Saturday Morning Videos

Back in 1990, we were still in the hey-day of Saturday Morning Cartoons. ABC, CBS, NBC, & Fox all had a sweet lineup of cartoons.

Look at this schedule (taken from Wikipedia). Either, I watched a lot of tv back in 1990, or this was just a prime year for me. Let’s see, I would of watched Camp Candy, Muppet Babies, Captain N, Real Ghostbusters, TMNT, Bugs Bunny, & Pee-Wee’s playhouse.

One network, NBC, started it’s process of phasing out Saturday morning cartoons. If you look at their lineup, it ends earlier than the other networks. They decided that the dedicate 90 minutes to the teens – Saved by the Bell, Guys Next Door, & Saturday Morning Videos. Today, we look at an episode of the short lived Saturday Morning Videos.

I think I pinpointed this episode down to September 15, 1990. Will Smith (Fresh Prince) and Charlie Schlatter are the hosts of this episode. I know what you’re thinking. Who is Charlie Schlatter? Looking at his IMDB profile, he’s mostly been doing voicework for animated series and video games. But, back in 1990, he was Ferris Bueller in the new Ferris Bueller TV show.

If you didn’t even know there was a Ferris Bueller TV show, that’s probably because it was cancelled in the middle of the first season. They only made 13 episodes, and it was dubbed one of the worst shows of 1990. I remember seeing the pilot episode in 1990. I don’t remember it being awful, I guess it appealed to a 13 year old. However, the only thing I remember is the TV Ferris Bueller cutting a cardboard cutout of Matthew Broderick with a chainsaw.

So, Saturday Morning Videos was basically an hour long show with Music Videos. I grew up in the MTV generation, and I loved music videos. This show was totally aimed at me at the time, some popular celebrity of the time talking about and playing music videos.

Their first feature of each week was “Artist of the Week”. I don’t know if there actually a reason for picking the artist, or just someone they had a chance to interview. I’m sure all the footage is just AP footage. This week’s artist is George Michael. We find out how he wrote the song “Careless Whisper” when he was only 17, before he literally gets cut off for a new music video. I remember this song playing ALL the time. It got a resurgence in the past few years when the band, Seether did a cover of the song.

Time for a snack break…

From 1988-1990, Twinkie the Kid was gone from all Twinkie products. However, this commercial must mark one of his first of his comeback. I guess Hostess decided to kill a beloved mascot from 1930 for some reason. But, they came to their senses 2 years later. One of the biggest Twinkie the Kid memories I have is when I was about 6 years old. They had a gigantic (40 – 50 foot tall) Twinkie the Kid at a local grocery store parking lot. Marketing people for Hostess gave out plastic Twinkie the Kid rings. I’m sure if I still had it, it’d be worth a ton. (And by a ton, I mean $7 bucks)

This commercial has been permanently etched in my mind. I think I’ve seen it about 1000 times during Saturday mornings. Whatchamacallit remains my favorite candy bar of all time, and I think it has a lot to do with this catchy jingle.

Still to this day, I use the expression “Wacky Wild KoolAid Style”. People probably think I’m strange, and don’t even get it. In this box drink, you get “Wacky Magic Tricks”. The commercial makes you look like you’ll be the next David Copperfield. Unfortunately, most of these tricks weren’t tricks, but just riddles & math equations.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming….

We’re back, and it’s time for your top 10 videos from September 15, 1990.

10) Paul Young – Oh Girl
9) Cheap Trick – Can’t Stop Falling into Love
8) Phil Collins – Something Happened on the way to Heaven
7) Maxi Priest – Close to You
6) Prince – Thieves in the Temple
5) Nelson – (Can’t live without your) Love and Affection
4) MC Hammer – Have you seen Her?
3) Jon Bon Jovi – Blaze of Glory
2) Bell Biv DeVoe – Do Me
1) Wilson Phillips – Release Me

So, looking at this list, you can see, it’s really what 1990 was. We’ve got some hair ballad, some old favorites, Pop/Rap, & Wilson Phillips. If I can pick one video from this list that I remember the most, it’s gotta be Do Me by Bell Biv DeVoe. The whole video was about Sexy Girls and Hypercolor clothing.

Uh oh, time for another commercial break.

Remember Wacky Packages? They were like Garbage Pail Kids cards, except they parodied products. I remember having a beach towel around the pool, it said “Hawaiian Punks” on it. I thought it was the coolest thing. In fact, I remember sitting on the towel sipping a Hawaiian Punch, not realizing the irony. Anyway, I remember this remix Hawaiian Punch Rap commercial all about Punchy.

I don’t know how or why I got my Gameboy. But, I know I had one pretty early on. This commercial just advertises the Gameboy in a 90s style that became popular. Everything so EXTREME! One thing that bothers me about this commercials is a kid going “You got Tetris, You got Tetris?”. YES, EVERYONE has Tetris. It came with the Gameboy. I guess, you could have lost it. The only thing I ever lost was the link up cables, which were never used anyway.

Any kid alive in the late 80s / early 90s remembers Crayola Rocking. Well, they remember this theme song which for some reason I still remember, but easily forget my bank account password. Crayola had to do something to make their product more appealing. After all, they’re just crayons and markers.

Hey, it’s now time for some HIPstory! Well, that’s what they call it. It’s a 20 second segment that should of been way longer. This one is about Rapper’s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang. Released in 1979, it’s the first Rap record ever recorded. And, I would say I was cool and know everything about it. But, it be honest, the song never really hit my radar until I saw the movie, The Wedding Singer.

And Lastly, we look at the “news” for the week, which is basically another wait to talk to more artists. First, Phil Collins tells us he likes to make his music videos really simple with no effects. However, a few years later he makes the “Land of Confusion” with Genesis. It features all the “Spitting Image” puppets.

Next we hear about New Kids on the Block getting their 9th consecutive hit. Apparently, the girls loved em. Back in 6th and 7th grade, you better not even mention NKOTB if you’re a guy. You’ll probably get a wedgie.

So, there you go, there’s Saturday Morning Videos in a nutshell. Sadly, it only went on for 2 years. But, that was and still is common for NBC shows. If it doesn’t get ratings right away, it gets cancelled.

Thanks for checking out some of my old grainy videos from 1990.

+ Greg