During the late 1960s, Filmation was having incredible success with The Archie Show on CBS. Not only was the TV series very popular but one of the animated show’s songs, “Sugar, Sugar,” hit the top spot on the Billboard charts. Hanna-Barbera wanted to duplicate the idea and licensed the Josie characters from Archie Comics. They centered the stories around the girls’ band, added mysteries (ala Scooby-Doo, Where are You!), and were on their way.
Josie and the Pussycats debuted on September 12, 1970 on CBS. The animated show centers around six young people. Josie (Janet Waldo), Valerie (Barbara Pariot), and Melody (Jackie Joseph) make up the band. Handsome Alan (Jerry Dexter) is their roadie, Alexander (Casey Kasem) is their cowardly manager, and Alexandra (Sherry Alberoni) is his nasty sister.
Alan’s sweet on Josie but Alexandra wants him to herself and will sabotage sweet Josie any chance she gets, usually with the help of her snickering cat, Sebastion (Don Messick). Most episodes begin with the gang heading towards a new gig but, thanks to jealous Alexandra, find themselves caught up in some kind of mystery or evil villain’s plans.
Like many animated series of its day, Josie and the Pussycats only ran for one season but those 16 episodes are well-loved by the grown-up kids of today. Who could forget the catchy theme song?
It was followed in 1972 by Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, in which the gang find themselves lost in the cosmos (ala Lost in Space). The characters made a final appearance in 1973 when they teamed up with the Scooby gang on The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
Today, on Shokus Internet Radio, our friend Stu Shostak is hosting a special Josie cast reunion. The animated series will be discussed for two hours by cartoon legends Janet Waldo, Jackie Joseph, Barbara Pariot, Sherry Alberoni, and Jerry Dexter. The reunion will also be co-hosted by Hanna-Barbera writer and expert Earl Kress.
They’ll be discussing Josie and answering questions via phone and email, starting today at 7pm Eastern time (4pm PST). To take part, just head on over to Shokus Internet Radio. There’s no registration required and you can listen in to the two-hour show for free. Listeners can phone in by calling toll-free 1-888-Shokus-5 (746-5875). If you happen to miss the live show, it will be repeated daily for one week.
What do you think? Do you remember this series? Who are your favorite characters or what episodes do you recall?