It’s Saturday, which once meant cartoons, cooking shows and wrestling to me, but now it’s just a day when the bank has different hours, and more people are at the barbershop.
Saturday morning cartoons were almost like a religion to kids for about 40 years. The fact that this staple no longer exists leaves a huge void inside of my brain. I still find myself waking early, half expecting to turn on the set and partake in some old-fashioned viewing. Then it dawns on me that if I want to see those cartoons again, I have to pop in a DVD or go to You Tube… and that’s really not the same thing. The onslaught of ideas, the variety of concepts — all of that really served as a huge inspiration for my off-kilter mind. Saturday morning cartoons pretty much defined my sensibilities as an animator, much more so than I may ever understand.
Cooking shows on PBS were in the mid-day. I loved The Frugal Gourmet, Great Chefs, Yan Can Cook and anything else they threw at me. Good or bad, if it was food-related, I watched it all. And I learned! We did not have Food Network back then, and people were not as educated to the ways of eating as they are now. Things were a little more innocent. I watched and learned. I became a good cook because of these shows, and I am beyond grateful for that. The Frugal Gourmet, by far, was my biggest influence. Meeting him in 1993 was a really big thing for me.
Saturday used to also mean local wrestling, plus AWA, WWF and stars of the NWA on Superstation TBS. Most of my contemporaries looked at me like I had eight eyeballs when I would praise the virtues of “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant or Nick Bockwinkel, who I saw as incredibly talented and remarkable characters. It was a thing I had to savor alone, pretty much. And Saturday was when I would simply shut the world out and revel in all the pro wrestling action I could absorb. I didn’t have DVR or Tivo to hold my hand — I simply sat there and drank it all in, for hours at a time. Of course, I used this knowledge many times over the years, in and out of the wrestling business.
So, you can see, I once sat inside for an entire day and watched nothing but television, morning until night. Now, I might see 2 hours of broadcast television a week, if that. It’s funny how things change. But I sure miss that magical time when Saturday satisfied my every interest and inspired great things in me.