Remember Grape Ape?

This week Mel colored the Bigfoot. The first thing that came to mind was “Grape Ape.” If you’re younger than thirty, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Raise your hand if you do. I’d love to know. Mel is 23 and she had never heard of him. I pulled him up on YouTube and explained that he’s a purple gorilla who was sort of like a goofy super hero.

“Lame. That’s stupid, Mom.” She left the office to go eat lunch.

Lame. He’s not lame. He’s iconic. After she left, Youtube sucked me into this portal of the best 80’s children program intro’s. Talk about a walk down memory lane. This took me back to Saturday morning cartoons. I would get up early before anyone else, take my blanket, pillow, a bowl of cereal to the living room, and sit on the floor in front of the TV. (I had to do that to reach the knob on the television. We never had a fancy remote control).

Watching those replays was like a blast of comfort from the past. My childhood wasn’t all that great, but early Saturday mornings were fun. After school cartoons were okay, but it wasn’t the same. You didn’t get to see the newest Scooby Doo, Justice League, or Shazam shows at that time. Plus, if you lived on a farm, like me, there was a ton of work after school.

I’d heard of Disney channel, had “rich” friends who subscribed, but it wasn’t until after I married and subscribed to cable that I was able to enjoy this network. When my kids came along, we added Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. I was a little disheartened they wouldn’t know the enjoyment of early Saturday morning cartoons. To talk about it, they can’t imagine waiting an entire week to see their favorite show.

To be honest, I sometimes feel the same way as I binge watch a series. I guiltily sit for hours devouring the entertainment when I could be reading or working. Ultimately, I reason that it’s more efficient to binge watch because I do it when I have the time. There’s no set schedule I have to follow which would otherwise interrupt my workflow.

Still, it’s fun to pause, put on a YouTube video and reflect on pleasant times. When the mind can isolate for a moment and pinpoint a source of joy from the past, it brightens the present. Even if only for a moment.

Try it. Here’s The Grape Ape.


Have you seen the Grape Ape?

If you watched Saturday morning cartoons, what were some of your favorites?

Do you have a favorite cartoon now?

I also just want to briefly mention that we’re giving away free sticker packs to the first five people who sign up for our newsletter this month. (Sign up on the home page). This is what the stickers look like, except they’re cut to shape:

sticker pack
Lotus Leopard Wyvern, Bigfoot, and Frogman. All by Mel Ayers

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.

4 thoughts on “Remember Grape Ape?”

  1. I didn’t know what Grape Ape was but once I saw the video I have vague memories of seeing him a few times. We lived in Italy from when I was 5, in 1984, until 1988. So we didn’t have a television since everything was in Italian anyway. (A military neighbor in Italy did have some English programming so my sisters and I would sometimes go to their house to watch TV on Saturday mornings but the only thing I remember seeing was Poochie – the pink and white dog movie. (It was probably a VHS tape since apparently it was only a movie, not a tv series: https://youtu.be/OGfvmmXjRyo?t=33) We loved Poochie so much we named our cat Poochie.

    Even after we came back to the states, we didn’t get a television for a year or two – our aunt actually ended up giving us one because she couldn’t stand visiting and there not being a TV in the house. We didn’t get local channels but we’d get cable just before Thanksgiving every year and keep it just through Christmas. And boy, did we make the most of the short month when it came to television watching. So I definitely remember bits of Reading Rainbow, and other Saturday morning shows but I don’t remember many specifics. I still remember the jingle that would play before commercials though. “After these messages… we’ll be right back!” But this was more early 90s, so I most especially remember my sisters and I being hooked on Saved by the Bell which wasn’t a cartoon but did air on Saturday mornings. Most especially I remember my mother watching it with us because she knew we loved it (and probably to make sure it stayed clean – I’ve never seen the old Beverly Hills 90210 or those other popular shows from back then that we weren’t allowed to watch. If fact, my daughter and I are currently watching the original Full House because I’d only ever seen the very occasional episode back then.)

    Then after the Christmas of 1994, my parents decided to keep television just for one year for educational purposes, since it was an Olympic year and an election year. That was when we got hooked on an obscure Canadian CGI-animation called Reboot. We also got Disney (being in Florida, it wasn’t a premium channel) and got addiction to the Mickey Mouse Club (so we knew Brittany Spears, Christian Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, and others before they were big names.) But even though we liked a lot of cartoons, we were always slightly more into live-action and things that aired on Disney – the Road to Avonlea series, the Australian shows Ocean Girl, Spellbinder, Kids Incorporated, Five Mile Creek, Boy Meets World, etc.

    But the nostalgia factor is the same. Last year I acquired the Avonlea series on DVD and it’s filled my heart with joy that my daughter enjoys watching it with me. We’re a nerdy family and watch a lot of animations together (Avatar series, Troll Hunters, Dragon Prince, Three Below, Miraculous Ladybug). I love the shows but half the fun is knowing my daughter will have the same nostalgic memories when she grows up, just with these shows!


    1. Ryan Gosling was on the Micky Mouse Club? I knew the others were. I guess that reinforces the singing and dancing I thought appeared out of nowhere. I loved the Avonlea series, too and I think a lot of people must be watching the animations because they keep making them.


      1. lol The folks who went into acting instead of singing don’t seem to be as associated with MMC. Speaking of the binge factor, those animations aren’t helping. We blasted through Dragon Prince and 3Below in just a few days!


      2. It takes discipline not to sit in front of the TV hour after hour when it’s a show you really like.


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