or informative" (E/I). This effectively put an end to the original concept of Looney Tunes cartoons, which could not be construed as either educational or informative, unless the information was that a small umbrella is no match for a falling boulder.

This new E/I requirement essentially spelled the end of the traditional Saturday morning cartoons of legend. Instead, the parent companies of television networks chose to satisfy the FCC's regulations by applying the E/I label to company-owned cartoons, whether or not they were indeed educational or informative. Many of the executives and creative teams responsible for the best shows of the 1970s and 1980s also retired or were transferred to other programming departments.

The end of the classic era of Saturday morning cartoons can also be traced to the changing lifestyles and interests of their target audiences. By the 2000s, video games and computers had largely replaced broadcast television as a Saturday morning diversion. Would-be cartoon watchers were also becoming more involved in sports and other outdoor activities, not staying indoors to watch generic cartoons available at other times on other cartoon-oriented cable networks. Combined with parental concerns over the heavy commercial promotion of unhealthy snack foods or movie tie-in products, this loss of the primary target audience has encouraged the four major broadcast networks to rethink their Saturday morning programming.

Perhaps a future generation of television executives and creative animators will reinvigorate the concept, but many of the original programming has become readily available on DVDs or is shown regularly on specialized cable networks dedicated to animation.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to Musical Expert, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon999444 — On Jan 07, 2018

Happy New Year cartoon lovers! The main blame goes to that psycho sow known as "Mrs. C" and the rest of those unfit parents acting like the typical social justice warrior weirdos. It's typical of these miserable morons to want to be able to act like a dictator instead of paying attention to their own pathetic lives. Hell has a special place for these poseurs. Stupidity sucks!

By anon995968 — On Jun 17, 2016

It's funny that although Saturday morning TV has become much tamer, prime-time TV has become extremely violent and gory. Do we really need to see someone's rotting remains to know they're dead? If you're going to clean up anything, clean up prime-time.

By anon995967 — On Jun 17, 2016

Saturday Morning TV is remembered fondly, but most of these shows would be unwatchable today. It wasn't so much about the shows as the way networks would cater to kids. When it started, aside from the occasional Saturday afternoon movie or the Wonderful World of Disney, there just wasn't any animation on TV. And after Christmas it was almost all reruns until the next fall.

And even without Saturday morning TV on networks, there's more cartoons available now than every before, especially if you consider the vast quantity coming from Japan. If you really want, just record a bunch of cartoons throughout the week and save them to watch on Saturday.

By anon972876 — On Oct 07, 2014

I'm sorry, but I don't miss Saturday morning as badly as I used to, and for some good reasons:

The quality of the shows weren't that great (only recently with the DCAU shows, Star Wars-The Clone Wars, Reboot, the 1990's Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons, 80's shows like Galaxy Rangers and Spiral Zone, Real Ghostbusters, Dungeons and Dragons, etc. have we seen some shows with great animation and stories.)

The nature of Saturday morning was retarding animation in North America generally (no complex stories or themes to be explored, no adult situation to be mentioned, and noting like nudity shown, etc.)

Channels like Cartoon Network, Disney XD and Nickelodeon allowing for the kinds of shows mentioned in the first paragraph to be shown without any problem, as well as more adult fare like Archer, Drawn Together and Robot Chicken.

The Sunday night programming block on FOX challenging what could be told as a story on TV, and also challenging the idea that "animation's just for kids."

Parents not wanting their kids to sit at home on Saturday mornings in front of the TV from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. while there were things to do or chores to perform (my parents --well, really my dad -- was like that, and would make us forgo cartoons sometimes to work in the yard, with the threat of beatings if we didn't.)

Animation needs to grow up and grow as a medium in North America, and the Saturday morning block (and the strictures of the Saturday morning block) are retarding animation on TV and in the movies. Now that the last block is gone (except for PBS Kids in the United States, Kids CBC across Canada, and the TVO (TV Ontario) Kids block in the province of Ontario), this may be able to happen.

