The 1974 CBS Saturday morning lineup was perhaps the most insane ever
It would seem that the further back in time you travel, the more eclectic Saturday morning cartoon lineups become. And the assemblage glimpsed above is as insane as they get. Socko Saturday indeed.
The Shazam! adventures of Captain Marvel are by far the most mundane — and when you’re talking about a show about a kid who says a magic word, gets hit by lightning and turns into a superpowered adult with a cape, that’s saying something. You have to go through these cartoons one by one to fully grasp the level of 1970s insanity on display. So let’s go.
Partridge Family 2200 A.D. — The Partridge Family, but in space or something. Who wouldn’t have loved to have been in the bong-smoke-suffused room where the Partridges/Jetsons mash-up was pitched? The human mind is barely able to process that something so absurd made the airwaves, and wasn’t merely a peyote vision. I mean, look at that clip — WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Valley of the Dinosaurs — Like with Shazam!, a cartoon where a family gets sucked into a whirlpool and they pop up in a dinosaur/friendly cavemen-infused subterranean canyon seems mundane. (Korg, that you?)
Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine — A non-cartoon variety show! With the occasional comic book subject Harlem Globetrotters! And old-timey child star Rodney Allen Rippy!
Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show — More live-action comedy, this time with the poor man’s Smothers Brothers. Please note that the cast includes Peter Cullen, who’d later go on to a small measure of fame as the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers cartoons and incredibly stupid Michael Bay movies. Humble beginnings.
And last but not least:
U.S. of Archie — Archie, Jughead and the gang took time to educate youth about American history while speaking in THE MOST ANNOYING VOICES IMAGINABLE. It was like an earlier version of This is America, Charlie Brown — but with, it needs to be said again, THE MOST ANNOYING VOICES IMAGINABLE. If only Teddy Roosevelt could have snuffed out their lives in the above clip, our ears might have been spared.
You’d think a television schedule that included foul-mouthed comedian Richard Pryor would by default be the craziest. But it’s nothing compared to this. Partridge Family 2200 A.D. is like the dream you have at night and try in vain to process the next day, much less explain to someone. Do not adjust your sets.