Can we talk about Saturday morning cartoons?

Who here used to love Saturday morning cartoons and TV shows? Who here still loves them? Don’t worry, yer secret’s safe with me. Anyhow, one of the things that brought me joy as a kid was the cartoons on Saturday mornings. As I’ve talked about here before, we didn’t have cable, so we only had network TV. ABC was the one who had my favorite Saturday morning cartoons, and I’d spend like forever trying to place the antenna in the sweet spot for it to get any decent reception where we were living at the time.

After all, Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh were ones I made sure to never miss, even though they were reruns by then. It’s also how I saw Schoolhouse Rock, which to me didn’t look like any of the other cartoons of the time, and I couldn’t figure out why back then.

Now I know: it’s because it was from like 20 years ago back then, haha.

I never really got into Fox’s lineup, but I’d watch it sometimes if nothing else was on. Fox had their Fox Kids, and CBS had their informational/educational programming, and aside from Sports Illustrated for Kids and Beakman’s World, I didn’t really get into it either. NBC had their TNBC block, but for most of its’ run, I was too young for it. By the time I was old enough to get any appreciation out of it, it ended shortly thereafter.

A day late and a dollar short. Story of my life, haha. I did like City Guys and One World, though. ABC then came out with their One Saturday Morning block. I’d seen the ads for it in Disney Adventures, and in Nickelodeon’s magazine, and I was excited to check it out. That was the moment I knew I was into something good.

I mean, what 90s kid doesn’t remember Recess, Pepper Ann, Doug, or The Weekenders? Out of everything in the programming block, Recess gets my vote, every time. The Weekenders comes in a very close second, enough to where I’ll call it a tie game and call it a day.

These programming blocks ended, and other similar shows took their place like The Proud Family, Kim Possible, Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls, and Strange Days at Blake Holsey High. They had their moments, and mostly they were background noise for me.

When I got my TV and antenna setup, Fox came out with their KidsClick programming block. While it wasn’t limited to Saturdays, it aired throughout the week. Back when my day job was just my job, the shows would start right as I was wrapping up projects, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, before I’d send out to clients. The Pac-Man cartoon, along with Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir were fun to watch, the latter being something I felt like I’d have been into if it existed when I was a kid.

KidsClick ended their run, right down to their phone app. Seriously, you can’t even open it anymore.

After that, it was either the shows on qubo, which I seldom watch, or the E/I programming from like 10 years ago on CW, and a few other stations.

But that all changed when MeTV announced their Toon In With ME block. It’s like KidsClick, not limited to Saturday mornings, but while it’s an hour on the weekdays, it’s longer on Saturdays. It’s the stuff my mom, grandma, and some of my older relatives grew up with. I’m guessing some of them are also probably in the public domain at this point, since they seem to go for the cheapest stuff to air on network TV. I’ve seen them airing Betty Boop, Popeye, Tom and Jerry, and Bugs Bunny. There’s also some weird bear I’ve never even heard of until now, and don’t remember the name of, but he gets drafted into the military in one I saw the other day.

Right now, as I’m writing the first draft in my notebook, I’ve hammered off stuff from my day job, and I’m listening to Toon In With ME. It’s a new programming block, but it’s proving to be a real source of joy for me during these times. Same as the other Saturday morning cartoons did for me as a kid. They gave me a sense of peace, and a brief respite from things that were going on in my life at the time. In a way, they were self-care for me, even though I didn’t have a name to put to any of it back then.

Over to you, readers. Were Saturday morning cartoons a part of living for you as a kid? Which ones were your favorites? Do you still like ’em? Drop it like it’s hot below, and let’s talk!

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