Classic Animation Remixed
December 30, 2008 9:50 AM   Subscribe

While Adult Swim is generally regarded as the pioneer of irreverent short-form animation -- especially for 'toons that reimagine past hits -- it wasn't always the king. In fact, the late-night programming block arguably found its birth in a series of short toons and interstitials that ran in the heyday of its daytime alter ego, the venerable Cartoon Network. The brainchild of C.N. Creative Director Michael Ouweleen and Hanna-Barbera chief Fred Seibert, these cartoons reinterpreted the network's properties through stock footage, indie music, and original animation in a wide variety of styles, as well as introducing prototypes of characters that would become some of the most famous in the history of American animation. (warning: monster post inside)

PART 1: The Early Days
The groundwork for the following projects was arguably laid by two cartoons: The Moxy and Flea Show (the network's first original series) and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Though little is remembered of the short-lived Moxy, which starred mo-capped entertainers Penn Jillette and Bobcat Goldthwait as a 3D animal duo, Space Ghost hit a chord and ran for years in the night block as a cult series -- its bizarre, incoherent "interviews" and repurposed 1960s characters set the stage for Adult Swim in later years.

PART 2: Cartoons That Never Made It
Crafted by the aforementioned-Ouweleen in the mid-90s, "Cartoons That Never Made It" was a brief series of four "bumps" -- short cartoons that play before commercial breaks or split up longer programs. The four shorts acted as promos for various fictional cartoons, all rejected for obvious reasons. Surprisingly twisted for the network's early, more staid days, the popularity of the bumps inspired Ouweleen to expand his ambitions in projects to come.
Salt n' Slug - Rupert the Grouper - Frothy Dawg - Heidi and the Yodelers
PART 3: The Groovies
"Groovies" was the term for a new series of shorts which took the form of music videos. Each one was based on a property in the Cartoon Network stable, from Betty Boop to Dexter's Lab. Old clips and in some cases fresh animation work was mixed with original music from well-known artists like Devo, The Apples in Stereo, and, resulting in amusing and surprising tributes that respected the classic animation while showing it in a whole new light.
The Flintstones - "Meet the Flintstones" by Joe Boyd Vigil, "Walk Around in Circles" by Soul Coughing

The Jetsons - "24th Century Mecha Mix" by Michael Kohler

Quick Draw McGraw - "El Kabong Rides Again" by Calexico

Atom Ant - "We Must All Get Ready Now" by Michael Kohler

Betty Boop - "Rolling" by Soul Coughing

Superfriends - "That Time is Now" by Michael Kohler

Porky Pig - "Pork Jam" by Michael Kohler

Elmer Fudd - "Wascally Wemix" by Todd Eaton

Bugs Bunny/Marvin the Martian - "Mars Forever" by Fantastic Plastic Machine

Magilla Gorilla - "Gorilla 4 Sale" by Michael Ungar

Yogi Bear - "Yogi Bear" by High School Jim

Jabberjaw - "Jabberjaw" by Pain

Josie and the Pussycats - "Music Evolution" by Michael Kohler

Powerpuff Girls - "Signal in the Sky" by The Apples in Stereo, "Go Monkey Go" by Devo, "Chemical X" by Cherish

Courage the Cowardly Dog - "Courage the Cowardly Dog" by They Might Be Giants

Ed, Edd n Eddy - "The Incredible Shrinking Day" by Stuart Hill, "My Best Friend Plank" by Steve Patrick

Dexter's Laboratory - "Secrets" by, "Back to the Lab" by Prince Paul, "Dexter (What's His Name)" by Coolio, "Dee Dee and Dexter" by They Might Be Giants

Johnny Bravo - "Hey, Johnny Bravo" by The Reverend Horton Heat
PART 4: The Shorties
Following the success of the Groovies, Ouweleen acted a little more adventurously by introducing the Shorties. Shorties were similar to Groovies in that they repurposed older properties broadcast by the network, but they did so in longer-form shorts sans music, and more often with a new visual style. The shorts were often more sarcastic in tone than their inspirations, and acted along with Space Ghost as the sources for later programs like Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks: "Harasscat"
Pixie and Dixie sue Mr. Jinx for stalking them.