By anon972005 — On Oct 01, 2014

I think this idea stinks! I did not even know there was a petition out there; otherwise I would have signed it! I grew up watching these Saturday morning cartoons. Most of them are so much better than the new ones. No cursing and just good clean fun! Our children need more of these than the newer ones! I want them back!

By anon971611 — On Sep 27, 2014

Our government can regulate Saturday morning cartoons until they cease to exist, but they won't regulate the banks. (As Carmen Segarra recently showed.)

Poor kids who can't afford cable must not be allowed to have any fun.

By anon939274 — On Mar 12, 2014

I hope someday someone re-examines those Saturday morning cartoon regulations on the networks and can help get it changed. It makes no sense taking away children's programming from kids whose parents can't afford cable. That was a fantastic opportunity for companies to advertise their products as well.

Many of my favorite commercials are from Saturday mornings. And who can forget those PSAs and Schoolhouse Rock? There is a way to teach kids and not make them bored.

By anon934763 — On Feb 21, 2014

Excellent article. You expanded upon many of the issues I had noticed about this phenomena throughout the years. I definitely miss the excitement of getting up early on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. I've always been a morning person, probably for the exact reason of early morning cartoons. Frankly, I feel robbed and I feel robbed for my young nieces and nephews.

The live action preteen focused shows of the Disney/Nickelodeon variety have devolved into some of the most terrible garbage ever aired on screens. Educational programing is, I suppose, less of a pain but still I hate the idea of teaching kids they always need to be in survival mode.

It's like we're all a bunch of Vulcans or something now. "That's not beneficial! Destroy it!" Forget that. We can't be living just to perpetuate the act of living. If we can't teach our kids just to bask in something for the sake of its super colorful, silly awesomeness, then what the hell are we living for?

By anon925233 — On Jan 10, 2014

I'm really surprised that petition hasn't had more signatures. I always enjoyed Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. Not all children have cable and a lot of advertising dollars geared toward children from many companies were advertised in those time slots.

I would really like to see a test run done. Have a month of classic toons shown in the old Saturday morning time slots just to see if it can be recaptured. What do the networks have to lose? A few less infomercials? Of course there's that law...

By anon924422 — On Jan 04, 2014

I have been an anime/cartoon fan and hobbyist since I was 12. I am in my late 50's now and still love it all! I do have a life by the way. I do miss the days I watched them all. Cable took over? Dishnet/DirectTV, etc. took over? Hard to say. They even show crap toons now or mostly infomercials.

I go to conventions all the time and that is one of the discussions as to why Saturdays stink. Violent? Really? Too sexual, gayish, yadda? Who cares? Look at the "live action" TV shows. Gesh! I miss G-Force, Robotech, Superman/Batman, Green Lantern and the like.

By anon352597 — On Oct 23, 2013

One of the big things that killed Saturday morning cartoons is the disappearance of all those companies that produced childrens shows, like Filmation, DIC, Hanna-Barbera, Sunbow, Marvel Production, Saban Entertainment, Ruby Spears, and the Kroffts. These companies produced most of the memorable (and not so memorable) children's shows (animated and otherwise). All these different small companies with all their own distinctive styles.

Yesterday, you had producers like Sid and Marty Krofft, Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott, Jean Chalopin and Haim Saban, David Depatie and Margaret Loesch, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. These guys not only came up with brilliant concepts themselves, but they also hired creative talent to do their own thing.

Today, you have big giant corporate uniformity. Disney, Warner... Boardroom exec committees dictating content instead of letting talented writers and artists do what they do best. In fact, most of these corporate execs now agree that children's entertainment isn't profitable anymore, possibly due to the sanctions on toy-based shows and excessive advertising towards children. It's always about profit.

By anon335362 — On May 20, 2013

There are millions of google searches about this very subject! Tons of people who grew up watching the 1970s Saturday morning cartoons and the old Sid and Marty Krofft shows (so awful and cheesy, they're literally works of art), yet no single network has wanted to air them? Out of all the umpteen gazillion channels? How can that be? I don't get it?

