Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoons!

The Adventures of Johnny Quest (1964)

Two things I didn't know about one of my favorite cartoons growing up.

One - that they only produced one year's worth of cartoons and it aired in prime time. Which means the networks threw the reruns onto Saturday mornings, because I would have been too damn young to appreciate it in 1964.

Two - that Tim Matheson was the voice of Johnny Quest.

Who's Tim Matheson? This Guy!

Otter from Animal House!

Johnny Quest was exactly who every kid in the world wanted to be. Johnny had a dad, Dr. Benton Quest, who was a brilliant scientist who had his own lab and private jet. The muscle of the outfit and pilot of the jet was the ultra-cool Roger "Race" Bannon. Johnny's best friend was Hadji, an Indian boy who was also a snake charmer. And then there was Bandit, their dog, who pulled his own weight and didn't overload the series with a case of the cutes. I think what I liked most about it is that all the human characters were pretty good role models for being a male. Dr. Quest, although the smart one, wasn't a wimp. Race wasn't macho, he was a man's man. Johnny and Hadji were smart without being obnoxious. They were curious, made mistakes, and took responsibility for their actions. All while having kick ass adventures like fighting giant one-eyed robot spiders. And they all treated one another respectfully, honoring the dynamics of father-son, adult-child relationships without any condescension from the adults or derision from the kids.

The series also featured some of the best to come out of Hanna-Barbera's studios, often emulating the look and feel of an adventure comic book. That might explain why they only produced a year's worth of episodes. Pre-computers, animation was done by hand and very expensive.

Here are the opening credits, which features one of the best ever cartoon theme songs and a glimpse of all the cool monsters in the series.

The closing credits kick some butt, too, featuring a few scenes from the original test pilot.


Yesterday, I asked...

"A new Nigerian state governor is having domestic problems caused by what?"

50% answered "Not spending more money on furniture"
- Nope. They got plenty of places to sit and won't be embarrassed if dignitaries unexpectedly pop by.

25% thought is was "Not allowing the in-laws to move in"
Nope. Let the in-laws fend for themselves.

12% picked "Not showing affection in public"
- No. Given his religion, this probably isn't an issue.

13% got it right with "Not naming one of his wives 'First Lady'"

According to BBC News, Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako has four wives, all rivals for the title of "First lady"- and the accompanying perks. Ten polygamous governors in the mainly Muslim north have the same problem. At a news conference, Governor Nyako said that as a Muslim "all my wives have equal status." Bill Clinton is now considering a political career in Nigeria.