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Monday, October 17, 2011

Artifacts From 1983: Scott Baio and the Dukes of Hazzard Meet Puppets from an Acid Trip

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge sc_13_1983cbssaturdaymorningpreviewspecial.jpg

In 1983, these things were true: CBS had new cartoons, many based on video games. Their live-action The Dukes of Hazzard was a hit with kids. Sid & Marty Krofft produced TV specials. Scott Baio of Happy Days (on rival ABC!) never turned down a paycheck.

On Sept. 14, they all collided in The CBS Saturday Morning Preview Special.

The story: Baio runs a disco in Hazzard County, and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (James Best) and Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) mug at the camera while making subverbal sounds. There, that's the story. Paddy Chayefsky, this ain't.

A neckbearded Krofft puppet introduces Baio, who in turn introduces the new Donkey Kong cartoon, under the Saturday Supercade aegis.

The (ahem) best moment: Roscoe interrogates a U2-loving Valley Girl.

Neckbeard introduces Donkey Kong Jr, Q-Bert and Frogger. This made some kind of sense in 1983.

Baio lip-syncs a song called "Some Girls," though the future Bob Loblaw is vague about which girls like to do what all night, or if he has sufficient jam.

A breath of fresh air: Not even a #?*! laugh track can kill the brilliance of Peanuts.

We all remember Benji, Zax & the Alien Prince, right? Don't we? Hello?

Baio describes Dungeons & Dragons as a "spine-tingler," adding: "Watch it -- if you dare!" Uh-huh. Also, is it just me or is the unicorn kinda hot? (On second thought, don't answer that.)

I don't know what a "bow-rouser" is, but an increasingly embarrassed Baio says The Biskitts is one.

Last and possibly least: The Dukes cartoon, which would be off the air two months later.

James Best dances with a thong on his head as the credits roll, and the weary announcer slurs the words "Dungeons & Dragons."

But hey, that Bugs Bunny special coming up next sounds great!

Sherilyn Connelly is a San Francisco-based writer. She also curates and hosts Bad Movie Night at The Dark Room, every Sunday at 8pm.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF (follow Sherilyn Connelly on Twitter at @sherilyn) and like us on Facebook.
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