The Skatebirds

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The Skatebirds
Directed by Sidney Miller
Hollingsworth Morse
Charles A. Nichols
Chris Cuddington
Voices of Scatman Crothers
Bob Holt
Don Messick
Lennie Weinrib
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Terry Morse, Jr.
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network CBS
Original release September 10, 1977 (1977-09-10) – January 21, 1978 (1978-01-21)

The Skatebirds is a 60-minute Saturday morning live-action/animated package program produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and broadcast on CBS from September 10, 1977 to January 21, 1978.

Overview[edit]

The Skatebirds consisted of three large costumed birds on roller skates: Knock-Knock, a woodpecker (voiced by Lennie Weinrib); Satchel, a pelican (voiced by Bob Holt) and Scooter, a penguin (voiced by Don Messick); their nemesis was a cat named Scat-Cat (voiced by Scatman Crothers). The live-action sequences featuring The Skatebirds mostly revolved around the nasty Scat-Cat perpetually chasing the roller-staking trio and trying to get the best of them.

The show also featured four short segments introduced by live-action wraparounds with The Skatebirds which included three animated segments (The Robonic Stooges, Wonder Wheels and Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives) and a live-action segment (Mystery Island). The appearance of the characters and the show's format was similar to The Banana Splits Adventures Hour. Unlike its similar predecessor and most Saturday morning children's shows produced in the 1970s, The Skatebirds did not contain a laugh track.

The Skatebirds lasted a half-season in its original run from September 10, 1977 to January 21, 1978. In the fall of 1979, the show returned to CBS in a shortened half-hour version with Wonder Wheels and Mystery Island segments (The Robonic Stooges and Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives had been spun off into a separate half-hour) and broadcast on Sunday mornings until January 1981. In the late 1980s, a different half-hour version of The Skatebirds (featuring The Robonic Stooges and Wonder Wheels) was shown on USA Cartoon Express and later resurfaced on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.[1]

Opening and closing credits[edit]

The opening credits for the original one-hour version with voice-over narration by Wally Burr:

It's Skatebird time and here come The Skatebirds – Knock-Knock, Scooter, Satchel and Scat-Cat. Then, The Robonic Stooges, plus the spine-tingling suspense-filled excitement of Mystery Island, and the doggone it daffy doings of those dog detectives, Woofer & Wimper, and more...the unbelievable adventures of an unbelievable motorcycle, Wonder Wheels. For all-out fun, it's Satch, Knock-Knock, Scooter and Scat-Cat...and for suspense, mystery and adventure, it's The Skatebird Show!

The opening credits for the syndicated half-hour version with voice-over narration by Ronnie Schell:

It's Skatebird time starring Knock-Knock, Satchel and Scooter, those featheared clowns of fantasy. Along with Willie the Wheeler and the superhero cycle known as Wonder Wheels, as well as those three mechanical marbles, The Robonic Stooges. One big collection of wild, wacky and wonderful characters...The Skatebirds!

The music featured in the closing credits is the CB Bears theme which was also later used as the closing theme for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.

Segments[edit]

The Robonic Stooges[edit]

The characters of The Three Stooges – Moe (voiced by Paul Winchell), Larry (voiced by Joe E. Baker) and Curly (voiced by Frank Welker) – as clumsy crime-fighting bionic superheroes who are given assignments via film projector from their boss Agent 000 (voiced by Ross Martin) who runs the Superhero Employment Agency.

Episodes[edit]

  1. Invasion of the Incredible Giant Chicken (Sep-10-1977)
  2. Dimwits and Dinosaurs (Sep-17-1977)
  3. Fish and Drips (Sep-24-1977)
  4. Have Saucer Will Travel (Oct-01-1977)
  5. I Want My Mummy (Oct-08-1977)
  6. The Great Brain Drain (Oct-15-1977)
  7. Flea Fi Fo Fum (Oct-22-1977)
  8. Frozen Feud (Oct-29-1977)
  9. Mother Goose on the Loose (Nov-05-1977)
  10. Curly of the Apes (Nov-12-1977)
  11. Don't Fuel with a Fool (Nov-19-1977)
  12. The Eenie Meanie Genie (Nov-26-1977)
  13. On Your Knees, Hercules (Dec-03-1977)
  14. Rub a Dub Dub, Three Nuts in a Sub (Dec-10-1977)
  15. There's No Joy in an Evil Toy (Dec-17-1977)
  16. Three Little Pigheads (Dec-24-1977)

Wonder Wheels[edit]

Willie Wheeler (voiced by Micky Dolenz) is a high school journalist who solves crimes with the help of his shape-shifting superhero motorcycle, Wonder Wheels; whenever Willie goes into action, his beat-up motorcycle transforms itself into a pimped out version with a mind of its own.

