In the latest installment of “I am officially getting old,” word came down that Scooby-Doo turned 50 last week. How is that even possible?

If you can go back that far, think back to when you were a little kid. Was there anything more special than Saturday mornings? 

Ahh, the sweet joy of freedom. No school. No responsibility (unless you were mowing yards, baling hay, or topping tobacco). You could sleep in — at least until the hallowed Saturday morning cartoons came on. 

Kids today cannot fathom the importance of making sure you were in front of the television when your favorite shows came on. We didn’t have modern-day technological marvels like VCRs to be able to record everything (don’t remind me than VCR’s are literally antiques, too). Today you just go to YouTube and you can watch pretty much anything you want whenever you want. 

Not ‘back in the day.’ If you weren’t there when ‘your show’ ran then you just missed it, and the best thing you could hope for was to catch a re-run months later. 

I’m old enough that I remember watching The Beatles cartoon series (yes, there was one). I loved Jonny Quest (which I still don’t understand how Hollywood hasn’t made a feature film based on yet). Fat Albert came on later in the day (remember everybody doing their best to imitate Mushmouth? “Hey-buh bay-buh! Wha-buh we-buh go-buh do-buh?” {translated} “Hey Baby! What we gonna do?”). 

Now quinquagenarian Scooby Doo always held a special spot, mainly because I’ve always liked spooky stuff and “those meddling kids” always found it. Only as a teenager did it register with me that Shaggy (affectionately called “Raggy” by the star of the show) wasn’t hungry all of the time just because he hadn’t eaten enough, and that “Scooby Snacks” were actually another term for “munchies.”

Let’s just say Shaggy was every 8-year-old’s favorite stoner, even if they didn’t even know what that was (as a side note, my mind was literally blown years later when I discovered that the guy who voiced Shaggy was also the voice of the most popular radio program of the era, “America Top 40” – yep, Kasey Kasem (seriously)).

Speaking of big dogs that could talk, I loved watching “The Jetsons”, too. Like Scoob, George Jetson’s dog Astro had a problem pronouncing the letters “L” and “S.” Astro provided one of the greatest moments in television history when after George was accidentally run through a shrinking machine he exclaimed:

“Rook at the rimp! Rook at the rimp!”

The grand poo-bah of all Saturday morning shows was the Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Hour. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how many hours I spent watching the escapades of Bugs, Sylvester the Cat, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, and the Tasmanian Devil (who also provided one of the greatest lines ever when after being covered under a pile of dirt he confronted Bugs: “What for you bury me in the cold, cold ground?”).

You talk about embracing diversity — Bugs Bunny would regularly show up dressed in drag and nobody thought a thing about it. Heck, we didn’t even think it was weird when Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam found a rabbit him/her/it attractive in a wig, skirt, and lipstick. 

I always cackled at the Roadrunner and the ever-outmatched Coyote. Funny thing, though – nobody had to remind me not to actually drop an anvil on anybody’s head after watching the show, but that’s another column for another day.

Then there was Foghorn Leghorn, the Southern rooster, who always tormented the poor Yankee dog that ended up getting whipped by the rooster in some shape fashion or form. Foghorn was the orator of such poetic lines as:

“His muscles are as soggy as a used tea bag.”

“That boy’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.”

“Gal reminds me of the highway between Forth Worth and Dallas — no curves.”

“That, I say, that dog’s busier than a centipede at a toe countin’ contest.”

“That woman’s as cold as a nudist on an iceberg.”

“That dog, I say, that dog is lower than a snake full of buckshot.”

“Your tongue is wagging like a blind dog’s tail in a meat market.”

You get the idea. I always liked ol’ Foghorn because he sounded like men I knew. 

When Land of the Lost came around I liked it, too. Maybe that was because of Holly, the cute pig-tailed teenage-ish girl who was part of the routine expedition that met the greatest earthquake ever known, or the fact I was getting old enough to notice her. I do know it was not because of the Sleestaks, the bipedal reptile/bug men who still bother me to this day. 

As I grew even older, American Bandstand became a Saturday must, as did Soul Train. American Bandstand was like the original MTV, where you could actually see what some of your favorite bands looked like. I watched Soul Train to to see all of the funky outfits people would wear to get on TV and to watch all of the latest dance moves I couldn’t do.

Then when American Bandstand and Soul Train were over, it was time for some serious TV watching, because that’s when NWA Championship Wrestling with Gordon Solie came on. 

Can we stop the Beta tape of time and be kind and rewind? 

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