70s 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
- Hanna-Barbara gave us this 16 episode series that ran on NBC from September 8 to December 22, 1973.
- Our favorite mysterious and spooky family was traveling across country in their Victorian RV.
- While all of the familiar characters were included in this series, only Ted Cassidy and Jackie Coogan voiced their characters.
- On September 23, 1972, the Addams Family made a stop on the cartoon series, The New Scooby Doo Movies in the episode Wednesday is Missing. John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Ted Cassidy and Jackie Coogan would lend their voices to this episode.
- When The Best of the New Scooby Doo Movies was released onto DVD, this episode was left out due to legal issues.
Filmation's ARK II
- Set in the distant future (the 25th century) Filmation gave us this live-action series that showed the earth and civilization after it had been all but destroyed by war, pollution and waste.
- Three young scientists, Jonah (Terry Lester), Ruth (Jean Marie Hon) and Samuel (Jose Flores) along with their pet chimp, Adam traveled the barren country side in their high tech RV, searching for survivors. Their intention was to help them get back on their feet and to heal the planet.
- The character's names had been picked from the Bible and the series was inspired by the story of Noah's Ark from the book of Genesis.
- The show ran for one season on CBS, from September 11, 1976 to December 18, 1976, but was shown in reruns for several years after.
- Was released onto DVD in 2006.
- Terry Lester (Jonah) gained fame working on daytime television after the series ended. He originated the role of Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless and played the role from 1980 to 1989. Sadly, Lester passed away of a series of heart attacks in 2003 at the age of 53.
- Dean Jeffries who created the RV-like vehicle used in the 1977 feature film Damnation Alley is credited with creating the vehicle for this show, but this is not true.
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
The World's First Superhero!!
- Imprisoned in a block of ice for millions of years, Captain Caveman was set free by three cute teenage girls known as the Teen Angels. Taffy, Brenda and DeeDee, along with Cavie (his cute nickname) would solve mysteries.
- The Teen Angels were based on the prime time series, Charlie's Angels.
- Mel Blanc voiced the Captain, with Vernee Watson as DeeDee, and Marilyn Schreffler as Brenda and Laurel Page as Taffy.
- This was a Ruby-Spears creation that was produced by Hanna-Barbera.
- Originally began as a 10 minute segment on the Scooby's All Star Laff-A Lympics and The Scooby All-Stars from 1977-79. Became a stand alone series in 1980.
Captain Caveman Disappoints TV Guide
- When TV Guide was studying 27 different cartoon shows to determine their educational value, their panel of experts could find "no redeeming values" associated with the series.
Casper and the Angels
- A Hanna-Barbera roduction that aired on NBC from September 22, 1979 to December 14, 1979 with a total of 13 episodes (which had two 15 minute segments) produced.
- Possibly a cartoon take-off on the prime time series Charlie's Angels (remember another cartoon take-off of that series with Captain Caveman?) and the show C.H.i.P.S.
- Casper was in space and helped two bumbling female motorcycle space cops, Minnie and Maxie, solve crimes. Casper was also helped by another ghost Hairy Scary who would scare troublemakers and villains.
- Never released onto DVD, but there are some VHS tapes floating around out the somewhere.
- Inspired by 70s real life stunt rider/motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel.
- A Hanna-Barbera production that aired on ABC from September 7, 1974 to December 21, 1974.
- Wasn't your traditional laugh-out-loud cartoon. Was a family drama that centered around 22 year old Ernie Devlin as the caregiver and guardian of his two siblings, brother, Tod and sister Sandy.
- The three traveled with a circus, with Ernie as the star of the daredevil show.
- The show focused on realistic topics like adopting a stray dog, being blamed for things you didn't do, overcoming your fears.
- Deviln would usually end up using his motorcycle skills in some way to bring about a satisfactory conclusion to the episode.
- This often forgotten cartoon series saw its first release onto DVD on May 24, 2016!
The Funky Phantom
The Spirit of 1776!