Huckleberry Hound: "Sound Hound"
An exasperated Huckleberry tries to silence a noisy soundscape collage.

Birdman: "Birdman Coffee Break"
Birdman shows Falcon-7 just how trained his companion Avenger is.

Superfriends: "Whiners Can Be Losers"
The Legion of Doom runs into a few issues at its biweekly meeting.

Johnny Quest: "Time is Running Out"
Using sound bites and music from the original series, gamepiece versions of Johnny, Hadji, Race, and Bandit fly over a gameboard outrunning their various opponents.

Hillbilly Bears: "Miss Understanding"
The Hillbilly Bears appear on a Jerry Springer-like show to air out their problems.

Quick Draw McGraw: "City E-Scape"
Quick Draw and Baba Louie, drawn as real horses, travel to New York City to wipe out crime.

Droopy: "Thanks a Latte"
Droopy, a coffeehouse barista, haunts a caffeinated businesswolf who refuses to tip.

Yogi Bear: "When Animals Nap"
Yogi and Boo-Boo try to hibernate despite the efforts of a TV crew working to get footage of a ferocious bear attack.

Wally Gator: "Alligator Liberation"
A cool 3D plastic doll-like version of Wally Gator is "liberated" from the confines of the city zoo by a group of concerned citizens.
PART 5: World Premiere Toons
Known variously over the years as World Premiere Toons, The What a Cartoon! Show, and The Cartoon-Cartoon Show, this program was the magnum opus of Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi and cartooning workhorse Fred Seibert, the original creative director of MTV and Nickelodeon and the one-time president of Hanna-Barbera. Seibert, who would later go on to found Frederator Studios, intended to recreate the atmosphere of the 1950s animation industry by returning creative control to the animators. The cartoons introduced by the show ranged from the quaint to the grotesque, from the traditional to the bizarre. Many were popular enough to become full-fledged series -- these characters, referred to as the "Cartoon-Cartoons", would serve as the network's programming backbone for years to come.

First, the one-off shorts that never got picked up by the network.
(NOTE: Only some of these videos have made their way online. To save space, I've excluded all the episodes I couldn't track down. If you want to look for yourself, there's a full episode list here. If you manage to find any more, feel free to post 'em here!)
"Help?" - Bruno Bozzetto
A cat that pricks his finger while sewing asks for help at the hospital, but the ruthless personnel there offer nothing but pain.

"Boid 'n' Woim" - C. Miles Thompson
A gangly worm hitchhikes through the California desert with a Bird that secretly wants to eat him.

"Kitchen Casanova" - John McIntyre
A first-time cook is preparing dinner for his date, but trouble arises when the wind flips the pages from his cookbook.

"Rat in a Hot Tin Can" - Jerry Reynolds, Russ Harris
A rat and his fly companion try to find a place to stay for the night during winter in the city.

"Tales of Worm Paranoia" - Eddie Fitzgerald
Johnny is a peaceful and forgiving worm until a human steps on him repeatedly. As a result, he becomes paranoid and angered at the human race, seeking revenge.

"Hillbilly Blue" - Butch Hartman
Crawdad Eustace is tired of being treated like food and goes with possum pal Mordechai on a cross-country trip to New Orleans to be "served" in royal fashion.

"Gramps" - Butch Hartman
Gramps tells his grandchildren about his battle against alien invaders, getting corrected by the children repeatedly.

"Larry and Steve" - Seth MacFarlane
Steve, a homeless dog, is adopted by dimwitted Larry (the only man that can understand what he's saying), and experiences disaster when Larry takes him shopping. A prototype of MacFarlane's later hit show, Family Guy.

"Drip Dry Drips" - Jon McClenahan
Brothers Louie and Elmo start a laundry business, expecting to earn some cash. They get a request from the president, but accidentally destroy his suit.

"No Tip" - Robert Alvarez
A delivery boy must deliver a pizza to Antarctica safe and sound and before time runs out, or he won't get a tip.

"Awfully Lucky - Robert Alvarez
A valuable yet cursed pearl brings both great luck and disaster to its hapless owner.

"Buy One, Get One Free" - Charlie Bean
A neurotic cat is afraid when a newcomer trashes his abusive owner's apartment.

