Saturday Morning Cartoons - My Favorite Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters

Like most kids of my generation, waiting for the test pattern to yield itself to real, moving pictures when the stations finally signed back on for the day was an exciting event. I know this dates me somewhat, but way back when we had just barely come out of the caves, before the advent of cable television, the local feed could be off the air until eight a.m. on the weekends.

Though it was cool to mess with the dials (yes, Virginia, TVs had dials then) and adjust the horizontal and vertical holds to stretch the test pattern up and down or side to side, it was only fun for a few minutes. With the advent of cable and colour TV, the test pattern became a rather boring set of colour bars that my dad had to adjust regularly to prevent the deaded green or purple complexion - a sure sign of your colour being "off".

The test pattern of my childhood, though, was an Indian Chief sporting a full war bonnet. By playing with the dials we could make his head reeeeally tall, or reeeeally wide. We had to exercise some caution, though, or the picture would start flipping uncontrollably. If we got it rolling too wildly, only our dad would be able to restore order, usually by dint of much dark muttering, darker threats about what he would do if this happened again, and ending in our being banished - sent outside to play, which meant the end of cartoon watching for that weekend.

If you are unfamiliar with the term "test pattern", you may need to ask someone over 45 to explain it to you - in fact, you may be too young to read this hub...but I digress.

These were a precious time. Our parents were still asleep. The house was quiet and still. The tacitly agree contract for Saturday mornings, at least at our house, was that we were now considered old enough to fix our own breakfast, usually cold cereal and toast. As well, if we were quiet, and didn't turn up the sound too loud, we eat in the living room in front of the TV.


Heaven in a cereal bowl...

Sheer bliss - eating in the living room, feet up on the couch, watching that "wascally wabbit", and not a parent in sight!

I Never Liked That Little Yellow Canary
I Never Liked That Little Yellow Canary
Wile E. Coyote
Wile E. Coyote

Though we reveled in the antics of Bugs and his buddies, the recurring themes were not lost upon us. We watched for our favorite running gags and delighted in their repetition. The "left turn at Albuquerque" was always good for a giggle, and the writers never failed to find new and devious ways to work it into the plots.


I must admit to finding Tweetie and Sylvester a bit tiresome, even as a kid. I really, really wished, time and again, that the poor benighted cat could just catch the nasty little yellow bird and put him out of my misery. Perhaps if that rotten canary hadn't been such a sanctimonious little tattle tail, getting Sylvester in trouble and then running to hide behind Granny's skirts...

Yosemite Sam fared even less well at the hands (or should I say, gloves) of the "wabbit". The cartoon about the high-diving act, where he repeatedly tricks the testy Sam into climb the ladder only to fall to the rather small pool full of water below, is a testament to the writers' ingenuity.

One of the things I appreciated about the coyote and roadrunner bits was the way the writers played with cartoon "reality", injecting the character of "the cartoon's artist" into the plot, playing with backgrounds and even the character's physical presence, much to the character's chagrin.

I also felt badly for thecoyote, though. Really, that wretched roadrunner could be quite annoying. The tenacity with which Wile pursued him was awe inspiring - talk about a never say die attitude. A good thing, too, considering the amount of damage he did to himself.

My all-time faves are his notable run-in with "the bunny", his epic battle (on the time-clock) with the sheepdog, and the short bit in the clip on the right, where he actually catches the roadrunner.

I am not given much to eating cold cereal in the mornings any more. I prefer it as an evening snack, as does my son...

...and yes, I introduced him to the wonderful world of Saturday morning cartoons as soon as he was old enough to get his cold cereal without destroying my kitchen.

It was then that I came to truly appreciate the other side of the weekend cartoon-fest - the "Mommy gets an extra hour's sleep" side.

Sheer bliss.


...and now, in the words of the much imitated Porky Pig...

