comic books personal TV

Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1980 ABC, NBC and CBS Ads

Presenting comic book advertisements for the 1980 Saturday morning cartoons!  Here we have ads from ABC, NBC, and CBS.

ABC Saturday Morning Cartoon ad - 1980

NBC Saturday Morning Cartoon ad - 1980

CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon ad - 1980 - click to enlarge

If I had to declare a winner for me personally in 1980, I guess it would have been ABC.  I was a big fan of Super Friends and Thundarr the Barbarian, and a moderate fan of Plastic Man and Happy Days Gang.  Conversely, Scooby-Doo had pretty much buried itself with Scrappy-Doo and no longer held any interest for me.  I’d say NBC was close on the heels of ABC in 1980 with winners like Godzilla/Dinomutt Hour, Space Ghost and Herculoids.  About the only time I’d switch over to watch CBS in 1980 was for Drak Pack and the Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour. Interesting that NBC had Daffy Duck and CBS had the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show.  I didn’t realize they split the Looney Toons characters up for these purposes.

I have fond memories as a child watching shows like Looney Toons, Scooby-Doo, Popeye, and Tom & Jerry.  Yet I watched them on weekday afternoons rather than Saturday mornings.  For me, Saturday morning cartoons were reserved for new and exciting adventures, not cartoons I could watch any day after school.  I guess I was a bit of a Saturday morning snob.

If you enjoy these, check out the Saturday morning cartoon ads I’ve run previously from 1983 and 1985.  The 1985 post also includes some of my general commentary about Saturday morning cartoons and what the current generation of kids are missing.

14 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1980 ABC, NBC and CBS Ads

  1. What a great time capsule these ads. I actually watched most of these, even if they were on a different network at the same time. There was a lot of channel flipping going on. Thank the Saturday Morning Gods that was around the same time Dad decided to buy a new TV with a remote control.
    More nostalgic moments…

  2. To add to my previous post: It really sucks the big one that those Saturday Morning Cartoons days disappeared about 15 years ago. Kids, and young adults, these days just don’t know what they missed in the 70’s and 80’s.

  3. I remember almost all of these cartoons, except for Drak Pack. I loved me some Thundarr the Barbarian, Teen Force, the Herculoids, and Space Ghost.

    My sister and I mostly felt the same way that you did about Saturday morning cartoons. We wouldn’t watch Looney Tunes on a Saturday, since we got that almost every other day of the week. It’s not snobbery; it’s just good time management. 🙂

    Dude, that Happy Days cartoon was terrible. I’m pretty sure that I recognized that even at 3 years old. 😉

  4. Being born in 1980, I didn’t watch any of these shows when they originally aired. But man, what a lineup! My father would tape cartoons so that my brother and I always had something to watch. I still have those tapes, filled to the gills with Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, MOTU, Superfriends, Thundarr, and so forth.

    I am guessing that was the original Heathcliff show, not the one with the Kadillac Kats which aired later on. I had exactly ONE episode of that on tape!

  5. Oh, GEEZ, I remember these ads. I also remember the HUGE promotions the networks used to do to get kids to watch THEIR cartoons on Saturday mornings. The networks used to run “sneak preview” specials on the Thursday or Friday night before the new Saturday morning schedule was due to start. My brother and I used to DEVOUR those preview shows and take notes as to what cartoons we wanted to watch. It was especially tough if there were two cartoons on two networks at the same time that we wanted to see. Dad wouldn’t let us use the VCR to record cartoons, curse it all. Oh, modern technology! How I love thee!

  6. Thank you for stopping by my blog 🙂

    I *LOVED* the 80s! My favorite show was FraggleRock. I know, I know, it wasn’t a cartoon, but I still loved it ridiculously.

    Your ad is really neat!

  7. Thanks for all the comments!

    Ed – I’m in total agreement with you.

    Chocotaco – Worse than Happy Days was the later Laverne & Shirley in the Army cartoon.

    Luke – I’m totally breaking into your house and stealing those video tapes!!!!

    Sea-of-Green – I remember those preview shows! I used to get so excited to see those. They were a huge friggin’ deal to a kid back then!

    Amber – Believe it or not, there was an animated Fraggle Rock series. Check it out…


  8. I loved the Snorks, the Smurfs, She-Ra, the Monchichis, the Gummi Bears, and the Get Along Gang. It was time to turn off the tv when Soul Train came on. That was the signal that Saturday morning cartoons were over for the day.

    What a great blast from the past!

  9. Let’s see:

    I remember catching Happy Days Gang on occasion pretty early, and I doubt it ever made it to syndication.

    I hated Plastic Man. It took me years to get over that and appreciate the character as handled by Jack Cole.

    Scooby Don’t. I never liked you.

    I remember Thundarr the Barbarian coming on really early– like pre-dawn, so I probably saw it in syndication.

    I liked Heathcliff, but don’t recall if this was the same version that ran daily on afternoons in the late ’80s.

    I only vaguely recall Dynomutt, and only caught Captain Caveman if there was nothing better on. I never liked the Flintstones nor the Jetsons.

    Space Ghost, Herculoids and of course Superfriends FTW.

    I just did not feel the CBS line-up, ever. One year after another of terrible, dated shows. Out of that entire line-up, I only liked Heckle & Jeckle, but I caught it on weekday mornings with other Harvey Animation features.

    I also recall the prime time previews of Saturday morning schedules, and it was a huge deal. Once again, I only remember ABC & maybe NBC. Those last until the mid-80s, right?

  10. From all the Saturdays morning specials I liked CBS Storybreak the most and I wish that if the company doesn’t intend to rerun the series, at least they should release a DVD that includes all the 26 episodes.

  11. Does anybody have information where to buy the 2 CBS Storybreak Episodes The Great Ringtail Garbage Caper and The Double Disappearance of Walter Fozbek.

Leave a Reply