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Uncle Croc's Block

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Uncle Croc's Block
Title card
GenreLive action/animation
StarringCharles Nelson Reilly
Jonathan Harris
Alfie Wise
Voices ofKenneth Mars
Allan Melvin
Alan Oppenheimer
Robert Ridgely
Lennie Weinrib
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producersNorm Prescott
Lou Scheimer
Dick Rosenbloom
Running time60 minutes, later 30 minutes
Production companyFilmation
Original release
NetworkABC
ReleaseSeptember 6, 1975 (1975-09-06) –
February 14, 1976 (1976-02-14)

Uncle Croc's Block is an hour-long live-action/animated television series. It was produced by Filmation, and broadcast on ABC in 1975–76.[1]

The show was a spoof of live kids' shows but with (as MeTV would later describe it) a "bitter edge".[2]

The series premiered at 10:30 am ET on September 6, 1975. Uncle Croc's Block was up against the second half of the popular The Shazam!/Isis Hour (another Filmation property) and Far Out Space Nuts on CBS and Run, Joe, Run and Return to the Planet of the Apes on NBC. The show, which was fitted with an adult laugh track, was shortened to 30 minutes, then scrapped on February 14, 1976, after half a season on the air.[3]

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Transcription

Plot

Charles Nelson Reilly played the eponymous Uncle Croc, a crocodile that hated his job as the show's host and made only the barest of efforts to hide his contempt. Also featured were Alfie Wise as his rabbit sidekick, Mr. Rabbit Ears, and Jonathan Harris as Basil Bitterbottom, the show-within-a-show's frustrated director. A motorcycle-riding bird named Koo Koo Knievel (a parody of stuntman Evel Knievel) popped out of a clock to announce when it was "Star Time", and a celebrity "guest" would appear.[4]

Star Time

Each episode contained a "Star Time" segment in which parodies of popular characters appeared, usually making denigrating remarks about the show and/or its staff, and demonstrating their abilities (or lack thereof). Guests included:

Cartoon segments

The show also included the cartoon shorts:

  • M*U*S*H (short for Mangy Unwanted Shabby Heroes): Sled dogs (voiced by Kenneth Mars and Robert Ridgely) work at a medical outpost in the frozen wasteland of Upper Saboonia. This cartoon is a lampoon of M*A*S*H. In his 2012 autobiography, Lou Scheimer stated that he had written the segment to be intentionally unfunny, a concept that Scheimer found to be a better concept than ABC did.[2] While 30 episodes of the show were written, 23 of the said episodes were fully produced, and 14 of them have not surfaced.
  • Fraidy Cat: Fraidy Cat (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) has lost his eight lives and only has one life left which he is wanting to make it last. He is cursed with the ability to involuntarily summon the ghosts of his eight past lives, personified as their respective time periods (Five of each voiced by Lennie Weinrib while three are voiced by an uncredited Lou Scheimer) as well as trying to say "nine" which summons Cloud 9 (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) who tries to claim Fraidy's life.
  • Wacky and Packy: A prehistoric caveman named Wacky and his pet woolly mammoth Packy (both voiced by Allan Melvin) get washed into a cave during an earthquake and they end up getting transported two million years into modern times as they work to survive in this time period.

Of all of the aired cartoon segments, only Fraidy Cat had the longest continued existence with the last official home media release being distributed by BCI on a DVD set in 2006, 31 years after the show's conclusion.

The voice cast part of the end credits had a disclaimer stating "All voice and vocal impressions were performed by the cast and not by the actual celebrities themselves".

Episodes

Cancellation

As a result of the show's poor performance, ABC president Fred Silverman severed all ties with Filmation[2] and began commissioning its Saturday morning cartoons from Hanna-Barbera, with which he had a working relationship during his time at CBS. Filmation noted that the cancellation—though Filmation had had several series end after short runs, none had ever been cancelled before completing their runs up to that point—actually saved the studio money because ABC had already paid for a full season and now Filmation did not have to follow through on paying to produce the remaining episodes.[2] In an attempt to save ratings, Filmation had planned to repackage the repeated Groovie Goolies episodes as a new segment, redubbed the Super Fiends (capitalizing on the title of rival Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends), but the show was shelved before the change could be incorporated. The animated segments were featured in the Filmation syndicated package, The Groovie Goolies and Friends, and also resurfaced in the home video market in the 1980s.

References

  1. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 299–301. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "The strange story of M-U-S-H, the M*A*S*H cartoon spoof that nearly ruined its studio". MeTV. Retrieved 2022-08-30.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 880–882. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 448. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 22 March 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 February 2024, at 18:34
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