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“…when Saturday Rocks, on CBS!”

September 24, 2008, 9:40 PM

Okay, boys and girls… the pants are ironed, and so my neat and crisp professional image will survive for another five workdays (sans Fridays) before I absolutely must iron again. And as always, when I iron, the TV is on. This time, I popped in a tape with “Saturday Morning Fare” on the label. This tape contains mostly Saturday morning cartoons from the 1988-1989 season on CBS. I was in second grade. Just to give you an idea of what we had going on:


This is an example of the commercials that they used to promote the Saturday morning programming block that season. They called it “Saturday Rocks”, and the personalities were three girls, whom I’d guess are around 13 years old or so, who sang the jingle, “Saturday Rocks, on CBS!”


And these were the commercial bumpers that went along with Saturday Rocks. I hope you enjoyed the vintage commercials. The 1988-1989 bumpers were very similar to the 1987-1988 bumpers, as both used a set designed to resemble a television control room of some sort. Both used the “Gonna party, right here on CBS!” line, and both showed kids working the controls, while a child’s voice announced, “[Our show] will return after these messages,” and “And now, back to [our show],” and “And now, these messages.” However, the 1988-1989 music was more pronounced, the “Gonna party, here on CBS!” jingle was completely different, and they used different kids and different angles of the kids.

I remember that when these were all current, I was disappointed that for all the work they put into the “Saturday Rocks” promos, the bumpers were essentially a remake of the previous season’s bumpers. I was hoping for something completely different, and thus I was disappointed. Of course, the 1988 bumpers were the best bumpers for a number of years before and after. They were slightly better than the previous season’s very similar bumpers, since the music was more pronounced, and they also had an animated segment to go with one of them that showed them zooming down from a transmitter before going to the control room. Then prior to that, they had the “paint can” bumpers, and a number of “video game” bumpers. And then in the 1989-1990 season, branded “CBS Fun”, they didn’t even have a single network-wide theme for the Saturday block’s bumpers. Each show made its own. And then for three seasons after that, we had to suffer through three years of “Kid TV” and those awful Fido Dido bumpers.

But yeah, the 1988-1989 season was definitely my favorite as far as Saturday morning cartoons went. I always watched the Saturday lineup on CBS, and never NBC’s or ABC’s. And that 1988-1989 lineup was pretty good. There was Superman, Muppet Babies, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Garfield and Friends (with the “Friends” opener), and Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!. Those were SO the way to spend Saturday mornings. Additionally, I remember that particular season also had a live-action show called Flip!, which was very quickly cancelled and replaced by yet another season of Teen Wolf (I could never stand that show).

Saturday mornings were always so much fun, and that particular season is the one that I always enjoyed the most. I stopped watching Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, when we moved to Virginia and I got out of that routine. Of course, Saturday mornings by then had gone straight into the toilet as far as I was concerned, as the old classics were being replaced by far cheesier programs. And now, the big three networks all have Saturday editions of their morning news shows on Saturday mornings. It’s really a shame, but such is what happens, I suppose.

But we can all remember what happened… “when Saturday Rocks, on CBS!”

Web site: A montage of CBS Saturday morning bumpers from the 1980s. Note the misplaced 1988 bumper ("See you next Saturday!") in the 1987 section. As you see, those two bumpers were indeed very similar.

Song: "What a party, yeah, yeah, right here on CBS!" (yeah!)

Quote: I wonder what I'll pop in the VCR next time I iron...

Categories: Television