While searching for something worth watching on Netflix over the weekend, I ran across old episodes of “Fat Albert and The Cobsy Kids.” I remembered watching the show as I kid, so I thought it might be fun to watch it again. I was right—it was fun.
Looking at the show with adult eyes proved to be somewhat educational. I never realized 30 years ago or so—when I used to watch Fat Albert—that creator Bill Cosby was sneaking in moral lessons.
If I would have known that, I probably never would have never watched it.
Growing up, Saturday mornings were for sprawling on the living room floor with a bowl of sugary cereal sure to rot your teeth while watching cartoons sure to rot your brain—not for learning how to be a better person.
My daughter, a far more sophisticated kid than I ever was, watched Fat Albert with me on Netflix and had to know she was being clandestinely lectured to. She liked the show, anyway—I can’t seem to figure out kids these days.
Seeing that old show after all these years made me a little nostalgic and started me thinking of “Schoolhouse Rock,” those animated short films that originally ran on Saturday mornings on ABC from 1973 to 1985.
I went on youtube to see how many I could find and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could still sing along with most—almost word for word. Like Fat Albert, these are things I hadn’t watched in years.
I can’t say that “Schoolhouse Rock” did very much to teach me mathematics or good grammar—growing up around Ferriday made the latter somewhat problematic—but it’s at least responsible for me being able to recite, or rather sing, the preamble to the Constitution.
It’s fun to watch “Schoolhouse Rock” today to revel in how politically incorrect they are in an era in which kids are brainwashed with global warming and other progressive nonsense through television programming. These little musical cartoon would never be allowed today.
Take a little time to look at a few of these old animated, rockin’ civics lessons that taught American history and instilled love of country in unsuspecting innocents of a different time:
This next one wouldn’t be shown today of no other reason than the way seeing American colonists turn Boston Harbor brown by dumping tea into it would make environmentalists cringe—let alone the way it portrays original tea partiers in a positive light and teaches kids that it’s possible to be overtaxed by government:
And this little ditty that ends with the words, “God bless America, let freedom ring,” being allowed by ABC these days? Shudder the thought:
This one about the Declaration of Independence taught kids that there could be fireworks when governments deny people life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness— the last one is demonstrated by a sexist colonialist chasing a woman who doesn’t seem to mind being pursued:
I think teaching about our government by likening it to a three-ring circus is even more relevant today than when I was growing up.
This one should be sent to President Obama, who recently has been scheming with Democratic governors on the best way to get around Congress, to teach him about the checks-and-balances system:
This post wouldn’t be complete without what I think might be the most remembered “Schoolhouse Rock” short, which taught how laws are made.
It’s nice to think about it working this way by starting with people at home instead of with a president pushing laws down the people’s collective throat, like with Obamacare.
I still think it should happen the way it does in the cartoon. Maybe a few of the things I learned while watching Saturday morning cartoons did me a little good, after all.
C’mon and sing along you 30 to 40-somethings—you know that you want to: