The Popeye Show

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The Popeye Show
Format Animated, Anthology series
Directed by Paul Rudish
Voices of Bill Murray
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 45 (135 segments)
Production
Producer(s) Barry Mills
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Walt Disney Television Animation
Distributor Buena Vista International Television
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run November 19, 2001 (2001-11-19) – July 20, 2003 (2003-07-20)

The Popeye Show is a cartoon anthology series that premiered on November 11, 2001, on Cartoon Network. Each episode would include three unedited Popeye theatrical shorts from Fleischer Studios and/or Famous Studios. The show was narrated by Bill Murray (not to be confused with the film actor), who would give the audience short facts about the history of the cartoons as filler material between each short. Animation historian Jerry Beck served as a consultant and Barry Mills served as writer and producer. A total of 45 episodes were produced, consisting of a total of 135 shorts.

Significance[edit]

Prior to the premiere of The Popeye Show, most television airings of theatrical Popeye cartoons bore the logos of Associated Artists Productions, the company that bought the films from Paramount Pictures for television distribution. This is due to the films having been sold in the 1950s, when most movie studios did not want to be associated with television. As a result, A.A.P. was required to replace the original Paramount logos with their own. For The Popeye Show, efforts were made to present these films as close to their original theatrical form as possible: some of the cartoons shown were copies that actually had their original Paramount titles intact, while others needed to have their original titles simulated through the process of digital video editing.

The show focused mostly on the Fleischer Popeye shorts and early Famous Studios shorts that were originally filmed in black-and-white. For all episodes, the first two shorts were from this era. Sometimes the third cartoon would be a color cartoon from Famous Studios, but on many occasions an entire episode would entirely be made of black-and-white cartoons. While selecting the color entries that would air, the only ones that were initially selected were those that were in the Turner vaults with their original titles. The only color cartoons to have their original titles recreated were those shown in the last episode of Season 3, and all episodes of Season 4.

In season 1, an original copy of Popeye, The Ace of Space (1953) with its original titles was shown for the first time on TV. This particular cartoon was originally shown in 3D, and therefore had a unique opening sequence.[1] It also had a unique ending sequence that was not shown on syndication prints because it involved the Paramount logo being formed from the smoke of Popeye's pipe. The black and white short The Hungry Goat (1943) was kept from being shown in earlier seasons because it required extra attention to recreate the ending as close to original as possible. The original ending involved Popeye's nemesis in the short, a goat, laughing at Popeye while watching the end of the very cartoon they were in, and, like The Ace of Space, involved the Paramount logo.

The 1945 short Tops in the Big Top, which did not open with the standard Popeye theme music, but had a rendition with a circus theme, had its original soundtrack restored for the program. Similarly, a version of W'ere On Our Way to Rio (1944) was prepared with the opening soundtrack restored, but the show was cancelled before it could be included in any episodes.

Controversy[edit]

Two episodes from Season 1 were initially skipped, and did not make their TV debut until reruns. The reason was because the two episodes had cartoons that the executives at Cartoon Network would not pass for unedited airings. Episode #10 was originally supposed to have Popeye the Sailor, which was a Betty Boop cartoon in which Popeye makes his theatrical debut. This particular cartoon had a scene at the carnival where Popeye and Bluto play a ball-toss game where the target is an African American stereotype. Episode #11 had the short Happy Birthdaze, in which Popeye murders his Navy buddy Shorty in a scene that is usually cut from TV broadcasts. When Episode #10 finally aired, I Eats My Spinach replaced Popeye the Sailor, while Episode #11 aired with no changes made, and Happy Birthdaze was shown uncut.

A later episode featured an unedited version of the World War II themed Spinach Fer Britain (1943), a cartoon in which Popeye battles Nazis. This particular cartoon is rarely shown outside of any scheduled airings of The Popeye Show.

Episode guide[edit]

Below is an episode guide for The Popeye Show.[2] All episodes are listed in production order. There were a few occasions where episodes were skipped and therefore did not air in their proper order.

Season 1: 2001-2002[edit]

Episode # Shorts Featured Original Air Date
1
  • Can You Take It
  • Me Musical Nephews
  • Olive Oyl for President
11/19/2001
2
  • Sock-a-Bye Baby
  • The Jeep
  • Fightin' Pals
11/26/2001
3
  • The Spinach Overture
  • It's The Natural Thing to Do
  • Hill-billing and Cooing
12/2/2001
4
  • Goonland
  • Wotta Nitemare
  • Pipeye, Pupeye, Poopeye an' Peepeye
12/9/2001
5
  • Cops is Always Right
  • Hello, How Am I?
  • Robin Hood-Winked
12/16/2001
6
  • Shiver Me Timbers
  • Alona on the Sarong Seas
  • Insect to Injury
12/23/2001
7
  • The Man on the Flying Trapeze
  • I Yam Love Sick
  • She-Sick Sailors
12/30/2001
8
  • A Dream Walking
  • Organ Grinder's Swing
  • Cops is Tops
1/6/2002
9
  • The Hyp-Nut-Tist
  • Child Psykolojiky
  • Cartoons Ain't Human
1/13/2002
10
  • I Eats My Spinach
  • Little Swee'Pea
  • Poopdeck Pappy
1/20/2002
11
  • Vim, Vigor and Vitaliky
  • Happy Birthdaze
  • Abusement Park
2/3/2002
12
  • Choose Your Weppins
  • Mutiny Ain't Nice
  • Kickin' the Conga Round
2/10/2002
13
  • Never Kick a Woman
  • Shakespearean Spinach
  • Popeye, the Ace of Space
2/24/2002

