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A Scott Pukos Pop-Ed: Power Ranking the Shows From My Childhood

You know that feeling you get when you recall a fond memory that you not only haven’t thought about in years, but may have flat-out forgotten? I’m not sure if this particular brand of nostalgia amnesia has a name, but it happened to me the other day.

I got Zoobilee Zoo-ed.

Allow me to explain.

I was scrolling through Facebook when I noticed a friend had liked a television show by the name of “Zoobilee Zoo.” Now, as a child, I watched Zoobilee Zoo a lot. But that name, those goofy characters, or that gloriously imaginative theme song hadn’t crossed my mind in … I’m not sure how long. A decade? More?

Seeing that name again flooded memories into my brain. Did I immediately rewatch the theme song?! Obviously.

Did you watch that?? How does it feel to have your mind blown?

I didn’t always feel comfortable while watching this in my youth — I’m pretty sure the characters of Zoobilee Zoo were responsible for 33 percent of my nightmares. As Childhood Scott would surely agree, those Zoo guys are a little creepy. But, look at the creativity teeming from that song — you don’t see a lot of that anymore. It’s something to appreciate, so cheers to you Zoobilee Zoo! (And hey, if that Justin Bieber guy wants to revive his career he could lobby for the role of Talkatoo Cockatoo in the not-at-all announced remake. #ObligatoryZinger).

This specific trip down YouTube memory lane got me thinking about all my other favorite childhood shows. In fact, let’s power rank them!

The Best

Batman: The Animated Series 
 “Mark Hamill is just known for being Luke Skywalker.” — Someone at my work the other day. 


Hamill also elevated the game of one of fiction’s most notorious villains with his voice work in Batman: The Animated Series. His Joker could turn from goof nugget to homicidal motherfucker in an instant.

And that’s just one of many reasons this show rocked. It was dark, cinematic and featured fantastic storytelling. It was the perfect prologue for children growing up in the 1990s before the main course later in life — Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy

Most Likely to Elicit a ‘Cowabunga!’

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
My first crush was April O’Neil. The red hair, the yellow jumpsuit* and a darn good journalist too — she had it all. Actually, I still may have a crush on her.

While April was awesome, she was still down the list of great things about this cartoon. For one, Shredder is underrated in the pantheon of villains. The dude is a badass. And I really wish I had access to a Shredder mask every time I have to brush snow off my car in sub-zero temperatures (or maybe I’ll just regrow my beard and call it The Shredder).

Also, I feel you can tell a lot about someone’s character by which turtle is their favorite. I’m a Michelangelo guy. Orange is my favorite color and Mikey is the class clown, really, it was a no brainer for me.

Special shoutout to the amazing video game duo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project

The One That Inspired the Theme of My Nursery School Birthday Party

The Real Ghostbusters 
There was a time when I thought the Bill Murray movie was based on this cartoon. Of course, Egon was also my favorite character. The moral, as always, is that I was/am weird.

Thanks to this fun cartoon, a legion of youngsters pledged to bust ghosts when they grew up. While my LinkedIn profile lists me as a one-time Ghostbuster, I sadly never fulfilled this career goal … yet.

The Main Reason Not to Stay Late at School

Perhaps the best story arcs out of anything on this list, this cartoon has better writing than a lot of shows today. As noted above, I would race home from school just for the afternoon Fox matinee of this, Batman and X-Men.

The Underrated Saturday Morning Gem

A few questions: Why wasn’t this more popular? Is there a remake (reboot) in the works? Can Netflix continue it’s awesomeness by streaming old episodes?

This show was creative and innovative. Also, I like to think at least a small portion of The Matrix was inspired by the adventures of Enzo and crew (there was even a character called Matrix!).

The Rest

Such a great theme song (like many on this list). I want to loop this intro music and make it my exercise playlist. I’m almost certain it’s how Wolverine works out.

Duck Tales 
Another underrated one. And another stellar theme! Bonus points for opening the door to one of my go-to quips (hint: It involves Scrooge McDuck’s pool of cold coins).

Fraggle Rock
“Dance your cares away” is still my motto to this day.

Ghost Writer
Mystery and writing: Two of my favorite things.

Read All About it 
I remember watching this in fifth grade, but never actually completing the entire series. It was like the wait between Lost episodes, except it lasts forever.

Captain Planet 
Someday I want to get a bunch of weird rings with a group of friends, yell “with our powers combined,” put the rings together, and see how things play out. I’m assuming mind-blowing things will ensue.

Family Matters. Full House. Boy Meets World. Fridays used to rule.

*My main request for 2014 is for the yellow jumpsuit look to make a comeback.
A Scott Pukos Pop-Ed: Power Ranking the Shows From My Childhood Reviewed by Scott Pukos on 1/24/2014 Rating: 5

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