70's Cartoons: Saturday Morning Fun!
It's a 70's Saturday Morning All Over Again!
It is time to take a fond look back at just a few of the 70s cartoons and live-action shows that aired on Saturday mornings.
Some shows have become classics, still as popular today with fans as they were when they first aired. Other shows simply vanished after their initial run, never to be seen again, except perhaps as a video on a Youtube channel.
What you will find on this page are plot lines, trivia, photos and videos. Of course, not every cartoon can be listed on a page this size.
Please feel free to share your favorite 70s Saturday morning cartoon memories in the guestbook.
The Addams Family
This 30-minute 16 episode cartoon series ran on NBC from September 8, 1973 to August 30, 1975 was a Hanna-Barbera Production.
Our favorite mysterious and spooky family was traveling across the country in their Victorian RV and found themselves involved in “hair raising” adventures and honestly, this is the Addams Family, what other kind of adventures would they have? While all of the familiar characters were included in this series, only Ted Cassidy (Lurch) and Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester) voiced their characters.
This series is available on DVD
Filmation's ARK II
This Filmation live-action Saturday morning show ran for one season on CBS from September 11, 1976 to December 18, 1976. Set in the 25th century, we saw an Earth that had been devastated by war, pollution and waste. Three young scientists, Jonah (Terry Lester), Ruth (Jean Marie Hon), Samuel (Jose Flores) along with their pet chimp, Adam, traveled the barren countryside in their high tech RV, searching for survivors. Their intention was to help them get back on the feet and to heal the planet.
It is also a popular and persistent story the Dean Jeffries, who created the RV-like vehicle used in the 1977 feature film Damnation Alley, created the RV for t his series, he didn’t.
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
Most likely inspired by the prime time series Charlie’s Angels, this Hanna-Barbera venture gave us Captain Caveman, a prehistoric caveman who had been frozen for millions of years in a block of ice, and who was set free by three cute teenagers, Brenda, Taffy and Dee Dee. Together, this foursome solve mysteries.
Each of the episodes in this series actually were segments from Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (September 10, 1977 – September 2, 1978) and The Scooby All-Stars (September 9, 1978 – September 8, 1979), both on ABC. The network used the series as a replacement for the canceled Spider Woman cartoon.
Captain Caveman disappointed TV Guide who had done a study on 27 different cartoon shows to determine their educational value. Their panel of experts could find no redeeming values associated with the series at all.
Casper and the Angels
Produced by Hanna-Barbera and airing on NBC for 13 episodes from September 22, 1979 to May 3, 1980.
More than likely inspired by two prime time shows, Charlie’s Angels and C.H.i.P.S as it featured Casper the ghost in space who was helped by two female motorcycle cops, Minnie and Maxie to solve crimes. Also helping Casper was fellow ghost Hairy Scary who would scare troublemakers and villains.
Probably one of the most forgotten 70's Saturday morning cartoons ever made. It has never been released on DVD, but there are a few VHS tapes floating around out there.
This series probably qualifies as one of the forgotten cartoons of the 70’s. I think you either liked it or hated it, there didn’t seem to be an in between kind of reaction to it.
This was a Hanna-Barbera Production that aired on ABC from September 7, 1974 to December 21, 1974. It was inspired by the exploits of 70's stunt rider and motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.
Not a laugh-out loud cartoon, instead it was a family drama that was centered around 22 year old Ernie Devlin, a stunt rider for a traveling circus, who was caregiver to his two siblings, brother Tod and sister Sandy. The show focused on realistic topics like adopting a stray dog, being blamed for things you didn’t do, overcoming your fears and so on. Ernie usually had to use his skills as a stunt rider to bring about a satisfactory conclusion to each episode.
If you missed it the first time around, it was released on DVD on May 24, 2016 and as of this writing, isn’t really all that expensive on Amazon unlike some other 70's releases which can get pretty pricey.
