Time for another post about the telly. My previous post focused on all of the shows that were made prior to my birth, that I enjoyed watching as a child.
In this post, I’m going to talk about all of the shows I loved that were current in my childhood. That would be anything that started at least in 1980 and anything on through those years to about 1993 or 1994.
We’ll start with live-action/puppetry kids shows first.
Welcome to Pooh Corner: This one seems like it might be creepy, people dressed as the characters with what I’ve read as “dead eyes”, but it was actually quite enjoyable. It’s not my favourite live-action nor Disney made live-action. It’s also not even my favourite Pooh show, but it does hold a special place in my heart.
Dumbo’s Circus: This was my favourite Disney live-action when I was a kid. It’s the same basic set up as Welcome to Pooh Corner, but for some reason it was just better. I’m not even a fan of the Disney cartoon, Dumbo, but this I loved. Perhaps it’s because there were cats. There was Lily the tight-rope walker, the concession stand worker lion, and another scruffier looking cat who rode a lazy bicycle, who isn’t pictured.
Sesame Street: While I was able to watch reruns of older versions of Sesame Street, the majority of the time I was watching brand new epi’s. My parents approved of Sesame Street, so I was able to watch the films that came out when I was a kid and own some of the books. My favourites were Snuffleupagus, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Burt and Ernie, Slimey the worm, Rubber Duckie, Mr. Hooper, Maria, Gordon (as played by Roscoe Orman), and the groovy pinball counting song.
Ya know, ONE two three FOUR FIVE six seven eight NINE TEN eleeeeven TWELVE! Oh god, I think that was my favourite part.
Today’s Special: This Canadian children’s show was introduced to all American children because of Nickelodeon. Lots of kids disliked it, but lots of kids loved it. It seems hokey now, just even thinking back on it, but it was exceptionally engaging for kids.
Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: Just about every kid I knew watched this, whether they actually liked and enjoyed it or not. I suppose they were too lazy to change the channel during Saturday Morning cartoons? It was definitely talked about the following Monday in school. Of course I was one of the few kids that I knew who absolutely LOVED it. Of course I liked Pee-Wee, but I also really liked Jambi, Chairy, and Cowboy Curtis. I thought they were super swell.
I was also the only person that I knew personally who when seeing Morpheus the first time in the theatre while watching The Matrix, thought, “That guy looks awfully familiar. No, I’m certain I know him from something.” In case you hadn’t heard, Morpheus/Jack Crawford (from Hannibal) was Cowboy Curtis. Part of me wants to know how he liked being Cowboy Curtis, but the other part of me is afraid to find out that he hated playing that part.
I don’t know what dad knew him from, but it wasn’t Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Though his response to my thought was, “Yeah… that’s Lawrence Fishburne.”
Fraggle Rock: Though I did watch the cartoon as well, it was this version that I absolutely adored. The Sister watched this as well. Everyone I know has at least seen it and enjoyed it. I liked Madam Trashheap, the Doozers, Gobo, and Red when I was a kid. I own all of Fraggle Rock now on DVD, and after watching it in my adult hood I don’t think that Wimbly is annoying and actually rather like him too, as well as Uncle Traveling Matt.
Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood: While they did show older versions of this show, that I did certainly watch, I was also watching current epi’s when they aired. It was a weird show, but I liked his house and how he was so calming.
Eureeka’s Castle: This one I was probably too old for when it came out. I don’t know, is eight too old? Anyways, I wasn’t the only kid my age watching this. I really liked this show. Everything about it was cool. Eureeka was a sorcerer and lived in a castle and had a dragon and bat friend. It was just a really good puppet/live-action kids show.
Now we’ll move onto some animation… a.k.a cartoons!
The Littles: Loved this one. Some I’ll feature in this post because yes, while I liked them enough to constantly watch in my childhood there is really only one thing that still sticks out to this day and otherwise I can’t remember the show well. This isn’t that one. I remember actually enjoying loads of epi’s and wishing I was also a Little.
Adventures of The Little Koala: This is one of those where I know I liked it, but it’s not really fond in my memory as it is seared into it. I only remember one epi. Where the girl penguin thought she was fat and so wanted to starve herself skinny and would get headaches and feel badly and pass out. All the other characters were worried about her, but she wouldn’t stop until she lost weight… until the end of the epi when she realized that it had been a bad idea. That episode has haunted me to this day.
Galaxy High: Though some shows that I watched were more memorable and I smile when I think about them; this one did register excitement when I was researching for this post. I really did like this show a lot.
Garfield and Friends: This one! This is an excellent example of one that I absolutely loved and had to watch and was an all-time favourite for me. I adored the Garfield bits, but I also really enjoyed all the friends over at the farm.
The Real Ghostbusters: I find that apparently I was too young to thoroughly enjoy the films that came out before the cartoons. I liked the guys and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but really I didn’t like either film when I was a kid. The cartoon was a different story and I loved watching this.
Heathcliff and the Cadillac Cats: While this cartoon wasn’t nearly as awesome to me as Garfield and Friends, I still really enjoyed watching it.
The Shirt Tales: Oh my gosh, they were super cute. Wasn’t fond of the orangutan named Bogey who sounded like Humphrey Bogart, as I thought that was stupid, and I’m not a fan of primates. But I did really like this show.
The Get Along Gang: While I also enjoyed watching this one, The Shirt Tales were way cooler and cuter than The Get Along Gang.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: This is another one where I preferred the cartoon over the film. Man, I loved this cartoon! However, the other two cartoons on this list, I liked the films, just not enough. This one though, I greatly disliked the film.
