Category Archives: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday Morning Slams! Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling!

Well, lemme tell you something Mean Gene: It’s been a hot minute since we covered any Saturday Morning slammin’ 80s cartoons and I can’t think of anything quite more that speaks to the decade than the shameless animated commercial geared towards kids. Yep, let’s dive into Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling!

The Dic Animation series premiered originally on CBS in 1985 and only lasted for two seasons, but even a short-lived cartoon of such a popular subject left its imprint on 80s kids. Wrestling in the mid-80s was peak entertainment for pretty much anyone and everyone with Vince McMahon bringing the sport mainstream with soap-opera dramatics and a superhero archetype for the kids to worship- Hulk Hogan. Love him, or hate him, he made the sport a rite of passage for every man, woman, and child during that time and you just have to respect that. I’m not even sure Wrestling would be as mainstream today if it wasn’t for Thunderlips, I mean Hogan. At night, we had Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the morning, we had Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. 

Image via Mercari

Of course, we can’t have a superhero without a bad guy and the man for the job was Roddy Piper– the man, the mouth, the legend. Each episode took the basic formula that wrestling had of good guys vs bad guys and would feature Hogan leading the good guys against a group of rogue wrestlers led by Piper. Like with other cartoons at the time, we usually had a happy ending and with the good vs bad trope, each episode put both groups into wacky situations that would always result in the goodies coming out on top.

As a young Piper fan, this kind of pissed me off. Yes. I was the little sociopath who really loved seeing Hot Rod get wild and slam coconuts into the skull of Superfly, (and if you know anything about Snuka’s murder charges- that sweet coconut music slaps even harder). But, this was the formula and so it shall be that Piper didn’t get on that goodie-two-shoes train until a bit later. But never wavering with his smartass remarks. I respected that. Don’t get me wrong, as a young girl, I loved the shit out of Wendi Richter because, well as a girl I felt represented. Of course, I didn’t find out until years later how the company did her dirty as she seemed to disappear from the ring almost as fast as she entered it. Which is a damn shame, but I’m happy she was at least immortalized in this crazy cartoon alongside the greats.

Anyways, the show would also feature live-action segments with the wrestlers and songs from their WWF album. “Land of 1000 Dances” which I totally loved at the time and still sing very loudly, “Hogan’s such a yoyo” to anyone that would hear it.

Although we got to see our heroes in the show in these weird live segments, they themselves didn’t provide the voices of their animated counterparts and professional voice actors were brought in. Most notably, Brad Garrett voiced Hogan.

As stated, the series didn’t last beyond two short seasons and that was simply because the cartoon couldn’t keep up with the real-life events of the wrestling world. Most noticeably, Andre, the Giant turned heel shortly after the cartoon started airing, so in the animated series, it just didn’t make much sense. The plan was indeed to keep the cartoon in line with current stories in real-time wrestling but animating at the time, was a slower process and just couldn’t play catch-up.

After its short run on CBS Saturday mornings, the series still continued with reruns on alternate networks. I mostly remember watching it on the USA network around 87-88 in my area, just before one of their late-morning Saturday programs of matches. It was a pretty great cartoon for what it’s worth even with all the flaws, and it serves its purpose of grabbing our attention in a sea of Saturday morning cartoons while also making Hulkamaniacs into those who hadn’t yet caught the wrestling train to 24-inch Python-ville.

So let’s raise our glasses of vitamin D milk to Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling, this badass Rocky-inspired intro, and the poor lady that got trampled towards the end of this intro that never even bothered editing out.

Fantastic, man.

Retro Halloween Treat! Donald Duck and the Gorilla

Nightmare Nostalgia originally started as an ode to the nightmares of our childhood and lemme tell you growing up in the 80s, I still don’t know how we were spoon-fed things like The Secret of NIMH or The Neverending Story as a family flick. AND LAWD HAVE MERCY DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON E.T. So it only seemed fitting that we revisit this little Disney nightmare I watched quite a bit growing up- Donald Duck and the Gorilla!

Originally released to theaters as part of the cartoon shorts campaign in March of 1944, Donald Duck and the Gorilla played in pretty heavy rotation when I was a kid in the 80s via Disney programming such as Good Morning Mickey! and Donald Duck Presents. Also, was pretty much the best part of Disney’s Halloween Treat (1982) beyond the Sleepy Hollow segment. It quickly became a favorite after a brief stint of this cartoon absolutely scaring the piss out of me as a toddler.

That Gorilla was scary, OK?! He was out for blood man and it gave me some fucked up nightmares.

The gorilla, actually named Ajax, has escaped from the zoo on a stormy night as reported by a radio announcement that Donald and his nephews are listening to. The kids are obviously horrified at the thought of a giant gorilla on the loose, and in true Donald fashion, Uncle Asshole, erm Donald makes a mockery of the situation pranking the ducklings and laughing the whole way. However, the kids prank Donald right back, as hey, Uncle taught them well, by dressing up in a life-like gorilla suit which turns into a scare-fest of terrifying each other- until the real thing shows up at their front door.

