Sunday Morning Toonage

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Remember when it was cool to wake up early on Sunday mornings. Before the days when going out on Saturday nights and partying till dawn was the thing to do? You know, when waking up at 7am to devour Froot Loops and watch a marathon of Rocket Power, X-Men, and Rocko’s Modern Life was the bee’s knees. You know what I am talking about: the ’90s!

While it’s sad to think that those days are long gone, there exists a monthly alternative. A chance to put on your favorite onesie, grab your favorite tamagotchi, make your favorite White Russian (hey, we can drink now), and enjoy a marathon of your favorite cartoons. The event is called: Spoons, Toons, and Booze at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

This past Sunday I had the privilege of attending the wonderful event where for only 10 dollars I got to stroll into a movie theater in my PJs; partake in as many bowls of cereal as I desired (one bowl Cocoa Pebbles, one bowl Cap’n Crunch, one bowl Cinnamon Toast Crunch); order a White Russian with Coco Puffs sprinkled on top (cleverly named “The Sunny”); and watched two and a half hours of glorious toonage. It was awesome. And thankfully, the reel was stacked with some of my favorites:

Toonage delight number 1: Pinky & the Brain

Written by Erin Ehrlich, the executive producer of People’s Choice Favorite Cable TV Comedy winner Awkward, the cartoon is a spin-off of the hit show Animaniacs about a couple of lab rats who try to take over the world. As the title song goes, “One is a genius, the others insane. They’re laboratory mice; their genes have been spliced. They’re Pinky, they’re Pinky, they’re Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain.” Ok. So I just realized the song means nothing to you if you don’t know the show, but let me tell you when the song came on in the theater, the crowd erupted in cheers and a little mist formed in my eyes.

The episode that day was topically about Brain’s attempt to melt the polar ice caps and flood the world (Global Warming, natch). He first buys all of the real estate above the 39th floor of his building, believing that survivors would be forced to live in the only dry property left, and then sets out with Pinky to the Hubble Telescope to melt the ice caps. Of course, their plan falls short as Pinky accidentally knocks them off the telescope and into the freezing water.

While I may not have laughed as many times as I did when I was younger, it was really cool seeing an early shout out to global warming. Well done, Erin. Well done.

Commercial delight #1: Perfection

In between each cartoon, the theater would play a couple of classic commercials from the ’80s and ’90s. The first was for the board game, Perfection, where players must fit different shapes into their corresponding slots before the buzzer ran out and the board shook. I unfortunately never owned the game, but did love the song. No clue what I’m talking about? Here’s the link:

Toonage delight number 2: Recess

Written by David Pitlik, the first person to get me a job in the entertainment industry (Umass Alum, what’s up), and starring Pamela Adlon (Californication, Parenthood, Bob’s Burgers) and Ashley Johnson (What Women Want and The Killing), the show was a ’90s kid’s dream about all of the exciting things you try to accomplish in the 30 minute break between Math and English – or Math and Hebrew, for me. To be honest, the show was never one of my favorites but I still enjoyed hearing some familiar voices in more child friendly roles for a change.
Commercial delight number 2: Yogi Bear anti-smoking PSA

In an attempt to teach kids not to smoke, the commercial has Yogi Bear explain to Boo Boo some of the harmful effects of smoking and addiction. Yogi first explains that most people start smoking as teenagers, and how, “according to the statistics, it is better not to start at all.” He then points to a cigarette smoker coughing up a lung next to the campsite to illustrate how cigarette addiction is tough to kick. Though it was a pretty decent attempt to curb smoking, I am pretty sure more kids wanted to light up after seeing how cool the teenagers looked. Good try Yogi. But total fail. (

Toonage delight number 3: Rugrats
Tommy Pickles, Lil Deville, Didi Pickles, Chuckie Finster and Angelica Pickles a.k.a the crew. There is no need to go into detail about why I love this show or even what it’s about. The show will forever be a classic and I am sure you can attest to it even if you weren’t a child of the ’90s. Also, I am pretty sure the Rugrats have taught more people about Passover and Chanukah then any school or Adam Sandler song ever did. And for that, I say, “You’re Welcome.”

If you happen to be in New York during February, be sure to check out the next installment of the boozy toon breakfast around Valentine’s Day. If traveling is not an option, don’t feel ashamed to do a similar event at your house. There is no disgrace in White Russians, PJs and cartoons on a Sunday morning. Your roommates will love you, I guarantee it.

Today’s Poll
Which classic cartoon is your favorite?
Pinky & the Brain
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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