New stations pop up all over cable almost daily and you'd think at least one them would start showing them again! It's just super weird if you ask me, but unfortunately no one has so I'll continue whining to no one who listens. Heavens to mergatroid!

By anon297230 — On Oct 15, 2012

I am one of the millions of people who grew up watching violent Tom and Jerry, and anti-social Bugs Bunny, and anti-animal rights Elmer Fudd, and guess what? We turned out just fine! I strongly believe weekends should be left for kids just to be themselves and not have to sit through three hours of more school! That's what it's for in the first place.

I used to look forward all week to Saturday mornings when I could watch Looney Tunes. I worked hard to get there, and it was a good reward. They were funny, not violence inducing. When was the last time you heard a convicted criminal blaming his bad behavior on cartoons? Anyone? If the parents would just do their job of teaching kids right from wrong and not relying on someone else or the television to do so, then their kids will be just fine, too.

I will be making sure my children get a proper raising by showing them just what I watched at their age, and not force-feeding them propaganda.

By anon284713 — On Aug 11, 2012

As a kid who grew up in the 80's and early 90's, I used to love watching cartoons in general.

When I got home from school, I was able to turn on Fox and WB to watch cartoons on the weekdays. These shows aired from 2 p.m. to around 5 p.m., giving me something to look forward to when I got home. I would then go play outside for about two hours outside until about 7 p.m., come home. do my homework and be in bed by 9:00 - 9:30.

Come Saturday, I knew there was a block of shows dedicated to people of my age and I always looked forward to it. I would watch every season to see what shows were brought back and what new shows I had to look forward to.

That being said, I do, however, see how some of the shows I watched would be be a problem for a young child the age of 2-4 to watch. Kids that age do not understand the difference between reality and TV, and often go around smacking people with hammers, bats, etc.

Saturday mourning shows were never made for kids of that age. They were made for kids of school age to unwind from the weekend so they were for ages 5-11.

It is up to the parents to monitor what the kid is watching and if they think it's bad, to turn it off or find something else.

In the late 90's and early 2000, the Anime market hit and was not fully understood by casual parents. I have no issues with Anime in general and often times found it a bit better than American cartoons in some ways and worse then others. Anime cartoons seem to have more violence and sexual overtones but also seem to have more character development and more effort put into the artwork.

Again, it's up to the parents to monitor and judge what they want their kids to watch.

Today there is again another danger: cartoons this time in the form of flash media. Companies are choosing to put all flash media driven shows on there networks, and not paying the huge cost of fully hand drawn cartoons.

Some of these shows are actually pretty good but others are garbage. Putting on a full lineup of flash media cartoons is causing the hand drawn cartoons we love and the artist animation studios to go out of business.

By anon258157 — On Mar 30, 2012

The rise of specialized cable programming also contributed to the demise of Saturday morning cartoons. Stations such as Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network gave kids access to cartoons and other kids shows pretty much 24-7.

In my childhood, we would wait all week to see shows that we were interested in and thus, Saturday morning cartoons were special. As someone once said, Thanksgiving turkey is less special if you eat turkey sandwiches every day.

By anon243462 — On Jan 27, 2012

I miss every one of those shows from the 70s to 80s. I was born in the 80's and I want my good shows back. I want the cartoons to go back to what they once were. So please, butt the hell out, you stupid lawmaking satanic freaks.

I have so many good memories which are being tarnished with parodies and all sorts of crap. The USA the way it is sucks. We need the USA to go back to the golden age, even if we have to kick some evil corporate law makers out.

By anon240277 — On Jan 13, 2012

CBS, or, ABC, should buy back the rights to the Warner Brothers cartoon library, and, re-air those cartoons unedited. No self-respecting kid of today, would attempt those so-called violent acts. It's just harmless, fun entertainment!

By anon237851 — On Dec 31, 2011

Kids don't want to be kids anymore. They're in too big a hurry to grow up, and there are no real cartoons anymore, just glorified ads for toys and sugar laden junk food. Sad.

