Cult Toons (Cartoon Network, 1999)
A while ago I was thinking about a show that I liked that I wanted to write about on here, but I never recorded any episodes myself and because the show was so obscure I assumed there was no trace of it anywhere online. So I decided to go on YouTube expecting nothing to turn up when to my delight a member called “Si’s Video Vault” had uploaded five episodes of this odd show, bringing back memories and making it possible for me to write a piece about it, so huge credit goes to them.
Cult Toons is a show that is difficult to describe in a few words. In fact, it’s difficult to describe in a lot of words. When I had On Digital, I used to enjoy watching Cartoon Network. In 1999, they had a late-night strand called AKA where they showed some classic cartoons plus original show Cult Toons.
The show would feature old episodes of Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as The Hair Bear Bunch, The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop and Hong Kong Phooey. But what made it different was that these cartoons would be spliced with various random clips, meaning that the cartoons would be remixed to create something rather strange.
The choice of clips were very odd, coming from various old cartoons, blaxploitation films and pop videos. So for example, if something happened in the cartoon, it would suddenly go to a clip of Daffy Duck saying “yes?”, Mr T saying “this is serious”, or other weird out-of-context clips.
They also frequently used “they’ve put him in a trance!”, “you’re not serious, are you?”, “oh boy, some adventure at last!” and “you’ll pardon an unscientific wow… wow”. I had no idea where they found these clips from or what has happening half the time, I’ve never seen anything else like it on TV, it was terrific.
I also remember pop stars of the time turning up to plug their singles including, this being 1999, the famous for five minutes indie group Gay Dad, leading to a segment where the title sequence of old cartoon Wait Till Your Father Gets Home was edited to go Wait Till Your Gay Dad Gets Home, I suppose you had to be there.
I’ve always enjoyed shows that are rather odd, and this became my favourite programme on Cartoon Network, even ahead of the equally terrifically weird Space Ghost Coast To Coast and Cow & Chicken which I’ll be reviewing soon. I’d go so far as to say that it was one of my all-time favourite programmes of the On Digital era, right up there with some of the UK Play shows, and I still love it after all these years.
So is Cult Toons another obscure lost classic of a TV show?