Now Playing: Ra's "Superman"
My buddy Rodger sent this to me. I laughed so hard, I pee'd myself! Rodger likes it when I pee myself.
Today we have cartoons available for viewing 24/7 through the Cartoon Network and other outlets. But back in the day, all we had were the three major broadcast affiliates and a handful of UHF channels. We had cartoons Monday through Saturday, but - here in DFW at least - you were out of luck on Sunday morning.
Back in the 70s, Texas was still a Blue Law enforcing state. You couldn't buy pots and pans, toys, and - according to my wife - pantyhose on Sunday. Stores would have entire aisles roped off of items that were illegal to purchase on the Lord's Day, I guess because God hates Corning Ware, Legos, and Hanes.
Parts of the Blue Laws are still enforced here. Liquor stores are required to be closed on Sundays and you can't buy beer or wine at the grocery store until noon. The courts continue to enforce car dealerships being closed one day each weekend.
I doubt it was ever part of the Blue Law, but Sunday morning TV felt very regulated. Perhaps it was an FCC guideline, but just about everybody had the same programming mentality. All the shows were either news or community in focus or a worship broadcast.
There was only one place for cartoons on Sunday morning. That was the Children's Hour with Bill Kelley on KXAS-TV Channel 5. Bill Kelley hosted a program with old cartoons from the fifties, guests from the FW Zoo featuring an animal or creepy-crawly of the week, the FW Museum of Science and History (I can still hum the theme song to this segment), and reading the "Sunday Funnies" page from the FW Star-Telegram with a local kid. In keeping with the morality of the day, an episode of Davey & Goliath would air and on occasion an episode of Jot.
Jot was the most peculiar of cartoons. The animation was abstract and almost psychedelic in tone. Produced by the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commision, the art had the stylish, contemporary feel of the sixties while the stories communicated traditional, moral lessons.
It was a weird show.
Jot was essentially a ball with a face who, when necessary, sprouted hands and legs that floated around his body. Much as the conceit of Schulz' Peanuts, the adults were featured offscreen - though in contrast their voices were clear and understandable in Jot's world. The adults were the moral authority, providing clear guidance to Jot.
I got to thinking about all of this last night as the Wife and I had dinner with our friends, Greg and Julie. Over a sumptuous feast of red wine and beef tenderloin, Greg made the startling confession that he voiced Jot's friend, Tat.
"You're kidding me!" I exclaimed.
"Nope." He swore, "God's honest truth."
I had no idea that my friend was a cartoon celebrity.
Check out an episode of Jot below featuring the amazing voice talents of my friend Greg as Tat! And then thank your stars for Cable and Satellite TV.
Back from the 80s and apparently much the worse for wear, Max Headroom returns to his home on the BBC's Channel 4. The Brits are bringing the digital spokesman for New Coke back from has-beendom to raise awareness about the upcoming digital switchover.
Ads will feature Headroom criticising Channel 4, which created the stuttering digital host in the 1980s, for ignoring his vision of a digital future.The three week campaign, using the strapline "Get set for Digital", also promotes Channel 4's portfolio including E4, Film4, More4 and Channel 4+1.
"As part of our ongoing commitment to digital switchover, we wanted to produce a campaign that not only drives awareness of switchover but also stays true to Channel 4's values of doing things differently," said Rufus Radcliffe, head of Channel 4 marketing.
There will be lots of Gen-Xers thrilled about this. Right, Gary?
Max got his start in the BBC's "20 Minutes into the Future," a cyberpunk TV movie which became the backstory for Channel 4's Max Headroom series. Later, the program would be developed for a short-lived series for American audiences. Max was an instantly recognizable celebrity, guesting on Letterman and shilling for New Coke.
He even performed with AON! check him bustin' it in the ART OF NOISE video for "Paranoimia."
My buddy Rodger of A Haunted Gallery is a terrific modeler. He paints miniatures, builds models, and is an amazing scratch builder. I love his work. On display in my office are the U.S.S. Voyager and Klingon Bird of Prey he crafted for me.
He has posted a YouTube video of his stuff. Check it out!
So I was chatting with my co-worker, Dave, and I was reminded of this bit from Kids in the Hall.
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