"School Daze" - Robert Alvarez
A Wild West outlaw needs to finish the fourth grade, and deal with his obnoxious class rival Little Timmy.

"Lost Control" - Zac Moncrief
Two zoo animals lose their prized remote control and must travel to the waterworks to retrieve it.

"A Clean Getaway" - Meinert Hansen
Captain Buzz Cheeply and his robot sidekick Sly must escape a planet whose inhabitants have abnormally sized foreheads but tiny brains, while also finding a place to do their laundry.

"Raw Deal in Rome" - Eugene Mattos
A superpowered flea named Flick has a strange vendetta against a local performer, a dog named Shake, in an anachronistic Roman setting.

"Mr. Monkeyman" - Van Partible
Jealous King Raymond stains Jungle Boy's heroic reputation by impersonating him and causing mayhem.

"Hard Luck Duck" - William Hanna
Hard Luck Duck, after venturing away from Crocodile Harley's watch, is a hungry fox chef's next target.

"Bow-wow Buccaneers" - Mike Milo
Bloo and his fellow dogs sneak out of their owner's houses at midnight to set on a pirate adventure in the city.

"Ignoramooses" - Mike Milo
Two moose believe they're going to be adopted by a rich hunter, and wreak havoc in his mansion.
Next up, the more popular shorts -- ones that made it to two or three episodes, but didn't quite make the cut.
Pfish and Chip - Butch Hartman
"Short Pfuse" (clip) - Pfish and Chip (a carefree shark and a short-tempered lynx) attempt to stop their foe, the Mad Bomber. The only problem is that the chief needs to take his nap and demands quiet.

"Blammo the Clown" (clip 1, 2) - The bomb squad face an evil clown, with several gag traps. They also find themselves taking care of the chief's teddy bear while he's at the circus with his mother.
Malcolm and Melvin - Ralph Bakshi
"Malcolm and Melvin" - Melvin is an alienated looser, until he meets Malcolm, a trumpetist cockroach.

"Babe, He Calls Me" - Melvin's saga continues, as his partnership with Malcolm is compromised by an urban superhero's intrusion. Meanwhile, Melvin's mother aids a criminal after being unable to meet with her son.
Mina and the Count (5 episodes) - Rob Renzetti
Yuckie Duck - Patrick A. Ventura
"Short Orders" (works, slow) - Yuckie Duck works as a cook and waiter in a dirty restaurant, and delivers unappealing orders to the demanding customers.

"I'm On My Way" (unavailable) - Yuckie Duck works as a paramedic, but does more harm than good to his patients.
George and Junior - Patrick A. Ventura
(based on the 1940s short "Henpecked Hoboes", in turn based on Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men characters)
"Look Out Below" - A bird crashes a light bulb so it doesn't disturb his sleep and sits in the empty socket. Geroge and Junior, the building's janitors/engineers, are sent to fix it.

"George and Junior's Christmas Spectacular" - George and Junior are forced to deliver Santa's presents to the kids, as they fail to deliver one of Santa's letters.
Finally, the shorts that became pilots for successful series.
Dexter's Laboratory - Genndy Tartakovsky
"Changes" - Dee-Dee and Dexter battle turning each other into animals, using Dexter's latest invention.

"The Big Sister" (unavailable) - Dexter prevents giant Dee-Dee from attacking the city.

"Old Man Dexter" - Dexter uses a machine to age himself and be able to watch a late-night movie, but ends up aging far too much.

"Dimwit Dexter" - Dexter's brain shuts down after exhaustive activity, and he becomes the neighborhood's laughing stock.
Cow and Chicken - David Feiss
"No Smoking" - Chicken is saved from damnation of smoking by Super Cow, who is his sister, Cow.
Johnny Bravo - Van Partible
"Johnny Bravo" - Johnny Bravo tries to score with a zookeeper girl by capturing a runaway gorilla.

"Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women" - Johnny Bravo is left stranded in an island filled with beautiful tall women, and their bodyguard elephant.
The Powerpuff Girls - Craig McCracken
"Meat Fuzzy Lumkins" - The Powerpuff Girls fight to stop Fuzzy Lumkins' plot to turn everything into meat.

