Here we have the beloved Bod Squad bringing us quick, healthy tips in the form of catchy jingles guaranteed to bore a hole into your brain. These clips were all over ABC Saturday mornings of the early to late 80s and are among the most memorable PSAs of that generation. Sort of ironic, but there's obviously no sitting around watching Saturday morning TV for these Bod Squad kids, as we always see them playing various sports... at least that's what they're doing in the last couple of seconds of each of their PSAs. Who's to say what they did when the cameras stopped rolling? Probably something healthy, though, if I were guessing. What am I rambling about? In addition to the sports scene, each Bod Squad clip ends with a Bod Squadder jumping from a pile of fruits and veggies to form the ABC Bod Squad logo, while a voice tells us we're seeing 'Another nutritional message from the ABC television network.'
1. 'Yuck Mouth' - Scatman Crothers of 'Hong Kong Phooey' and 'The Shining' fame (how's that for a broad range of work) voices the nasty-looking dude named Yuck Mouth who drops this bombshell: If you don't brush your teeth, you too will be a Yuck Mouth. I took him at his word.
2. 'The Munchies' - Watch out for these jerks. They will force-feed you, make you fat, then laugh in your chubby face. If you encounter them, shoot to kill.
3. 'Quickfast' - Man, this is one catchy tune. And I've always had a soft spot in my heart for cartoon food with humanistic qualities. I think there's something a tad sadistic about telling kids to eat food that looks so darn friendly and full of life. Seriously. It's why to this day I cannot eat California raisins.
4. 'Nutty Gritty' - Scatman again, with a recipe for a quick and healthy snack. A lot of folks vividly recall the end of this one, with its repetitive 'Join the Bod Squd, Join the Bod Squad.' Some swear to me they remember it being accompained by credits at some point in time, but I've yet to see the evidence.
In addition to the Bod Squad clips, I've included three other old-school Saturday morning mainstays here that were obviously created by the same folks responsible for the 'Bod Squad,' though they're technically not part of that series. But don't think that just because they were left out of the 'Squad' that they're not cool, or something. Because they are very, very cool.We get the same 'Another nutritional message...' spiel at the end of these, only in text form.
1. 'The Chopper' - One of my favorites. Arthur Fonzarelli look-alike Chopper reminds us that exercising our teeth is just as important as the rest of our body. As a kid I was certain The Chopper and The Fonz were one in the same and was quite puzzled as to why the other three dudes in this clip didn't look more like Potsie, Ritchie and Malph. Speaking of which, looks like the curly-headed guy on the end could stand a few push-ups. He should visit Peoria.
2. 'Make a Saturdae' - When things are gloomy stick a banana in a pineapple ring, add creamy yogurt and a grape and things will be much better. One wonders what Freud might have to say about this one. One should get his mind out of the gutter. You know who you are.
3. 'Don't Drown Your Food' - Louis the Lifeguard, voiced by Arnold Stang, (though I always thought he sounded like another Arnold... Horseshack) in his one-and-only appearance warning us that too many condiments can suffocate your food. The anguish on the face of that potato and the other drowning delictables is enough to tug at the heartstrings of even the most blatant mayo addict. Or it could just lead you to using even more condiments than before -- so you don't have to look at those pitiful faces when you eat them.