Season 2: 2002-2003[edit]

Episode # Shorts Featured Original Air Date
14
  • What - No Spinach?
  • Lost and Foundry
  • Popeye Presents Eugene the Jeep
10/29/2002
15
  • Strong to the Finich
  • Nurse Mates
  • Quiet! Pleeze
11/06/2002
16
  • Beware of Barnacle Bill
  • Wimmin is a Myskery
  • Olive's Boithday Presink
11/13/2002
17
  • I Yam What I Yam
  • The Football Toucher Downer
  • I'll Never Crow Again
11/20/2002
18
  • Hospitaliky
  • Me Feelins is Hurt
  • The Mighty Navy
12/03/2002
19
  • Blow Me Down
  • The Twisker Pitcher
  • Nix on Hypnotricks
12/10/2002
20
  • Hold the Wire
  • Ghosks is the Bunk
  • Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix
1/14/2003
21
  • Adventures of Popeye
  • Stealin' Ain't Honest
  • Many Tanks
1/21/2003
22
  • Let's You and Him Fight
  • Onion Pacific
  • Baby Wants a Bottleship
1/28/2003
23
  • Pleased to Meet Cha
  • Let's Celebrake
  • A Hull of a Mess
2/4/2003
24
  • A Clean Shaven Man
  • Protek the Weakerist
  • Spinach fer Britain
2/11/2003
25
  • Brotherly Love
  • Popeye Meets William Tell
  • Too Weak to Work
2/18/2003
26
  • I Wanna be a Lifeguard
  • Puttin' on the Act
  • Wood-Peckin'
2/15/2003

Season 3: 2003-2004[edit]

Episode # Shorts Featured Original Air Date
27
  • We Aim to Please
  • Learn Polikeness
  • Shape Ahoy
10/28/2003
28
  • King of the Mardi Gras
  • Popeye Meets Rip Van Winkle
  • A Haul in One
11/10/2003
29
  • Axe Me Another
  • Never Sock a Baby
  • Peep in the Deep
11/24/2003
30
  • Morning, Noon and Night Club
  • Flies Ain't Human
  • Parlez Vous Woo
12/08/2003
31
  • Seasin's Greetinks
  • Doing Impossikible Stunts
  • Wigwam Whoopee
2/2/2004
32
  • Dizzy Divers
  • A Date to Skate
  • Assault and Flattery
2/9/2004
33
  • The Two-Alarm Fire
  • Females is Fickle
  • A Wolf in Sheik's Clothing
2/16/2004
34
  • The Dance Contest
  • Customers Wanted
  • Out to Punch
2/23/2004
35
  • For Better or Worser
  • The House Builder Upper
  • Symphony in Spinach
3/02/2004
36
  • The Spinach Roadster
  • Ration fer the Duration
  • A Job for a Gob
3/09/2004
37
  • Shoein' Hosses
  • Plumbing is a Pipe
  • Alpine for You
3/16/2004
38
  • I Likes Babies and Infinks
  • Pest Pilot
  • Mister and Mistletoe
3/23/2004
39
  • Fowl Play
  • Fleets of Stren'th
  • A Balmy Swami
3/30/2004

Season 4: 2005-2006[edit]

Episode # Shorts Featured Original Air Date
40
  • I Never Changes My Altitude
  • Wimmin Hadn't Oughta Drive
  • The Marry-Go-Round
3/30/2005
41
  • Wild Elephinks
  • The Hungry Goat
  • Tops in the Big Top
4/06/2005
42
  • The Paneless Window Washer
  • Big Chief Ugh-Amugh-Ugh
  • Moving Aweigh
4/13/2005
43
  • Bridge Ahoy
  • Leave Well Enough Alone
  • Pitchin' Woo at the Zoo
5/03/2005
44
  • I-Ski Love-Ski You-Ski
  • Bulldozing the Bull
  • Spinach Packin' Popeye
12/24/2005
45
  • You Got Christmas Football Hero
  • Olive's Sweepstake Ticket
  • The Anvil Chorus Girl
1/1/2006

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]