"Crime 101" (unavailable) - The girls aid bumbling Amoeba Boys in becoming able criminals.
Courage the Cowardly Dog - John R. Dilworth
"The Chicken From Outer Space" - A fearful dog tries to stop an alien chicken's plans to invade Earth while in his owners' farm. Oscar-nominated.
Most, if not all, of the music used in Cartoon Networks various bumps and interstitials -- including much of the music in the Groovies shorts -- can be found on, the homepage of Michael Kohler, the chief composer of most of these projects. So if you heard some music you liked while browsing these videos, chances are its on his site, free to listen to and without any distracting sound effects. Just click on "WORK" from the main page and scroll through the list of pieces.

PART 7: Random Miscellany

Two Yogi Bear shorts, "Boo Boo Runs Wild" and "A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith" (unavailable), directed by , creator of Ren & Stimpy. Not connected to any of the above projects, but just as strange.

"All-Star Cast" promo

Rap promo

Cartoon-Cartoon Fridays intro

A smorgasbord of classic promos and bumps

(Surreal) intro to "Mr. Spim's Cartoon Theater", a weekly special that broadcast obscure animated films

Updated versions of same

"Acme Hour" bumps: takeoffs on classic Warner Bros. themes that don't really fit anywhere else.
Invisible Paint - Earthquake Pills - Glass Cutter - The Weight - others
posted by Rhaomi (80 comments total) 429 users marked this as a favorite
A personal note: This post has been a labor of love for me over the last few weeks, ever since I stumbled across that first video on YouTube that unlocked a flood of childhood memories. I know a good number of Mefites are around my age and more likely than not grew up watching this stuff -- I hope you have as much fun rediscovering these old cartoons as I did.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:50 AM on December 30, 2008 [26 favorites]

Wow! An amazing amount of material here. I'm going to have fun with this after work.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:52 AM on December 30, 2008


I wanted to have the coolest FPP of the day.
posted by Bageena at 10:00 AM on December 30, 2008


posted by LMGM at 10:03 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Man, some people really want that iPod Nano.
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on December 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

Wow - what am amazingly impressive post! I can see that it's going to take some time going through everything - but it looks like lots of fun!

I think I've worn a groove im my iPhone's screen though - I should have read this pne on the computer!
posted by Chunder at 10:05 AM on December 30, 2008

tl;dr -- but I will. Thanks.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:06 AM on December 30, 2008

What a great post! Thanks for this, I'll be busy for hours now!
posted by jtoth at 10:11 AM on December 30, 2008

You just fixed 2008.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:11 AM on December 30, 2008 [9 favorites]

Epic post. I never had the Cartoon Network growing up (or, indeed, even a VCR until relatively late) so many of these are new to me. I'm confused about the chronology. You've got Dexter showing up in Part 5 but then used as an "old show" in Part 3. I guess some of these are concurrent. Anyway, some great stuff. I always wondered how the Legion of Doom could be so formidable when staffed by idiots like Solomon Grundy and Bizarro Superman.

Though little is remembered of the short-lived Moxy, which starred mo-capped entertainers Penn Jillette and Bobcat Goldthwait as a 3D animal duo...

And it was short-lived you say?
posted by DU at 10:12 AM on December 30, 2008

Holy. Crap. That is some post. Awesome!
posted by GuyZero at 10:12 AM on December 30, 2008

i love you
posted by fleetmouse at 10:15 AM on December 30, 2008

Epic post. Now I need a sixpack and an evening off to appreciate it fully.
posted by ardgedee at 10:16 AM on December 30, 2008

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. All of that, and no mention of Cartoon Planet?

Seriously. Cartoon Planet.
posted by eschatfische at 10:19 AM on December 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

Adult Swim is one of few American phenomena that I just don't get. I remember sitting in the lounge of an NYC hostel with a couple of US military guys who decided to start or cap off their leave with a few days in New York or whatever, and they were absolutely riveted by some talking milkshake and found all of the goings-on between the anthropomorphic fast food items absolutely hilarious.

