Now to the opposite of a creative Sahara.
Picture it: late 1979 - before most of you were born - Ted Turner decides he wants to do a kids' show built around cartoons, The Three Stooges, and The Little Rascals. Our assignment: to package everything in a clever way that would entertain (in a "pro-social" way) between the short features.
Thus was birthed SuperStation FunTime (Ted's title, not ours - and he wouldn't budge on it, either). Our idea was to package a variety of bits, lasting from 1:00 to 5:00, that we could mix and match depending on the length of the scheduled cartoons and shorts.
Using such outlandish characters as The Plant People and The Happy Corpuscles, we took the Bugs Bunny approach to our children's programming - silly and appropriate for children but with a wicked little wink for our adult fans. And we often got away with murder, since the scripts were rife with double entendre. Of course, it would all seem very tame today, but at the time we had quite a following - kids in Vermont, blue-collar workers (and big Stooges fans) in Iowa, and gay waiters in Atlanta. Why, there was a time when cast and crew would go for dinner after shooting/editing, and the waiters would go wild! Something for everyone, I tell ya'.
Nobody took us seriously until we had a contest. We shot a wonderful little mystery and toy maker Milton Bradley offered the prizes. Lots of prizes. So we had lots of drawings and gave away lots of Hungry-Hungry Hippos and Simons. Well, the entries poured in. At first, cast and crew did the sorting and counting, then a couple of interns came in, then the big-wigs had to hire 6 people to sort and glean market information from the cards. Thousands and thousands of cards!
Anyway, the show ran for a couple of years - with a stupid cancellation in there somewhere - and by "ran," I mean we shot new bits for about two years. TBS ended up repackaging them for another couple of years after we stopped shooting, I think.
Shown in the vintage photo (clockwise): Director Tony "T-Bone" Marshall, Writer/Performer Carl Beck, Performer Ron Kirk, Performer Susie Baer Beck, Performer Jerry "Ho-Ho" Homan, guest puppeteer whose name escapes me (sorry!), and Producer Yours Truly. (Yes, we're singing - for a holiday promotion, I think, right John?)
Big thanks to the inimitable artiste JC Burns - who dragged Turner kicking and screaming into the electronic graphics age - for the photo.