I know I'm showing my age here, but the other day after reading L.A. Daddy's cereal post, I was immediately reminded about this cartoon created by Post cereals - which immediately brought back a flood of childhood memories.
Linus the Lionhearted was one of those Saturday morning cartoons that were created specifically for the sole purpose of promoting breakfast cereals. Back in the early '60s this was a common practice, until the FCC ordered them all off the air in 1969 after they decided it was illegal to broadcast "brand-sponsored" cartoons because the kids couldn't distinguish between the cartoons and the commercials.
Linus, of course, was a lion who ruled his kingdom from a barber chair - and he was indeed the king. In fact, according to the theme song, he was also "the biggest, the greatest, the sweetest, the most!" And who can forget his diverse cast of friends such as Sugar Bear, Lovable Truly, Billie Bird, Rory Raccoon, Granny Goodwitch, C. Claudius Crow, So-Hi and many more.
But not to worry... in case you have forgotten, here is a clip of the intro sequence.
This cartoon contained a star-studded cast of voice talents including Sheldon Leonard, Jonathan Winters, Ruth Buzzi, Carl Reiner, Jerry Stiller (and his wife Anna Meara), Sterling Holloway and Gerry Mathews as the voice of the infamous Sugar Bear - the spokesbear for Sugar Crisp. This was of course back before it was supercharged and re-released as Super Sugar Crisp or eventually downsized to the less desirable Super Golden Crisp of recent times.
Sugar Crisp was just one of four products represented in this cartoon, including the still available Alpha-Bits as well as the ill-fated Crispy Critters and the politically questionable Rice Krinkles, which was of course hawked by a little Chinese boy - because who else knows more about the crispy goodness of rice?
And even though the cartoon was ultimately designed to promote these tasty treats, it was their commercials that were really throwing the sales punches. Here's the classic pitch of Sugar Bear demonstrating how the Mafia didn't stand a chance against a bear hopped up on sugar.
So thank you for taking this little trip down memory lane with me. Linus happened to fall right into the most vulnerable cereal yearning years of my childhood, between the ages of 3-8, so you can understand why I'm a little nostalgic toward this memory. I mean what kid wouldn't fall for these truly lovable characters, or be a sympathetic sucker for this morose ending sequence?