By andy07470 — On Dec 24, 2011

Exactly what has happened over the years and decades that brings us to this point, where some of us feel like young children are so sensitive to being influenced by silly cartoon violence that they will actually try and reenact whatever they see on television (even cartoons)? Yes, we can always refer to anecdotal instances of a child jumping out a window because he thinks wearing a cape can make him fly, or maybe trying to cram twenty sticks of dynamite in his mouth because he once saw Yosemite Sam do it.

But please, will someone tell me: any parent growing up watching (and probably enjoying) the 70's and 80's versions of Looney Tunes and Pink Panther: did *you* think that you could fly to another galaxy? Did *you* think that you could pull a vacuum cleaner out of thin air and use it to suck the moon out of the sky? And if not, did your parents have to educate you about these things and that's the reason you have common sense today?

The regulators that be have become very, very good at what they do: taking rare, anecdotal examples and an extremely delicate mindset, and essentially dictating a "walking on eggshells" approach to modern cartoons. If you respond about how children are delicate and highly influenced, while I can't entirely disagree with you, again I ask you: when you were growing up, did *you* think you could do all the wacky things you saw Bugs Bunny do?

By anon216295 — On Sep 21, 2011

I missed the 60'/70's cartoons for the most part. I am a product of the 80's. I really miss waking up early on Saturday to catch shows like the Gummy Bears, Loony Toons, Scooby and Scrappy-Doo, Bernstein Bears, Count Duckula, Duck Tales, Dungeons and Dragons. The list can go on and on! Now look at the morning programming. It's just that --programming, but of the mind.

The system seems to have figured out how to control and place fear in our kids as law and we all look past it. No wonder we are where we are. We allow anything except imagination and adventure! How ironic is it the system does not want "cartoon violence," but has no problem with pushing wars, greed and conformity into our children!

By anon126872 — On Nov 14, 2010

There is a "Repeal the Children's Television Act of 1990" petition. It's high time we got the word out in a very big way. We've had enough of prohibition in children's programming and they have been deprived of their youthful innocence for way too long.

Enough is enough- we need to spread the word, from coast to coast, that there should be a lot less government involvement in what our children watch on TV- they don't need to be schooled, when they need to be relieved of the stresses of going to school.

We all need to end both prohibition as well as reduce the government's involvement in what our children watch, once and for all.

By anon112534 — On Sep 20, 2010

Great article and I've noticed this too, some years ago. Not only Saturday morning, but the 3 p.m. seems to be gone too along with holiday showings. I kept seeing less and less programming and more and more re-runs. Then some stop showing toons at all and show news instead.

I have a theory that that animators would and specifically studios like fox, disney and we got into the frame of mind like, why create material that could be viewed for free that take resources and rely on ad dollars when you can direct those resources to big budget CG animated movies and it'll practically be guaranteed to make back twice as much as you invested.

On the attention stealer note, with well over 100 million ps2's sold, I definitely think gaming and the Internet could have had some effect but the thing is I was still tuning in as that was just simply a part of the entertainment package but it's the networks who simply stopped making and showing programs.

Most importantly, they just weren't making great shows like those I watched in the '80s and '90s and re-runs of the shows from the '60s and '70s. They noticed that the audience started wanting heavier comic book action shows but they left a huge void for that same audience that likes Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck.

You know a part of me does wish for it to go back to the way it was but with DVD now you can get a series with great clarity and watch the show in order. That is if they release the whole show. *coughdisneycough* It was a great time but being able to watch shows now on the net whenever you want and now dealing with digital tv's constant screen tearing I don't see it happening.


By anon109403 — On Sep 07, 2010

The Saturday morning cartoons I most fondly remember, alas, were the violent superhero cartoons that were prevalent during the late 60s. Programs as such included "Space Ghost", "Birdman", "The Herculoids", etc.

I recall that nearly all of the new animated Saturday fare in fall 1967 were superhero-themed programs. They did indeed draw strong criticism for their violence, and this particular genre faded by 1969 in the wake of the King and Kennedy assassinations. Ironically, "Tom And Jerry", a violent show in itself, was kept on the air throughout the 70s.

