My First Failed Challenge

Watching TVI was sitting next to my pastor today at lunch. I haven’t mentioned it here yet (because this is only my 2nd blog post on this site), but Jeff is the guy that’s been pushing me to move my blogging career to WordPress. He’s kind of been on me about this for almost as long as I’ve known him. Or, at least, as long as he’s known I kept a blog. Anyway, I’m sitting next to my pastor during lunch at the local Wendy’s, and I mention to him that I should probably post something on the blog today. After all, I started a brand new blog a few days ago and have yet to post a 2nd blog post. Well, here it is. But I had no clue what I should write about.

I mentioned that I had a running list of possible topics that I’ve had on a sticky note for a while, but I just don’t know if I feel like diving into any of those topics. The Noble Pastor was kind enough to provide me with some blog fodder, challenging me to think of my favorite Saturday morning cartoon from my childhood and compare it to something found on TV today. And, since today is his birthday, I’m gonna go with it. So, Jeff Noble, this one’s for you. Happy birthday, bro.

Cartoons played a large role in my development as a human being. And I’m talking about good cartoons, not that brainless drivel that they throw on the TV these days. I weep for the future when I think of what the next generation is exposed to on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. I think I was lucky as a kid. I had real Saturday morning cartoons in those years before Saved By the Bell introduced the world to the Saturday morning sitcom. These days, I’m not sure that cartoons even air on the networks on Saturday mornings. They’re too busy with Saturday editions of their morning news shows.

My generation also had the wonder that was the Disney afternoon. I’d get home from school and turn on the TV and I could enjoy the adventures of Scrooge McDuck on DuckTales. I solved crimes with Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. And there were other, non-Disney cartoons like Peter Pan and the Pirates, which featured the incomparable Tim Curry as the voice of Captain Hook. Now, I’m pretty sure kids have to have an extensive cable or satellite channel listing to find something that’s aimed at them immediately after school. Unless they’re into trashy courtroom shows or they’re genuinely interested in who is or isn’t the baby daddy with Maury Povich.

I’m not sure that I have an absolute favorite childhood cartoon. There are several that have a special place in my memory: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gummi Bears, the aforementioned DuckTales, G.I. Joe, and of course Captain N: The Game Master.

What? You’ve never heard of Captain N? It’s about this guy named Kevin that was obsessed with playing Nintendo and then he got sucked into the video game. Suddenly he’s a cartoon and he’s tasked with saving video game land from Mother Brain with the help of Mega Man, Simon Belmont, and Kid Icarus. All these names will excite you if you’re an 80s Nintendo geek like me. Otherwise, they’re completely meaningless. Anyway…

Picking a favorite is problematic. Finding a similar grown-up show that exists 25 years later is probably even more problematic. Why did I agree to write about this? Oh yeah, pastor’s birthday…

When Jeff issued this particular challenge, I got a little cocky. I consider myself a master of pop culture references. I thought it would be easy to come up with a favorite Saturday morning cartoon. I thought it would be easy to find a similar current program with which to compare and contrast. I was wrong. This is what happens when you get cocky.

So Jeff, I apologize. I wasn’t able to come up with a favorite cartoon on the fly and I definitely wasn’t able to compare that favorite cartoon to something I currently watch. I may have to give it some more thought and revisit this topic at a later date. Maybe I can figure out how Downton Abbey is really just a live action remake of Denver, the Last Dinosaur.

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