‘Kids’ special time’ – Saturday mornings 

May 18, 2023   ·   0 Comments

When we were young, Saturday mornings used to be special because school was done for the week, and you finally had a little bit of time for yourself. And you always looked forward to Saturday mornings as a kid for one specific reason: 


Because our family grew up in the country, there was no such thing as cable or satellite TV out there at the time. All we had was an aerial attached to the house that got one lonely channel on our blurry old black and white TV that we bought second-hand from my Dad’s brother. And because it was one-channel take-it-or-leave-it television back then, our choice of cartoon viewing on Saturday mornings was obviously severely limited.  

But our one lone station, at that time a CBC affiliate, always had a lineup of cartoons specifically geared for us kids every Saturday morning.

Saturday mornings back then were our own private little world as children. Where else could a kid fill a bowl full of sugary cereal and milk and take it and a spoon into the living room and sit and eat breakfast in front of the television, getting lost in a world of make-believe, funny cartoons, and cool toy commercials, than on Saturday morning children’s TV? 

I used to love to watch Popeye, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and Stingray, the marionette puppet show from England (which later spawned Thunderbirds). And topping off the morning were a small handful of quite possibly the cheapest and worst-made superhero cartoons of all time, like the Hulk, Captain America, the Sub-Mariner and Iron Man. And when the cartoons ended around noon, and you had to do whatever chores needed to be done, you would always make sure you were finished by the time the Bugs Bunny-Road Runner hour came on at 5 p.m. every Saturday afternoon.

Not that Saturday mornings back then were without their issues. Saturday was also cleaning day in our house, and I remember when I was little, getting annoyed at our Mother on several occasions for running the vacuum cleaner while we were trying to watch Saturday morning cartoons! We couldn’t hear the TV, and the electrical interference from the vacuum cleaner made the picture on our old black and white TV go all squiggly and snowy! (“Aw, Mom! Can’t you just vacuum during the commercials?”) But Mom was the boss, and we had to put up with it until she was done. Aggravating to a little kid like me at the time, memories like this I chuckle about today, and things like that are part of the family experience that I think kids are missing nowadays. As silly as this may sound, I feel that kids today are poorer for not experiencing things like that. After all, without things like that, what silly little memories are they going to look back on and laugh about when they are all grown up?  

When CTV started broadcasting in our area, we were absolutely thrilled. TWO channels to choose from! WOW! That doubled the Saturday morning cartoon lineup! We, kids, were in seventh heaven!  

And because of that doubling of channels, Saturday mornings, we were then introduced to Professor Kitzel, The cartoon Wizard of Oz, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Batman, Scooby-Doo, the Jetsons, the Flintstones, and a host of others.

When Global TV eventually came into our area in my mid-teens, we then had THREE channels to choose from! Holy Moley! An abundance of TV riches! We were on the verge of being overwhelmed. 

And with more channels came more choices of cartoons at different times of the day, even a few through the week after school! New shows were added to our viewing lineup, like Top Cat, Wacky Racers, Magilla Gorilla, Woody Woodpecker, Secret Squirrel, and some more non-conventional kids’ shows, like the Banana Splits and Birdman on weekday afternoons and Davey and Goliath and The Three Stooges on Sunday mornings. The list goes on and on. And even though we began to get a few cartoons after school on the weekdays, Saturday mornings were still ‘prime time’ for kids’ cartoons back in the day.    

But eventually, times changed, and as television network demographics and markets began to expand and broaden, ‘kids’ special time’ on Saturday mornings eventually lost what made it special in the first place. 

Nowadays, there are High-Definition cartoons on certain specialty digital animated channels in today’s TV listings 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s all well and good, I suppose, but I personally think something special has been lost because of this. Saturday mornings are no longer specifically ‘kid time’. And I think no longer having that special time on Saturday mornings is a loss for kids everywhere. But sadly, times change, and not always for the better. It is what it is.

I can only hope that you can find a way to give your own kids some fond TV memories for them to look back on when they are all grown up. And they can do the same for their kids. 

And don’t change that channel! 

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