© 2009 RedElf

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Comments 62 comments

Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

This is great! I also loved loved loved Rocky and Bullwinkle, Fractured Fairy Tales, Roger Ramjet to name a few.. man I'm feeling old but smiling big!! Big big thank you!!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

Isn't is fantastic how the characters that we watched and made us laugh are still the same that make our children laugh? Thank goodness for morning cartoons and that extra hour or two of extra sleep for the parents :)


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

My son is 19 now, he never ever got up for cartoons. He and I are night owls and love to sleep in.. We even had to wake him up for Christmas morning..sometime around 9.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

I loved them too, Candie V. Some favorite moments from my misspent youth were in front of the TV on weekend mornings. We had no TV in the arctic, so it was a great treat to watch at our grandparents' houses every other summer.

You got that right Princessa, Some weekends I would join him and we would have cereal and watch them together - not often though. Staying in bed that bit extra felt too good.

Candie, I slept in during my teens, but both my son and I are early risers by nature. Must be genetic, darn it (lol).


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

Hi Candie, mine used to be late sleepers until they discovered the world of cartoons which in here starts every day at around 6am @_@


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Especially liked the roadrunner..beep beep..surely this is where we learnt sarcasm!! lol


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

Good point, Hawkesdream - and who better to learn from than that cheeky fellow?


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Hi Princessa! Not even cartoons got my kid up!!!


Queen of the Lint profile image

Queen of the Lint 7 years ago from The Laundry Room

I loved Bugs Bunny, but kids didn't as much. They thought he was a troublemaker and a bit mean. They loved Duck Tales, Rocky and Bullwinkle and now we all like Futurama.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

I still love cartoons! Didn't any of you watch Tom & Jerry...I especially loved the sound effects!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

I still watch cartoons with my son in the mornings, it's one of the few rituals I passed down from my childhood.

Great hub - sure brings back the memories! I think my fave was Fearless Freap LOL...just so predictable and funny.


Charia Samher profile image

Charia Samher 7 years ago

Those were really an all time favorite! =)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

Greetings, Queen. I, too am a fan of Duck Tales. I especially like Darkwing Duck. Nice to see Daffy come into his own...

Tom and Jerry deserve their own hub, FP. Read their comics and loved their toons.

Thanks Enelle. I remembered the high diving act, but couldn't put my finger on the name - Fearless Freep!

Thanks for stopping by Charia - they are some of my favorites,too.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

Oh, you bring back memories! We were allowed much the same as children on Saturday mornings. You mentions many of my favorites. LOL, the coyote and sheepdog...I had forgotten about that one! Thanks for the laughs.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

My pleasure, k@ri, and thanks so much for stopping by. Saturday is still my favorite morning.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

What a great trip down memory lane.

I think you know you're old when you keep calling animation "cartoons". My husband and I complain constantly that they just don't make cartoons like they use to. Maybe we just have to accept they just don't make cartoons any more, period. :D

Great article, that I totally enjoyed.

~Jen


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

I hear you - it's like calling the colored comics "the funny papers". They're not, often, and I agree. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting. Glad you enjoyed...


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa

Redelf I guess somewhwere in the gene pool we share a gene. Great minds think alike. Our hubs are so similar but different each with their own special memories.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much sixtyorso - high praise, indeed.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

I enjoyed the cartoons, RedElf. My favorite television cartoons are Road Runner and Mighty Mouse. I watched cartoons as a boy not on television but in the movie houses, where we also saw exciting chapters, such as my favorite, "Captain Marvel." My friends and I rarely missed the movies on Saturdays because that's when they featured lots of cartoons. There were three major theaters in Yonkers, N.Y., where I lived then, and we would check out each one to see which offered the most cartoons. That's the one that got our 15 cents for admission. Those were days!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

Oh my, that brings back some memories, too. Movies were a quarter, but you could get popcorn and a drink for a mere 10 cents each. I missed out on the serials, but loved the cartoons followed by the news reel, and then the short feature. THEN they showed the movie. None of this "coming soon" stuff for 20 minutes - as if that is worth the same attention you would give a cartoon, or, heaven forfend, an actual short feature, lol.

I still think one of my favorite parts of the whole experience was watching all the layers of curtains drawn back, each with its different colored lights. Pretty!


