Saturday Morning Cartoons: ‘The Adventures of Fatman’
In 1997, CBS television had the brilliant idea to give pop-music satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic his own Saturday Morning kids show, under the one stipulation…that it be educational. Despite that anchor, Al managed to make one of the most endearing and fun kids shows since Pee Wee’s Playhouse. In fact, the show was often cited as the next-best-thing to the revered show….up until the following year, when CBS canceled its entire Saturday Morning line up. They even went as far as to strip cartoons from the programming! Of course, The Weird Al Show was caught in the crossfire and hit the chopping block as well.
So, what does a live-action TV show have to do with the Saturday Morning Cartoons segment here at ComicMix? Well, not ALL the content of the episodes were educational… Al managed to slip in some awesome sketches, music and…of course, cartoons! A big animation fan, Yankovic had stop motion animation, computer graphics and traditional animation all just in the opening theme song! In addition, there was also the occasional episode of “Fatman”, the show’s simple-minded superhero. Al and his sidekick, Harvey the Wonder Hamster (voiced by Ren & Stimpy and Futurama star Billy West) would thwart the evil machinations of villains such as “The Slaw”. Witness the first episode of the Pork Knight!
And, one of my favorite episodes (guaranteed to be full of at least a few references that went over the kiddies’ heads) “Fatman Vs The Eggman”
Bonus: The awesome opening theme song animation