The Funky Phantom
This was a Hanna-Barbera series that ran on ABC from September 11, 1971 to September 2, 1972 for a total of 17 episodes. It featured the ghost of Jonathan Wellington Muddlemore who during the American Revolutionary War,proved to be a bit of a coward when he took refuge from British troops in the old grandfather clock in Muddlemore Mansion and then couldn't get out and died there. Fast forward to modern day and when teenagers Skip, Augie, April and their dog Elmo decide to take refuge from a rain storm in Mudsy's house. When they set the time on the old clock out pops The Funky Phantom himself!
Without a doubt, this was a Scooby Doo rip-off as the kids solved mysteries and Augie sort of looked a bit like Shaggy from the Scooby-Doo.
This series inspired a 13 issue comic book series by Gold Key Comics (at least 5 of those issues 2, 7, 10, 11 and 12 were also released simultaneously under the Whitman brand.)
Filmation's The Ghost Busters
A live-action Filmation produced series that aired ABC from September 6, 1975 to December 13, 1975 with a total of 15 episodes.
Starring Larry Storch as Spenser and Forrest Tucker as Kong (yes, you might remember this duo from the 60's sitcom F-Troop) as two bumbling detectives whose cases usually featured something to do with ghosts and haunted houses much to their displeasure. They were assisted in their ghost busting by Tracey, a gorilla who drove their beat up old jalopy of a car. Bob Burns wore the gorilla suit and I honestly have no idea why this character was even included in this series.
This series was released on DVD in 2007 and contains the entire series, naturally, a photo album, interviews with cast and crew, television bumpers as well as an episode of the cartoon version of the show that Filmation also produced.
The Groovie Goolies Show
Produced by Filmation and meant to be a funny take-off on the popular Universal monsters. It aired on CBS from September 12, 1970 to September 4, 1971 as Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies.
In 1971, the popular Goolies got their own show. Each episode featured at least two musical numbers and had humor much like Laugh-In, but of course, written for kids.
The song Chick-Boom, a song used on one of the Goolie’s episodes became a hit song for Richard Mondo better known as Daddy Dewdrop.
The series is available on DVD and can be a bit pricey. There is also a five episode DVD which might be a better choice if you have never seen the show and want to check it out before buying the complete series.
Howard Morris (who you might remember as Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show) and Larry Storch (from F-Troop fame) provided most of the voices for the show.
The Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters was a Hanna-Barbera production and aired on CBS from September 12, 1970 to September 2, 1972 with a total of 22 episodes. Meadowlark Lemon, Curly, Gip, Bobby Joe and Geese traveled the world and used their skills at basketball as a way to defeat evil wherever they found it.
The show would move to NBC which aired reruns under the title of The Go-Go Globetrotters which also featured other Hanna-Barbera favorites like The Herculoids and the C.B. Bears.
In 1979, The Super Globetrotters would air and this time our favorite funny basketball team would take on super hero identities; Multi-Man, Sphere Man, Gismo Man, Spaghetti Man and Fluid Man. They fought villains all over the world! This series would last three months before NBC decided to combine it Godzilla and turn it into the The Godzilla/Globetrotters Adventure Hour.
Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch
Produced by Hanna-Barbera and ran on CBS from September 11, 1971 to January 8, 1972 with a total of 16 30-minute episodes.
Three bears, Square, Bubi and Hair resided at the Wonderland Zoo and were always looking for ways to trick zoo director Eustace P. Peevly into improving their living conditions. A story goes that producers wanted actor Joe Flynn (from McHale's Navy) to be the voice actor for Peevly, but he didn't get the job because, "Joe Flynn didn't sound enough like Joe Flynn". Go figure that one out.
In 1972, Golden Key Comics adapted the cartoon into a 13 issue comic book series using the title The Hair Bears.
The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show
This live action musical comedy series aired on CBS from September 7, 1974 to December 21, 1974 with 16 episodes produced. It featured real-life brothers, Mark, Brett and Bill Hudson who were given this Saturday morning venture thanks to successful 1974 prime time summer replacement show on CBS. The network liked what they saw and felt that the brothers would do better on Saturday morning and thus The Razzle Dazzle Show was born. It featured the brothers singing, dancing and doing comedy skits.
