Kid Shows You Love(d)
Barney, Dora, Bratz -- kids' shows aren't what they used to be. Ready to go back in time? Check out this list of your absolute favorite kids' shows from yesteryear (we know 'cause they were ours, too), complete with video clips to jar your memory.
The Great Space Coaster
Who wouldn't want to get on board a trip to an asteroid inhabited by humans and puppets who spontaneously break into song? This '80s hit introduced us to faves Gary Gnu (No Gnews is Good Gnews) and Goriddle Gorilla. Feel like you've seen it somewhere recently? A 2006 episode of Family Guy spoofed its trippy opening sequence.
He-Man and The Masters of the Universe
Admit it; you were always jealous of your little brother's He-Man sheets, and She-Ra, well, she just wasn't an adequate stand-in. And is it just us, or was He-Man kind of hot? This animated series ran for just two years in the influential '80s, but it later spawned a live-action movie starring Dolph Lundgren of Rocky IV fame.
The Electric Company
Yep, that's Morgan Freeman rocking the 'fro in this classic clip. This live action show, produced by the Children's Television Workshop, made reading look fun and cool. Geared toward elementary school-age kids, it was intended to address those of us who had gotten a little too old for Sesame Street.
They were brilliant -- "Conjuction Junction," "I'm Just a Bill," and "Three Is a Magic Number." This series of ultra-catchy educational shorts (you're singing one right now, aren't you?) covered everything from energy conservation to the budget deficit, and stayed on the air for 12 years. Little-known trivia: "Fireworks," which explains the Declaration of Independence, contains an error. It states that Philip Livingston helped write the document, but it was actually Robert R. Livingston. Gotcha.
The captain with the questionable haircut and snazzy blazer, played by Bob Keeshan, hosted this program for over 30 years. Bill Cosby regularly dropped by for the "Picture Pages" segment, and Mister Rogers, Phil Donahue, and Penny Marshall all made guest appearances. In 1997, an All New Captain Kangaroo debuted with a brand new host (as expected, it wasn't nearly as good). Keeshan was offered regular appearances, but he declined.
Who among us has not wished for go-go gadget arms to grab a toddler on the run? This animated series, which ran from 1983 to 1986, featured a cyborg detective who, despite being oblivious, always defeated the bad guys. Gadget was voiced by Don Adams, who also played Maxwell Smart on Get Smart.
Possibly responsible for a generation worth of adult moving violations, boys and girls alike obsessed over the Mach 5. Speed Racer, which debuted in 1967 and ran in syndication for nearly 20 years, was one of the first Japanese anime series to make it big in the U.S. We fell in love all over again when it was revived on MTV in the '90s.
Yes, now there's a major motion picture, but you remember the original series, don't you? First came the more-than-meets-the-eye toys -- trucks that morphed into robots with a few clicks -- and then came the show, which ran from 1984 to 1987.
The New Zoo Revue
This half-hour show ran for three years in the '70s and tackled topics like drugs, bragging, and moving away with sprightly musical numbers. Although the show was hosted by humans, the real attractions were Barney-precursor costumed characters like Henrietta Hippo, Freddie the Frog, and Charlie the Owl. Random factoid: Mr. Dingle, a friendly postman, was played by Chuck Woolery of Love Connection fame.