So thanks for this fantastic post, maybe it will turn me around. I'm giving it another try.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Awesome post! I forgot all about a lot of these. However you seemed have forgot the dancing aquaman commercials

Now your post is complete... no need to thank me. :>)
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Totally Epic. Nominated for sidebarhood.
posted by butterstick at 10:24 AM on December 30, 2008

(So what was up with that one episode of the Powerpuff Girls where Buttercup was a mute?)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:29 AM on December 30, 2008

and they were absolutely riveted by some talking milkshake and found all of the goings-on between the anthropomorphic fast food items absolutely hilarious.

That's Master Shake to you!

posted by dirigibleman at 10:32 AM on December 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

holy cheetos krisps on a stick.

Also, congrats, this is the first pop-culture post that has ever made me feel old. I think of Cartoon Network as that new thing, you know, with the cartoons on it. I remember pretty much every one of these things as first-run things I have viewed since the age of 30 or so.
posted by mwhybark at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2008

I die now.
posted by Kloryne at 10:49 AM on December 30, 2008

This is clearly a kind of awesome I wasn't previously aware of. Flagged as "Fantastic".
posted by DreamerFi at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2008

Awesome. I've been an old fogey for most of these and still I love them all.

thank you.
posted by mouthnoize at 10:57 AM on December 30, 2008

This is amazing. And awesome. And amazing again. This reminds me why I loved Cartoon Network in the first place and brings back memories of the initial days of Adult Swim.

Which in turn makes me cringe at the awful "post-humor" crap they mostly seem to show now. Tom needs to go to hell, not the Mayor.

But again, excellent post. Top 100 MeFi post!
posted by DCCooper at 10:59 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'm with mwhybaek. The venerable Cartoon Network? What does that make HBO, for Chrissakes? I mean, cable TV is still a recent phenomena, right? Right?
posted by cimbrog at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2008

First of all: Holy shit.

Second of all, some classic coast to coast: Thome Yorke and Bjork episode

(Yah, that's right. They got Yorke and Bjork in the same episode. How the hell did they pull that off? How many non-cartoons would have an arm an a leg for that shit?)
posted by Alex404 at 11:07 AM on December 30, 2008 [5 favorites]

Clearly being kept under the hood to win the ipod contest at the last minute.

Nevertheless, amazing.

(Apropos of nothing, 2StupidDogs)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:07 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Hey, this is great. If anybody wants to save me MORE research time, is there any info out there about the actual processes of reuse of old stock for these shows?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:09 AM on December 30, 2008

Awesome post. I haven't gone through any of the links yet, but I really hope that among them lies two of my favorite Cartoon Network shorts ever: the Shaggy and Droopy take on Pulp Fiction and a short about the Flintstones trying to find a parking space at Cartoon Network headquarters. I loved loved loved both of those.

SGC2C is the apogee of Cartoon Network for me, though they do have some great shows on now as well. But you just can't beat Zorak and Space Ghost. What a great show that was.

"Noooooo, Banjo! Why do we always hurt the ones we love?"
posted by m0nm0n at 11:17 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Once again, if it's cool, there's a metafilter user involved. Paging clunkyrobot.
posted by reflecked at 11:23 AM on December 30, 2008

.... As in, he would know a lot about origins and how-it-was-done.
posted by reflecked at 11:26 AM on December 30, 2008

I never thought I would see it but you just won the internet. Good for you.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:27 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

I found a lot of bumpers on one of my rare forays onto Usenet in search of weird downloads. I burnt them to CD, and prompty forgot about them all. Last year, I was pawing through old CDrs, and I found that collection. I tried posting them onto YouTube, but that account got too many takedown requests and was closed not too long after first posting.

