The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show Blog

Welcome to the online home of 89.1 WIDR's Saturday Morning Cartoon Show, hosted by DJ Beta and DJ Muppet every Saturday from 9-11am.

Our podcasts contain the same cartoon episodes, theme music, rocked out covers, and in-show musical acts you've come to love on the air. The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show is definitely a part of this balanced breakfast.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show?"

"You've never seen a street like Sesame Street. Everything happens here. You're gonna love it!" - Gordon, the first lines ever spoken on Sesame Street.

While the current incarnation of Sesame Street has the squeaky clean feel of Giuliani's Disneyfied Times Square, its roots, much like the city it calls home, are funky, anarchistic, and full of vibrant, unpredictable life reminiscent of early Saturday Night Live or The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. When you think about it, can't you see Grover getting a part time job with The Ministry of Silly Walks or the Two Headed Monster paying a visit to The Pit of Ultimate Destruction for a lesson on sharing? Everything really could happen on Sesame Street, because the people and puppets who inhabited it were fully realized individuals with unique personalities and real problems to deal with, from worrying about making friends in a new place or facing the harsh realities of life. Today, though we have a scant two hours to cover 40 years worth of stuff, we dive head first into this exceptional world that gave so many of us a classroom with no walls, a family who always loved us, and a safe place even in hard times.

One of the things I do think is a loss for kids and adults alike is no longer having musical guests on Sesame Street play their own songs rather than parody or learning-ified versions. As much as I like the changes to "Two Princes," kids deserve exposure to good music for its own sake. While no one will argue the benefits of giving Mozart and Chopin to younglings, the same is rarely said about Talking Heads or Mos Def, but anyone with kids in their lives knows that they love to head bang along with "The Immigrant Song" just like the rest of us. I don't know if a moment like the one below would even be possible today, the spontaneity of the kids, the gritty feel, and the undeniable funk, but man, am I ever glad it was once upon a time. Even if things have changed, it means a lot to know that Sesame Street was once a place for a dirty bass line and a soul filled horn section.

Though I have a wide range of opinions and analyses on the subject of all things Street related, I think I'll limit you to what was said on the show. If you'd like to know more about the development of Sesame Street, its impact on culture, or the mountain of general trivia that's out there, follow the links in this blog, make use of the Muppet Wiki, check out the articles done by the New York Times over the years, and get your hands on any of the historical/memoir books about the life of Sesame Street. If you're lucky, you might even get a chance to see the stuff in the Jim Henson traveling exhibit when it swings by your corner of the globe. (Kalamazoo folks? Yeah, we have just under a year until Chicago, but then, oh boy!)

Podcast for 11/14/09 - Sesame Street

We didn't have time to get to so very many things I would've liked to, some controversial nowadays and some just a whole mess of fun, so I've included a few videos that I hope you'll enjoy. If you're old enough to remember these beauties, share them with someone in your life who isn't, and if you're new to them, well, just remember that there are a gazillion more out there just as good waiting to be seen. YouTube is your friend. ;)

As with all things, age has brought changes to how we experience and use the world of Sesame Street. We've seen Bert and Ernie doing gangsta rapGrover getting his near and far on with The ToddBig Bird and Elmo on The West Wingouttakes with comic geniuses, and an entire stage production lovingly satirizing the entire Sesame Street experience and life throughhilariously filthy musical numbers, but none of that changes how so many of us feel when we hear those first few chunky notes on the piano. No matter what crazy things happen in the world around us, we can always count on a vampire obsessed with numbers, a neurotic triangle lover, and an incorrigibly lovable trash can dweller. Well done, Sesame Street.

"Hope you liked it. Now scram!"

- DJ Muppet

P.S. Massive Beta and Muppet congrats to superfan Ray, who informed us today that he and his wife (also a fan of the show) are expecting a baby! SQUEE! We could not be happier for them and wish them all the best. Now I need to learn how to knit baby booties that look like Optimus Prime. :p

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Nothing up my Saturday Morning Cartoon Show...Presto!"

Good news, everyone! The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show has perfected  time machine and gone back into the past fifty years! No, we didn't do anything to Castro, but we did score a load of most excellent cartoonery and are, therefore, especially proud to bring you a day of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

As far back as I can remember, my life was filled with the adventures of a dim-witted but lovable moose and an eternally patient flying squirrel. I had View Master discs, coloring books (which I still have), figurines, and a host of other doodads sporting their likenesses. The only animated show that came close in amount of love I had for it was Beany & Cecil, which makes a whole mess of sense when you put the two side by side. Both were sharply written for child and adult audiences, both had crackerjack voice actors, and both made liberal use of the pop culture of their times, but where Rocky & Bullwinkle truly stand out is in the way stories, and therefore adventures, were constructed in serial format, much like the popular radio and film series that had captured the imagination of the nation for so many years.

As you listen to today's show, take the time to sit down and really focus on it. It's rare to have a cartoon so well made that functions as well over the air as it does on the screen and I think you'll enjoy the inherent lushness, the luxury of being able to enjoy such a richly layered piece of American animation. Voices from luminaries like June Foray, Bill Scott, Charles Ruggles (you may know him as the grandfather from the original The Parent Trap), Daws Butler, Paul Frees, and their contemporaries make for an incredibly pleasing aural experience. Just don't drink anything during the show segments, as it will come out of your nose.

Below, as promised, you'll see a couple of extra bits from the series. The first is a call to action for kids to save their pennies for the future, which is not only highly entertaining, but also a wonderful slice of life that might otherwise go unheard of by future generations.

This second video is the puppet segment that occasionally got Jay ward and his pals into hot water with the parents of children who did what the TV told them too. Hee hee hee. :) Big Ears & Noodle Noggin learned not quite enough.

That's all we've got for this week, boys and girls, but tune in next week when The Saturday Cartoon Show celebrates the 40th birthday of Sesame Street old school style, because we love anarchy the most when in involves Muppets and musical numbers. If you've got a favorite sketch, song, or animated segment from everyone's favorite street, leave a comment or shoot us an e-mail so we can add it to the line up. Heeeeeeeeeere fishy fishy fish!

Have a wonderful week an enjoy!

- DJ Muppet