The Archie Show

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The Archie Show
The Archie Show.jpg
Format Animated
Comedy
Created by John Goldwater (comic)
Bob Montana (character designs)
Directed by Hal Sutherland
Starring Dallas McKennon
Howard Morris
Jane Webb
John Erwin
Composer(s) Ray Ellis
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 17
(two 11 min. segments per half hour)
Production
Producer(s) Norm Prescott
Lou Scheimer
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Filmation
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 14, 1968 (1968-09-14) – August 30, 1969 (1969-08-30)
Chronology
Followed by The Archie Comedy Hour

The Archie Show is a Saturday morning cartoon animated series produced by Filmation. Based on the Archie comic books, created by Bob Montana in 1941, The Archie Show debuted on CBS in September 1968 and lasted for one season. A total of 17 half-hour shows, each containing two 11 minute segments, were aired. Archie cartoons continued to be aired in various forms until 1978.

Overview[edit]

The show revolves around 17-year-old Archie Andrews and his teen-age pals from Riverdale High School including: his best friend, food fiend Jughead Jones; wise-cracking Reggie Mantle; beautiful, spoiled-rich brunette Veronica Lodge; and attractive, blonde, girl-next-door tomboy Betty Cooper.[1] On the show, the friends appeared as a pop rock band featuring Archie on lead guitar. The Archies had a real-life #1 hit single in 1969 with their song, "Sugar, Sugar", written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim.[1] Their songs have been covered by other artists. For instance Sugar, Sugar by Bob Marley (and many others); Get on the Line by The Sweet.

The Archie Show contained a laugh track, the first Saturday morning cartoon to do so[2] (using the success of The Archie Show as a template, nearly all cartoon series' would utilize laugh tracks until the early 1980s). Previous cartoon series', such as Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Flintstones and The Jetsons, had utilized laugh tracks. However, these shows were broadcast during prime time with the target audience being adults.

A typical episode started with the first Archie story, introduced by Archie and occasionally a different character. Next was a "dance of the week" segment starting with a teaser, then after the commercial break Archie introduced the dance, followed by the song of the week performed by The Archies. After that was a short joke followed by the 2nd Archie story. All 17 half hours were presented in this format.

Production[edit]

The Archie Show was designed to emulate the live-action series The Monkees by including rock music into each episode.[3] CBS asked songwriter Don Kirshner to develop this musical portion of the show. Kirschner created the song "Sugar, Sugar" and attempted to get the group The Monkees to perform it.[3] After the Monkees refused the song, Kirschner hired musician Ron Dante and vocalist Toni Wine to record the song.[3][4]

Voices[edit]

  • Dallas McKennon - Archie Andrews, Hot Dog, Mr. Weatherbee, Pop Tate, Mr. Lodge, Coach Kleats
  • Jane Webb - Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Miss Grundy, Big Ethel
  • John Erwin - Reggie Mantle
  • Howard Morris - Big Moose, Jughead Jones, Dilton Doily

Episode list[edit]

Title Airdate
1 "Episode 1A / Episode 1B" 1968·Jun·14
2 "The Added Distraction / Who Is Afraid of Reggie Wolf" 1968·Jun·21
3 "A Hard Day's Knight / Chimp Off the Old Block" 1968·Jun·28
4 "Beauty Is Only Fur Deep / The Disappearing Act" 1968·Jul·05
5 "The Prize Winner / The Circus" 1968·Jul·12
6 "Hot Rod Drag / Jughead's Double" 1968·Jul·19
7 "The Great Marathon / Field Trip" 1968·Jul·26
8 "Snow Business / Anchor's Away" 1968·Aug·02
9 "Way-Out Like West / Flying Saucers" 1968·Aug·09
10 "The Computer / Jughead 'Sampson' Jones" 1968·Aug·16
11 "Kids Day / Par One" 1968·Aug·23
12 "PFC Hot Dog / Groovy Ghosts" 1968·Aug·30
13 "Rocket Rock / The Old Sea Dog" 1968·Sep·06
14 "Jughead's Girl / Dilton's Folly" 1968·Sep·13
15 "Private Eye Jughead / Strike Three" 1968·Sep·20
16 "Reggie's Cousin / Cat Next Door" 1968·Sep·27
17 "The Jones Farm / Veronica's Veil" 1968·Oct·04

Music[edit]

The franchise's most notable effort was the music element in the form of the animated garage band, The Archies. With vocals provided by Ron Dante and Toni Wine, the fictional group released a series of real-life albums and singles. Their most successful song is "Sugar, Sugar", which stood at the top of the pop charts for four weeks in 1969. Sugar, Sugar became the number 1 song of 1969 on the Billboard charts. (There are also many songs, however, that only appeared on the show and its various spin-offs.)