Thanks for all the research and hunting things down! The Cartoon Network Groovies & Shorties Archive is another fine source for info of this sort (found through one of these YouTube links). But they didn't have Powerpuff girls save Aquaman and Wonderwoman, one of the classic bumpers (in my mind).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:29 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

I remember a lot of these! Awesome misspent youth.
posted by flipyourwig at 11:37 AM on December 30, 2008

Wow. This is GREAT. I remember most of this stuff from when it was new, given that I used to watch a lot of Cartoon Network while high and I was high most of the time in the mid-late 90s. I was also an early Space Ghost fan, in fact I remember the first time I even heard of Cartoon Network was because I heard The Ramones were going to be on this wacky "Space Ghost" show. That was when CN consisted entirely of old Hanna-Barbera stuff like The Herculoids and Birdman, plus Space Ghost. I especially remember the "Groovies" shorts clearly, they would usually come on really late/early (2am or so). I remember seeing the Soul Coughing ones most frequently. The "Salt and Slug" and "Rupert the Grouper" theme songs popped into my head without even watching the videos.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:38 AM on December 30, 2008

8 years ago, a friend bought me "Heroes and Villains", a CD soundtrack of sorts for the Powerpuff Girls. The various artists, handpicked by Craig McCracken, include Frank Black, Shonen Knife, and (from the original post) Devo and Apples in Stereo. A few videos (some fan-made) exist:

Bis - Fight the Power (this could be played in sports arenas)
Frank Black - Pray for the Girls
Komeda - B.L.O.S.S.O.M.
Dressy Bessy - Bubbles (with bonus 7/8 treats for prog fans)
Shonen Knife - I'm a Super Girl
posted by kurumi at 11:51 AM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Cartoon Network and Adult Swim are my 2 favorite things. I am an insomniac. Why do we have to sleep?
posted by doctorschlock at 12:06 PM on December 30, 2008

holy shit.
posted by shmegegge at 12:09 PM on December 30, 2008

This is an amazing post and you should feel good about yourself for having made it. Thank you!
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:12 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Watching a lot of 2 Stupid Dogs when we first met is why my wife and I still occasionally look at each other and go "BALL!" or "CORN!".
posted by mrbill at 1:12 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Someone else remembers the parking space one! I love the parking space one.

Favorited for a rainy day.
posted by jinjo at 1:13 PM on December 30, 2008

This post is great and you should feel good for having posted it.

As for modern Adult Swim, there's a lot of stuff that's not my taste, but for me it's worth wading through for things like the last season of Moral Orel or Dr. Ball, M.D.
posted by drezdn at 1:18 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

On preview, I owe Pope Guilty a coke.
posted by drezdn at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2008

So much more inside. Thanks!
posted by nola at 1:46 PM on December 30, 2008

We gotta gorilla for sale,
Magilla gorilla for sale

tyvm =)
posted by nomisxid at 1:49 PM on December 30, 2008

"Papa Smurf, corrupted by his own power!"
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:54 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh. My. God.

My nerd gland ruptured.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:31 PM on December 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

Wow. This is quite possibly the greatest thing in the history of ever. A thousand thanks for this, Rhaomi.
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:40 PM on December 30, 2008

So much of my childhood has just flashed before my eyes, I'm dizzy. I also have an overwhelming urge to sit on the floor in my pyjamas and eat really sugary cereal until my Mum yells at me.

(Thanks for a fantastic post!)
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 4:24 PM on December 30, 2008

This is my childhood condensed into a single post.

I remember every single one of those shorts.

Every single one.
posted by internet!Hannah at 4:43 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Awesome post. The ultimate DOLYT (Dozens Of Links YouTube) post. It still amazes me that TimeWarner has allowed so much of its animated content (Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network) to roam free on YT and other video sites while Warner Music has a cow over music videos. Well, the toons are better anyway.

One thing: a MeFite is part of the creative crew on "Frisky Dingo"?!? Is that why one of its most obnoxious characters is named Wendell?(self-linky) I don't know whether to be flattered or litigious...
posted by wendell at 5:06 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:21 PM on December 30, 2008

Eat me! Go ahead and eat me! You're messing with the order!

God, I love that bit. Cartoon Network is one of the few reliably English channels in Japan. We don't get Adult Swim, sadly, and they change their programming pretty much every three months, but I do get the Powerpuff Girls, as well as occasionally Samurai Jack, Justice League, and some Batman stuff. They don't have many commercials, though, so they tend to toss these things on at the end of every program.

great post.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:28 PM on December 30, 2008

Rhaomi, this is the most awesome post I can ever remember seeing here. I'd love it just for reminding me of Whiners Can Be Losers alone.

