Would today's kids appreciate the genius of Bugs Bunny? (Yahoo Images)

Did you see in the news that this past weekend was the first one in a half century in which there were no Saturday morning cartoons in the U.S.?

I’m not sure if I am surprised by this or not. I haven’t given Saturday morning cartoons any thought since about 1979 or thereabouts.

On the one hand, it makes sense that Saturday morning programming dedicated to children would have gone by the wayside. This is an era in which anyone can stream whatever they want to watch on Netflix whenever they want to watch it.

On the other hand, it just seems odd that cartoons are gone. What are kids watching while their parents sleep in? (Well, except for all those kids who are out on a chilly [insert your sport here] field while their parents huddle miserably on the sidelines.)

I could pause and wonder what the major networks are showing at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, but I’m sure it’s some reality crap that I’m not going to be interested in.

I used to love Saturday morning cartoons when I was a kid. The ones I remember include Isis, the Jetsons, Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner, Shazam, and Scooby. I know there were more, but that’s all I can scrape out of that part of my memory banks.

For some reason, when my girls were little, it never occurred to me to let them get up and eat sugary cereal (dehydrated marshmallows optional), then watch animated entertainment for hours. Why is that? I certainly had my share of both back in the day, so why did I never pay forward the fun?

I’m sure you all watched Saturday cartoons when you were kids, so I’d love to know what your favorites were. And if you have/had children, did they watch too? For my non-American readers, we would be very interested in hearing about how things are/were done in your part of the world.

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14 Responses to Cartoons

  1. Angie` says:

    Cartoon Network and Nick pretty much killed Saturday morning cartoons. Cartoons used to be something special. Not any more. :-( We watched all the classics: looney tunes, bugs bunny, heckle and jeckle, casper, road runner, scooby doo etc. By 10am the cartoons were off, sports were on so the TV went off and we went with momma grocery shopping and to run errands. Eventually we ended up getting a burger and fries and making that long drive from town back to the farm listening to the radio and already buried in a new book.

  2. Cassi says:

    I grew up without a TV, so I only saw cartoons at friends’ houses after school some days -Simba the White Lion and Speed Racer were my favorites.

    When Emma came along, we consciously decided that if she was going to watch TV, it was going to be on DVDs, so it could be commercial free. We got rid of our cable subscription soon after that, and to this day we do all our TV watching either on DVDs or streaming.

  3. Ryan says:

    Mine pick their Netflix shows on weekend mornings. Usually a mountain biking documentary, or something along the line of Kratt’s Creatures. Definitely mom-approved. The rule is that they have to agree on what to watch, and they aren’t allowed to wake us up to mediate a dispute. I feel like part of parenting is allowing them to make their own decisions, to negotiate with their peers, and to learn to operate the remote.

    I remember watching all the typical early 80′s fare.

  4. Becky says:

    I watched Bugs Bunny religiously through my college years and even well past that. I may have even been known to watch it with my girl. Sadly, Saturday morning fare has been crap for years - this is how Edie discovered Julia Child. She was about 6 or 7 and watching her unlimited amount of TV on a Saturday morning. It must have been fundraising week on PBS, because they were showing reruns of The French Chef in black & white. That’s how my child started watching unlimited amounts of cooking shows on Saturday mornings….

  5. badnessjones says:

    I loved Saturday morning cartoons, and we always watched the Muppet Show and Bugs Bunny on weekend evenings with my Dad. I try to explain to my kids that that was it for kids shows, except for preschool programming on weekday mornings, but they can’t really grasp it. They’ve grown up in a world with multiple channels catering to their wishes 24/7, with DVDS, and now even PVR. It’s certainly been good for distracting them when needed, but I do think it takes the magic out of it…

  6. Smalltown Me says:

    Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo! My now grown sons never watched Saturday cartoons, though. They had videos and dvds and the Cartoon Network!

  7. bdaiss says:

    Oh Saturday morning cartoons. How we loved you… Looney Tunes, George of the Jungle, Rocky & Bullwinkle, the Jetsons, Tom and Jerry, Laugh-a-lympics (Grape Ape!), Underdog, Superfriends, Fractured Fairy Tales, Yogi and BooBoo, Fat Albert, and so many more! Luckily a lot of these live on through Cartoon Network and Netflix. My kids adore Scooby, Looney Tunes, and Tom & Jerry.

    Since our kids aren’t old enough yet to turn the “boob tube” on themselves, they’re subject to our whims. Lately we’ve been pretty busy on Saturdays, so they don’t get any tv. They much prefer their Curious George in the late afternoon/early evening any way. But we’re quickly running out of those episodes…might be time to go peruse Netflix’s offerings!

    (If the tv is on Saturday morning, it’s usually HGTV. My kids ADORE home improvement shows.)

  8. jen_alluisi says:

    Obviously Loony Tunes/Bugs Bunny and Scooby-Doo (and all of the many variations thereof). The Smurfs. Then later, the Snorks. Gummy Bears (which theme song still gets stuck in my head all. the. time.). Richie Rich, Muppet Babies, Flintstones, Jetsons, Captain Caveman, Heathcliff, Garfield and Friends, Shirt Tales, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Pole Position, Pink Panther, Punky Brewster, the Littles, Foofur, Pound Puppies, Ghostbusters, Mighty Mouse. And not a cartoon, but still standard Saturday morning fare: Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. God, I loved Saturday mornings…

  9. Patience says:

    We were not allowed to watch cartoons in my house, although I would watch them if I happened to be at a friend’s house. I liked Scooby Doo and Flintstones.

  10. I had no idea that Saturday morning cartoons were gone, but I never liked them much as a kid (too much hitting and hurting for me) although my brothers watched them. My kids didn’t watch cartoons in the morning. I did like Underdog. The Jetsons. Hmmm. Must think.

  11. Ally Bean says:

    *gasp* I didn’t know that about the Saturday morning cartoons. I’m saddened to learn this- and feeling old. As for what I watched, I was a Bugs Bunny girl with occasional obsessions around Scooby and The Jetsons. But mostly it was Bugs for me while I ate my bowl of cereal sitting in front of the TV. Good times.

  12. I loved the Jetsons and especially Underdog. We also used to watch Tom & Jerry but I remember that being on during the week in the afternoons…probably reruns since it was a pretty old cartoon. Now I suppose kids (at least my nieces & nephew) all either watch cable or have their eyes glued to some sort of iPod, iPad, iWhatever device. Bring back Underdog!

  13. Oh, and may I just say that I ADORE your new header. Well done!

  14. I loved The Jetsons and The Flinstones. No morning cartoons? Ah well, we’re always too busy to sit around and watch anyway it seems…

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