Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tooniversary: Deputy Dawg's Nephew (1962)

Deputy Dawg's lookalike nephew shows up, and chaos ensues when Ty Coon & Muskie think that the Deputy has shrunk because of drinking too much of their homemade blackberry juice concoction.

Here's "Deputy Dawg's Nephew":



All it is, really is a variation on an old gag used elsewhere. Not quite as effective in a shorter time frame.

Rating: B.

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits (?): If My Friends Could See Me Now (1978)

In the spring of 1978, Linda Clifford had released a disco version of "If My Friends Could See Me Now", originally recorded 12 years earlier for the Broadway production of "Sweet Charity" by Gwen Verdon, with Shirley MacLaine doing so in the film version a few years later.

While it's likely that Clifford would turn up on, say, Soul Train, to perform & promote the record, which peaked just below the Top 40 on the pop chart, actress Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie) performed a cover version on American Bandstand. The sad part is that this wasn't released as a single for the then-teen star (Melissa was 14 at the time).





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Looney TV: Shishkabugs (1962)

Yosemite Sam is a chef for a finicky king (modeled after Charles Loughton), who wants a specific meal. Enter Bugs Bunny as the main ingredient. Enter chaos in "Shishkabugs":



Poor Sam. For once, you have to sympathize with him. The plot, however, is similar to an earlier piece, set in Hollywood, but with Elmer Fudd as the browbeaten chef. We'll have that another day.

Rating: B.

Animated World of DC Comics: Invasion of the Fearians (Challenge of the Super Friends, 1978)

From Challenge of the Super Friends:

Captain Cold somehow makes contact with the planet Venus and a bizarre race of three headed beings agree to aid the Legion of Doom. Ah, but the Legion should know that there really isn't as much honor among thieves outside of Earth as there is on it.

Here's "Invasion of the Fearians":



You know what they say about a man's grasp exceeding his reach? The Legion has learned and forgotten that lesson more times than anyone cares to count.

Rating: B.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Ivanhoe (1958)

I know what you're thinking.

You don't remember ever seeing Ivanhoe. I know I didn't. However, it was a British-American co-production, produced in England for what would become ITC, and distributed here in the US by Screen Gems, and was meant to air here as well as in the UK.

Ivanhoe, the first TV series to adapt Sir Walter Scott's classic tale (there've been two others since), lasted just 1 season of 39 episodes. Star Roger Moore returned to Hollywood to make movies before returning to the UK in 1962 to begin work on The Saint, and, of course, we know the rest of his story, don't we?

ATV, the forerunner to ITC, was doing a series of shows aimed at younger viewers that doubled as teaching tools regarding legendary heroes such as Robin Hood in the 50's, before moving on to science fiction (Gerry Anderson's super-marionation line) and, for adults, spies and variety shows in the 60's and early 70's.

In memory of Moore, who passed away at 89, here's the episode, "Counterfeit":



No rating.

Getting Schooled: Blackboard Jumble (1957)

After Tex Avery left MGM, William Hanna & Joseph Barbera were tasked with producing some Droopy entries. Michael Lah, who would go on to work for H-B, directed "Blackboard Jumble", a parody of the movie, "Blackboard Jungle".

Droopy only speaks when his title card appears at the start. Otherwise, there are a trio of clones who don't speak, leaving the beatnik wolf (Daws Butler) to carry the action by himself. The wolf takes over a 1 room schoolhouse when another teacher (Butler) flees, having been driven insane by the Droopy triplets. Some gags were recycled from "Three Little Pups", among other previous efforts.



You'd think this would've been a backdoor pilot to spin the wolf off into his own series, but nope.

Rating: A-.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Super President in The Great Vegetable Disintegrator (1967)

Super President, regarded as one of the worst cartoons of all time, regardless of genre, turns 50 this year. In "The Great Vegetable Disintegrator", Super President (Paul Frees) must rescue his aide, Jerry Sayles (Shep Menken, The Lone Ranger) from Professor DeCordo (Frees again), who wants the money the government has allocated for a space project.



Still can't figure why DeCordo and his aide have green skin. No one ever said they were really aliens, did they?

Rating: B-.