Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Count Chocula And Rabbit Ears - A Journey Through A Saturday of 1974 Television With Wally

Remember when the networks would run a prime time special previewing all of the kids shows they would be airing in the upcoming tv season. Magic, just pure magic.

Let's go back to a Saturday in 1974 and see what I would have watched that day.

6:30AM: I've probably already been up an hour. I may have even watched the Agriculture Report on WSM. Finally something decent comes on: Lassie. It's the one with Tommy Rettig. I never saw any of the other versions. This show was awesome with someone always falling into a well or getting lost or being threatened by an ax murderer.

7:00AM: I never watched Hair Bear Bunch. Lidsville was a Sid & Marty Krofft show and I usually always tuned into those, but instead it was Bugs Bunny for me. Maybe I was just too lazy to get up and change the channel this early in the morning.

7:30AM: By now, it was time since I loathed Yogi Bear. I suppose I'm just not a bear guy. It was either Addams Family or Mister Rogers. I liked both shows so it would depend on my mood.

8:00AM: I'd go to the kitchen and make myself a bowl of Count Chocula or Cocoa Puffs and then settle down for an hour of Scooby Doo Movies. It's weird that this ran on Channel 5 and Super Friends on Channel 2. They would switch networks at some later date and I always think of Scooby being ABC and Super Friends being CBS.

9:00AM: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters ruled the air at this time. It's hard to figure the appeal of this Johnny Whittaker Krofft show now, but I sure loved it when I was 7.

9:30AM: A group of teenagers solving mysteries with their dog. No, I wasn't watching Scooby again, it was Goober and The Ghost Chasers. Hard to call it a complete ripoff when it was also produced by Hanna-Barbara.

10:00AM: Speed Buggy time. I just loved that sputtering hunk of junk.

10:30AM: Josie and the Pussycats rock and rolled another half hour of my life away.

11:00AM: More Hanna-Barbara, but this time it was a choice between Pebbles and Bam Bam or The Jetsons. Most of the time I made the right decision and watched Elroy and kin.

11:30AM: The finest moment of the morning: Fat Albert was the absolute best with visions of the big city, soul music, and a clubhouse in the city dump. How could it not be the most stellar thing on this schedule?

12:00PM: Children's Film Festival with Kukla, Fran, and Ollie delivered excellent viewing over the years with offbeat foreign entries and tearjerkers like Hand In Hand.

1:00PM: I'd get my mother to make me a hamburger or I'd grab a cheese sandwich and sit down to watch the major league baseball game of the week with Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. I doubt that I ever made it through a complete game. I'd get bored and run outside to play my own baseball game.

2:30PM: If I actually came back inside it was time for ABC's Wide World Of Sports. It didn't matter what sport it was I'd watch it.

4:00PM: My mother would take over the airwaves so it was Jim Ed Brown or nothing.

4:30PM: The Wilburn Brothers continued the country music assault.

5:00PM: Here's one of the country music shows I liked: Porter Wagoner would stride in with his big red boots and his Nudie suits to entertain along with Speck Rhodes and Dolly.

5:30PM: More country music with that Ole Nashville Music. I barely paid attention to it, but I did figure out it was broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry House.

6:00PM: It was time for the revered Hee Haw. I enjoyed it for the cute girls, corny jokes, and that flaky newscaster dude.

7:00PM: No control over the set at this point so usually it would be All In The Family. That wasn't the family I wanted to see. I would want to watch The Partridge Family and sometimes I would get to do this.

7:30PM: It would be M*A*S*H unless there was a good movie on NBC or ABC.

8:00PM: Mary Tyler Moore in all of her perky glory would be on and I would probably be just coming inside if I had been outside playing.

8:30PM: Bob Newhart which I didn’t understand at all. It was just another in those apartment type sitcoms that adults seemed to find so interesting.

9:00PM: If we weren’t watching a cool movie like Planet Of The Apes or any of the James Bond flicks I’d get to watch Barnaby Jones with my mother. I probably still hadn’t wrapped my 7 year old mind around Buddy Ebsen not being Jed Clampett, but I still dug this show. It had lots of action and the gorgeous Lee Meriwhether.

10:00PM: Local news – usually Channel 5. And yes I would still be up since it was summer and Saturday.

10:30PM: Besides if I fell asleep I would miss watching two shows I loved – Sir Cecil Creape’s Creature Feature on Channel 4 and Championship Wrestling on Channel 2. This is how it went: I would watch Sir Cecil’s entrance and introduction of the movie and then I would flip stations to WNGE to watch professional wrestling. So I’d have the implied blood and gore with Sir Cecil Creape and the probably real blood of Tommy Rich and Jackie Fargo. I’d fall asleep on the couch and somehow always wake up in my bed on Sunday morning.