The spinach-powered Popeye has been a pop culture staple since 1929, the star of several hundred comic strips, theatrical shorts, and his own radio and television shows. 1978 marked the beginning of a new era for the squinty-eyed sailor, returning to the small screen in The All New Popeye Hour.
This series was broken up into different segments: The Adventures of Popeye, Popeye’s Treasure Hunt, Popeye’s Sports Parade, and Dinky Dog. The latter segment starred a huge mutt and had little or nothing to do with Popeye or any sort of maritime activity.
Because of the changing times, these episodes featured less fighting and more trickery on the part of Popeye’s nemesis, who was back to being called Bluto after his mysterious name-switching run as “Brutus.” Each episode also featured a public service portion, in which the spinach-eating swabby would educate his nephews Peepeye, Pupeye, and Pipeye on topics such as home safety or sensible dieting. In one such segment, Popeye explained what a bad habit smoking was, and how he only used his pipe for “tooting” at the end of his theme song.
In 1980, the series was shortened to a half-hour and rechristened The Popeye and Olive Comedy Show. Two new segments were added: Prehistoric Popeye, which showed us a Cro-Magnon version of the sailor eating Jurassic spinach, and Private Olive Oyl, which chronicled the adventures of Olive and Alice the Goon as privates in the Army.
CBS decided to retire the beloved boatman in 1983. Popeye returned to Saturday morning once more, in 1987’s Popeye and Son, which lasted only one season. It would be unfair to say, however, that Popeye passed out of the limelight, since his presence is still felt today in cartoon reruns, continued merchandising, and even a fast food restaurant chain. “Strong to the finish,” indeed.
USA / CBS – Hanna-Barbera / x20 minute episodes / 9 September 1978 – 10 September 1983
Jack Mercer as Popeye
Marilyn Schreffler as Olive Oyl
Allan Melvin as Bluto
Daws Butler as Wimpy
Marilyn Schreffler as The Evil Sea Hag
Joanne Worley as Sgt. Blast
Hal Smith as Col. Crumb
Frank Welker as Dinky
Frank Nelson as Uncle Dudley
Julie Bennett as Monica
Jackie Joseph as Sandy
Combat Sheep (BBC-1 2001, Steve Coogan, Ronni Ancona)
One-off comedy film Combat Sheep detailed the comic adventures of four ex-army mascot sheep. Made using a mixture of live action and puppetry.
STEVE COOGAN as Harris
RONNI ANCONA as Peaches
MARK WILLIAMS as Moose
KEVIN ELDON as Cooper
CHRIS ELLISON as Detective Inspector Hindle
Writer: Tim Firth
Additional material: Peter Baynham and Graham Duff
Executive Producers: Steve Coogan, Henry Normal
Producer: Robert Howes;
Director: Dominic Brigstocke.
Network and Production Companies: BBC One – A Baby Cow Productions – Childrens Company
Duration: 1×30 minute episode
Aired From: 30 December 2001 at 5:35pm
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
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