JonTutor profile image

JonTutor 7 years ago from USA

Cool cartoons... I'm 20 still get it.. no need to ask someone over 45 ;)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

Too cool, Jon. Great to meet a kindred spirit, lol. So glad you stopped by and commented.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Saturday morning cartoons are just not the same now as they used to be. I used to watch them right up to my 20s. Can't do it now, don't find any I want to watch.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

I hear you, Uninvited Writer. We occasionally get some of the really old ones - I find I have a few favorites, particularly the longer ones that had a fully developed story line, but as the each batch of young ones grows up I find there are few I watch on my own.


Stephen Treadwell 7 years ago

My favorite cartoon is Tom & Jerry. I think it's about as close to perfect as a cartoon can be.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada Author

Hey Stephen! I remember reading Tom and Jerry comic books (many many years ago, lol) ;)


lurchthing profile image

lurchthing 6 years ago

all i got to say is....PINK PANTHER....


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

OH, my! dead ant, dead ant...love that unforgettable theme. Poor Inspector Clouseau...and the cartoons were even better! Thanks for the reminder, lurchthing.


Todd 6 years ago

My personal favorite was "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour."

"Overture, curtain lights! This is it. The night of nights..."


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

That music always signaled a rush for the best spot on the couch at our house, too, Todd. Thanks for your comments.


Stephen Treadwell 6 years ago

I've read a message from someone saying furball from tiny toons is a bit luckier than Tom or Sylvester. That's impossible! Tom is a lot luckier than Sylvester.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

I'm with you Stephen. Tom and Jerry usually managed to come to some kind of terms, most of the time, as I remember. Sylvester, on the other hand, seems to catch it in the neck nearly every time.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas

My dad has always been crazy about Road Runner. My favorite WB cartoon was the one where Porky and Sylvester are at the Haunted House and Sylvester is constantly rescuing Porky, who just thinks "Thil-vethter" is acting wacky.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

OMG - I recall that one, too! Amazing - thanks for jogging the memory, rmcrayne.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

The test pattern! That was how I used to begin my Saturday mornings too. But the old Warner Brothers characters are in my family's minds strong as ever. My son, up in Boston, has been referred to as a Southerner. (Maryland) And he has decided, he said, to beef up an appropriate accent for them, practicing on the phone with me. In the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, of course.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Dolores. That is too funny! He couldn't have picked a better role model.


hubpageswriter 6 years ago

Mornings wouldn't be the same without them. =) I miss those days of mine.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

I miss them too, hubpageswriter! Saturday morning cartoons just aren't the same anymore, are they.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

I remember the test patterns on TV in the morning, and when they came on at night too. Wow, that was long ago. I loved Bugs Bunny - which in our house was a term for the whole show, not just Bugs himself. I also like the Pink Panther cartoon too. It seemed to come on around that time. I also remember if you wanted to watch Woody Woodpecker, - the first cartoon on Saturday morning - you had to get up at 6 am. Today it seems most of the cartoons on TV are just junk. Back then cartoons were produced in such a way they entertained the whole family. Today, most are written to make money or promote a product and little else. I miss the old days too.

- Harlan


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

RedElf thanks for the memories, Bob Hope would be so proud of you. I remember watching all of those Looney Tunes and my favorite was Rocky and Bulwinkle and Tweety bird and that bold and whacky Sylvestre the puddy tat. My earliest childhood takes me back to watching Mighty Mouse, The 3 Stooges, Howdy Doody Time, Friendly Giant and my all time favorite at the time. The Lone Ranger with his trusty side kick Tonto. Great post Red,enjoyed the read and all the memories with it. You have my UP vote for sure.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Ah, Harlan, you said a mouthful. Half the new movies I've seen promos for are either based on a cartoon (and the marketing) or on a product (G.I.Joe) that they turn into a movie.

