I saw this post on msdanielle‘s blog and thought it was a brilliant idea. In fact, I’ve been considering doing posts like these for a while, talking about my all-time favorite sitcoms, game shows, reality shows, and so on. Well, what better place to start than in the beginning with shows that I watched as a child. And what’s the favorite kind of television programming for children? Cartoons, of course! Here are five favorites from my childhood… I’ve left out newer cartoons — like Family Guy — for the purposes of this list, because they weren’t around during my childhood!
In no particular order…
I watched this show religiously. After Saturday morning at 10:30AM, you could find me glued to Fox (channel 28 in my area), fascinated by the evil ways of Magneto, the shape-shifting of Mystique, the card-throwing of Gambit, and — of course — the angry carnage of Wolverine. I heavily preferred the animation style of X-Men over that of Spider-Man (which was typically on at 9:30AM Saturdays). I loved the idea of mutant powers, but being the introspective intellectual that I was (and still am), I was very interested in the metaphor and allegory presented by this cartoon. After all, the spite and anger directed toward the mutant population by the “normal people” is not all that different than what is experienced with racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice. And no, I’m not a fan of the newer X-Men: Evolution show. It’s just not the same.
Before he was asking people whether it was a deal or not, Howie Mandel provided the voice to the adorable Bobby Generic (it’s pronounced jenn-eh-rick, not jenn-heir-ick). This cartoon was over the top cutesy-wootsy, but I’m not ashamed to say that I am a fan. Bobby’s imagination was unparalleled, taking us on deep ocean adventures, learning that “fish don’t stink underwater”, and oh so much more. How can forget the episode where Bobby was trying to win the affections of his “girlfriend” by showing her “all my monies.” It’s like Full House, but totally from a kid’s point of view. What’s more, Howie Mandel has gone on the record, telling us that Bobby’s World will be back. Little animated Bobby even made an appearance on Deal or No Deal one time.
Life With Louie
I don’t know what he’s up to now, but Louie Anderson was best known to me through this television program that aired either just before or just after X-Men on Saturday mornings. I seem to have a thing for shows that depict famous people’s childhoods (I enjoy Everybody Hates Chris, and many have said that Bobby’s World is representative of Howie Mandel’s childhood), because this cartoon appealed to me too. I particularly liked Louie’s fat goldfish.
Some people find Louie Anderson pretty annoying and I can appreciate that sentiment, but there is something about his jolly fatness that makes him worth watching… maybe not as a Family Feud host, but as an animated child with an eating problem.
No list of favorite cartoons would be complete without the longest running sitcom in the history of television, animated or otherwise. It’s not nearly as funny today as it was in the early 90s — especially during the now legendary Conan O’Brien era — but this could very easily be one of, if not the best show to ever grace the boob tube. Does this choice really need justification?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half-shell… Turtle power! Just like my love for X-Men, I had a violent slant to my childhood, but I also appreciated the lessons to be learned. And just like X-Men, I’m not a fan of the “new” versions of these old franchises, heavily preferring the originals. It was because of this fantastic cartoon that I got into side-scrolling button-mashers in the arcade, ultra cheesy action flicks in theatres, and absolutely useless (yet totally awesome) action figures. Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, Casey… they were all there, and oh so much better than the most recent CG animated movie.
Notable runners-up include Transformers, Samurai Pizza Cats, Tom and Jerry (before they became friends), Sonic the Hedgehog, Garfield and Friends, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Tiny Toons, Pinky & the Brain, Beast Wars, Beavis and Butthead, Tale Spin, Duck Tales, Gargoyles, Flinstones, G.I. Joe, Inspector Gadget, Muppet Babies, Darkwing Duck, He-Man… the list goes on and on. I watched a lot of cartoons.
What were your favorites? I’d love to hear about them.