We didn’t have a tv when I was a kid. I distinctly recall specific illicit, tantalizing, and unplanned morsels caught here and there: an incomprehensible early-morning Scooby Doo with the sound off at my grandparents’ house; Transformers on the counter at a gas station in Arizona, seen while passing through on a family vacation; Star Trek on a screen in the lounge area of a ferry; Mork & Mindy on a black and white set in the tiny electronics section of the grocery (I even remember the line, delivered as Mork contacts his boss Orson: “Come in, your jelly-belly-ness…”).
But occasionally there were supervised viewings at the neighbors’ house of two particular shows: The Flying House and Superbook. In retrospect, the shows were indeed as odd as they seemed at the time. Both were collaborations between a pair of odd bedfellows: the Tatsunoko Production Co., best known in the US for Speed Racer (1967) and Robotech (1985), and CBN, best known for The 700 Club.
Flying house intro, circa 1982:
The detail you don’t get from the song (an eerie amalgam of a dozen sitcom themes from the period) is that they’ve landed in the New Testament.
Superbook (1981, and again in 1983) is less oblique:
But the following video is the real gem here. The cultural details are fascinating.
Superbook Behind The Scenes, 1981:
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