Oh, for the days when Cartoon Network was unequivocally awesome. Shame you didn't turn up many of the older promos they had, some of which rocked just as much as these. Still stuck in my head is that Announcer voice and Droopy singing "Cartoon Network!" "Alright, boys." "Cartoon Network!" "A one, a two...."
posted by JHarris at 7:23 PM on December 30, 2008

filthy light thief, that one's awesome.
posted by JHarris at 7:25 PM on December 30, 2008


And to think I doubted you.
posted by JHarris at 7:28 PM on December 30, 2008

I'm sorry, but this post is too awesome for me to handle.
posted by now i'm piste at 8:34 PM on December 30, 2008

posted by not_on_display at 8:46 PM on December 30, 2008

Holy fucking shit!
posted by Space Kitty at 9:12 PM on December 30, 2008

Oh, for the days when Cartoon Network was unequivocally awesome.

Yeah, except Superjail is pretty excellent. I like Squidbillies, too, though they don't seem to run it regularly, unlike the 20 episodes of Family Guy they keep showing over and over. But Space Ghost was just the greatest show. I was lucky enough to discover it when it was current. Vaguely remember a lot of this other stuff. This will take a while ...
posted by krinklyfig at 9:24 PM on December 30, 2008

Well, I was just checking mefi before bed, but this post just pushed bedtime back a few hours. Quite possibly the best post I've ever seen on Metafilter. Nice work.
posted by azpenguin at 10:12 PM on December 30, 2008

Well, this is a rush! Thanks for the kind words, everyone, I'm glad you all liked it.

I actually posted in relative haste ~16 hours ago, on account of probably not being able to be on Mefi during the day afterwards due to New Year's prep. Not to say that I wrote the whole thing quickly -- I've actually been building it off-and-on for several months -- just that I didn't have as much time as I wanted to fully copy-edit, leaving those niggling imperfections like the omission of John Kricfalusi's name in the last section and the wholesale-italicization of same because of an unclosed tag. Not to mention many of the episode descriptions being rife with grammar and style errors -- I originally pulled them from Wikipedia's episode guide, but forgot to correct some of them.

Also, as some have pointed out, the chronology of the post is a bit weird. Frankly I don't think the facts of the matter can be nailed down definitively without asking the people involved, as the broadcasts of the shorts were highly irregular, with new clips debuting unannounced and dropped from circulation just as unceremoniously. I imposed a vague sense of chronology in my presentation of the videos in order to make it more narrative rather than laundry-list, but this does cause some confusing problems given the overlapping histories of some of the shorts.

Surprisingly, the most frustrating thing has been commenters mentioning and linking to entirely new classes of bumps I had overlooked or been unaware of. Not because I consider it "horning in on my territory" or something, but because these new bumps and promos are even more obscure than the stuff in the FPP, and thus more difficult to find. At least the groovies, shorties, and other clips had titles and episodes and a history that could be deduced. Usually googling an episode title or two led to a "master list" for the series on Wikipedia or another industry site. But these promos apparently have no names, no designations, and are scattered haphazardly across the web. There's no quick and easy way to find them all, short of plugging "cartoon+network+bumps" into YouTube and watching as many as possible. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing -- it's the same method that birthed this post. But it leaves the lingering thought that there's yet more stuff out there you haven't found.

So, if anyone finds some information related to these newly-found promos, please share! I'd love to see more of these.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:59 AM on December 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

Hm, I haven't seen anything from "That Cartoon Network Thing" yet. "It's time to do that thing today/That Cartoon Network thing to do!"
posted by JHarris at 1:10 AM on December 31, 2008

Wow, weird moment... after making that comment, I realized "Hey, I could search for it myself!" So I did, and in the top three links was an Everything2 post I myself made about it several years ago!

Nice to see it's still around at least.
posted by JHarris at 1:12 AM on December 31, 2008

Operation Time Capsule (site's down, but they have a YouTube Channel of many of their clips) has made it their business to preserve as much of old-style Cartoon Network as they can.
posted by JHarris at 1:21 AM on December 31, 2008

This is the best post ever. Those Groovies used to be my JAMS. I'm actually pretty sure those clips introduced me to a few bands: Pain, The Apples in Stereo, possibly even Prince Paul. Certainly made me pay more attention to Soul Coughing, too; for some reason that Circles one came on every day right as I was waking up to go to school.
posted by penduluum at 7:54 AM on December 31, 2008

Your kung fu is seamless, master.

