Saturday morning TV cartoon schedules from the 1980s

I lost whatever waning nostalgia I had for most 80s cartoons when I got A) kids of my own and B) streaming access to popular children’s programming dating back several decades.

Compared to the best kids’ cartoons available today the “golden age” of saturday morning cartoons sucked donkey balls. If it weren’t for nostalgia there’s no way any adult would choose the Smurfs over Spongebob or He-Man over Adventure Time.


Yes! Not to go off on a tangent here, but what I remember from Saturday mornings aren’t the cartoons, but what came after. I could while away lazy Saturdays watching all the old Martin & Lewis, Abbott & Costello, and Tarzan movies, plus a reliable slate of quality classics. Having only 4 channels meant sometimes you had to give “The Court Jester” a chance, and damned if it wasn’t awesome!


In the UK, what came after was wrestling.


Agreed. it seems that the local stations had a movie inventory that would have made any film buff jealous.


And what came before was…


This was more what I remember.

1 Like

Southern/TVS region then ? Jeez ,Sandi Toksvig looks young in that.

That’s what I was thinking about Toksvig. :slight_smile:

Central region.

I know Mike Myers was on Wide Awake Club/Wacaday too, but I really only remember Timmy Mallett and Michaela Strachan.

1 Like

Gotta love a show where the heroes fight an animated Statue of Liberty, complete with the torch being used as a giant flame-thrower. As a kid there was also something thrilling in watching the world get destroyed during the opening credits.

OTOH, I had totally forgotten the weirdness of the Fonz show, until seeing this. The Happy Days gang’s adventures while lost in time? WTF?!?

1 Like

After glancing at the TV-guide type pamphlet that comes with the newspaper:

There are still cartoons and kid shows on Saturday morning TV, including broadcast channels, but the selection is pretty slim. e.g., the NBC affiliate has “LazyTown*,” “Poppy Cat,” and “Tree Fu Tom.” These are actually from the Sprout channel.

The only reason there’s any kid programming at all is the requirement to run a minimum amount of educational / socially positive shows. So, a few “TODAY WE’RE GOING TO LEARN ABOUT SHARING!” type cartoons, plus a few half-hours of shows about animals.

*LazyTown is a trip. A made-in-Iceland show hard selling the need to exercise, share, and eat real food. There are three human characters; the rest of the cast are rubbery-faced puppets from the Uncanny Valley. The good guy is a mellow super-athlete with a pencil moustache who flies around in a blimp, dropping in when someone needs to learn it isn’t OK to play video games all day.



I think about this often.

It isn’t so much that these movies aren’t on TV any more, but that they’re off in their own nostalgia movie ghetto where kids will never see them. There’s so much stuff specifically for kids, made available via cable channels, that they never “have” to discover the landscape of old shows I was exposed to.

Most of these shows don’t trigger any nostalgic feelings. I was starting college, and later my career, in the 1980s.

I do see Peewee’s Playhouse in there. I remember watching that, and the “Ernest” show that replaced it. Also a live-action “Riders in the Sky” show which had the comedy-western group hanging around with cool puppets.


No. Cross-overs almost always suck.

Case in point: The upcoming Family Guy - Simpsons crossover.

1 Like

1970s Hanna-Barbera was shit. It was fucking shit. Everything was a group of teens and an anthropomorphic-non-human character solving mysteries, sometimes with special guess stars from syndicated reruns of crappy live action shows.


Lettuce not forget how Futurama spectacularly cut through the nostalgia and showed us exactly what Saturday morning cartoons were about.

I must get my hands on those healthy purple berries!



I hear ya. Looking at this makes me want to see a schedule for the 1970s.

Transformers and GI Joe were an afternoon weekday show for me. The power hour our station called it. watched it quite often after school. Same with Wheeled Warriors and Mysterious Cities of Gold - more were afternoon weekday shows for my area.

If you live in the UK (we had saturday morning kids’ TV as well) you can read all about the first ever attempt at creating a saturday morning kids’ show. And no, Tiswas wasn’t the first – it well … started with “zokko!” ;


What always baffled me was how Saturday was a veritable smorgasbord of animated crap for kids, but come Sunday there was NOTHING! Until I ultimately found Dr Who on the PBS station. But, seriously, did the television executives imagine that all the kids were off in church or something? Why just Saturday and not Sunday?


There was a tiny smattering of kid shows on Sunday morning when I was a kid. But it was more in the educational / enlightening mode. Artsy shows, religious cartoons like Davey & Goliath, that sort of thing. Mostly on the syndicated channels.

There was one show that I’ve been trying to find any trace of existence of. The local CBS station had a edicational-ish show called “Just Around the Corner.” A woman host and a bunch of kids on a sparse set, learning about things. I remember one and only specific from it. One of the kids asks the host what a slide rule was for. “Huh, I don’t know,” says the host, “Maybe we can find out in another episode!”

1 Like

Scrappy Doo was the second worst member of the Doo family, after Doggy.

1 Like