By anon105654 — On Aug 21, 2010

Having grown up in the 60s, we watched Saturday morning cartoons religiously.

The Warner Brothers cartoons we watched were originally shown in theaters in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. And who saw them back then? Why, our parents of course. So, they weren't looking at us like we were 'crazy'. They knew how funny those cartoons were, and even though the humor was aimed at a different audience (moviegoers), kids found humor in them anyway.

I never thought of those characters as antisocial or violent. I never thought that their actions were blueprints for how to behave. I just thought they were funny!

As far as parents who pressured the FCC, I beg to differ. The parents today who are up in arms over these shows are the ones who watched them back then. It's just that they are the ones who forgot what it was like to be a kid. The baby boom generation forgot that kids need to be kids.

Children are regimented way too early. They are put into preschool as early as two years old. Summer vacations (time for fun) are tempered with vacation assignments (read books, work on math, science, history, etc., etc., etc. [no time for fun]). Parents keep a watchful eye on their kid's activities (justified in this day and age) to the point that they suffocate the kid (ridiculous).

And worst of all, parents want to be friends with their kids, instead of parents. Look, kids live in a different world than we did. I understand that. But will they fondly look back on their childhoods like we do? I can only hope.

By anon96496 — On Jul 15, 2010

That's right- bring back the Saturday morning animated entertainment that we grew up on for the next generation and tell these watchdog bureaucrats to just but the hell out.

By the way, since Fox has pulled out and the CW could be gone, come 2011, CBS and NBC might want to consider expanding their children's programming blocks to a respectable four hours long, just like is currently on ABC, and for God's sake, restore free market production to the networks for animated entertainment, instead of isolating each lineup to just one production company. Yes, we need Cartoon Network, but we especially need their animation studios to produce and submit programming in the future to the broadcast networks as well as for first-run syndication.

Classic Media also needs to do the same thing, Warner Bros., too, but let the studios set their own reasonable budget to make the shows for the broadcast networks and keep the cartoon violence to an acceptable minimum, so there are very little complaints.

The FCC is due to review its E/I mandate, but in my opinion, they need to relax the mandate and lift other prohibitive restrictions that can damage the Saturday morning kids' programing landscape- we all know prohibition doesn't work at all, and the broadcast networks need whatever money from these programs and the unrestricted commercials make to make up for the money they haven't been getting because of prohibition.

Saturday morning is for kids' entertainment, not for expansion of school with educational and informational programming.

Come on, fellow fans, let's get the message out- for our kids' future, restore the animated entertainment that we know as Saturday morning Kids TV, none of this all-school garbage.

By anon95297 — On Jul 12, 2010

"Kids today really don't know what they are missing. We knew not to do those things portrayed on the cartoons -- it was just comical, funny material. Now, of course, if those same scenarios were played out with human beings, those actions would have been crazy for kids to watch but this was animation..." but they are playing out with real people now.

For people without cable, the saturday morning cartoons have been replaced with preschool cartoons except for the cw4kids and the cartoons that used to be on weekdays after school have been replaced by Jerry Springer. So, now instead of kids coming home after school and seeing animated characters like Bugs Bunny act violently and know it's a fantasy since it's animated, kids today see real people on Jerry Springer and think that's the way real people act and copy it since it's real people.

When Charron was asked about no cartoons being left on for kids because of her actions, her reply was basically "Oh well, they could never do it right anyway, so it's better to have none."

So I have to assume that Charron prefers kids to see and imitate the people on Jerry Springer than to see and not imitate animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, etcetera that were and are not even as violent as the people on Jerry Springer.

By amypollick — On May 19, 2010

But you know, they still managed to educate us on Saturday mornings. If you learned The Preamble from "Schoolhouse Rock," please stand. I thought so. "Conjunction Junction?" Yep. "Naughty Number Nine?" Thank you. You may be seated.

