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Saturday Supercade Sampler

1983 CBS Saturday Morning Preview Special Two years ago I directed you to a pair of segments from the old CBS Saturday morning cartoon Saturday Supercade featuring the adventures of wily gorilla Donkey Kong, his trainer Mario, and his niece Pauline as well as Donkey Kong, Jr.  The show included segments based on other arcade games of the early 1980s that aren't as well-represented online, but leave it to Platypus Comix to dig into an old VHS tape of the 1983 CBS Saturday Morning Preview Special that includes looks at Supercade segments based on not only the Kongs, but also Pitfall, Frogger, and Q-Bert.  Let's flashback to the days when Scott Baio was major star power and Boss Hogg from Dukes of Hazzard was a credible threat.

Saturday Supercade clips are hard to find, made obvious by the fact that every review of this show online is about the same episode. Now that time has changed. Platypus Comix is proud to exclusively present, for the first time since the 80's, a clip of the Donkey Kong cartoon that doesn't involve him marrying a farsighted rich southerner. I couldn't tell you what episode the clip is from, but DK actually throws a barrel in it. It's about time.

The Pitfall cartoon is revealed next. Saturday Supercade had five rotating shorts but only four spaces per week, and Pitfall was left out during the week the "common" episode was taped. Most people, including me, have been curious about what it was like. Well, this was what they did with it: you have Pitfall Harry, Harry's 12-year-old niece Rhonda, and for an unexplained reason, Snagglepuss. Only it isn't Snagglepuss, his name is "Quickclaw." ....But who is anybody kidding; it's Snagglepuss only with a worse name and an eyepatch. And he's not alone; this show was also Xeroxing Scrappy Doo of all characters. Why was Ruby-Spears ripping off some of the most unappealing cartoon stars of the day, and so blatantly? Heavens to Murgatroid.

It seems that every generation of children born post-Atari had their own cultural landmark video game cartoon to enjoy.  The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and Captain N: The Game Master weren't perfect, but whenever I see clips of the gaming cartoons that came before and after my formative years, I feel privileged to have grown up with Mario and Mega Man as opposed to Q-Bert or Pikachu (although I admit that the jury is still out on the long-term ramifications of Video Power).