03.25.2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1985 NBC Ad

Saturday Morning Cartoons… aaaahhhh, a magical weekly event for us growing up.  Sadly, the current generation of children will never know the joy of Saturday morning cartoons.  They’re spoiled by 24-hour access to cartoons on television and DVD.  They don’t understand how limited our cartoon options were back then.   They’ll never appreciate the excitement and anticipation we felt going to bed on Friday night, knowing that the next morning the television BELONGED TO US!  No parental news programs, no cooking shows, and no The Joy of Painting.  From dawn ’til noon, it was bright colors, zany music, and moral lessons every 30 minutes.  It was OUR TIME!

Below is an advertisement that ran in DC comic books in the fall of 1985.  It’s promoting the upcoming fall line-up of Saturday morning cartoons on NBC.  Click the image for a larger view.

Advertisements like this were common in comic books.  You could usually find an ad from each network sometime in the late-summer or early-fall.  It was really the only place we got a sneak peek at the upcoming cartoons.  I remember pouring over these ads, studying the new cartoons, trying to figure out the time slots for each show, and planning my Saturday mornings accordingly.

It was the mid-1980’s when the magic of Saturday morning cartoons began to fade.  It was a combination of factors that really impacted them: the advent of first-run syndicated cartoons on weekdays (such as GI Joe and Transformers), the rise of children-targeted cable networks (such as Nickelodeon), the spread of home videos, and the success of Saturday morning live-action programs (such as Saved by the Bell).  By the early 1990’s, Saturday morning cartoons had lost their special place in most children’s hearts.

Dear Saturday Morning Cartoons… there are those of us who still remember you, still miss you, and still love you… Sincerely, My Geek-Generation.

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12 Responses to “Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1985 NBC Ad”

  1. SK Says:

    Must be showing my age when I cam reading seeing that ad and recognise most of the shows! *sigh* Nostalgia is great . . I remember glued in front of the set where I would argue with my brother on which show was the best! (I loved Spidey!)

  2. 44 Says:

    Bravo, good post

  3. Erika Says:

    I do believe that is the Kidd Video cast in the background …

  4. Ed Says:

    Ah the 80’s. What a magical time.
    It’s funny. I was just reminiscing about 80’s television shows and the wonderful memories they have produced just the other day on my blog.

  5. rob! Says:

    The Adventures of the Gummi Bears? That is one uninspiring Saturday Morning line-up…

  6. Kelson Says:

    Smurfiest ad ever!

    (Seriously, though… I remember this. Not just the shows, bit I remember the ad…)

  7. Butz Says:

    i think The Snorks may have had something to do with killing the magic as well. The Smurfs…probably the last great cartoon i remember from Saturday mornings. felt like it was all downhill from there…

  8. Troy G. Says:

    I really missed those cartoons, wish I could go back in time.

  9. Lore (the irredeemable brother) Says:

    Ehhh, ABC’s saturday morning line up kicked NBC’s arse (as I’m sure dad would’ve told mom).

    Wonder twin powers….ACTIVATE!

    (I’m just a bill, and I’m sittin here on capitol hill….)

  10. Tim Says:

    I remember when they had a Wed night lineup kickoff on the Major networks where they would tell you what was coming up and have short clips from the shows. Probably around the original Land of the Lost time.

  11. AnimeCloud – Shelf Life Says:

    [...] expecting a season arc, there isn’t one. I think it’s worth comparing Dirty Pair to American cartoons from 1985. It might be worth watching, for example, an episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo back-to-back [...]

  12. Closet80sfan Says:

    Nice lineup!Why the hell did they make Snorks come on at 7:30 first thing in morning. It was a far better written better executed than Smurfs.
    Punky Brewster’s cartoon and Saban’s Kidd Video were both lame,lame, lame.

    Still. NBC dominated the saturday morning wars of the 1980s. CBS was a distant 2nd. ABC was in last place until 1989. I remember when NBC stopped showing saturday morning cartoons in 1992.

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