I may catch some flak for this, but I cannot imagine how some of the insipid live action shows ("The Suite Life with Zack and Cody") or cartoons that are *nothing* but 22-minute commercials, interspersed with more toy and cereal commercials, or this anime crap on network Saturday morning is one bit better, more educational or healthier than "Clue Club," "Hong Kong Phooey," "Josie and the Pussycats," "The Hair Bear Bunch," or "Sigmund the Sea Monster." You tell me.

Let's look at "Sigmund" for just a minute. It featured two kids who befriend a sweet, if scary-looking sea monster, who just wants to be someone's friend. O.K. We have two kids making friends with someone who is "different," someone laughed at by his peers (the other monsters) and feared by the humans. But Johnny and Scott were loyal to Sigmund and saw he had a kind heart underneath the seaweed. So you get kids learning about accepting diversity and the value of loyal friendship. Yeah, that's destructive, all right. How can you learn to be a good friend unless that friend can also transform into a monster truck?

I swear. Some people have absolutely no sense of humor or imagination. Bleah.

By anon85243 — On May 19, 2010

I am a Saturday morning tv veteran, as we are called. I'm in my 40's, and have fond memories of watching cartoons and live action shows in the late 60's-70's era. I can't believe that parents, Mrs Charron and the government got involved in Saturday Morning tv. Bugs Bunny, Looney Toons were warping young minds? Come on. It's just entertainment. We went to school five days a week, sometimes eight hours a day, and Saturdays were our outlet. We did not need to be educated, but entertained.

Society is just too anal about things. Thank you Mrs Charron for your analysis. We owe it all to you for the demise of Saturday morning tv.

By anon79753 — On Apr 24, 2010

I think that there have always been fanatical parents that couldn't understand Saturday morning cartoons. They thought they were stupid, taught bad behavior, and rotted our brains. Back in the day, these parents didn't know how to organize and get their views out. They became politically savvy as the decades rolled on and were able to pressure the FCC.

I know there are a handful of children who would look at the older cartoons and try to perform these acts, but those kids are slow developers. The parents of these slow developers know that that these kids need more supervision, but they are unable or unwilling to provide it.

The main issue is that most of these fanatical parents use the television as a babysitter, so they can go about their lives. They are screening the television babysitter, as though it were a real wayward teen babysitter, not worthy of stepping foot in their house.

Instead of just turning off the TV and telling the kids to play or read a book, they believe that the wayward TV needs to be saved with re-education.

I don't see anything wrong with educational programming, but I don't believe that the Saturday morning cartoons I grew up with should be demonized in order to get it.

There is plenty of programming space available in a week to provide educational programming and my Looney Tunes. They just decided to throw the baby out with the bath water.

By anon76148 — On Apr 09, 2010

anon49012 I couldn't have said it any better. man 80's baby and i miss my saturday morning and after school cartoons so much.

Kids today really don't know what they are missing. We knew not to do those things portrayed on the cartoons -- it was just comical, funny material. Now, of course, if those same scenarios were played out with human beings, those actions would have been crazy for kids to watch but this was animation, and there were shows like pee wee herman and the other guy (i forgot his name. i think it was Vern) who had decent shows that fired the imagination.

Heathcliff, fat albert, dennis the menace, all those shows i miss. I wonder if we could petition to get some of these shows back on the air.

By anon63073 — On Jan 30, 2010

As a mom of four children (three daughters and one son), I believe that there should be new Saturday morning cartoons and combined them with the so-called "live action" shows. It would be satisfying for this generation of younger audience members. Cathy V.

By anon49012 — On Oct 16, 2009

Having been born in the late 60's and growing up in the 70's and into the 80's, I think those who grew up when I did, really had it good. Our Saturday mornings were filled with action, humor, suspense, comedy, science-fiction, adventure, and so much more -- and most of it came from watching the shows back then.

I'm talking shows like the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show, The All-New Adventures of Popeye, The Superfriends, Dungeons and Dragons, The Dukes, Thundarr the Barbarian, Scooby Doo, Where Are you?, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids, Shazam! The Secrets of Isis, Ark II, Space Academy, Land Of The Lost, Sigmund and the Sea-Monsters, The ABC Weekend Specials, Time For Timer, Schoolhouse Rock, ABC's Wide World Of Sports, American Bandstand, Soul Train, and so much more.

