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A short-lived entry in the sweepstakes that is Saturday Morning Cartoons in America1, the C.O.W.Boys aired on ABC in the 1992-1993 seasons. The thin setup was, a comet had collided/interacted with a chunk of the desert, pulling up a huge mesa, and giving humanoid consciousness and characteristics to the critters living there.

Beyond that, all bets were off, and this cartoon has a small but devoted fan base2. First bit -- the title. C.O.W. stands for the "Code Of the West", the amorphous, ill-defined set of standards distilled from a million westerns. Things like, "The schoolmarm is pretty, pure, and needs protection", "Always treat your neighbor with respect," etc. However, as the series progressed, the Code Of the West was revealed to contain just about anything that Marshall Moo wanted it to.

Marshall Moo? Yup. You had this bovine lawman, his sidekicks the Cowlorado Kid and the Dakota Dude3 You had bad guys by the score, including a pair of ne'er-do-wells who started life as a buzzard and a scorpion. You had every Western cliche ever, in two seasons, performed by crudely animated anthropomorphic bipedal cows.

Life was sweet.


1 -- a time that seems to have passed on, it seems. The airwaves are filled with infomercials, and all the good stuff has gone to pay tv.
2 -- Including, not surprisingly, Eponymous and Noteponymous.
3 -- who seemed to be some kind of pseudo-Native American beefalo, dispensing nuggets of pithy wisdom. He was kind of like a smart Hoss.

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