Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour

Ah, that opening! Bugs and the gang, with theatrical Warner Bros. shorts from 1948-1969, repackaged for television. Wouldn't have been Saturday morning without Bugs Bunny! I loved those cartoons so much! Man, they was great! I never liked all the other "made for television" cartoons as much, especially the barely animated Hanna-Barbera stuff. I mean, come on, Top Cat? What was that? (actually, it was another of ABC's early 1960s prime time cartoons, joining The Flintstones and The Jetsons, not a Saturday morning staple, but you get my point. I just couldn't get into most of the stuff the networks tried to placate us kiddies with on Saturdays. The only show I like almost as much was The Pink Panther cartoons, also from theatrical shorts.

When The Pink Panther Show first aired in 1969, it consisted of one cartoon featuring Inspector Clouseau, sandwiched by two Pink Panther entries. The 30-minute show was then connected via bumper sequences featuring both the panther and Inspector together, as well announcer Marvin Miller acting as an off-camera narrator talking to the panther. Bumper sequences consisted of newly animated segments as well as recycled footage from existing cartoons (Reel Pink, Pink Outs, Pink Posies, Super Pink) with new incidental music and voice-over work from Miller.
Pink Panther shorts made after 1969 when The Pink Panther Show began airing were produced for both broadcast and film release, typically appearing on television first, and released to theatres by United Artists. A number of new series were created, including the very popular The Ant and the Aardvark, Tijuana Toads (a.k.a. Texas Toads), Hoot Kloot, Misterjaw, Roland and Rattfink, The Dogfather (a Godfather pastiche with a canine Corleone family), and two Tijuana Toads spinoffs: The Blue Racer and Crazylegs Crane.-The Pink Panther Show

But back to Bugs. We'll get to the pink cat another time.

Jerry Seinfeld famously "performed" the opening on an episode of Seinfeld.

ABC began re-running The Bugs Bunny Show on Saturday mornings in August 1962. The series was rerun in color beginning in 1965, and remained on ABC until September 1968. At this point, the series switched to CBS, where it was combined with The Road Runner Show (which had aired on CBS since 1966) to create The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.[5] The standard Bugs Bunny Show opening and the announcer's introduction of Bugs Bunny ("that Oscar winning rabbit!") were directly followed by the rabbit's saying, "...and also starring my fast feathered friend, the Road Runner", after which The Road Runner Show's theme was played. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour combined re-edited bridging sequences from both shows to link the seven cartoons featured in each episode. The bridging sequences would be edited further in later versions of the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.-The Bugs Bunny Show

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