Friday, January 29, 2010

Which Prime-Time Shows Should Be Made Into Saturday Morning Cartoons?

(Cross-post from TV Guidance)

A lightweight question as the weekend approaches: if people were still making prime-time shows into concurrently-running Saturday morning cartoons, the way they did with The Dukes of Hazzard or Laverne and Shirley or Punky Brewster, then what shows would you choose to be made into cartoons, what would be the wacky premise, and who would be their cute animal sidekick?

- Mad Men: The evil wizard and advertising mogul Pryceo and his cat Madison (voiced by Frank Welker) wants to take over the only advertising agency he does not yet control: Sterling Cooper. Fortunately, the good wizard Papa Bert creates a magical cloak that makes it impossible for the bad guys to find their agency. But Don Draper, Betty and their pals can't resist leaving the agency and going outside into early '60s New York. Look for Ann-Margret to reprise her Flintstones role as Ann-Margrock in episode 3.

- The Big Bang Gang: There's no show that lends itself more to a Saturday morning cartoon adaptation. Hell, the characters have already had a time machine in their apartment, even though it didn't work. When Sheldon rigs the time machine so it will actually work, the clutzy fighting of Howard and Raj accidentally sets it off and gets the whole gang trapped in an endless time-loop, along with Penny's talking cat Cheesecake (voiced by Frank Welker).

- Bones: In this animated version, Booth and Bones are among lots more bones, because they live in prehistoric times, in the dinosaur age! Cavemen come to them, asking them to use their mystery-solving skills to solve scary mysteries: it seems that giant lizards are trying to scare away the dinosaurs. But don't worry: Booth, Bones, and their baby Stegosaurus sidekick Steggo (voiced by Frank Welker) discover that it's just a Tyrannosaurus disguised as a giant lizard.

- Being Erica: Pretty much the same as the current version except that instead of being sent back in time by a psychiatrist, Erica meets a blue goat named Grogar (voiced by Frank Welker) who magically sends her back to learn lessons about Canadian history. Episode 1: Erica meets Mary Pickford.

- Cougar Town: Courteney Cox and whoever else can take time off to do the voice is transported to the real Cougar Town, where cute baby cougars -- all of whom are female -- sing songs, play games, and occasionally maul intruders. Told in serialized 15-minute instalments, where the cougars' new human friends help them fend off attacks from the wicked cougar-hunter Pelto and his magical, evil dog Skinny (voiced by Frank Welker). The other 15 minutes of each episode are taken up by Modern Family Adventures: every week the adults make a mess of one of the three houses, and have to clean it up before the kids get back.

- Lost... in Space!: This one pretty much speaks for itself. Except that half the cast is replaced with animals (voiced by Frank Welker). Plus the addition of The Monster, the wacky blue-haired sidekick who keeps almost falling off the floating island at the end of every episode.

- Saturday Morning Lights, where the characters take time off from football practice to play groovy music in their band, including their hit song "Pounce Like a Panther, Baby." When they're not playing the tunes or running circles around their inept football opponents, they're solving the many jewel thefts that occur in a small Texas town.

Other suggestions would be welcome.

For a primer on how to make one of these spinoffs, someone has uploaded a full episode of Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, featuring three characters from the original show, those Hanna-Barbera "zap" sound effects, and a dog voiced by... wait for it... Frank Welker.

Also, I have to add, bad as these '80s H-B shows were, if I could make some of those "zap" effects into a ringtone, I'd do it in a second. I love those things.


Rick Roberts said...

I've got one. The retarted talking dog/Sex in The City hour. Every annoying H-B talking dog with a funny voice and Sex in The City ! No, not gimmicky enough. I've got it ! They're in space ! Now that is original.

Rick Roberts said...

Ah I got another one. From the creators of 24 comes...

The Jack Bauer Fun Hour !

Jack and his two teenage pals, Jim and Jan, team up to defeat terrorism ! They are constantly persued by two clumsy terrorist, Ali, Achmed, and their funny talking dog, boomer (voiced by Frank Welker).

J Lee said...

"30 Rock Babies". Little Tina Fey would be so cute...

Chris Riesbeck said...

Law and Order: Li'l Victims -- Scooby and the gang on the trail of bullies, allowance stealers, mean teachers, and other predators of the pre-teen population.

Battlestar Galactica Kids -- the sandlots won't be the same when Billy Adama, Saul "Tiger" Tigh, and Guy Baltar mix it up with the "toaster" gang from Cylon Industries

Sterfish said...

I've got some:

Grey's Anatomy: Kid prodigy Meredith Grey and her friends Christina, Alex, George and Izzie the puppy fight disease by shrinking down to microscopic size and going into people's bodies in the Anatom-Mobile. In later episodes, they're joined by Meredith's annoying little sister Lexie.

Brothers and Sisters: By day, the Walker family works in their Ojai Foods grocery store. At night, they fight crime as secret government spies. Kevin, Sarah, and Justin along with their cat Kitty take on dastardly villains including the evil Crazy Holly.

Desperate Housewives: Bree, Susan, Lynette, and Gabriella are best friends who suddenly find the Cherry jewel. It gives the power to tranform into the DH Fairies who fight forces of evil with head fairy Mary Alice as their holographic mentor and the cute rabbit Edie by their side.

And as a side note, I think The Amazing Race would make an awesome Saturday Morning cartoon. Imagine Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego combined with Wacky Races.

Anonymous said...

Teen Bill and Joe Adventures: 17 year old heartthrob Joe hires neighborhood pimps Alex Lovy and Harry Love to get him girls as 17 year old Eagle Scout Bill looks the other way. No names are changed to protect the innocent.

Yowp said...

It seems to me when H-B came out with those wretched knock-offs, weren't all the shows no longer in first-run?

So it seems to me what you do is:

a. Take a beloved show that has great numbers in syndicated reruns,
b. add a goofy, non-human, trouble-prone talking sidekick that doesn't look anything like the other character designs,
c. base it around some improbable situation that never would have seen the light on the original series.

There's your Hanna-Barbera formula. If used today, there would be an animated Frasier with a wacky aarvark and they're all stuck in a time machine that takes them on adventures.

As Tralfaz would say: "Blecchhh."

It's a far cry from Huckleberry Hound, Joe and Bill.


P.S. I want to be Frank Welker's agent.

stevef said...

These are hilarious. I can't top them. But if they were still making cartoons like that you know there'd have to be "Yogi's Idols." Simon would enlist Yogi and the gang to build a space ship to take him on his search for new talent throughout the cosmos. The gang gets to be judges on the show. Snagglepuss: "I've heard enough. Exit, stage right." But beware, the evil Dick Dasterdly and Muttley (or Mumbley, or whatever) are right behind trying to steal all the talent. It'll be a hit, I tell ya!

Pokey said...

LOL! Jaime, you must have read John Kricfalusi's latest blog entry!