Western Animation / Uncle Croc's Block
"Who's our Star Time guest for today, Uncle Croc?"
Charles Nelson Reilly, already a fixture on the CBS
version of Match Game
, was the crocodile-suited star of this three-month Filmation
series on ABC
, a parody of the Animated Anthology
programs with live presenters that were in nearly every major TV market in the 1950s and 1960s. Reilly's co-stars were Alfie Wise as Uncle Croc's sidekick, Rabbit Ears, and Jonathan Harris
as the director, Basil Bitterbottom. The show was such a flop that ABC told Filmation to never sell them another show. Ironically after ABC canceled Uncle Croc's Block
, they replaced it with Filmation's 1970 show The Groovie Goolies
The three animated segments were:
- "Fraidy Cat", about a nervous alley cat visited by the ghosts of his eight previous lives;
- "M-U-S-H", a canine parody of M*A*S*H whose title expands to "Mangy, Unwanted, Shabby Heroes", and
- "Wacky and Packy", in which a caveman and his pet mammoth are transported to 20th-century New York.
Live-action segments included guests such as Steve Exhaustion, the $6.95 Man
Uncle Croc's Block provides examples of:
- Animated Anthology
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Seven of the 9 Lives of Fraidy Cat have costumes that apply to this trope. #2 Kitty Wizard; #3 Captain Kitt, a pirate; #4 Sir Walter Cat, a noble cat; #5 Billy the Kit, a cowboy; #6 Jasper Catdaver, an undertaker; #7 Captain Eddie Cattenbakker, a pilot; #8 Hep Cat, a cat in a zoot suit.
- Cats Have Nine Lives: This is the premise of Fraidy Cat. Fraidy is already nervous because he's on his final life, and it doesn't help that the ghosts of his eight previous incarnations keep appearing to him if he (even accidentally) intones their number. At least one of these ghosts, who was an undertaker in life, hopes to bring Fraidy over to the afterlife. The worst one is Cloud Nine, a Psycho Electro storm cloud who tries to electrocute poor Fraidy. Pretty morbid for a kids' show, eh?
- Psycho Electro: The "Fraidy Cat" segments feature a cat whose nine lives come back to haunt him as ghosts. Fraidy's final (and current) life is personified as Cloud Nine, a sinister storm cloud who's fond of ejecting lightning strikes and always chases down Fraidy to zap him to death.
- Talking Animal
- 2-for-1 Show