Rod Hull, an English actor and writer was on board doing comedy with his Emu puppet who would often attack him or those around him. It made for some entertaining moments.
I think its a shame that the brothers didn’t have a more successful career in music as they were very talented and had a nice sound. I think that many folks possibly saw them more as a novelty act than serious musicians.
Series is available on DVD, but their prime time summer series has yet to made it to DVD.
Josie and the Pussycats
This Hanna-Barbera Production aired on CBS for one season (September 12, 1970 to January 2, 1971) with a total of 16 episodes.
Josie and the Pussycats was a rock band made up of Josie on lead guitar, Valerie on tambourine, and air-headed blonde, Melody, on drums. Manager Alexander sort of reminded me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo and Alan, Josie's boyfriend (or maybe band groupie?) was drawn in the style of Freddy from Scooby Doo. Alexandra (who was Alexander's sister) was always trying to get her hands on Alan, but things never seemed to work out.
Each episode saw the group getting involved in mysteries that required their talents to solve and of course, a chase song (inspired by Scooby Doo's chase songs?) would play as the villains would be chasing Josie and her friends all over the place.
This series had one of the first black characters in Valerie and for the singing voice of Melody, we find a lady named Cheryl Ladd, who would in a few years, would become one of Charlie's Angels. Hey, remember in 1972 and lasting for a season, when Josie and the Pussycats were jettisoned into space in their new show Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space? You are trying to forget that, you say, well, me too, honestly.
The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.
This live action show aired on NBC from September 11, 1976 – September 3, 1977.
C.A.P.E.R. stood for "Civilian Authority for the Protection of Everybody, Regardless" and this team of four guys operated as an undercover unit for the town of Northeast South Weston.
Steve Bonino was P.T., who was the leader of the group and who had a passion for gadgets and a strong sense of smell. Cosie Costa was Bugs who had super strength and speed and would fill with rage every time the word "bananas" was uttered, which happened usually when he was trying to catch a bad guy. Super cute Biff Warren was Doomsday, he was a gentle and sweet soul who had the ability to talk to animals. Sadly, Biff passed away, at age 38 back in 1993. John Lansing was Doc, the handsome, suave, smart hunk of the foursome who made girls swoon.
The show lasted for only 13 episodes, inspired an album (which didn't include the catchy theme song) and has never been released onto DVD as far as I know.
Reading an interview with one of the actors, who said the series had fairly decent ratings but NBC decided to cancel it anyway for reasons only known to them it seems.
The Krofft Supershow
A Sid and Marty Krofft anthology show with live-action segments that was originally a 90 minute venture and would eventually be paired down to 60 minutes. For its first two seasons, it aired on ABC beginning September 11, 1976 and would eventually move to NBC where it aired under two different names before being canceled in 1979.
For the ABC airing, the show was hosted by Kaptain Kool (Michael Lembeck) and the Kongs: Superchick (Debra Clinger), Turkey (Michael McNeel), Nashville (Louis DuArt), Flatbush (Bert Sommer). The group wore glittery makeup and might have found their inspiration in the rock group KISS. During the second season, Bert Sommer as well as the glittery glam rock look were dropped.
The NBC venture saw the replacement the Kaptain Kool and the Kongs with real-life pop group The Bay City Rollers. The show also got a new name as well The Krofft Superstar Hour with some sources claiming it was The Krofft Superstar Hour with the Bay City Rollers. One more name change would come along, that of The Bay City Rollers Show, but that did nothing to change the fate of the show, it was canceled in 1979.
First Season Segments:
- Dr. Shrinker: Jay Robinson was Dr. Shrinker, a "mad man with an evil mind". Three teenagers, Brad Fulton (Ted Eccles), B.J. Masterson (Susan Lawrence) and her brother Gordie (Jeff MacKay)crash landed on Shrinker’s private island and he shrank them with his shrinking ray. They spent each episode trying to reverse the effects of ray and escape from the island. The segment lasted only one season and I don't recall if there was ever a satisfactory resolution to their problems or not?
