Friday, February 18, 2011

How We Got Cable -or- The Cat Came Back & Other Old School Nickelodeon Greats

I was so excited when we finally got cable.  I had begged and begged my mother to get cable because, as a child of the 80s, cable signified something special.  Your house was suddenly the house other kids wanted to hang out at after school because you had channels they only dreamed of.  I really wanted Nickelodeon and Disney Channel (née The Disney Channel... before they dropped the "the").  Those channels enticed me more than MTV because they had things I could envision myself doing, be that Double Dare or The Mickey Mouse Club, whereas MTV was all about big hair, acid washed denim and loud music... none of which I was into... ok, maybe the acid washed denim.

But even after all my persistent pestering my mother still refused, "We don't need cable."  But Mom!!!!!!

That is until one day when I came home from school and she was on the phone, "Yes, no, tomorrow is fine.  Thank you."  Click.

"Who was that?" I asked... nosy.

"Did you know," she started, and then choked up a little.  She was suddenly very excited.  "Did you know that The Monkees are on cable?"

Yes, yes I did.  Because my friends had cable and The Monkees came on in the afternoon, sometime in that post-kiddie cartoon, pre-Nick at Night time slot.  But the answer whizzed past my brain as I suddenly realized what she was saying, "Are we getting cable!??"

Yes, yes we were.  My mom had discovered that one of her favorite 60s boy bands was in syndication on Nickelodeon and thus the plea for pay programming ended.  The cable man was out the next day hooking us into hours and hours of premium television.

The best part of Nickelodeon were the bumpers between shows.  A slew of Canadian cartoons were featured between Count Duckula and Don't Just Sit There.  But the one that has stayed with me the longest (besides the angry cat who always competed again the hippo in sporting events) was The Cat Came Back.

But little did I know that this song was written over 100 years ago and has dozens of incarnations over the years.  But this little cartoon from Canada is still my favorite and won more than 15 awards and was nominated for an Academy Award when it was released in 1988.  Epic.

Ah memories.

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