- Hanna-Barbera produced cartoon series that ran on ABC from September 11, 1971 to September 2, 1972 for a total of 17 episodes.
- Muddlemore was a bit of a coward during the American Revolutionary War. He hid from British troops in the old grandfather clock in his house 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!
- Was a Scooby Doo rip-off. The kids solved mysteries and even Augie sort of looked a little bit like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.
- Mudsy had a pet of his own, his ghost cat appropriately named Boo! Elmo and Boo were always playing pranks on each other.
- Released onto DVD.
- Voices: Mickey Dolenz, Tommy Cook, Kristina Holland, Don Messick and Daws Butler.
- 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
- Produced by Filmation and ran on ABC from September 6, 1975 to December 13, 1975 with a total of 15 episodes.
- Starred Larry Storch as Spencer and Forrest Tucker as Kong as two bumbling detectives whose cases usually always turned out to have something to do with ghosts and haunted places.
- They were assisted on their cases by Tracey a gorilla who drove their old beat up jalopy of a car. (It was Bob Burns in a gorilla suit---I have no clue why this character even existed on this series?)
- Spawned an animated 1986 cartoon series that had the leads as the sons of Spenser and Kong.
- Has nothing to do with the big screen feature film The Ghost Busters that starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis from 1984.
- Tucker and Storch sang the theme song to the series.
- The series was released onto 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.
- Storch and Tucker starred together in the 60s sitcom F-Troop.
The Groovy Goolies Show
- Produced by Filmation and meant to be a funny take-off on the Universal monsters.
- Aired on CBS from September 12, 1970 to September 4, 1971 as Sabrina and the Groovy Goolies. In 1971 they got their own solo show, The Groovie Goolies.
- Every episode featured at least two musical segments.
- Chick-a Boom, a song used on one of the Goolies' episodes was a hit song for Richard Mondo using the name Daddy Dewdrop.
- 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.
- Complete series available on DVD. There is also available, a five episode DVD which might be the better choice for you if you have never seen the show and would like a sample or simply want a bit of a refresher before buying the complete series, which can be a bit pricey.
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.
- When it was repeated on NBC it was called The Go-Go Globetrotters.
- In 1979, a 13 episode series called The Super Globetrotters aired on NBC .This time the Globetrotters were superheroes like Multi Man, Gismo Man, Sphere Man, Spaghetti Man and Fluid (Liquid) Man and fought villains all over the world and was released onto DVD in 2014.
Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch
- Produced by Hanna-Barbera and ran on CBS from September 11, 1971 to January 8, 1972.
- There were 16 thirty minute episodes.
- Three bears, Square, Bubi and Hair, who reside at the Wonderland Zoo and who are always looking for ways to have fun and or to get rich quick. Equally determined to prevent them from having any kind of fun is zoo director Eustace P. Peevly.
- The one thing never really explained in the series is how Square Bear could kick start an invisible motorcycle when the guys needed a quick means of escape.
- Complete series is available on DVD.
The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show
- Aired on CBS from September 7, 1974 to December 21, 1974 with 16 episodes produced.
- The Hudson Brothers, Mark, Brett and Bill had a ratings success with their 1974 prime time summer replacement series on CBS lead to a Saturday morning show. The Razzle Dazzle Show had 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.
- The Hudson Brothers were real brothers, Brett, Mark and Bill. They were real musicians and released several albums but couldn't seem to get beyond the image of being just a novelty act.
- Series is available on DVD, but their prime time summer series has yet to made it to DVD.
Josie and the Pussy Cats
- Josie and the Pussycats was a Ruby-Spears creation and ran on CBS for one season (September 12, 1970 to January 2, 1971) with a total of 16 episodes. It was viewed by many as simply another Scooby Doo rip-off.
