I was up pretty early this morning…well, early for me, anyway…because in going over to sister Kat’s for a birthday celebration for dear old Dad yesterday, Mom informed me that she was going to bump up her usual Friday trip to Publix a day. So I get up, shower and dress, and as I make my way out to the spacious living room at Rancho Yesteryear I see the familiar red light on my converter box informing me I have a message.
Most of these messages of late are usually promos for the Gwinnett Gladiators, the local ECHL Hockey team, and since I approach any sort of hockey with the enthusiasm of a prostate exam, I usually delete this stuff in rapid fashion. But this was not to be; the CharredHer people were informing that they had now added Kabillion on Demand to their On Demand service, and it required no extra fee to peruse and watch the programming.
Happy happy joy joy. I’ve never even heard of Kabillion—but according to Wikipedia, it’s “an interactive, multi-platform kids' entertainment channel, owned in part by The MoonScoop Group's Taffy Entertainment, REMIX Entertainment Ventures, and Belgium based Studio 100). Launched in January 2007, Kabillion is available both as a free video on-demand (VOD) channel on Comcast, Charter, and Bresnan digital cable systems across the United States, and a free online broadband site offering streaming video and an online community – all designed for a key demographic of kids from 6 to 12.”
I’m 45 years old. Why the hell would I be interested in something like this?
Well, the message describes some of their programming and one of the shows mentioned is The Amazing Spider-Man…which I was kinda pumped about until I realized that it was NOT the cool 1960s version with the kickass theme song. (Spider-Man/Spider-Man/Does whatever a spider can…) I stared at their online website for a couple of minutes and learned that they do offer videos of two of my cartoon heroes from the 1960s: Underdog and Tennessee Tuxedo—both of who's theme songs are no slouches either. As my cursed Shrevian luck would have it, they’re not on the On Demand service—but if I ever get a jones for a Bobby’s World or My Little Pony fix, it’s covered.
I was amused, however, to learn that there’s a Boomerang on Demand offered by CharredHer—Boomerang being a cartoon network that used to show older cartoons (particularly a lot of Hanna-Barbera stuff: Quick Draw, Snagglepuss, etc.) when their sister channel, Cartoon Network, stopped. I glanced at the lineup but there was no Queekstraw or Snag to be had; there was, however, the debut episode of Josie and the Pussycats (“The Nemo’s a No No Affair”) so I put that on for a quick nostalgic wallow. I was a big fan of Pussycats when I was a tad—for some odd reason I thought the character of Alexandra was pretty hot (or as hot as it gets for a kid my age back then) and since that show, I’ve always wanted to date and marry a girl with a white streak through her hair that makes her look like a skunk. I still have difficulty, when I look at these cartoons today, at trying to fathom what I honestly saw in these shows—the animation is embarrassingly cheap and the writing equally bad. I also sat through an installment of Jabberjaw, a show I remember vividly from my youth because the title character, a great white shark who sounded like Curly of the Three Stooges (voiced by vet Frank Welker), amused me somewhat even though the show’s premise was a mixture of Josie and Scooby-Doo…and a pretty horrible one at that.
They had a few other offerings on Boomerang on Demand: more episodes of The Powerpuff Girls than I could possibly need and a half-hour of the Tom & Jerry cartoons directed by Chuck Jones for MGM during the 1960s. Finally, I gave into temptation and started to watch “What a Night for a Knight,” the premiere episode of Scooby-Doo, Where are You? I would have finished it, too…if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids.