With the enormous success of MTV in the early 80s, it was only a matter of time before Saturday morning programming took advantage of the power of music video and worked it into a live action/animation hybrid. They called their creation Kidd Video.
Debuting on NBC in 1984, Kidd Video showcased a group of teen rock stars consisting of Kidd (or “KV” to his friends) and his cohorts, Carla, Ash and Whiz (the latter portrayed by the Brady Bunch’s own Cousin Oliver, Robbie Rist). Conversely, the conniving Master Blaster, a business man with his sites set on stealing their groovy sound, managed to occasionally suck Kidd and his group into the alternate cartoon universe, Flipside. Luckily, a fairy named Glitter came to their aid, and in each episode, assisted the gang in trying to find a way back to the real world. Meanwhile, Master Blaster patrolled the skies in his giant flying jukebox and employed a group of kitty henchmen called The Copycats. Composed of Fat Cat, She Cat and Cool Kitty, the group set out to steal the hit-making sound of Kidd Video.
But that’s only the half of it. Interspersed between all the action were weekly Top-40 hits that were often worked into the plot. The teens might just be instructed to “rock down to Electric Avenue” for example – pretty much whatever it took to incorporate the animated music videos of such artists as Madonna, Duran Duran, and any other musical act that happened to be popular at the time.
Kidd Video found surprising success in its Saturday morning surroundings. After three seasons on NBC, the series moved to CBS, although without any new episodes. Then, in 1989, the group appeared again as part of the Wolf Pack Power Hour (kids’ television has always held an affinity for Power Hours, it would seem). For this go-around, they shared air time with another rockin’ cartoon, Wolf Rock TV. While the Kidd Video sequences were still all repeats, this time around they no longer had the rights to the original music, so new tunes had to be added to fill in the gaps.
If you have fond memories of following Kidd and the gang each week, not to mention keeping abreast of all the latest musical hits through this beloved show, we welcome all your thoughts in our comments section.