Remember back in the day, when Saturday morning tv actually consisted of cartoons? I remember there was about 4 channels with tons of cartoons. Now, I don’t get up early enough on Saturdays to know if cartoons are even on anymore. But, one of the highlights of Saturday Morning cartoons were the PSA’s they had in between the cartoons. Also, remember how many cartoons had a lesson or PSA at the end of each episode? Well, today, we’re going to take a look at a bunch of Public Service Anouncements.
Star Wars – Don’t Drink & Drive
In this first PSA, we go into the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars. There’s no main characters seen from the actual movie. The band is playing the same song over and over again that we’ve heard from the movie. Don’t they know a different song? Anyway, the weird thing about this video is we hear Chewbacca’s voice, but we never see him. Some drunk Alien gets booted from the Bar, and we are told that even in a galaxy far far away, we shouldn’t let our friends drive drunk.
Now, what I’m wondering, are there actual intergalactic space cops that pull people over for swerving in space? I mean, can they really tell if you’re swerving? There are no roads, so how could you tell? Anyway, my advice is just put the ship on autopilot, eat a pizza and go to bed. Hopefully, you won’t have a hangover in the morning.
Pee Wee Herman – Don’t try Crack
Here’s a rare one. I actually don’t remember this one. But, Pee Wee Herman is one of the oddest people to put on tv telling kids not to try crack cocaine. I mean, this is coming from a guy who lives in a playhouse with talking furniture. Even with his ‘serious’ face on, you can’t help but snicker at this poor excuse for an Anti-Drug commercial. It’s a wonder why the war on drugs isn’t working.
GI Joe – Strangers
GI Joe was one of the many cartoons that had a lesson at the end of each episode. This is one of the only non-fake GI Joe PSA’s I could find. And the only problem with this is the “now you know, and knowing is half the battle” is cut off the end. Oh well, you get the point. Here we see a little boy getting called by a creepy stranger on the phone saying, “hey little boy!, you won a prize, gimme your address, and I’ll bring it over”. Luckily, right outside the door is ‘Roadblock’, and he scares anyone away. He also tells us never give information to a stranger or they can come over and rape you.
Right to Say No – Be an Original!
I definitely remember this playing between my Saturday morning cartoons. Between OG Readmore & School House Rocks, you’d see the quick government sponsored PSAs. The production value on this one is pretty high. The found a 80s type singer to sing a quick little catchy song. Add some skateboarders, dancing, & a movie theater. Then you realize all the other stuff you should be doing besides drugs. This is one of those catchy little songs that’s been stuck in my head ever since I was 10 years old. I can see myself in a nursing home mumbling something like, “you have a ri-i-i-iight to say no!”.
C.O.P.S. – Don’t Flash your Cash!
Here’s some strange but good advice told by the bad guy from C.O.P.S. He basically tells you if you have a huge wad of cash, don’t go waving it around or you can get it stolen. I doubt many little kids have a wad of cash to wave around in the first place. I think the writers for the COPS psa’s had run out of ideas. They did the don’t talk to strangers, look both ways when crossing the street, etc.. There was a deadline, so they just had the bad guy talking about flashing your cash.
One to Grow On – Opening the door to strangers
Here’s another PSA that was in the commercial breaks. They had quite a few of these ‘One to Grow On’ segments. This one stars Jo from ‘the Facts of Life’. You see probably the worst kid actors ever. I think the following year they decided these were just a stupid idea. Anyway, the whole concept in this one is 3 girls home alone and a ‘magazine salesman’ wanting them to open the door. Luckily the girl is smart enough to tell the guy to come back another time. We see why she only was acting in cheap PSAs, and not high budget McDonalds commercials.
He-Man – Sexual Harassment
My favorite cartoon when I was a kid, Masters of the Universe, had the lesson at the end of each episode. Usually the lesson always had something to do with the episode for the day. Something like, in today’s episode, we cut off beast mans fingers off, but in real life, you shouldn’t do that. But, in the particular lesson, they say if you’ve been touched in a bad place, contact a parent, teacher, rabbi, minister, etc. I don’t remember an episode where Ram-Man was inappropriately touched on his springy legs. So, I’m thinking they just brought this topic up out of the blue. Hopefully, you weren’t touched by a parent, teacher, rabbi, or minister otherwise, who are you going to tell?
M.A.S.K. – Horse Lesson
Now, MASK is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for this one. Horse Safety? How many times are you going to be around a horse. Oh well, who knows, I don’t know that much about horses. This thing actually taught me that I better touch a horses butt if I walk behind it. Because, if you don’t, the horse is going to kick you.
Duck and Cover
Lastly on my list of PSAs, is the infamous ‘Drop & Cover’ PSA. This was during the early 50s, so this isn’t one that I actually remember from tv. The threat of a nuclear attack was high. Although, if you actually believe that ducking and covering your head is going to save your ass, you’re crazy. This short little PSA leads you to believe that you’ll be totally safe if you are low to the ground. If a bomb drops its going to level everything regardless if you’re in the fetal position or not. Look for the Monkey that blows up at the beginning of this one.
Welp, that about does it with my list of Public Service Announcements. I hope you found it very informative. Without me, you may have opened the door to a stranger or even flashed your money around.