Saturday, July 17, 2010

They just don't make TV like they used to...





I have a confession to make. I don’t actually remember watching Saturday morning cartoons. My mother didn’t have a TV, so Saturdays were spent reading, swimming, and running around. But I probably watched some while I was visiting my dad.

Anyway -- I was surprised to find out that one of the standout shows from my childhood, which I watched in the afternoons in the late 70's or early 80's in reruns, actually began its life in 1970 as a Saturday morning cartoon. Who knew? Not me.

All I can say is that if you've never seen “Lancelot Link Secret Chimp" you've, uh, missed out.

It was a spy spoof starring chimpanzees. "Get Smart" with fur. I’m not kidding. The chimps drove golf carts, wore clothes and ambled around like people. Sort of. And I think they gave them chewing gum to make it look like they were talking while they dubbed in voices. It was both appalling and fascinating at the same time – kind of like watching a car wreck in slow motion. You just couldn’t look away.

Describing the show to the uninitiated, I always get weird looks. They think I'm crazy or pulling their leg. But I'm not. And here's proof:



Have a great Saturday everyone!

7 comments:

Msmstry said...

One of my favorites was "Winky Dink," a cartoon character who got into all kinds of trouble while trying to solve problems. The show was made interactive IF viewers' parents loaned their kids 50 cents to buy the "magic" screen (green plastic that adhered to the TV screen by static electricity) and four special crayons.

The narrator would get Winky Dink to the edge of a canyon (for instance) and say, "Quick, kids, help Winky Dink cross the canyon to get away from the raging mountain lion! Take your brown crayon and draw a log from one edge to the other. Follow the dot to make the log."

A magic dot would appear at one edge of the canyon and move across to the other side, guiding the kids' crayons in living rooms across the nation. Winky Dink would then run across the log to safety.

This show was so popular with my friends and me that one day a friend's dad had taken her somewhere and she was late getting home for the show. When the narrator said, "Quick, kids, help Winky Dink …," she grabbed her crayon and drew directly on the TV!

Shane Gericke said...

Lancelot Link? Have to check it out! There seem to be a lot of cartoons that are car wrecks yet we can't look away!

Meredith Cole said...

Wow--I missed Winky Dink, Molly. Sounds like they were working all the angles on that one (accessories!).

Meredith Cole said...

You're so right, Shane. A lot of cartoons are kind of so bad they're good... In this case, the chimps were real chimps. Perhaps it would have been better if they were cartoons...

Gabi said...

I never even heard of this but Get Smart with fur sounds like something I should have been privvy to. Hilarious.

W.J. Howard said...

Funny, I remember the show's title as Lance Link Super Chimp. It was my favorite Saturday morning show and I had a Lance Link lunchbox when I was six or seven that I treasured. Hmmm... Wonder if I could find one on eBay. Thanks for the flash back!!

Kelli Stanley said...

Wow, Meredith--this was cool! I've heard of Lancelot--I think there was a comic book associated with him--but never had a chance to watch.

Now I'm curious!! :)

xoxo