- Of course, if you haven't figured it out by now, Josie and the Pussycats was a rock band made up of Josie on lead guitar, Valerie the 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 week the group would be on route to some concert or to some place where their talents would be needed and they would always find themselves mixed up in a mystery and the villain would usually be a spy or a mad scientist or some goof who simply wanted to take over the world (this was years before Brain!) and it would be up to the gang to put a stop to their dastardly designs! There would be these crazy chase scenes in which a Josie song would play. (Remember the chase songs in Scooby Doo episodes?)
- This series had one of the first black characters in Valerie. For the singing voice of Melody we find a gal by the name of Cheryl Ladd who would in a few years become one of Charlie's Angels. In 1972 and lasting for a season, Josie and the Pussycats were jettisoned into space in their new show Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space . I have no clue what the rationale was for changing the show to something so silly.
The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.
- Aired on NBC from September 11, 1976 – September 3, 1977.
- This was a live action show. C.A.P.E.R. stood for "Civilian Authority for the Protection of Everybody, Regardless". 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. I don't remember if it was ever explained why that word set him off, does anyone remember...did they even give a reason? I guess it might not have been on the air long enough for the writers to have gotten that far into explaining things. :) .
- 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, but looking back now, I think Biff was the real sweetie of the group. John is still active in the entertainment business doing lots directing and producing with a lot of work on the popular series, Walker, Texas Ranger and Scoundrels.
- 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. The show aired on ABC beginning September 11, 1976.
- Hosted by Kaptain Kool and the Kongs: Kaptain Kool (Michael Lembeck), Superchick (Debra Clinger), Turkey (Michael McNeel), Nashville (Louis DuArt), Flatbush (Bert Sommer)
- Clinger began her career as part of the Clinger Sisters, a singing group who made regular appearances on The Andy Williams Show.
- Kaptain Kool and the Kongs wore glittery makeup perhaps inspired by real life rock group KISS.
- Sommer as well as the glittery glam look was dropped from the group for the second season.
- The group did record an album on Epic Records in 1978. It produced no chart singles.
- Inspired a series of comic books under the title of The New Krofft Supershow released under the Whitman and Gold Key brands.
- Original show was 90 minutes in length, but was eventually pared down to 60 minutes.
- Final season of the show ended up on NBC in 1979.
First Season Segments:
- Dr. Shrinker: Jay Robinson was Dr. Shrinker, a "mad man with an evil mind". Working at his deserted island lair, he had invented a shrinking ray. He tested it on three teenagers, Brad Fulton (Ted Eccles), B.J. Masterson (Susan Lawrence) and her brother Gordie (Jeff MacKay), who crashed their plane onto his island. Each week, Shrinker tried to capture his little escaped experiments while they tried to reverse the effects of his shrinking ray. 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 on the Super Show for the first season. Wonderbug was 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 wonderful Wonderbug.
- The Lost Saucer: The first six episodes of this series was shown. Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors 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 a 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 Brought Major Changes to the Show
- Now airing on NBC with new hosts and real pop group The Bay City Rollers.
- The show got a new name, too, The Krofft Superstar Hour. Some sources claim it was The Krofft Superstar Hour with the Bay City Rollers.
- 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).
- One more name change came before cancellation in 1979, The Bay City Rollers Show.
The Land of Living Hats!
- A Sid and Marty Krofft production that aired on ABC from September 11, 1971 – September 2, 1973.
- The series aired for 17 episodes.
- Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster from The Munsters) was Mark a young boy who fell into a large magican's top hat and ended up in Lidsville, where all of the residents are hats.
- Charles Nelson Reilly was Hoodoo the evil magician who rules Lidsville.
- 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.
- Mark was forever trapped in Lidsville as the show ended before he found a way home.
- Released onto DVD.
- Inspired a series of collectible comic books printed by Golden Key Comics.
- Produced by Filmation and aired on ABC from September 8, 1973 to December 22, 1973.
- A spin-off from The Brady Kids cartoon series.
- Rick was an up and coming singer here in the US in the early 70's and as a way to add to his teen idol status, it was decided that he would star in a cartoon in which he would sing and solve mysteries.