I don't think any kid I grew up with in our neighborhood, or any kid I went to school with, ever thought that if Bugs Bunny could defy the laws of gravity and physics, that they also could as well. Moreover, what kid back then would have even attempted to try, and place explosives in their own shorts and not think it could do some major harm? I doubt any kid was that stupid.

Now the adults back then might have thought we were all crazy, but it's just because they forgot what it was like to be a kid again themselves, hence you had all these parental watch groups trying to put a stop to cartoons and kids shows.

The same shows that exhibited humor, that could go a long way to making a child's week of long boring school days, seem so far away. Those programs gave kids a chance to relax and unwind from all kinds of problems that they faced during the rest of the week.

I truly feel saddened by the fact that so many millions of teens and kids these days have no sense of humor, or imagination, like we had back then. And to think, it all was the product of Saturday mornings cartoons and kids shows.

I say bring back those cartoons and kids shows, and give kids a chance to be a kid again. Let's not kids into a life of adulthood so quickly, let them just be kids.

By anon42653 — On Aug 22, 2009

i miss the old cartoons. i grew up on bugs bunny, tweety, anima-manics, pinky and the brain, road runner, all of them. i loved it, i turned out fine. why can't kids watch these priceless shows that we all loved and grew up on? no they have to watch lame shows like dora the explorer, and sponge bob Squarepants.

but my point is, cartoons now a days may be educational, but their lame, give us back our violence b/c sooner or later all kids have to learn about it, personaly id rather them learn about it on tv then let it happen the hard way

By anon31657 — On May 09, 2009

Wow, can't think of anything more violent or sure to leave it's mark on impressionable children than educational programming showing animals in the wild killing for food. Real life.

By ellefagan — On May 08, 2009

I loved the Saturday morning cartoons when I was a little girl, but can recall "tuning out" the hundreds of moments when one darling animated animal in a people suit would clobber another for pure fun or out of exasperation...it was too much for me - could not accept it as an idea - it "did not compute" as they used to say.

The thought among many, as media comes of age is that some images should *not* be viewed by humans of *any* age, for *any* reason. A strong image is, indeed, a strong image, and can have lifelong negative impact. The only counter to this thought is "overkill" - if you bombard folks with hundreds of such strong images, they will "buzz out" on the whole thing and so it is reasoned, the strong images will *not* have a bad or lasting effect.

And so, do *not* watch *one* too-violent, but be sure to flip through *all* the channels and catch at least a dozen of them, in whole or in part. Since you cannot expect to avoid it, flip through enough of it to create a good aversion reaction.

This one is an issue today's grams and grandpas might take up, and see if we can get the human psyche upgraded with more creative programming the shares some of the endless and endlessly wonderful things there are in this world!

By toonfan78 — On Nov 24, 2008

The interesting thing is that Mrs Sharron herself, the head honcho of ACT (Action for Children's Television), claimed that She "was always against censorship, even in Children's television." The irony is that she went after 70's toons like "Super President," because she thought it was a "weirdo" cartoon. She also tried to claim it was "violent" because the hero & badguys were "shooting at each other with ray-guns." Hmm..a bit of a paradox there eh? What's more, Mrs. Sharron fought against "safe harbor" laws, that would've limited graphic television programs (particularly those that were overly violent or showed sexual material) to certain hours. These laws were proposed to keep children from viewing such material during peak hours (where kids would be more likely to see it).

So what have we learned kiddies?...Mrs. Charron doesn't want "weirdo" superhero cartoons on the air. She is against censorship in kids tv, yet campaigned to get your favorite cartoons off the air. She's not concerned that you could see REAL violent or harmful programs on regular t.v.

Boy! I'm glad that we have idealistic crusaders to void the world of any fun. Let's re-write the world according to politically correct watchdogs..You know?! The one's dragging that large axe behind them?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to Musical Expert, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
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