Episodes[edit]

  1. Wonder Wheels in The County Fair (Sep-10-1977)
  2. Wonder Wheels and The Rustlers (Sep-17-1977)
  3. Wonder Wheels and The Skyscraper (Sep-24-1977)
  4. Wonder Wheels and The Gold Train Robbery (Oct-01-1977)
  5. Wonder Wheels and The Snowmen (Oct-08-1977)
  6. Wonder Wheels and The Vanishing Prince (Oct-15-1977)
  7. Wonder Wheels and The Ghost Town (Oct-22-1977)
  8. Wonder Wheels and His Double Trouble (Oct-29-1977)
  9. Wonder Wheels and The U.F.O. (Nov-05-1977)
  10. Wonder Wheels and The Hermits' Horde (Nov-12-1977)
  11. Wonder Wheels and The Air Race (Nov-19-1977)
  12. Wonder Wheels and The Animals (Nov-26-1977)
  13. Wonder Wheels and The Idol's Eye (Dec-03-1977)
  14. Wonder Wheels and The Race Horse (Dec-10-1977)
  15. Wonder Wheels and The Studio Steal (Dec-17-1977)
  16. Wonder Wheels and The Golden Globe (Dec-24-1977)

Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives[edit]

A shortened and re-titled version of Clue Club featuring two talking bloodhounds – Woofer (voiced by Paul Winchell) and Wimper (voiced by Jim MacGeorge) – who help solve mysteries with the teenage Clue Club detectives. The original half-hour episodes of Clue Club were cut-down to 10 minutes to showcase Woofer and Wimper as the show's main characters.

Episodes[edit]

  1. The Paper Shaper Caper (Sep-10-1977)
  2. The Case of the Lighthouse Mouse (Sep-17-1977)
  3. The Real Gone Gondola (Sep-24-1977)
  4. Who's to Blame for the Empty Frame? (Oct-01-1977)
  5. The Weird Seaweed Caper (Oct-08-1977)
  6. The Green Thumb Caper (Oct-15-1977)
  7. The Disappearing Airport Caper (Oct-22-1977)
  8. The Walking House Caper (Oct-29-1977)
  9. The Solar Energy Caper (Nov-05-1977)
  10. The Vanishing Train Caper (Nov-12-1977)
  11. The Dissolving Statue Caper (Nov-19-1977)
  12. The Missing Pig Caper (Nov-26-1977)
  13. One of Our Elephants Is Missing (Dec-03-1977)
  14. The Amazing Heist (Dec-10-1977)
  15. The Circus Caper (Dec-17-1977)
  16. The Prehistoric Monster Caper (Dec-24-1977)

Mystery Island[edit]

The adventures of a plane crew – Chuck (Stephen Parr), Sue (Lynn Marie Johnston), Sandy (Lary Volk) and their computer robot named P.O.P.S. (voiced by Frank Welker) – stranded on a remote island by the evil scientist Dr. Strange (Michael Kermoyan) who hopes to capture P.O.P.S. and use it in his quest for world domination.

Episodes[edit]

  1. A Matter of Gravity (Sep-10-1977)
  2. The Mind Blower (Sep-17-1977)
  3. Just Whistle for an Answer (Sep-24-1977)
  4. Sue's Courage (Oct-01-1977)
  5. Valley of Fire (Oct-08-1977)
  6. Sentinels of Time (Oct-15-1977)
  7. Who's Whom Here? (Oct-22-1977)
  8. Fate's Just a Dirty Trick (Oct-29-1977)
  9. Golden Birds of Prey (Nov-05-1977)
  10. Visitors from Falconia (Nov-12-1977)
  11. The Duel (Nov-19-1977)
  12. Kingdom of the Beasts (Nov-26-1977)
  13. P.O.P.S. in a Box (Dec-03-1977)
  14. Island of the Apes (Dec-10-1977)
  15. The Skull's the Clue (Dec-17-1977)
  16. Home Run (Dec-24-1977)

Broadcast history[edit]

Original CBS broadcast:

  • CBS Saturday Morning: September 10, 1977 – January 21, 1978
  • CBS Sunday Morning: September 9, 1979 – August 31, 1980 (rebroadcast)
  • CBS Sunday Morning: September 7, 1980 – January 25, 1981 (rebroadcast)

Broadcast schedules (all EDT):

  • September 10, 1977 – November 12, 1977, CBS Saturday 9:30-10:30 AM
  • November 19, 1977 – January 21, 1978, CBS Saturday 8:00-9:00 AM
  • September 9, 1979 – March 1980, CBS Sunday 7:30-8:00 AM
  • March 1980 – August 31, 1980, CBS Sunday 7:00-7:30 AM
  • September 7, 1980 – January 25, 1981, CBS Sunday 8:00-8:30 AM

Skatebirds cast[edit]

