Saturday Supercade (partially lost Ruby-Spears animated series; 1983-1985)

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Title card.

Status: Partially Lost

Saturday Supercade is an hour-long cartoon series that premiered on CBS on September 17th, 1983. It is a compilation show of various cartoon shorts based on popular video games at the time. Because of all the various copyright issues involving each of the video games this show is based on, the show has not reaired since CBS last aired it on August 24th, 1985, with the exception of the Space Ace shorts which aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang on various occasions. The rest of the show became lost, and for a while, very little of the show became available on the internet.

Initial Findings[edit | edit source]

Many tape trading sites have been trading and selling two full episodes, and were the only two episodes fans had access to before we started seeing more of the show posted on the internet. One of the tapes was a full CBS Saturday Morning block from April 1984 and was uploaded to Myspleen and other torrent sites around 2005. The Saturday Supercade episode included "Spaced-Out Frogs" (Frogger), "Gorilla My Dreams" (Donkey Kong), "Crazy Camp Creature" (Q-bert), and "The Teddy Bear Scare" (Donkey Kong Jr.). It was, for a while, the only full episode of Saturday Supercade to be posted on the internet.

Some viewers had access to the second tape. Unlike the first tape, this one doesn't contain the original commercials. It wasn't posted on the internet until much later. The cartoon episodes included were "Hyrdofoil & Seek" (Frogger), "Mississippi Madness" (Donkey Kong), "Masked Menace Mess" (Pitfall), and "Sheep Rustle Hustle" (Donkey Kong Jr.). The ending of the Donkey Kong Jr. episode was cut off as the tape transitioned into the Pac-Man cartoon.

Redistribution[edit | edit source]

Eventually, at sometime around 2008 or so, an eBay seller was selling 16mm film copies that contained episodes of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr., The film copies were purchased by a cartoon collector, and the films were transferred to a bootleg DVD, of which, it was being sold on sites like iOffer. It is unknown where the main source of the films came from, but it featured a different set of credits that weren't shown during its CBS run and were distributed by MCA TV, possibly an attempt at trying to show the cartoons in syndication. These films also remedied the missing ending to "Sheep Rustle Hustle". The Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. episodes were later posted on Youtube.

Around 2008, Crackle posted some Minisodes of most of the Q-bert episodes. This implies that Sony owns the rights to the Q-bert segments, which would make sense as Gottlieb, the developers of Q-bert, is owned by Sony. They have shortened versions of the Q-bert cartoons and not the full episodes. There's still very little of the full versions on Youtube.

Youtube did eventually start to get a little bit more of the show. Unfortunately, some users, such as mlsgrant, were uploading incomplete episodes leading the rest of the episode unavailable. The advent of Youtube, did, however, lead to Season 2 intros being posted for the first time. Clips from Kangaroo were posted, but we only got two incomplete episodes. There is still not a single full Kangaroo episode posted to this day. Even though there are some users that are holding full episodes in their archive, we're not likely going to see too much of the full show until we see it become commercially available.

In 2010, Warner Archive announced that they might release Saturday Supercade on DVD, but nothing has come out of it since. Most likely, because of all the copyright issues with the individual video game characters. Not to mention Sony seems to own the rights to the Q-bert segments going by the Minisodes.

Episodes[edit | edit source]

Frogger[edit | edit source]

# Episode Title Status
1 The Ms. Fortune Story Found
2 The Who Took Toadwalker Story Lost
3 The Great Scuba Scoop Lost
4 The Headline Hunters Lost
5 Spaced Out Frogs Found
6 The Legs Croaker Story Lost
7 Hydrofoil And Go Seek Found
8 Good Knight Frogger Lost
9 The Blackboard Bungle Found
10 I Remember Mummy Lost
11 Hop-along Frogger Found
12 Fake Me Out at The Ballgame Lost
13 Here Today, Pawned Tomorrow Found

Donkey Kong[edit | edit source]

A decent amount of episodes are made available thanks to some 16mm film prints containing episodes of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. These episodes were sold on a bootleg DVD shortly afterward.

# Episode Title Status
1 Mississippi Madness Found
2 Gorilla Gangster Found
3 Banana Bikers Found
4 A Little Orphan Apey Lost
5 Gorilla My Dreams Found
6 Apey And The Snowbeast Lost
7 The Incredible Shrinking Ape Found
8 Movie Mania Found
9 How Much Is That Gorilla In The Window? Found
10 Circus Daze Found
11 The Great Ape Escape Found
12 Private Donkey Kong Lost
13 Get Along, Little Apey Found
14 El Donkey Kong Found
15 Sir Donkey Kong Lost
16 The Pale Whale Lost
17 New Wave Ape Found
18 Greenhouse Gorilla Found
19 Hairy Parent Found

Q-bert[edit | edit source]

In 2008, Sony posted Minisodes of Q-bert online. Minisodes are shortened 5-minute versions of each episode. Unfortunately, Sony never uploaded or release any of the full versions of the Q-bert episodes. Because of this, most of the Minisodes are the only versions of the episodes available. Very little of the full episodes have surfaced online. A few incomplete complete copies of the full versions were actually uploaded online. Minisode/Incomplete indicates that both the Minisode version and an incomplete copy of the full episode has surfaced. On November 3rd, 2015 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a DVD set on Amazon as part of the Manufactured On Demand service. The episodes available on the DVD set are noted below. "Q*Beat It" and "Game Show Woe" are notably absent potentially due to copyright issues.