A cover of Sugar, Sugar, performed by Mary Lou Lord with Semisonic, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.

The show's main composer Ray Ellis would later work on other Filmation projects (using the name of his wife, Yvette Blais).

Formats[edit]

  • The Archie Show (1968)
  • Archie and His New Pals (TV special; 1969)
  • The Archie Comedy Hour (1969) (all new material, now in an hour-long format, contains two Sabrina segments, one at the start of the show, and one at the end, with a new "The Funhouse" joke segment in the middle that is loosely based on Laugh-In, and contains such things as Sabrina's Magic Trick and Dilton Doily's Inventions; and contains a "Side Show" segment of one-liner jokes; followed by an Archies music segment)
  • Archie's Funhouse (1970) (expanded version of the previous season's "Funhouse" format, now featuring an audience of live-action kids and the "Giant Jukebox;" a music-heavy incarnation of the series, originally padded to one hour with repeats of The Archie Show segments)
  • Archie's TV Funnies (1971) (The gang runs a TV station, presenting a selection of cartoons featuring characters from the funny papers)
  • Everything's Archie (1973) (repeats of previously released material)
  • The U.S. of Archie (1974) (The gang interprets various events from American history)
  • The New Archie and Sabrina Hour (1977) (new Archie and Sabrina episodes plus repeats of previous material)
  • Hero High (1981), part of the Kid Superpower Hour with Shazam!, was to have featured Archie and the gang as superheroes; however, this series was altered at the last minute because Filmation's rights to the "Archie" characters had expired during production and was not renewed. [5]

The New Archie and Sabrina Hour was subsequently divided into The Bang-Shang Lalapalooza Show and Sabrina: Super Witch during its original network run. While the other Archie shows were on CBS, these shows were on NBC. It was later repeated in syndication, and on The Family Channel in a half-hour format as The Archie and Sabrina Surprise Package; this is the version offered by DreamWorks Classics, the current rightsholder for most Filmation programs, including The Archies franchise; the previous rightsholder, Entertainment Rights, was acquired by Classic Media in 2009, followed by DreamWorks Animation's purchase of Classic Media in 2012.

Collectively, most episodes of these series were later put into television syndication in 1976 as The Archies (excluding material produced for The New Archie and Sabrina Hour, which did not debut until a year later). Strangely, the music segments from "Comedy Hour" were missing in this syndication package.

In 2010, the show began airing on Retro Television Network.

Reception[edit]

Hal Erickson, author of Television Cartoon Shows, An Illustrated Encyclopedia described The Archie Show as "not what one could call inspired."[4] Erickson criticized the humor that was described as "executed in a fragmented fashion" and "made doubly obvious by the overuse of a canned laughtrack."[4]

Spin-offs[edit]

  • Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies (repeats of Sabrina plus the Groovie Goolies) (1970)
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1971–1974) (rebroadcast of Archie's Comedy Hour episodes, plus new episodes in its own dedicated timeslot.)
  • Groovie Goolies (1971) (rebroadcast of previous series in its own timeslot)
  • Sabrina, Superwitch (originally part of the aforementioned New Archie-Sabrina Hour) (1977)
  • Groovie Goolies and Friends (syndication package also featuring episodes from other Filmation series) (1978)

The "individual" versions of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Groovie Goolies (both first seen in 1971) are the versions that offered by Entertainment Rights.

