A lightweight question as the weekend approaches: if people were still making prime-time shows into concurrently-running Saturday morning cartoons, the way they did with The Dukes of Hazzard or Laverne and Shirley or Punky Brewster, then what shows would you choose to be made into cartoons, what would be the wacky premise, and who would be their cute animal sidekick?
– Mad Men: The evil wizard and advertising mogul Pryceo and his cat Madison (voiced by Frank Welker) wants to take over the only advertising agency he does not yet control: Sterling Cooper. Fortunately, the good wizard Papa Bert creates a magical cloak that makes it impossible for the bad guys to find their agency. But Don Draper, Betty and their pals can’t resist leaving the agency and going outside into early ’60s New York. Look for Ann-Margret to reprise her Flintstones role as Ann-Margrock in episode 3.
– The Big Bang Gang: There’s no show that lends itself more to a Saturday morning cartoon adaptation. Hell, the characters have already had a time machine in their apartment, even though it didn’t work. When Sheldon rigs the time machine so it will actually work, the clutzy fighting of Howard and Raj accidentally sets it off and gets the whole gang trapped in an endless time-loop, along with Penny’s talking cat Cheesecake (voiced by Frank Welker).
– Bones: In this animated version, Booth and Bones are among lots more bones, because they live in prehistoric times, in the dinosaur age! Cavemen come to them, asking them to use their mystery-solving skills to solve scary mysteries: it seems that giant lizards are trying to scare away the dinosaurs. But don’t worry: Booth, Bones, and their baby Stegosaurus sidekick Steggo (voiced by Frank Welker) discover that it’s just a Tyrannosaurus disguised as a giant lizard.
– Being Erica: Pretty much the same as the current version except that instead of being sent back in time by a psychiatrist, Erica meets a blue goat named Grogar (voiced by Frank Welker) who magically sends her back to learn lessons about Canadian history. Episode 1: Erica meets Mary Pickford.
– Cougar Town: Courteney Cox and whoever else can take time off to do the voice is transported to the real Cougar Town, where cute baby cougars — all of whom are female — sing songs, play games, and occasionally maul intruders. Told in serialized 15-minute instalments, where the cougars’ new human friends help them fend off attacks from the wicked cougar-hunter Pelto and his magical, evil dog Skinny (voiced by Frank Welker). The other 15 minutes of each episode are taken up by Modern Family Adventures: every week the adults make a mess of one of the three houses, and have to clean it up before the kids get back.
– Lost… in Space!: This one pretty much speaks for itself. Except that half the cast is replaced with animals (voiced by Frank Welker). Plus the addition of The Monster, the wacky blue-haired sidekick who keeps almost falling off the floating island at the end of every episode.
– Saturday Morning Lights, where the characters take time off from football practice to play groovy music in their band, including their hit song “Pounce Like a Panther, Baby.” When they’re not playing the tunes or running circles around their inept football opponents, they’re solving the many jewel thefts that occur in a small Texas town.
Other suggestions would be welcome. For a primer on how to make one of these spinoffs, someone has uploaded a full episode of Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, featuring three characters from the original show, those Hanna-Barbera “zap” sound effects, and a dog voiced by… wait for it… Frank Welker.
Rest of the episode after the jump: