Skip to main content

When I was watching cartoons

It's pretty much a fact that kids grow up much faster today than they did in the '70s. And even in the '70s, I grew up slower than most.

I didn't have older siblings. I was the oldest. We didn't have cable. In fact, I don't know if my folks ever have had cable. And, most of all, I loved cartoons far too much to be interested in what was on "grown-up TV."

Other friends, even my own brother, were in a hurry to grow up and they gravitated toward early '70s sitcoms or movies. Me? I liked my PBS kids shows and I loved my cartoons.

Saturday morning was the highlight of the week and like any kid from the '70s, I can recite the cartoons that aired at that time: The Bugs Bunny Show, The Jetsons, Fat Albert, The Pink Panther, Scooby Doo Where Are You, Josie and the Pussy Cats, Josie and the Pussy Cats in Outer Space, Speed Buggy, The Harlem Globetrotters, The Underdog Show, Super Friends, you get the gist.

The only shows that I saw that involved actual people were on PBS or kids shows that also appeared on Saturday morning, like Land Of the Lost and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

Because of this, I missed the entire first half of the groovy '70s on the tube, shows like the Mod Squad and the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.

Plus, I didn't watch sports at all. I've gotten plenty familiar with early '70s baseball because of my love for the diamond. But competition on other fields of play between 1970-75 is still pretty hazy.

Mark Hoyle recently sent me some cards from that very hazy period that include wonderful items from both sports and pop culture.

Let's take a look.

Here is a 1974 Topps football card of Ahmad Rashad. I don't know Rashad as a Bill at all (he played just one season for the Bills and was injured for an entire year while with Buffalo in 1975). I know Rashad as a Viking and a TV commentator for NBC and ABC. And the former husband of the TV wife of Bill Cosby. He was also O.J. Simpson's roommate. Wow, a lot of ugly people in that paragraph.

Spike Jones!  I had no idea that the Bills had a punter named Spike Jones. See, this is what I missed while watching cartoons. Spike punted in the NFL for eight years while I was watching the Hair Bear Bunch.

A couple of Sabres off of the 1974-75 Topps hockey set. These were two key guys on the team that went to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals. My wife, who watched hockey as a kid like I watched baseball, introduced me to who these people are. I was too wrapped up in the Funky Phantom (yet another rip-off of Scooby Doo).

1975-76 Topps basketball is a very nice-looking set. In fact, several of the NBA sets from the '70s dribble circles around the designs of other major sports. It's too bad I've never paid much attention to the NBA.

The pride-and-joy of the Buffalo Braves, Bob McAdoo, beat out more well-known guys like Barry and Jabbar for the scoring title in 74-75. I couldn't be more happy for someone who was watching H.R. Pufnstuf at the time.

Now we're transitioning from sports to pseudo sports. I don't do wrestling, but this is an awesome card that I will not turn down. Jake "the Snake" Roberts was from the time period when I paid the most attention to wrestling (albeit in a drunken stupor). And you can't argue with a guy who brings a python into the ring.

Onto the nonsports cards. Obviously this is Planet Of The Apes -- a movie that came out before my time, but spawned many different offshoots including a mid-1970s TV show. That's what these cards reference. They came out in 1975, even though the copyright on the back says 1967!

I remember my brother and a friend of mine being into the Apes. My brother even had some of the action figures.

Another early '70s TV craze. Kung Fu was hugely popular among people who didn't watch cartoons in the early '70s. When the song says "Everybody was Kung Fu fighting," everybody WAS Kung Fu fighting. Even me. Except instead of watching David Carradine, I was watching Hong Kong Phooey.

The Fonz! Mark Hoyle is trying to get a card into my '70s TV/movie binder, and I believe he has succeeded with this card.

Happy Days was around long enough that I watched it after I shed my cartoon ways. I even remember these cards, which came out in 1976. This card is from the episode where Fonzie arranges to get into Richie's band so he can play a bongo solo.


I don't really feel deprived that I was watching cartoons when all of those other things were going on. I saw plenty of shows and movies once I became too old to get up on Saturday mornings.

And I got to see what happens when Pebbles and Bam Bam grow up, too.