On December 31st, 2020, YouTube user DangerousVHS2 uploaded the full version of Q*Beat it from a recording off CTV's website on YouTube, making it completely found; however she later made all videos on her channel private. Some storyboard panels of the short can be found online[1].

# Episode Title Status
1 The Great Q-Tee Contest On DVD
2 Disc Derby Fiasco On DVD
3 Crazy Camp Creature On DVD
4 Q-Bowl Rigamarole On DVD
5 Thanksgiving For The Memories On DVD
6 Dog Day Dilemma On DVD
7 Take Me Out to The Q-game On DVD
8 Noser, P.I. On DVD
9 Q-Bert's Monster Mix-up On DVD
10 The Wacky Q-Bot On DVD
11 Hook, Line & Mermaid On DVD
12 Q-historic Daze On DVD
13 Game Show Woe Lost
14 Q-urf's Up! On DVD
15 Little Green Nosers On DVD
16 Q-Beat It Lost
17 Rebel Without a Q-ause On DVD
18 Looking For Miss Q-right On DVD
19 The Goofy Ghostgetters On DVD

Donkey Kong Jr.[edit | edit source]

A decent amount of episodes are made available thanks to some 16mm film prints containing episodes of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. These episodes were sold on a bootleg DVD shortly afterward.

# Episode Title Status
1 Trucknapper Caper Found
2 Rocky Mountain Monkey Business Found
3 Sheep Rustle Hustle Found
4 Magnificent Seven-year Olds Found
5 The Jungle Boy Ploy Lost
6 The Ventriloquist Caper Partially Found
7 The Great Seal Steal Partially Found
8 The Amazing Rollerskate Race Found
9 A Christmas Story Found
10 Junior Meets Kid Dynamo Found
11 The Teddy Bear Scare Found
12 Gorilla Ghost Found
13 Double Or Nothing Found

Pitfall[edit | edit source]

Next, to Kangaroo, this is the rarest of all the Saturday Supercade segments due to its very short run.

# Episode Title Status
1 Pitfall's Panda Puzzle Lost
2 Amazon Jungle Bungle Lost
3 Raiders of the Lost Shark Found
4 Tibetan Treasure Trouble Lost
5 Masked Menace Mess Found
6 The Sabretooth Goof Lost
7 The Pyramid Panic Lost

Space Ace[edit | edit source]

This is the only Saturday Supercade segment to have all its episodes fully available. This is thanks to Boomerang showing reruns on occasion.

# Episode Title Status
1 Cute Groots Found
2 Cosmic Camp Catastrophe Found
3 Frozen in Fear Found
4 The Phantom Shuttle Found
5 Perilous Partners Found
6 Dangerous Decoy Found
7 Moon Missile Madness Found
8 Wanted: Dexter! Found
9 Spoiled Sports Found
10 Three Ring Rampage Found
11 Age Ray Riot Found
12 Calamity Kimmie Found
13 Infanto Fury Found

Kangaroo[edit | edit source]

Kangaroo is up there as another one of the rarest Saturday Supercade segments out there. Although a few incomplete episodes were uploaded online, only three full episodes have surfaced as of May 2021.

# Episode Title Status
1 Trunkful of Trouble Found
2 Bat's Incredible Partially Found
3 Zoo for Hire Lost
4 The Birthday Party Lost
5 The White Squirrel of Dover Found
6 The Tail of the Cowardly Lion Found
7 It's Carnival Time Partially Found
8 Lost and Found Lost
9 Joey and The Bananastalk Lost
10 Zoo's Who? Lost
11 The Egg and Us Lost
12 Having a Ball Lost
13 The Runaway Panda Lost


Updates[edit | edit source]

On June 14th, 2015, Myspleen user TonyLoccsta uploaded a CBS broadcast torrent from January 19th, 1985, which contains a full Saturday Supercade episode. The Kangaroo episode contained in that broadcast ("The Tail of the Cowardly Lion") has been resurfaced for the first time.

On October 3rd, 2015, YouTube user, NintendoWizard22 uploaded the full version of the Q-Bert episode, "Dog Day Dilemma".

On September 1st, 2017, YouTube user Cabbusses's Retro Obscurities uploaded a full broadcast torrent of the first-ever broadcast of Saturday Supercade that features many lost episodes. The episodes contained in this torrent are Frogger "The Ms. Fortune Story", Donkey Kong "Mississippi Madness" (in better quality), Donkey Kong Jr. "Trucknapper Caper", and Pitfall "Raiders of the Lost Shark".

Videos[edit | edit source]

The opening/closing credits and theme for Saturday Supercade.
The first ever broadcast of Saturday Supercade.
A 1983 CBS Saturday morning preview featuring clips from unsurfaced episodes of Donkey Kong Jr. and Frogger.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]