Saturday Mornings! Not only did it mark two days away from school, but it also meant that I would wake up early and be sitting in front of my TV waiting for the onslaught of cartoons to flash in front of my eyes. Keep in mind, this was a time when cartoons were actually on the three major networks (NBC,CBS,ABC) all morning long. With that in mind, I thought I would share my Top 5 favorites of all-time.

#1. Best Cartoon Ever : Scooby-Doo Where Are You?

Scooby Doo

(Hanna Barbera)
Hands down my favorite cartoon of all-time. How can you go wrong with those 'meddling kids and that mangy dog.' If you watch enough of the episodes, you realize that it's pretty much the same finely crafted scenerio each time. 'The Gang' stumble upon a mystery, Freddie creates the trap, Daphne gets captured, Velma puts the clues together, Shaggy (voiced by Casey Kasem) and Scooby are the bait, bumble the 'plan,' yet help catch the crooks (after a song montage) and all is well for the Mystery Van to move on to the next adventure.

ZOINKS! Remember, this 'groovy' tune, while Scooby and Shaggy were being chased? It's from Rhino Records-Scooby Snack Tracks CD, called "Seven Days A Week."

I still will sit down from time-to-time and pull out the DVDs and watch a few episodes.

Here's a fun game for the kids and the kids at heart from the WB.

All three seasons of 'Scooby Doo, Where Are You?' are available on DVD.

I also loved watching the Scooby-Doo Movies from the seventies and Scooby's Laugh-a-lympics, but gave up on Scooby and the gang when they introduced Scrappy-Doo (pup, pup, puppy power! Not!)

#2. Best Cartoons Ever : Super-Friends


(Hanna Barbera)
Like any boy growing up, I was always fascinated with the comic-book super heroes. I watched the Super-Friends when they had Marvin and Wendy as the young side-kicks and then were replaced with the 'Wonder Twins,' Zan and Jana (Wonder Twins' powers activate) and their pet monkey, Gleek.

One of my favorite night-time shows was "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Ted Baxter (Ted Knight). Ted also provided the voice of the announcer on the Super-Friends. Remember, "Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice."

Did you know that Casey Kasem (American Top 40) was the voice of Batman's side-kick, Robin?

#3. Best Cartoons Ever : H.R. Pufnstuf

H.R. Pufnstuf

(Sid & Marty Kroftt)
This show lasted only one season, but it was the beginning of a 'wild ride' for the team of Sid & Marty Krofft. The Kroffts' went on to create many Saturday Morning classics, including; Sigmund & The Sea Monster, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (Electra Woman was played by 'Days of Our Lives' Deidre Hall), Lidsville (featuring 'The Munsters' Butch Patrick) and The Bugaloos.

The plot revolves around a young boy, Jimmie, who has a 'magical' talking flute, named Freddie. Jimmie is lured to 'Living Island' by Witchie Poo who's sole purpose is to own 'Freddie.'  On Living Island,  Jimmy meets the Mayor, Pufnstuf who also happens to be a talking dragon. Every creature talks on Living Island, EVEN the trees. My favorite characters are the bumbling, but lovable "Rescue Racers,' Kling and Klang.

Check out this clip of Marty Kroftt telling me where Pufnstuf was created and what famous people got turned down for a roll on the 'Bugaloos."

Rick Andrews Interviews Marty Kroftt - Creator Of Pufnstuf

Here's an excellent book on the World of Sid & Marty Kroftt, called 'Pufnstuf and Other Stuff.'

H.R. Pufnstuf was recently re-released on DVD.

#4. Best Cartoons Ever : Banana Splits

Banana Splits

(Hanna Barbera)
Here's another one of my favorite 'live-action' Saturday morning cartoons. This is another Hanna-Barbera Creation, but has a tie-in with the Krofft Brothers.

Listen to this part of an interview I did with Marty Kroftt to find out the connection between the Banana Splits and H.R. Pufnstuff.

Rick Andrews Interview With Marty Kroftt - Creator of Pufnstuf

The four members of the Banana Splits were; Fleegle (guitar/vocals), Bingo (drums/vocals), Drooper (Base/Vocals) and Snork (keyboards). Fleegle was a Beagle, Bingo was a gorilla, Drooper was a Lion and Snork was an elephant.

Fleegle was 'voiced' by Paul Winchell, who voiced numerous cartoon's during his career including his most famous 'Tigger', from Winnie the Pooh.

Another veteran of voice animation, Daws Butler would provide the voice of Bingo. Daws also brought to life Saturday morning favorites as; 'Elroy Jetson', 'Huckleberry Hound', 'Quick Draw McGraw' and Kellog's own 'Capt'n Crunch.'

Here's a great book on Daws Butler's Career.

Did you know that some of the musical segments from the first season were filmed at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington?

Here one from their cd (YES! they had a couple cds released), courtesy of Hollywood Library, Inc. called 'Doin' The Banana Splits.'

#5. Best Cartoons Ever : Looney Tunes

Looney Tunes

(Warner Brothers)
First off, let me say, Mel Blanc was a genius. Blanc provided the voices for all the characters; Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam. June Foray provided most, if not all the female voices. I was a  Bugs fan, but my favorite was always the Road Runner and Coyote. Do you remember the one and ONLY time Wile E. actually caught the Road Runner? He then held up a sign with the question, "Now What?"

If you want to read more about Mel's incredible voice career, check this book out.

So, now that I have shared some of my favorite cartoons growing up, what are some of yours? I'd love to hear about them.

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