|Fox’s first Saturday morning cartoon was the brainchild of comedian Howie Mandel. Spiky-haired Bobby Generic (accent on the first syllable) was a four-year-old with a vivid imagination, escaping into his own “Bobby’s World” when the real world was too weird to understand. Helping make it weirder were Bobby’s eccentric family—big-haired dad Howie, calm mother Martha, obnoxious older brother Derek, and whiny sister Kelly. The only human in the family who seemed to understand Bobby was loudmouthed traveling salesman Uncle Ted. Bobby found more sympathy in the animal world, with his sheepdog Roger and stuffed spider Webbly joining Bobby’s imaginative adventures.
Howie Mandel appeared in live-action segments at the beginning and end of each show. At the beginning, he explained the problem Bobby would be facing that day, then transformed into the Howie Generic character. At the end, the live-action Howie would chat with his four-year-old cartoon buddy about what they had learned.
Though the problems facing Bobby were often adult-sized (one episode dealt with a death in the family), the perspective was always Bobby’s. The imaginative series was an early hit for the young Fox network, helping anchor its Saturday morning schedule for several years before moving into the weekday lineup.