Thursday, December 30, 2010

Teenage Toons: Archie's Funhouse (1970)

If there was one consistent theme to The Archies' 8 year run on CBS, it was the format, which changed every year. For the 2nd season, The Archie Show became The Archie Comedy Hour. The next year, it remained a 1 hour show, but the title changed again, this time to Archie's Funhouse, and as the opening shows, Filmation was willing to experiment with live action footage, which was also the case with their 1969 entry on ABC, The Hardy Boys. Bittz uploaded this compilation of footage from Funhouse, including the opening & closing titles, to YouTube:



Funhouse, with its rapid fire skits, gags, and short stories, aspired to be an animated clone of NBC's popular Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Filmation would use Laugh-In as a template for The Groovie Goolies when they were split from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, the next year. As a nod to the comics, there was also a loose adaptation of the Little Archie books. Problem with that was, as you can see, the younger versions of the characters dressed the same as their teenage selves (and were voiced by the same actors; Filmation wasn't willing to spend extra money to hire additional actors), which was not the case in the books. No wonder, then, that these segments were discontinued when they moved on to Archie's TV Funnies the next year.

Rating: B.

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