Unknown said…
Thanks for that great trip down memory lane. That brought back some great memories of those Saturday morning classics, sitting in the floor in my PJs while having my bowl of cereal without a care in the world. Something about that shag carpet, the glow of the TV, and those sugary cereals that made Saturdays the best day of the week. I can also remember watching episodes of Kung-Fu with my dad and him always calling me grasshopper. Thanks for posting this nostalgia trip!
Tony L. said…
Jake The Snake Roberts was for some inexplicable reason my favorite wrestler for a time. I tended to cheer for the heels outwardly -- because that was cool to me at that age. Before that, I was watching the World Class Championship Wrestling from Texas with the Von Erichs...and I again gravitated to the heels like Chris Adams.

Ahmad Rashad, with all those ugly ties, has to be the second shooter on the grassy knoll, doesn't he? Even if he was like 5 years old or something?
Man oh man, I watched those same cartoons, and the "people" shows mentioned too! great stuff all around. Love the vintage non sports cards.
Sigmund the Sea Monster was awesome. Thanks for the reminder of so many of my favorite shows.
Twitch said…
Quite the nostalgia trip, even for a relative youngling like me. Familiar with/at least occasionally saw everything in this post but that Planet of the Apes show, and I will never not drop whatever I'm doing at any given moment to watch anything Scooby-Doo, or any of it's clones/knockoffs, for that matter. I guess I've never really stopped watching wrestling or cartoons, though my tolerance for crap is extremely low at this point.

PS: Jake was probably often in a drunken/drug-induced stupor right along with you.
AdamE said…
When I saw your 70s movie binder my first though was you were going to end up with a Virdon in it. But you don't like Planet of the Apes so I guess not.

(Yeah, I know it's a different Virdon)
night owl said…
I didn't say I didn't like Planet of the Apes. It's just a little before my time. The binder is for shows I watched.
Stubby said…
I tired of cartoons early. Superman (with George Reeves) was my show. Saturday mornings was "Davey & Goliath", curling (yes, we had curling on TV every week, Roller Derby, and wrestling (Big Cat Ernie Ladd, Haystacks Calhoun, Dick The Bulldog Brower era), followed by Abbott & Costello movies. I did watch Scooby Doo, but that was about it for the 'toons for me. And we had some syndicated show in the very early 70s that was essentially like MTV, but decades earlier (the video for George Baker's "Little Green Bag" is stuck firmly in my mind to this day, even though--or perhaps because--it was so completely stupid. A girl in one of those 60s hippy blouses, walking along the railroad tracks, and, yes, on the tracks she finds...a little bag--not even green. That was the whole video).
GCA said…
Wow, we were just discussing the old Krofft shows here at work last week. Saw where they are/were coming out with an updated Elecra Woman and Dyna Girl series...
My fondest memories of cartoons are more the weekday regimen of Speed Racer, the Adam West Batman show, Kimba the white lion, and Johnny Quest. Space Ghost came later (the original, not the talk show), and then way later was the epic Star Blazers. Was just on Amazon looking at DVDs of the second and third seasons of that.
Jeff said…
Wow, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. I remember that show, but never would have remembered the name.
Mark Hoyle said…
Great trip down memory lane . Your Saturday mornings sound similar to mine . I'm glad the Fonz made the cut
Fuji said…
Great post. Definitely took me back to my childhood. I would have been a Land of the Lost super collector had they made trading cards for that show.
acrackedbat said…
Liddsville and Pufnstuf, drug-inspired television for young people. I feel fortunate to have been a part of those old days. My 70s binder is growing leaps n bounds. Do you need an Angel or two? I may have dupes. ;) Thanks for the "trip"!!

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Selfless card acts

The trouble with the world, if I may be so bold to weigh in (it's not like anyone else is holding back), is that not enough people think outward.

Take a look at just about every world problem that there is, and within each of those individual maelstroms, is somebody, usually a lot of folks, thinking only of themselves.

Looking out for No. 1 is a big, big problem on this earth. One of the biggest. And it's not getting better. I see it coming from all directions and all sides. No one is innocent. Everyone is guilty. Selfishness is the crime.

Our hobby is not immune. That's what makes the baseball card blog community so great, because it's a daily example of what can be achieved when you think of others first, before yourself.

Selflessness is such a staple of card blogs that some collectors have become immune to its charms. "Oh boy, here's another post about what somebody got thanks to the goodness of someone's heart. I don't need to read THAT." I a…