From School House Rock's "I'm Just a Bill", to Fat Albert’s catchphrase "Hey, Hey, Hey!", in this installment, we are going to pull out the nostalgia card and look back at 10 of the most memorable cartoons from the 1970's!
Scooby-Doo, Where are you!
Who can forget the theme song? Who can forget the van? And, come on, nobody will ever forget the loveable dog Scooby Doo and his partners Fred, Velma ,Daphne, and of course Scooby’s best pal ole buddy “Shaggy”. The crew of teenagers and their psychedelic 70’s van started solving mysterious crimes in1969 thanks to Hanna-Barbera Productions and the creative genius’s Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. In almost every episode, Shaggy and Scooby get separated from the rest of the crew by their unending urge to eat. Somehow in the end, the bad guy is always caught and blames it on” THEM MANGY KIDS!” Don’t you worry though, Scooby always gets his Scooby snack in the end, unless of course Shaggy didn’t eat it. ”RAWW RAGGY!”
The Grape Ape Show
The Saturday morning line just wouldn’t be the same without a little Grape Ape. Grape Ape debuted in 1975 and was canceled in 1978. This iconic purple 40ft purple gorilla with the mind of a child would travel with his astute counterpart ”Beegly Beagly” and help solve mysteries and crimes. The image of Grape Ape sitting atop their little yellow van, with Beegly Beagly driving has been cast on many T-shirts. There are still proud followers of this massive purple gorilla today. Get yourself a Grape Ape T-shirt and join the crowd.
Josie and The Pussycats
In the 1970-71 television schedule line-up, there became a new name in town, Josie and the Pussycats. NBC first aired this show with help yet again from the famous team of Hanna and Barbera. The band consisted of the leader and guitar player, Josie, the smart girl in the bunch playing tambourine was Valerie, and air headed drummer Melody to help round out the group. 16 original episodes had the all girl band traveling the world with their entourage getting mixed up in crazy adventures. The show was full of music, dancing, and groovy 1970’s garments. Hanna-Barbera created a band to mimic the cartoon in real life and in the process created a civil rights situation that it had to defuse. This show was so popular then, that it even spun off a modern movie.
The Super Friends
Again we hit the list with the team of Hanna and Barbera. In 1973, they brought Batman, Superman, Wonder woman, Robin and Aqua man together to take on the forces of evil. This became a wildly popular cartoon based upon the fact that each individual super hero already had popular running shows. In each episode, the super heroes would take on arch enemies and always triumph through team work and cooperation. In some of the 109 episodes, the team call themselves the Justice League, leading to the eventual formation according to some skeptics. The show’s popularity has spanned countless generations and has spun off movies and games that we enjoy to this day.
The Fat Albert and Cosby kids show
This memorable show first aired in 1972. The show blended live action acting with animated sequences to show the main creator Bill Cosby as a story time narrator that was telling stories about his childhood gang he grew up with. The show features an educational lesson with every episode and often times you will hear Fat Alberts catch phrase “HEY,HEY,HEY”. The Cosby kids were compiled of Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, William “Bill” Cosby, Russell Cosby, Weird Harold, Rudolph “Rudy” Davis and Bucky Cosby. The show was an educational tool to help kids cope with life’s difficult choices and even later used Fat Albert as a tool to help young people realize the dangers of obesity. The show ended in 1985, but has had multiple modern spin offs, including the 2004 Hollywood film starring Kenan Thompson.
You know growing up and running down the steps every Saturday morning to watch the cartoons wasn’t necessarily just about cracking jokes and making pranks. In 1973, Schoolhouse Rock was introduced to the Saturday morning line up. Kids all over the world started to sing songs like “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m just a Bill”. This series of animated short cartoons really did help children know that knowledge is power and that your education is the key to success in everything you do. To this day, grown adults can still sing these long lasting words of wisdom that were written by David McCall and distributed thanks to Disney and the ABC network.
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
During the late 1970’s, the Hanna Barbara team created a group of friends that seemingly did not belong together in the cartoon, Captain Caveman and The Teen Angels. Dee-Dee, Brenda and their friend Taffy thawed a frozen caveman and soon teamed up with him to fight crime using his super caveman powers of flight, super strength and his multi tasking caveman club. Who will ever forget his iconic “Captain Caveman” call? We know we won’t.
Hong Kong Phooey
In September of 1974, Penrod ”Penry” Pooch was introduced to the world as a mild mannered reporter working for a local newspaper. Little did anyone know is that this was just a disguise for the real super hero, a martial arts master and a friend to everyone in need. Hong Kong Phooey was an extremely popular cartoon during the season of 1974. Unfortunately the series was only made to introduce another cartoon lineup, and was abruptly cut short at the end of 1974.
Help!… It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!
This was a very short running cartoon from 1971 through 1972, in which a dastardly group of bears were always trying to escape the zoo to have a night on the town. Trying to stop them was the Zookeeper Mr. Eustace P. Peevly and his assistant Lionel J. Botch. The bears are led by the main bear, Hair Bear, that can always been seen with a giant orange afro. Then there are his counterparts, the bafflegab talking Bubi-Bear and the always chill Square Bear. Many episodes end with Hair Bear covering up for Mr. Peevly so he doesn’t lose his job.
What do you get when you mix a 15 foot great white shark with a set of drums and a voice and personality of Curly off of the three stooges? You get JabberJaw, a talented musician in a group called “The Neptune’s” who travels the sea looking to perform shows. The whole while getting themselves into mischievous situations that they must work together to get out of. This was a Joe Ruby and Ken Spears animated series that started in 1976 and ran until 1978, feeding off of the Shark frenzy that the movie Jaws created at that time. If you were swimming in the ocean, which shark would you rather encounter; Jaws, or JabberJaw? I think I would rather laugh than be eaten alive.