Jem and the Holograms: I remember more about this show than say, the little koala. Jem had a boyfriend. Synergy was their super awesome computer. The Misfits, we were supposed to hate, but I thought they were pretty fierce. And she was like a super hero in that no one could know that Jerrica and Jem were the same person. But, while I remember really liking it, one epi sticks out in my mind and that’s all I can see.
The one where Jerrica has a fight with her mom, doesn’t make up with her, and leaves the house only to come back home later and learn that her mother has died! It messed with me so badly that I always felt that if I left the house without telling my mom good-bye that I’d come home and learn that she was dead.
The Wuzzles: Seems strange now, creating a cartoon with science experiment animal mutations, but it was really popular for the short time that it was on. Of course I didn’t care for the monkey/rhino, because I’m not fond of primates, and I wanted to really like the moose/seal, but he was kind of whiny or was it mopey? My mom approved of this show, which I’m surprised about still. So, I was allowed to have stuffed animals, plastic Care Bear type ju-ju’s (moveable action figure toys) and some books.
It’s Punky Brewster: The family and I did watch the live-action Punky Brewster, but again I preferred the cartoon more. Probably because she had a magical Irish creature in the cartoon.
Camp Candy: I couldn’t really tell you why I liked this cartoon so much as I barely remember anything specific about it. But I did really, really like it. It was one of my favourites.
Rose Petal Place: Love this though it was very short-lived. Just look at them! Little flower people dressed up in clothes that resemble their flower type… and a pink kitten! What’s not to love? I even had the board game of this cartoon, which I really miss.
Adventures of the Gummi Bears: This I was absolutely crazy about. More so than The Wuzzles. They were medieval bears for cryin’ out loud with special gummi juice that could make them all bounce really high. I was all over that at age five.
Beetlejuice: I liked the original film of this alright, but the cartoon I LOVED. This was definitely one of my favourite cartoons to watch.
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: I’ve never liked anything Scooby-Doo related, except for this cartoon. This cartoon, with them as younger kids, was one of my absolute favourites. So much better, in my opinion, than any real Scooby-Doo cartoons or films.
Ewoks: This show was fantastic! Sure I have gotten made fun of for liking it, or the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, but I was a kid. I can like that stuff without being made fun of. While the Ewoks were cute and fat and fluffy in Jedi, they were badass and had personalities in their cartoon. I even had the board game that came from this cartoon.
The Care Bears Family: I, along with most other kids I knew, had Care Bear fever. They were just cool. I’d watched the films, the Care Bears cartoon, and a few books. The Sister and I had some ju-ju’s and stuffed animals. But when this show came out, to me, it was better than anything that came before it. It wasn’t so dark and weird. Plus, I liked all the other Care Bears that weren’t bears.
I remember mom going through her crazy religious phase and she started selling Wee Win Toys. They were religiousy knockoff’s of popular toys at the time. So, while she never gave me Care Bear stuff, though I received it from grandparents and family friends, she’d give me fake religious “Care Bears” ju-ju’s and stuffed animals. Obviously, I was not impressed at all.
The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: This was my all-time favourite Winnie the Pooh show ever. It was just a super fab cartoon series. I always had to watch it and was sad when the epi was over.
The Snorks: I did also watch The Smurfs, but underwater creatures were so much more fascinating. In the same vein of similar cartooning, though older, I did also watch The Flintstones and The Jetson’s. I liked both of them equally and about the same as The Smurfs.
Bobby’s World: Just about everyone I know at this age was into this cartoon. I admit that it does bother me now that this was all Howie Mandell, but at the time it was a pretty cool show.
Muppet Babies: I already loved The Muppets, but in baby form… in a cartoon? It was just beyond awesome. Most kids I knew really loved this show too. It was really funny and creative.
DuckTales: When I was in the fourth grade, Disney had an afternoon cartoon line-up and it was like the best thing ever! This came out a little before that line-up, but was later included. I can’t tell you how much I LOVED this cartoon. I already liked Donald Duck and less squeaky version of Uncle Scrooge and Huey, Dewey, and Louie were awesome. There were SO many crazy, awesome adventures!
Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers: If you weren’t into ducks, you could have rodents… and a bug. I totally dug this show too. Chipmunks and mice pairing together with an adorable side-kick bug, having crazy adventures in the guise of their detective agency. What more could a kid ask for?
TailSpin: This was the 3rd of four shows that I liked in that Disney Afternoon line-up. Tail Spin was basically The Jungle Book meets Indiana Jones meets the TV show Wings. Baloo flew a cargo plane and other Jungle Book animals were the mechanic, the owner, and the ticket sales lady. But they had all these crazy Indiana Jones style adventures. Which the third, and at that time, final Indiana Jones had just been released in theatres the year before, so it makes sense they’d kind of copy that some-what since it was a huge deal.
Darkwing Duck: This was the fourth show in the Disney Afternoon line-up that I loved. There were more shows, but eh… I didn’t care for them. This was a very 30’s-esque feeling show about a super hero and his wacky and bumbling family and friends. It was packed with action and was really funny too.
Animaniacs: This was a great cartoon all around. I liked how part of it had the feel of those 30s and 40s Warner Bros cartoons of famous people of the time. They’d update that, but using the same people like Humphrey Bogart and Baby, but have the Animaniacs kids pester them to death. Or how the Animaniacs kids would imitate old famous people like Groucho Marks. They were crazy and into everything, but it was cool. And the other characters like Pinky and Brain, The Goodfeathers, Slappy Squirrel, Chicken Boo. All of it was just so awesome.
Since there’s just so much TV, I’ll save other things for future posts.