- Electra Woman and Dyna Girl: When villains like the Empress of Evil, Ali Baba, The Pharaoh, came to town and started making trouble, you didn't call the cops, you called, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. Diedre Hall (who would go onto fame on daytime TV as Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives") was Lori and her friend Judy (Judy Stangis) was Dyna Girl. Aided by gadgets made by inventor and friend, Frank Heflin (Norman Alden) the super duo always managed to save the day. There were 16 episodes (8 two part segments) of this show and it has never been released onto DVD. However, on the 2010 release of the "Sid & Marty Krofft's Saturday Morning Hits", DVD, you can find one episode of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.
- Wonderbug: The third and final live action segment featured Wonderbug, a snazzy little dune buggy that was the alter-ego of Schlepcar, a broken down, beat up little old dune buggy found at a junk yard by three teenagers, Barry Buntrock (David Levy), C.C. McNamara (John-Anthony Bailey) and Susan Talbot (Carol Anne Seflinger). By placing a magic horn onto the car, it could transform into the crime fighting Wonderbug.
- The Lost Saucer: Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors starred as Fi and Fum, two time traveling androids who invited Jerry (Jarrod Johnson) and his babysitter Alice (Alice Playten) into their craft and end up taking off and getting lost in time.
Second Season Segments:
Gone was Dr. Shrinker, and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, and The Lost Saucer and in their place.
- Bigfoot and Wildboy:(Joseph Butcher) was orphaned at a young age and taken in and raised by Bigfoot (Ray Young). The duo were protectors of the forest and each week they had to fight some bad guy who had the intention of doing what he shouldn't be doing. The segments were about 15 minutes long and became popular enough for the show to become a 30 minute stand alone series 1979. Ray Young who donned the Bigfoot makeup for this show passed away July 6, 1999.
- Magic Mongo: One day, teenagers, Donald (Paul Hinckley), Lorraine (Helaine Lembeck) and Kristy (Robin Dearden) find a bottle and discover that it's the home of genie Mongo (Lennie Weinrib). Each week the three friends would find themselves involved in some sort of adventure that was usually made that much more interesting by the botched attempts at magic done by Mongo.
The Third Season
New live action segments included: Horror Hotel, a comedy segment with Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes) and Hoodoo (Pale Gale) running a hotel and The Lost Island where various characters from other Krofft shows would do their best the stay one step ahead of evil Dr. Deathray (Jay Robinson).
A Sid and Marty Krofft production that aired on ABC from September 11, 1971 – September 2, 1973 for 17 episodes.
Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster from The Munsters) was Mark, a young boy who fell into a large top hat and ended up being transported to Lidsville, where all of the residents were hats.
Charles Nelson Reilly was Hoodoo the evil magician who ruled Lidsville and liked to zap them as he piloted his hat-amaran high above them in the skies. Mark spent each episode trying to find a way back home and protecting the good hat people from Hoodoo who just always seemed to be in a bad mood for some reason.
This series, a spin-off from The Brady Kids cartoon, was by Filmation and it aired on ABC from September 8, 1973 to December 22, 1973.
As a way to enhance teen idol Rick Springfield's career, it was decided that he would star in a cartoon as himself. Living in an alternate universe and having a friendship with teacher Miss Tickle, Rick would contact her each week on the the magic gramophone in her classroom. With help from her magic cat, Tut Tut, she would draw a door on the chalkboard which opened into Rick’s world. Along for the fun was the Adventurers Club, five of Miss Tickle’s favorite students, Vinnie, Carol, Franklin, Kim and Harvey.
The stories were fun and the music was great as we got to hear Rick sing a song each week that usually tied in with the moral of the cartoon. Rick still had his wonderful Australian accent in this cartoon series. The complete series has been released onto DVD.
The Shazam/Isis Hour
(S)olomon, (H)ercules, (A)tlas, (Z)eus, (A)chilles and (M)ercury spells SHAZAM!
This 30 minute live action show was produced by Filmation and aired on CBS from September 7, 1974 to October 16, 1976. Michael Gray starred as Billy Batson, a young man who traveled, in an RV, with his friend and mentor, aptly named, Mentor (Les Tremayne) all across the country learning about life and getting mixed up in the lives of those they met along the way. When in trouble, Billy simply uttered the word “SHAZAM” and was able to transform into Captain Marvel (Barry Bostwick and later John Davey).
