Don’t Be Afraid – The Bugaloos (1970)

A bunch of kids who are actually bugs who know how to play instruments and write situational Beatles-esque music and live in a bizarre forest and have an even-more-bizarre foil? That’s Sid and Marty Krofft’s answer to The Monkees, a tab of orange sunshine in a kid’s TV landscape already drenched in psychadelia. The Bugaloos…

Living Things Do Grow – Dragons, Wagons and Wax (1970s)

Dragons, Wagons and Wax is the perfect title for a medieval-themed kids show. Unfortunately, this show couldn’t be less of a medieval-themed kids show. Fortunately, what it is is pretty unique and pleasant. This breath of fresh air came out of WCET in Cincinnati in the late 1970s. Shown in schools and distributed to PBS,…

I’ve Got Pals Over Here – Popeye & Pals (1970s-80s)

I don’t know about you but from my end nothing enhances the enjoyment of a good block of cartoons like a bunch of kids crammed into a bleacher and loaded up with fried chicken and soda. Popeye’s Fried Chicken did this for, like, a really long time with “Popeye and Pals”, a kid’s block on…

Thinkabout (1979)

The Agency for Instructional Technology may sound like some actually-nefarious organization in the Fallout universe, but here in the real world they had a big role in creating and distributing educational programs and other tools to broadcast outlets and schools in the US and Canada. The ’70s saw a nation still rich with optimism about…

Good Spookin’ Terms – Halloween Ads (Various)

It’s funny; when I look back at my personal Halloween memories there aren’t many that reflect the actual act of trick-or-treating. There are a couple, sure – one year some big kids stole my haul, an actual pillowcase full  of candy, so technically a trick-or-treat memory but one I’d rather skip – but by and…

A Young Bug – The Write Channel (1978)

Mississippi was pretty late to the public television party,  taking until 1970 to actually establish its own station. Even then it wasn’t the best look for the state, as their refusal to air Sesame Street due to its racially integrated cast drew national criticism, but they eventually figured it out and actually ended up developing some…

Words Have Power – Read All About It (1979)!

There’s something really beautiful about kids’ public television in the 1970s and 1980s.  With government funding and then-still-high public enthusiasm about TV’s use as a teaching tool, the floodgates seemed to be open for production on all sorts of ideas at the national and local level.  These decades saw some really creative programming developed all…

The Monster In Your Living Room – Anti-Pay-TV PSA (1970)

While not an apples-to-apples situation, there’s still a strong psychic tie between this 1970 PSA against the oncoming Pay TV juggernaut and our modern-day Net Neutrality fight.  The dawn of Pay TV was an undeniable game changer for just about everyone on Earth, and we’re still seeing the ripple effects of that shift in a…

For Digestion’s Sake – Thanksgiving Ads (1940s-1990s)

Holiday traditions in the United States grow and change over the years, but there’s one constant: everyone wants a piece of your holiday spending money.  These Thanksgiving ads ranging from 1942 to 1991 showcase the different angles these companies took to try and get at your wallet. In doing so they speak to the design…

Incrediburgable – Burger Chef (1950s-90s)

If I asked you to name a burger restaurant established in the 1950s with a patented cooking method, a signature burger with the word “Big” in the title, a packaged meal themed just for kids, and a roster of make-believe characters, what name would you guess? You’d say Burger Chef, right? (courtesy Burger Chef Memories)…