Cartoon Network is probably the coolest of all cable television channels. I'm talking full blown coolness, maxed out at Cool Level Four on the Scale of Cool, a full and equal tie with the likes of Star Wars. And the coolest part of this exceptionally cool station has got to be the commercials.

Yes, the commercials. I don't know who, exactly, is responsible for these things, but almost every promo spot made to hype Cartoon Network turns into something uniquely entertaining in itself. Unfortunately, while the channel and its spin-off stations seem almost obsessed with the preservation of each and every cartoon program ever aired, especially if it was created by Hanna-Barbera, there have been many, many promotional spots aired that are simply never repeated. There are new converts to Cartoon Networkism daily, and many will never have the chance to see the wonderful Birdman-orders-Avenger-to-get-coffee, bird-accidentally-presses-Doomsday-Button bit, which saw much airplay for about a year, but now is gone, missing from the airwaves, perhaps forever.

Damn it, CW's commercials deserve more recognition than Smurfs' Adventures! Thus, this node shall serve as a testimonial to the beloved CW commercials of months and years gone by.

Here are some of my favorites.

  • The one where Zan, the water-formed-one of the Wonder Twins, complains to his sister, bestial Jayna, that he ended up with the short end of the chromosome, super-power-wise. Jayna can turn into any animal, including alien ones (which basically means anything at all), while Zan is stuck with water forms, though he can assume the form of steam, vapor and ice. Zan turns into a bucket of water to prove his point, but adding insult to injury at the end of the spot, he is used by a janitor to mop the floor.
  • There was the commercial (still being aired) in which Fred Flintstone, Chicken (from Cow & Chicken) and Thundarr the Barbarian carpool in to Cartoon Network headquarters, but can't find a parking space. (It seems Papa Smurf has a reserved spot. Thundarr is disappointed.) Space Ghost offers to let them use his spot, but then he remembers he flew in to work today, "Silly me!" Eventually they race Speed Racer (carpooling with Scooby-Doo) to an empty spot, but at the last second they collide with Judy Jetson's hovercar, zeroing in on the same spot. One of the best things about this commercial is the extreme array of cartoon vehicles included in the background as throwaway detail.
  • Then there was the one where, at a Council of Doom meeting, Brainiac quite humbly petitions Lex Luthor for a pair of pants.
  • Remember this?
    "It's time to do that thing today...
    The Cartoon Network thing to do!
    So listen for that thing we say...
    For once you've done that special thing,
    It's the Cartoon Network, thing you did, today!
    The Cartoon Network thing... you did!
    (Love ya.)"
    You see the things that will be lost forever? Aren't you appalled?
  • Superheroes in a movie theater, trying to decide how to get popcorn and drinks on a five dollar bill, debating the various issues involved in dramatic superhero dialogue. Wonder Woman eventually breaks the crisis with: "This looks like a job for... a twenty!" All (heroically): "A TWENTY!"
  • Aquaman, standing in the middle of Cartoon Network headquarters, announces to the viewer at home that all cartoon stars are welcome at Cartoon Network, even he, because here, his underwater telepathy is considered a useful job skill. (He is still a little upset that Fred Flintstone gets more vacation time.)
  • Speaking of Aquaman, a recent spot has the Council of Doom (a lot of these spots focus on the Superfriends and their enemies, odd considering I don't think they are still being aired on CN), having captured Aquaman and Wonder Woman, getting beat up by pint-sized superhero newcomers, The Powerpuff Girls (who themselves are Cool Level Three and rising). They derisively refer to the three girls as the "Powderpuff Girls," which just sets them right off. After a very bizarre and hilarious five-second action scene, the villains are a crumpled pile and Wonder Woman is remarking to the Powerpuffs that they're developing into great superheroes. Bubbles innocently responds "In a few years, we'll even be as developed as you!" Two seconds of silence. Then the crumpled Council of Doom starts laughing their heads off while Wonder Woman fidgets and tries to cover her breasts.

Of course, there are more. Cartoon Network also produces brilliant animated segments to fill odd pieces of airtime, such as the Jabberjaw grunge music video ("Me and my friends get no respect / What did Scooby-Doo that we neglect?" Damn it, that's so cool, and the original show wasn't even that great!) and the Quick Draw McGraw/El Kabong piece with the Mexican music score (ditto). How come so many raved over MTV's spots, but I've heard no one squawking parrotlike about CN?

In closing, yes, I realize that I sound like an utter dork, filling two pages with reminisces of beloved Cartoon Network commercials. But in this case, I do not care. They're that good! With God as my witness, they're that good.

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