God, I love the Internet. Ever get one of those nostalgia brainworms? You know, when you remember something, like a cartoon from your far past, but can’t recall much about it? It’s really more of a memory of the feeling you had while watching it. For years I tried to hunt down the details on a memory I had of an old black and white cartoon. It took place in outer space and had three main characters. My search queries would include these words:
Spaceman on unicycle
White on black cartoon (it sort of looked like it was done on scratchboard)
I couldn’t remember the third character.
So, that’s all I had. It was sort of a creepy show, probably had something to do with how young I was. What stuck out most in my mind was that little spaceman who flew with the aid of a single wheel he propelled with his legs. He was so alien-looking, and, I remembered, quick to lose his temper. He took me to a strange, uncomfortable, but compelling, place.
Well, I finally found the show! First of all, it wasn’t in black and white. I had neglected to factor in that our TV was black and white! Duh!
The show was Colonel Bleep! There’s even an Wikipedia page on it! When I saw that third, forgotten, character, it was a slap to the forehead. It was Squeak! I now remember him very well because I couldn’t quite understand what a cowboy marionette was doing as part of the trio. That the other character was a caveman didn’t bother me as much. Funny, where a child’s mind draws those lines of logic.
Nothing like a mystery solved. With this new information at hand, I was even able to watch some of the episodes on You Tube.
It’s pretty hokey by today’s standards, but it captivated me as a child. It did what it was supposed to do. When I look at the pictures, I’m taken back to the den in our home in Oceanside, NY, where a 5 year old boy was taken to outer space via a black and white Zenith television.
Thanks, Internet. Is there nothing you can’t do?