Ajax breaks into the house and with Donald still assuming that Ajax is merely his nephews’ fucking around, grabs the giant monkey by the face to try and pull off the “mask” only to discover this is indeed the real goddamn thing. Donald looks the ape straight into the eye, as per the radio announcer in an attempt to subdue the animal, but only sees a tombstone in the eyes of the animal that read, “Here Lies a Dead Duck.”

Chaos ensues as the chase around the house is tense and electrifying and I gotta say it left me on the edge of my seat as a kid. It helps that there’s a transition from the initial jump-scare scenes to you laughing your ass off during the maze-like house chase and ending as a real “tearjerker”.

Also released in 1983 VHS and Laserdisc style, the short was included in the Disney Scary Tales Volume 3 release and is a national treasure if you can ever get a hold of one.

Amazon: Not mine sadly

I have some pretty fond memories of this as a kid, from the nightmares as a young Patti, to the fun of watching this one, especially during Halloween time. Both are equally tangible to me. So let’s revisit this little gem together.

That is all. Brekenridge.

The Long Lost Creepy Crawlers Cartoon You Probably Forgot About

They’re slimy,. They crawl, and go splat.. splat.. and SPLAAAAAT!!!

There’s no doubt about it. Nothing sounds more nostalgic, (and frankly funnier than shit) than producing with your little hands, slimy bugs to set upon Dad’s forehead while he snoozes away on the couch once upon a lazy Sunday afternoon. The familiar freshly-baked Plasti-Goop smell all 90’s kids will instantly recognize is something we all collectively can agree was the jam back in the day. And it seems some things never change, as in recent news via Variety, Paramount has snagged up those slimy rights an official Creepy Crawlers live-action film has been greenlit for production!

Be still my gooey heart.

The Long Lost Creepy Crawlers Cartoon You Probably Forgot About


Anywho, yes nostalgic boils and ghouls. The testosterone infused Easy-Bake-Oven childhood relic is getting its own film from the same people who brought Goosebumps to life on the big screen. While that’s pretty much all that’s known thus far, I can (because I’m a positive thinker) make a fair assumption a similar formula may be followed and it’s going to be a fun piece of nostalgic entertainment. However with this in mind, did you know this isn’t the first time Creepy Crawlers has been adapted onto on-screen entertainment?

With the success of a certain rip-off concerning dino-mite, morphing Japanese superheroes, Saban Entertainment tried their hands in the animation department with, what else, the Creepy Crawlers line! I often wonder what these pitches in the writer’s room sound like to everyone else sitting around a table. Like, “Hey! You know that slime crap that bakes into bugs that annoys the crap outta parents?! Let’s make a series about that!” Then again, the glorious era we speak of was very keen to nabbing up R-Rated programming like Tales From the Crypt and The Toxic Avenger and making them kid-friendly for Saturday mornings. Man… did we have it made or what?!

The Creepy Crawlers series debuted in the US in October 1994 with the simple premise of goodies vs baddies. Except the kicker is, the Creepy Crawler hybrid monsters portrayed in the series were indeed the good guys! And of course, they had to have a pint-sized human sidekick to move the story along and enter humanoid kid Chris. The series kicks off with Chris who is fascinated by magic and wizardry, working in a magic shop under the kind of nutty magician Professor Googengrime. And yes, he looks just like you would think with a name like that. Anyway, the talented little Chris builds and develops something he calls “The Magic Maker”. Which of course, is supposed to mimic the Creepy Crawlers toy oven. Googengrime dismisses it as garbage but unbeknownest to him will be the source of power becoming the bane of his very existence. Now here where a show about mutant bugs gets weird: Once-every-thousand-years, a planetary alignment called by Googenbrime the Magical Millennium Moment, rains down cosmic energies. As fate would have it, these lights rain down on the magic shop, which somehow made the Magic Maker capable of creating strange, man-sized bug/magic trick composite mutant creatures. Enter the Creepy Crawlers mutants Hocus Locust, Volt Jolt and T-3 and now we have a series that pits the buggy monstrosities along with Chris against the evil Googengrime who duh, now wants the Magic Maker for world-domination purposes. More Creepy Crawlers hybrids came later in the series, however, the original three named above we’re the main focus for most of the series run.

Creepy Crawlers the Animated Series only lasted two seasons with a total of 23 episodes. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that remembers the cartoon with a nostalgic fondness and I’m not so sure why that is?! Personally, I think it’s a fun, run-of-the-mill Saturday morning gem that reminds me a little of early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes. In any regard, I can always appreciate any attempt at basing a cartoon off of a beloved horror-themed product of our childhood.

Special shout out to YouTube uploader Bsh for posting the first full episode of the series! So if you’re interested in the origins of  buggy heroes, grab yourself a bowl of cereal and make Saturday Morning a party!