20. George Jetson
The Flinstones took the all-American family back in time, but The Jetsons took it to the future. George Jetson was like Fred Flinstone and every other sitcom father we've seen. He worked to take care of his family, and only wanted some peace and quiet from time to time. But his kids, wife, dog and boss kept him from it. Famously being trapped on a treadmill (who hasn't been?) in the opening credits, it's easy to remember George Jetson.
19. Betty Boop
Betty Boop was a star in the 1930s, when talkies overtook silent films. Her black and white sex appeal, cutesy voice and ditzy charm made her a hit. Now her image is iconic, appearing on all kinds of merchandise people buy without ever really seeing even one cartoon.
18. Fat Albert
"Hey, hey, hey! It's Faaaaaaaat Albert!" Who doesn't know that quote, that theme? Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was created, voiced and hosted by Bill Cosby. The Saturday morning cartoon spoke to kids of color, living in not-so-Bel Air conditions. Forgetting the 2004 live-action movie, the cartoon is a classic that taught lessons in a warm and funny way.
17. Beavis and Butt-head
Mike Judge (King of the Hill
) brought us these stuttering slacker teenage boys on MTV from 1993 until 1997. They worked at a fast food restaurant, went to school, watched videos and drove adults mad. Beavis and Butt-head
were even popular enough to spawn a feature film, Beavis and Butt-head Do America
, in 1996. The boys returned to MTV with new episodes on October 27, 2011.
16. Mr. Magoo
UPA Productions of America, Inc.
Blind, adventurous and oblivious are not a safe mix for an old dude, but Mr. Magoo
makes it work. Time after again he misses the bullet, so to speak, and we laugh all the way. Mr. Magoo was introduced to audiences in UPA's
1949 cartoon The Ragtime Bear
, and was originally voiced by Jim Backus (Gilligan's Island
15. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are inseparable, in their antics and on this list. They're funny on two levels. The first is that, seen through the eyes of a child, they're just silly cowards who somehow always save the day and remain best friends. But watch Scooby-Doo
as an adult, and you'll wonder if the van driving, spacey talk and continual snacking are lifestyle symptoms of the same folks who inspired Pineapple Express
. The original 1969 title, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
, was a parody of then popular TV series Car 54, Where Are You?
14. Porky Pig
Porky Pig has been stuttering, "That's all folks!" for the better part of a century, but my 6-year old son laughs as if he's the first to discover him. That's the appeal of the sweet little swine. Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett brought Porky to life in 1935's I Haven't Got a Hat. He was famous in his own right, starring in films like Porky in Wackyland. He was also cast opposite his Looney Tunes friends, in films like Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century.
13. Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck is to Bugs Bunny as Wile E. Coyote is to the Road Runner. He debuted in 1937's Porky's Duck Hunt
. Over the decades he transformed from a clumsy clown to the sarcastic character we know today. Does Daffy envy Bugs? Is jealousy at the heart of his bitter attitude toward Bugs? Regardless, his tantrums and schemes make for great cartoons.
12. Eric Cartman
is usually the villain on South Park
. Since 1997, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone
have had Cartman abducted by aliens, sent to fat camp, imagining he's dead and owning an amusement park. His unemotional, pragmatic view toward his achieving his goals has resulted in many dire circumstances, as well as catch phrases, like, "Screw you guys. I'm going home."
11. SpongeBob SquarePants
Though several channels exist that provide entertainment made for the Y-rating crowd, one cartoon has endured for more than a decade, becoming more famous than its Nickelodeon fellows: SpongeBob SquarePants
. SpongeBob is joined by Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Eugene Krabs, Sandy Cheeks and the other citizens of Bikini Bottom. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
was released in 2004, with another movie planned for 2014
. SpongeBob's undying optimism and staccato laugh keep us coming back for more.