I've talked a bit before about how the generation I grew up in was probably the last to have a good Saturday morning block of cartoons on several channels. (We were probably also the last to grow up at least partially without cable hookups and Internet). There's part of the Saturday Morning Cartoon experience I failed to mention though: The Public Service Announcement.
See, while we sat staring rapt at the screen in our pajamas with our bowls of sugary cereal in front of us, the folks who ran the networks were plotting to educate us! They wanted to teach us things that weren't taught in schools and they used our favorite characters to do so.
Most of these are either very narmy, disturbing, or both.
Even as a kid I thought this ad was a bit odd. I think it was the really awkward acting, or the fact that The Turtles were made up of recycled animation that doesn't match up from scene to scene. It's even weirder now because my adult logic says "Who runs around with four huge joints and just randomly offers them to people? That's a great way to get arrested." I think it's indicative of the fact that the people who make things like this have no idea how the drug game really works. See also: Reefer Madness
What a weird ad. Maybe if they had made a "Don't jack off in the back of porno theaters" PSA then Pee Wee would still have a career.
Lets go with another famous one. This one one doesn't have any notable kid's show characters, but it's still a great bit of fun:
You know what kids learn from ads like this? Hide your damn weed better!
Lets go even more retro:
I think it's meant to be scary but it seems to make a case for taking drugs rather than staying away from them.
"Gee Yogi, why is smoking so bad?"
"That's easy Boo-boo...it'll make your goddamn head come off!"
It seems like just about every kid-centric TV show and movie from the 70s to the 90s had some sort of lame PSA made with it's characters.
Case in point:
I wish they had made an episode where Lion-O got drunk and threw Snarf under a speeding bus. His voice makes me want to attack him with a ball peen hammer.
Ummm, yeah, thanks He-man! Always listen to strange men wearing fur underwear when they talk about your body.
Truthfully, I've never watched an episode of He-man or She-ra in my life, but the limited animation seems to give it a creepy uncanny valley vibe. Am I the only one that gets this from it?
Hooray for ruining Halloween by being over protective and creating unwarranted public panic! It also kind of pisses me off that they stole pieces of Garfield's Halloween Adventure. Way to take something awesome and make it lame!
And of course you can't talk about stupid PSA's aimed at kids without mentioning the infamous GI Joe spots:
Good wholesome safety tips for the whole family to take a note of!
Stay classy ya'll, and always eat your Gopher Cakes!: