11 forgotten Saturday morning cartoons from the Sixties

Lions and penguins and frogs, oh my!

Images: The Everett Collection

The 1960s delivered a slew of sensational Saturday morning cartoon characters that we still love today. There was Underdog and Magilla Gorilla; Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel; and goofy humans like George of the Jungle. Oh, and let's not overlook primetime families like the Jetsons and Flintstones, who delighted us with reruns on weekends, too.

But they were not alone on the A.M. lineup. There were dozens of other cartoons, many of which have faded from the public mind. We're talking lions and beagles and frogs, oh my! 

Let's take a look.

1. King Leonardo and His Short Subjects


Lions were a go-to animal when it came to children's entertainment. You'll find a few on this list. We begin with this regal feline, who ruled the land of Bongo Congo. You might recognize the voice of Leonardo, as it was provided by actor Jackson Beck, heard as both the announcer on radio's The Adventures of Superman and as Bluto in classic Popeye cartoons.

Image: The Everett Collection

2. The Hector Heathcote Show


Little Colonial era patriot Hector Heathcote had a brief moment in the sun, appearing on lunch boxes, books and one single issue of a Gold Key comic book. The cartoon also included shorts about Hashimoto San, a Japanese mouse, and Silly Sidney the Elephant. Sidney had a buddy named Stanley, a grumpy — you guessed it — lion.

Image: The Everett Collection

3. Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales


Don Adams of Get Smart gave this polar bird real personality. Tennessee and his pal Chumley the Walrus lived in a zoo, run by Stanley Livingston and his flunky… er, Flunky. A gangster bad guy named Rocky Maninoff (voiced by the aforementioned Jackson Beck) provided a foil. To be fair, Tennessee Tuxedo was not entirely forgotten, as he returned a few years ago in a series of web shorts, but he's certainly a few rungs under Chilly Willy on the fame ladder.

Image: The Everett Collection

4. Hoppity Hooper


Jay Ward, creator of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, branched out with this amiable amphibian. The two shows were quite similar in style. In fact, Hoppity Hooper recycled some of the interstitial shorts — like Fractured Fairy Tales — that had been previously seen on Rocky and Bullwinkle. You can watch Hoppity hop on YouTube.

Image: Jay Ward Productions / YouTube

5. Linus the Lionhearted


Essentially a 30-minute commercial for Post Cereals, Linus the Lionhearted was a thinly veiled attempt to get kids salivating for Sugar Crisp and Alpha-Bits. The characters were all cereal mascots seen on the boxes in grocery aisles. Linus himself was the spokeslion for Heart of Oats, a Cheerios clone. The smooth-talking Sugar Bear was a regular, alongside Claudius Crow (Sugar Sparkled Flakes), Rory Racoon (Post Toasties) and others. But, oh, what a voice cast! Sitcom legends Carl Reiner, Ruth Buzzi, Jonathan Winters, Jerry Stiller and Tom Poston all brought this marketing menagerie to life.

Image: CBS Television Distribution / YouTube

6. Milton the Monster


This parody of Frankenstein and his monster was the creation of Hal Seeger, who also churned out the even more forgotten Batfink. All of his work was a sort of send-up of more popular shows of the era — riffing on The Munsters, Batman, The Green Hornet, etc. Milton's voice was a spoof of Gomer Pyle and Jim Nabors, provided by Bob McFadden, who must have loved Frankenstein types. He also voiced Franken Berry.

Image: CBS Television Distribution

7. The Beagles


With Beatlemania at its peak (not to mention Peanuts popularity) this pun was too good to pass up. This toon was the product of Total Television, the studio behind the similarly styled Tennessee Tuxedo and Underdog. Of course, the Beatles had their own cartoon at that time, too. The Beagles duo in turn recorded an album, Here Come the Beagles.

Image: CBS

8. Cool McCool


Wrapped in a yellow trenchcoat, the secret agent character parodied the popular spy shows of the time. Cool McCool was a little bit Dick Tracy, a lot like Maxwell Smart and a precursor to Inspector Gadget. We once asked, Do You Remember Cool McCool, and judging by the numbers, we're going with a resounding "No."

Image: King Features / NBC

9. The Space Kidettes


Hanna-Barbera built off the success of The Jetsons with another space-age toon, this one about a quartet of kids. The Jetsons similarities went beyond the look of the space helmets, as Don Messick (Astro), Janet Waldo (Judy) and Daws Butler (Elroy) all provided voices.

Image: The Everett Collection

10. Shazzan


Not to be confused with Shazam! (or Shaq's Kazaam, for that matter), this genie was also the product of Hanna-Barbera. Shazzan was the work of Alex Toth, the brilliant illustrator and animator who had created Space Ghost and Harvey Birdman. The genie craze was at its peak, with I Dream of Jeannie on the air at the time. Voicing Shazzan was Barney Phillips, the actor best known as the three-eyed alien seen in The Twilight Zone episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?"

Image: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

11. Super President


It's an eagle… It's Air Force One… It's SUPER PRESIDENT! This Saturday morning cartoon ran in the late 1960s, depicting a POTUS who could change his molecular composition. He also flew around in an amphibious rocket called the Omnicar — or by using jets built into his belt. He was voiced by Paul Frees, who also played on the other side of the Cold War, as Boris on Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Image: United Artists Television

SEE MORE: 12 early '80s Saturday Morning cartoons you totally forgot about

Remember Blackstar, Goldie Gold, Saturday Supercade and the Biskitts? READ MORE

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