Friday, December 7, 2012

Hogan's Heroes: Rick Springfield

Okay, this one might be stretching the "Heroes" part of these headers a bit, but indulge me.

In the early 70's the big thing in Saturday morning kid shows was to throw in some pop music, presumably to get older sisters to watch (I was an only child and cannot vouch for this.) Certainly the animation company Filmation was on board with this, having had their licensed cartoon "The Archie Show" produce a #1 hit single with "Sugar, Sugar" in 1969. Filmation was big on licensing stuff, and in 1972 they produced the animated Brady Bunch spinoff "The Brady Kids". The following year they made a spinoff of their spinoff using a couple characters from the episode "Teachers Pet". "The Brady Kids" had been weird enough, with the titular brood hanging out with a magical mynah bird and a twin pair of panda cubs, but it had nothing on it's follow up "Mission: Magic!".

"Mission Magic" featured a teacher named "Miss Tickle" who ran secret meetings for her students called "The Adventurers Club". You can be excused for thinking that this sounds sketchy as all get out, but rather than being a sexual predator, Miss Tickle was a kind of magical witch type (This still sounds close to what Jack Chick's religious tracts used to warn us about public education.). Anyhoo, each week Miss tickle would round up her ethnically diverse cluster of students for a special learning session that would start by receiving a message through a magical gramophone from...RICK SPRINGFIELD!

This used to confuse the crap out of me as a kid because although it was clear he was supposed to be a real person, I had no idea who the hell he was. (Most of America was in the same boat.) I could only presume that the real Rick Springfield was some kind Australian who sang songs and probably didn't really live in an alternate magical dimension with a blue owl on his shoulder and have adventures with witch teachers and their students who arrived in said dimension through a magical door drawn on a chalkboard. (I mean I was just guessing. I didn't know a lot about rock stars and what they got up to at that point in my life.)

Flash forward 8 years and Springfield has a #1 single with "Jessie' Girl". While lady folk like my wife were all "Hey, it's Dr Noah Drake from General Hospital!" I was all "Hey, it's that cartoon magic dimension owl guy!"

Here's the catchy theme song:

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of "Mission Magic". HOW THE HELL IS THAT POSSIBLE