Most welcome, saddlerider1! We loved the Lone Ranger, too. I used to have such a crush on Jay Silverheels. Howdy Doody was our after school program! Missed Friendly the first time around (when I was young) but get to watch him, and Rusty and the musical cats, with my son when he was little ;)


Stephen Rhodes Treadwell 6 years ago

Although Tom and Jerry' my favorite cartoon I'm also a big fan of Woody Woodpecker, (but only the newer episodes, not the older ones where he's quite ugly) & the Pink Panther.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks Stephen! The pink one's cartoons were always favorites of mine, too.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much for commenting, trix! I haven't seen a Heckle 'n' Jeckle cartoon for ages.

trixisforkids52 44 hours ago

noone seems too remember the old heckle and jeckle which was my most favorite cartoon. I haven,t been able too find anything on the net about them


dreiber profile image

dreiber 5 years ago from Amsterdam

Great to see a viw of the all time classics.

I found another one...

Kwicky Koala

http://www.back-to-the-80s.com/Kwicky-Koala-Show.h...

Anyone remember that?


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Never have seen that one before, but thanks for sharing the link. That wolf looks a lot like Wiley Coyote ;)


dreiber profile image

dreiber 5 years ago from Amsterdam

Kwicky koala always cracks me up, just like Droopy.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

I have to agree, dreiber, they are pretty darn cute!


Condor 5 years ago

How about the cartoon where PORKY PIG and SYLVESTER camp on the giant flying suacer and end up on a planet with giant storks or what MARVIN THE MARTIAN and K-9 capture bugs and are taking him to mars bugs captures them tries to fly their ship and ends up carrying along the cresent moon saturn,jupiter and a whole bunch of stars he ask the astronomer about who wants to by a slightly used flying saucer the guy starts acting crazy and bugs says WHAT BITING HIM?


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

I love Marvin the Martian and his "earth shattering kaboom." Thanks for reminding me of another great one, Condor!


John Cee in BC 5 years ago

My favourite cartoon characters were always Rocky & Bullwinkle (proof that different personalities really could get along!) -- it always sounded to me like the voice actors were having just as much fun performing the show as I was having watching it -- but my girlfriend loves Roadrunner & Coyote, although she's convinced Roadrunner is really a girl, especially in the one where she keeps teasing Coyote off the same cliff (and he finally sets up a trampoline to cushion his fall -- of course it doesn't work!)


John C in BC profile image

John C in BC 5 years ago

My favourites were always Rocky & Bullwinkle -- proof that you could be best friends despite your differences -- besides, I always thought the voice actors sounded like they were having just as much fun performing the show as I was having watching it...


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, John in BC, nice to see you here. I always felt for the coyote - he never gave up, but my goodness, some of his plans... :D:D:D


John C in BC profile image

John C in BC 5 years ago

You're right RE, that Coyote was a very resourceful canine, even if he was doomed to failure -- I think most of us identify with him at some point in our lives, when everything we touch blows up in our faces -- that's probably why he's so popular... I've never met anyone who identifies with Roadrunner. No one is that lucky all the time!


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

Just love the old cartoons. Remember Andi Panda and his big fight between good and evil? A little devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other? Fun and a life-lesson all rolled into one!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Some great old cartoons out there! Thanks for stopping by to comment, Sinea Pies.


carolinemoon profile image

carolinemoon 5 years ago

I love cartoons.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Me too, carolinemoon, though I don't get to watch them nearly as often these days :D


spirit929 profile image

spirit929 5 years ago from Upstate NY somewhere over the rainbow

They just dont make 'em like that anymore! I too woke up to Saturday morning Cartoons and the king of them all was looney Tunes!!! "Ahhh...they loved me in KUK A MONGA" Yes we were educated by the University of Bugs Bunny...NYC accent and all! Saturday mornings was an even to look forward to...then it was off to the candy store to get a copy of "Archie & Veronica"


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Oh, my, spirit929 - they still carry Archie and Veronica at the grocery check-out! What an enduring comic!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for commenting, John - I have included your remarks below without your link :D

John 5 hours ago

I think my favourite cartoon characters are probably Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny, they both bring back a lot of childhood memories.

Great hub BTW.

John.

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