Thanks for the great informative post.
posted by djrock3k at 8:24 AM on December 31, 2008

The one I really remember from World Premiere Toons was Out and About featuring Sledgehammer O'Possum, one of the most violent cartoon characters I've ever seen. Sadly it's been deleted from YouTube.
posted by tomcooke at 8:40 AM on December 31, 2008

Best Post Ever. Fanatically comprehensive.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:20 AM on December 31, 2008

Excellent use of the more-inside tag. Enjoy your nano.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:54 AM on December 31, 2008

Ahh... so that's why it was side-barred. Goddamn, son!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:06 AM on December 31, 2008

The one I really remember from World Premiere Toons was Out and About featuring Sledgehammer O'Possum, one of the most violent cartoon characters I've ever seen.

God I hated that thing when CN showed it back in the day. Of course, these days it'd be better than a good 70% of their output.
posted by JHarris at 12:59 PM on December 31, 2008

So, I thought from the name on the sidebar that this was gonna be about short-form animation in general, like a how-to, or a primer encompassing the history of all (short) animation, rather than a list of Cartoon Network stuff. Still awesome, but not what I expected.

That said, most of the stuff in the time-frame talked about here was going on while I was in art school in my (very) early 20's, when I was socially and psychologically primed for this type of thing, and yet, throughout most of my life since leaving my parents' house, I haven't ever had cable, and so only got to see CN when I was at someone else's house, and awake whilst everyone else slept. During the few years when I did have cable, I was doing other things (like being at work) during the Adult Swim window.

So I've not seen Adult Swim, pretty much at all, except for here and there.

Now, however, thanks to this wonderful post, I'll get to see what everyone was talking about, almost half my life ago. (sigh)
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:37 PM on December 31, 2008

Should I tell the Space Ghost: Coast to Coast autographed cast photos story?
posted by Samizdata at 9:04 AM on January 1, 2009

What's weird for me is realizing how many bands I started listening to in my college years had at some point recorded a cartoon network bump that I watched in my pre-teen and early teen years. Which makes me feel like cartoon network is responsible for at least part of my musical taste.
posted by edbles at 2:46 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

a new FPP standard. 2009 is lookin' good folks.
posted by madh at 4:54 PM on January 1, 2009

A have a pink 7" vinyl of the powerpuff girls theme song somewhere. That is the kind of thing you buy when you go record shopping on ecstasy.
posted by empath at 8:02 PM on January 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wikified. I fixed the italics & John K things, though I haven't added anything from the comments. Feel free to add to it.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:17 AM on January 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

This MIGHT be my favorite metafilter post.

I recall seeing many of these at the time they were airing, shaking my head wondering why Cartoon Network didn't compile them into a DVD. Some of them seemed so fresh and imaginative, and so unheralded, it almost seemed sad because I never thought I'd see them again. Thanks, Rhaomi!
posted by Edgewise at 5:53 PM on January 11, 2009

As promised -- and just under the wire, too -- all the rest of the Cartoon Network bumps I said I'd look for. They're in no particular order, just posted in the order I found them in the spare hour or so I had before the thread closed:

No Parking
Prank Calls
Locked Out
Silence is Golden
Superfriends on a Plane
Powerpuff Girls
Bloopers of the Cartoon Stars
Aquaman in the Seafood Aisle (Spanish, but understandable)
Field Trip
How Many Geniuses to Unlock a Car Door
Water Cooler
Promos from '99
Hollywood Blockbuster teaser
San Hanna Barbera Penitentiary
Yard Sale
Infinite Canvas-style zoom
The Mayor
But first, a monologue
June Bugs
Duck vs. Rabbit
Longer compilation, with "Ask Bandit" and "Chasers Anonymous" bumps
Ask Cartoon Network

There's are probably dozens more from the various eras; most can be tracked down through the "Related Videos" section on each. I'd be more thorough, but there's just no time. [/24] Hope you enjoy this parting gift...
posted by Rhaomi at 9:47 AM on January 30, 2009 [4 favorites]

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