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Skatebirds, The

USA



Original Air Date:
1977
Channel:
CBS
Prod. Co.:
Hanna Barbera
Genre:
Series
 

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Characters & Voices
Satchel - Bob Holt
Scooter - Don Messick
Scat Cat - Scatman Crothers
Knock Knock - Lennie Weinrib
 
The Skatebirds was the first children’s program to cash in on the skating craze that swept the nation in the late 70’s. Similar to The Banana Splits but minus the musical numbers, The Skatebirds combined live-action skits with a variety of cartoon shorts.

The hour-long show was hosted by a penguin, a pelican, and a woodpecker (Scooter, Satchel, and Knock Knock, respectively) who were constantly being chased by a feline named Scat Cat in comical sketches. Interspersed throughout the show were three cartoon shorts: The Three Robonic Stooges followed the adventures of Larry, Curly and Moe, who now had super powers. Wonder Wheels was about a motorcycle with human-like characteristics who helped solve crimes for his journalist owner, Willie (voiced by The Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz). The third animated short, Woofer and Wimper, Dog Detectives, was actually just selected reruns of Hanna-Barbera’s own Clue Club.

Much like The Banana Splits' live-action short Danger Island, The Skatebirds had their own short called Mystery Island. The segment told the continuing adventures of stranded scientists Chuck Kelly, Sue Corwin, and Sandy Corwin, who tried to keep their robot, PAUPS, out of the hands of the evil Dr. Strange.

In the fall of 1979, CBS decided to cut The Skatebirds down to a half-hour by rerunning old episodes and cutting out the Woofer and Wimper and Robonic Stooges segments. By this time, both animated shorts had already spun-off into their own show, The Three Robonic Stooges. The new, shorter Skatebirds ran off and on until January of 1981.
 
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In 1970, the star of a long-running soap opera comic strip (The Heart of Juliet Jones) married a man named Owen Cantrell.