- Along for the fun were the Adventurers Club, a group of high school students, Vinnie, Carol, Franklin, Kim and Harvey who were led by their witchy teacher, Miss Tickle. Each week, Rick would contact the kids on a gramophone in their classroom and Miss Tickle, with help from her magic cat, Tut Tut, would draw a door on the chalkboard in her classroom and off into Rick's world they would go. 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 sexy Australian accent in this cartoon series.
- Sadly, the series lasted only one season and Rick seemed to all but vanish from the music scene. He did keep busy as an actor making appearances on popular 70's TV series. Then of course, he hit it big in 1981 with his huge hit Jessie's Girl and he hasn't looked back.
- The complete series has been released onto DVD.
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
- Produced by Filmation and aired on NBC from September 22, 1979 – November 6, 1982.
- A total of 32 episodes produced.
- The first season was shown in serial format. The second season went into episodic format and proved to be less popular with audiences.
- Considered to be one of the most faithful adaptions of the Flash Gordon story.
- Was originally intended to be a made for TV movie, but NBC decided to turn it into a Saturday morning show, instead.
- Released onto DVD in 2009.
The Shazam/Isis Hour
Oh Mighty Isis!
- Produced by Filmation and aired on CBS from September 6, 1975 to September 3, 1977.
- Two seasons with 22 episodes produced and aired as part of the hour-long The Shazam/Isis Hour. In 1978, Isis would be put into syndication and the new title would be The Secrets of Isis.
- Joanna Cameron starred 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 complete series has been released onto DVD.
(S)olomon, (H)ercules, (A)tlas, (Z)eus, (A)chilles and (M)ercury spells SHAZAM!
- Produced by Filmation and ran on CBS from September 7, 1974 to October 16, 1976.
- Michael Gray was Billy Batson and Jackson Bostwick was Captain Marvel.
- Filmaton fired Bostwick when they mistaken believed his failure to turn up for a days filming was an attempt to get more money. He was, instead, seeking medical treatment at a local hospital for an injury sustained on the set. Bostwick sued Filmation and they had to pay him for the remainder of his contract.
- Filmation then hired John Davey to assume the role of Captain Marvel.
- Released onto DVD
- Hanna-Barbera production that aired on ABC from September 8, 1973 to December 22, 1973.
- Sixteen episodes of 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.
- Cancelled after one season, but did come back to televsion 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.
Valley of the Dinosaurs
Deep in the Heart of the Amazon!
- 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.
- Series 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.
- Started out as an hour-long venture, but was eventually cut down to 30 minutes.
- A spoof of kids shows, possible Captain Kangaroo in particular?
- Charles Nelson Reilly wore a crocodile suit and hosted a kids show.
- Mixed in with Uncle Croc's wild antics were cartoon segments with titles like 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 "shazowy" and the transformation would take place.
- Phyllis Diller was Witchie Goo Goo a take off on Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf.
- Alice Ghostly, who made us laugh as inept nanny/witch Esmeralda on Bewtiched 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.
Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
- A Hanna-Barbera production that aired on NBC from September 7, 1974 to August 30, 1975.
- The show was 30 minutes long and broken down into segments each about 6 minutes in length.
- Wheelie was a cute little red Volkswagen Beetle who made his living as a stunt and race car.
- The Chopper Bunch was a group of four motorcycles headed up by boss, Chopper who wore a spiked helmet for a head. He was jealous of the cute little red beetle. The other three members of this gang were Scrambles, the youngest member of the group because he was a mini bike who secretly liked Chopper and would try to warn him about any of the groups plans. Hi-Riser who was tall but dumb and Revs, a motorcycle that seemed like he needed a good tuneup because he sputtered and coughed a lot and who had a habit of mixing up his words.
- Wheelie was in love with the sweet little yellow car named Rota Ree who was the object of Chopper's unwanted affection.
- Released onto DVD
- The series inspired a seven issue comic book series by Charlton Comics.