The second 30 minutes of this hour long show featured Isis and had lovely Joanna Cameron as Andrea Thomas a high school science teacher who found a magic amulet endowed with the powers from the Egyptian goddess, Isis. This allowed her to transform into superhero Isis. Filmation which produced SHAZAM wanted to have a superhero they held the rights too, so they created Isis specifically for this series.
The Super Friends
This Hanna-Barbera Production aired on ABC from September 8, 1973 to December 22, 1973 with 16 episodes and showed the exploits of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin and Aquaman. Also starring superheroes in training Wendy and Marvin with Wonder Dog, their pet. The trio had no super powers to speak of unless you counted Marvin's klutziness as a special power.
The series was canceled after one season, but did come back to television under a variety of titles: The All New Super Friends Hour, The Challenge of the Super Friends, The Worlds Greatest Super Friends with new superheroes being brought into the mix.
In the "second" season, Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog were replaced with The Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna who were shape-shifters. They weren't the best replacements, and in fact, I preferred Wendy and Marvin.
Hanna-Barbera's Valley of the Dinosaurs
Produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired on CBS from September 7 – December 21, 1974.
The Butler family, husband John, his wife, Kim and their two children, Katie and Greg along with their dog Dipper found themselves pulled down in a whirl pool while out canoeing on the Amazon River. They ended up in prehistoric times and are befriended by a caveman Gorak and his wife Gara and their son Lock and daughter Tana.
The series has been released onto DVD and it also inspired a series of comic books from Charlton Comics.
Uncle Croc's Block
Produced by Filmation and aired on ABC from September 6, 1975 to February 14, 1976. The show started out as an hour-long venture, but was eventually cut down to 30 minutes.
It was a spoof of kids shows, possible Captain Kangaroo in particular and featured Charles Nelson Reilly as Uncle Croc who wore a crocodile suit and hosted a kids show.
Mixed in with Croc’s “wild antics” were cartoon segments:
M.U.S.H (Mangy Unwanted Shabby Heroes) which was take-off on M.A.S.H.
Fraidy Cat about a cat haunted by the ghosts of his 8 former lives.
Wacky and Packy, about two Stone Age guys who were transported to modern day and had to figure out how to fit in.
The show also had guest segments:
- Robert Ridgely was Steve Exhaustion, The $6.95 Man, which of course, was a parody of the then popular show The Six Million Dollar Man that starred Lee Majors as Steve Austin.
- Marvin Kaplan was Captain Marbles, a take off on Captain Marvel and the series Shazam!. Bill Bratson would utter the word "shazowie" and the transformation would take place.
- Phyllis Diller was Witchie Goo Goo a take off on Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf.
- Alice Ghostly was Junie the Genie, a takeoff on Jeannie from the classic 60's TV series, I Dream of Jeannie.
- Sherlock Domes and Dr. Watkins was a parody of, of course, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
The show has never been released onto DVD, but the cartoon segments Wacky and Packy and Fraidy Cat have shown up as VHS releases and possibly are on DVD, too.
Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
This Hanna-Barbera Production aired on NBC from September 7, 1974 to August 30, 1975. The show was 30 minutes in length and broken down into segments about 6 minutes longs.
Wheelie was a cute little red Volkswagen Beetle who made his living as a stunt and race car, often found himself at odds with the Chopper Bunch, four motorcycles, Scrambles, Hi Riser, Revs and gang leader Chopper because of his romance with Rota Ree, whose heart belonged to Wheelie and who often found herself being subjected to Chopper's attempts at romance.
A seven issue comic book series published by Charlton Comics between May of 1975 and July 1976.
The series is available on DVD.
Hey! You have made it to the end of this article. I do hope that you enjoyed your visit. Of course, not every Saturday morning cartoon or live action show is listed on a page this size. Please feel free to share your memories of your favorite (or not so favorite) shows in the guestbook below. Please keep comments on topic. Comments are moderated in order to keep this page reader friendly.