I was talking with my friend Barry about the cartoons on TV today — Thomas the Tank Engine, Max and Ruby, and the dreaded Dora. Barry wondered where the morals of the stories were. What lessons were they teaching?
I said that we grew up on Bugs Bunny, and there were no morals there. Very little sanity as well.
We agreed that TV was much better when we were small, and this led to a bit of reminiscing about The Electric Company. I haven’t watched it in decades, but Barry has the box set — for his daughter, he says.
It’s surreal, he told me. Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, big stars today, all regulars then.
Sure enough, he is absolutely right. It is a weird and wild and wonderful program, with a lovely balance or knowledge and whimsy. No wonder I loved it so.
I thought I would post the opening credits here, but then I found this clip of the recurring “Letterman” cartoon. Gene Wilder is the voice of Letterman, Joan Rivers is the nearly hysterical narrator, and the whole thing is wild.
Also, this wonderful animation, “Cloud, Proud, Loud.”
And here’s “For You.”
Makes me think of Bill Plympton’s animations.
My new plan is to give boxed sets of The Electric Company as gifts to all children from now on. I’ll mix in a few Rocky & Bullwinkle sets too, and The Jungle Book. This will be my investment in the future of the world. Who’s with me?