DVD release[edit]

Single-disc DVD compilations featuring four episodes each were released in 2004. There were four volumes in all:

  • Archie & Friends Featuring The Archie Show includes three episodes of The Archie Show (#9, #3 and #5 as per Genius Entertainment's Complete Series DVD set; #9 has the song and dance segments substituted from #16). Also included is one episode of U.S. Of Archie ("The Star Spangled Banner") and a segment from The Archie Comedy Hour (from show #1, "Coke Machine," as per the Genius Entertainment Archie's Funhouse: The Complete Series DVD set).
  • Archie & Friends Featuring Sabrina The Teenage Witch includes three Sabrina half-hours ("Pet Shop"/"Funny Bunny," "Blue Whale"/"Football Game," and "Frankie"/"Beached"), one episode of U.S. Of Archie ("The Day Of The Ladies") and a segment from The Archie Comedy Hour ("Shadow Boxing" from show #1 as per Genius Entertainment's Archie's Funhouse: The Complete Series DVD set).
Archie and Jughead get a mouthful from Betty and Veronica in The Archie Show.
  • Archie & Friends Featuring Archie's TV Funnies includes three episodes of Archie's TV Funnies ("Riverdale Grand Prix Auto Race," "The Riverdale Air Circus," and "The Ghost Of Swedlow Swamp"), one episode of U.S. Of Archie ("The Wright Brothers"), and a segment from The Archie Comedy Hour ("Jughead Pulls Fire Hose" from show #3 as per Genius Entertainment's Archie's Funhouse: The Complete Series DVD set).
  • Archie & Friends Featuring Archie's Classic Cartoons includes one episode each of The Archie Show ("Rocket Rock"/"Par One"), The Archie And Sabrina Surprise Package ("Tops In Cops"), Archie's TV Funnies ("Flying Saucer"), U.S. Of Archie ("The Roughrider"), and a segment from The Archie Comedy Hour ("Telephone" from show #6 as per Genius Entertainment's Archie's Funhouse: The Complete Series DVD set).

On July 31, 2007, Genius Products released The Archie Show on DVD in Region 1 for the first time. According to the packaged booklet, the negatives for the dance (the "Drag")/song ("Hide and Seek") segment on the "Kids' Day/Jughead 'Sampson' Jones" episode were lost and had to be sourced from a mediocre video transfer; not even the PAL video transfers were available (many of Entertainment Rights' Region 1 Filmation releases are sourced from PAL-based video transfers, including this series). The video transfer is NTSC-based. In addition, the introduction to the dance segment which occurs before going to commercial is also lost, along with the "joke" segment featured between the weekly song and second Archie story.

On March 4, 2008, Genius Products released Archie's Funhouse on DVD in Region 1 for the first time.[6] Unlike the previous release however, there is no packaged booklet, and thus there is no additional information other than the bonus features contained on the discs. Additionally, while the original negatives for the Sugar Sugar video were found, the "Jingle Jangle" video was sourced from an NTSC-based video transfer (however, the negatives were recovered for two episodes of the show: episodes 15 and 16; all other episodes [including the "Funhouse" segments from The Archie Comedy Hour] were sourced from the PAL video masters). The 16 episodes themselves are presented in re-edited half-hour formats. Missing are brief bumpers and repeated segments from The Archie Show, already released in their own collection. The set also includes the TV special Archie And His New Pals and seven compilation episodes culled from The Archie Comedy Hour (but featuring Archie's Funhouse opening and closing titles). The seven compilation episodes account for the "Funhouse" and "Side Show" segments from 14 episodes of The Archie Comedy Hour. No other music segments from that season (apart from "Sugar, Sugar," "Jingle Jangle," and a performance of "Get On The Line" from Archie And His New Pals) are included. This leaves two original episodes of The Archie Comedy Hour unrepresented altogether; that season's original opening, closing and bumpers also are absent. Genius Entertainment released the Sabrina The Teenage Witch segments from that season on DVD as part of their own set on April 29, 2008.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Archie Show: The Complete Series 17 July 31, 2007
Archie's Funhouse: The Complete Series 16 March 4, 2008
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Animated Series 31 April 29, 2008

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b CD liner notes: Saturday Mornings: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  2. ^ 2007 Interview with Lou Scheimer from The Archie Show: The Complete Series (1968) DVD, Disc 2
  3. ^ a b c Erickson, 2005. p.92
  4. ^ a b c Erickson, 2005. p.93
  5. ^ Jim Hill Media: 2003-12-04
  6. ^ "tvshowsondvd.com". tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]