While Saturday morning cartoons were the best way to survive the weekend – a nice big bowl of Froot Loops and 4 1/2 hours of animation while your parents slept – Sunday morning children’s fare was kinda hit and miss.
I shall explain.
In many cases, Sunday morning cartoon shows were essentially either Saturday morning programs that were pre-empted and rebroadcast for Sunday, or were old syndicated TV cartoons that aired over and over and over to the point of ad nauseum.
And then there were the Sunday-morning specific cartoon shows – the ones with a religious theme to them.
Now I’ve blogged about one of the greatest Sunday morning syndicated cartoon shows ever – Davey and Goliath – and I’ll hear no slander about that program.
However, I will share another Sunday morning cartoon series. And this one is … well … a bit of a program.
Let me introduce you to JOT.
Yes. This used to air on Sunday mornings. And boy, did it put the preach in preachy.
JOT was produced by the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission, and initially ran from 1965 to 1974. Like its counterpart Davey and Goliath, JOT was syndicated to whatever TV station would take it, and it essentially ran as part of a TV station’s Sunday morning fare.
The animation style is definitely low-budget, Jot essentially exists as an anthropomorphic circle with a face, detached hands and detached feet. The backgrounds are swirls and colors that look like they were send-hand backgrounds from an old UPA Studios collection. And the music sounds like stock Sunday School background tunes.
But this show wasn’t designed for old folks like me. This was designed for young preschoolers who could watch the show and get the word of the Lord broadcast right into their developing skulls.
And to say the show’s message was heavy-handed is clearly an understatement.
30 4-minute episodes were produced, and they are still as – shall we say – preachy as when they were first broadcast 60 years ago. Yikes.
No, seriously. Yikes.
JOT was pretty much a forgotten show, one of those things where you think you remember such a program being aired, but you’re not sure.
I will say this much, though – at least one modern cartoon series has put together a rather biting satire of the old JOT the Dot series.
Of course that program was Animaniacs. Because, who else?