Live-action costumed actors[edit]

Voice actors[edit]

Production credits[edit]

  • Directed by: Sidney Miller ("Skatebirds" segments), Hollingsworth Morse ("Mystery Island" segments)
  • Written by: Sid Morse, Norman Camaron ("Skatebirds" segments)
  • Produced by: Terry Morse Jr.
  • Director of Photography: Dennis Dalzell
  • Cameraman: Gabriel Torres
  • Supervising Film Editor: Dick Elliott
  • Editors: Peter Berger, Warner Leighton, Peter Jennings
  • Assistant Film Editor: Barry Gold
  • Music Editors: Joe Sandusky, Ken Hall
  • Effects Editors: Gregory Watson, Terry Moore, Evelyn Rutledge, Rich Harrison, Cliff Kohlweck
  • Costume Coordinator: Charles De Moth
  • Make Up Artist: Robert Norin
  • Set Decorator: Leonard Mazzola
  • Property Masters: William Diets, William Hudson
  • "Robonic Stooges" Created by: Norman Maurer
  • Story Editors: Norman Maurer, Sid Morse
  • Story: Kathy Colburn, Tom Dagenais, Bill Daley, Dianne Dixon, Kari Oaurs, Andy Heyward, Chris Jenkyns, Mark Jones, Joan Maurer, Michael Maurer, Norman Maurer, Jack Mendelsohn, Howie Post, Cliff Roberts, Sandy Sandifer
  • Story Direction: Alvaro Arce, Carl Fallberg, Cullen Houghtaling, Mike O'Connor, Don Sheppard, George Singer, Karran Wright
  • Recording Director: Wally Burr
  • Voices: Joe E. Baker, Wally Burr, Henry Corden, Scatman Crothers, Susan Davis, Micky Dolenz, Ron Feinberg, Joan Gerber, Virginia Gregg, Bob Hastings, Bob Holt, Jane James, Ralph James, Casey Kasem, David Jolliffe, Jim MacGeorge, Ross Martin, Julie McWhirter, Allan Melvin, Don Messick, Marvin Miller, Alan Oppenheimer, Vic Perrin, Robert Ridgely, Ken Sansom, Ronnie Schell, Hal Smith, John Stephenson, Patricia Stitch, Tara Talboy, Janet Waldo, Lennie Weinrib, Frank Welker, Paul Winchell
  • Graphics: Iraj Paran
  • Musical Direction: Hoyt Curtin
  • Musical Supervision: Paul DeKorte
  • Character Design: Bob Singer, Norman Maurer, Lew Ott, George Wheeler
  • Special Graphics Design: Maria Dail, Dick Ung
  • Layout Supervision: Steve Lumley
  • Layout: Bob Fosbry, Terry Moesker, Joe Shearer, Mike Trebert
  • Backgrounds: Richard Zaloudek, Milan Zahorsky, Jerry Liew, Michael King-Prince, Peter Connell, Ken Wright, Michael Chojecki, Lesley Nicholl
  • Animation: Sue Speak, Cecil Collins, Rodney D'Silva, Dick Dunn, Peter Eastment, John Ellis, Warwick Gilbert, Gerald Grabner, Sebastian Hurpia, Greg Ingram, Richard Jones, Cynthia Leech, Paul McAdam, Henry Neville, Ray Nowland, Di Rudder, Michael Stapleton, John Tych, Kaye Watts
  • Assistant Animation Supervision: Paul Maron
  • Animation Checking: Narelle Nixon
  • Xerography: Ellen Bayley
  • Ink and Paint Supervision: Narelle Derrick
  • Production Managers: R.J. Louis, James Cranston
  • Production Coordinator: Tobi Singleton
  • Production Supervision: Doug Patterson, Mark D'Arcy-Irvine, Adrienne Smith
  • Art Director: Kirk Axtell
  • Assistant Directors: Marie Gisneros, Murray Schwartz
  • Second Assistant Director: Hal Bell
  • Script Supervisors: Mary Jane Ferguson, Lester Hoyle
  • Sound Direction: Richard Olson, Bill Getty
  • Sound Mixers: Manuel Topoto, James Pilcher
  • Animation Photography: Terry Smith, Carole Laird, Mark D'Arcy-Irvine, Kieren Mulgrew, Tom Epperson
  • Dubbing Supervision: Pat Foley
  • Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer
  • Post Production Supervision: Joed Eaton
  • Animation Directors: Charles A. Nichols, Chris Cuddington
  • Creative Producer: Iwao Takamoto
  • Associate Producer: Neil Balnaves
  • Executive Producers: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
  • A HANNA-BARBERA PRODUCTION
  • © 1977 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.

Other appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Skatebirds Series Overview at NYTimes.com, retrieved September 22, 2015.

External links[edit]