Today marks the 20th anniversary of a television network that shaped the way I grew up. October 1st is the birthday for little ole Cartoon Network.
It is hard for me to really fathom that this network has been around for twenty years. Has it already been twenty? or has it only been twenty? The obvious attributes are there. This network launched as 24 hours of cartoons, giving kids (ME!!!!) never ending access to cartoons that before were only available in limited times of the week or through a VHS collection of cartoons (the best 6 hour baby sitter I ever had). I would wake up in the mornings before school and watch reruns of Wacky Races and Scooby Doo while my mom got ready for work.
Beyond the access to the amazing Hanna-Barbera library Cartoon Network started to create their own shows. I was a little too young to see the original launching of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” but have since seen my fair share:
After launching “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” the network then decided to create more original cartoons. Shows like “Courage the Cowardly Dog”, “Dexter’s Lab”, “Johnny Bravo”, “Cow and Chicken” and “Powerpuff Girls” all took Cartoon Network to a different level while also keeping me engulfed as a cartoon lover.
The network has continued producing their own cartoon’s since this original grouping appeared. One of those shows is one of my all time favorite cartoon series “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”. I could write an entire post about their original shows but I need to give credit to the network on hosting cartoons that most fans may not have had access to, for example, “2 Stupid Dogs” and “Ed, Edd n Eddie”. When mentioning allowing access I have to talk about Toonami.
The cartoon action block that gave a world of youth access to “Dragon Ball Z”, “Outlaw Star”, “Sailor Moon”, “Gundam Wing” and “Batman: The Animated Series”. I could keep on listing shows but that could get out of hand. Seriously, it is a bit overwhelming. Toonami went away down the line but returned this year as a part of Adult Swim’s Saturday anime block.
Oh yeah. Did I mention Adult Swim?
Really, I could go listing a dozen shows that are aimed at the 18-36 demographic that would not be possible without this network but I really only want to talk about one show. The very first anime that was ever put on Adult Swim was Cowboy Bebop. While some of you may have shut your brain off at the word anime I must say this one show has changed a lot about who I am. This show made certain I would be a nerd/geek/dork for the rest of my life and I am damn happy about that. Would I have ever seen this show without Adult Swim? Probably not. Without Cartoon Network I am not who I am today. What a jerk… accomplishing so much at the age of 20.