Some of the 1970s cartoons had such a familiar premise that they all started seeming the same. Some even used the same voice actor for similar characters from show to show. Scooby Doo, Where Are You was one of the most popular cartoons of the time period and continues to be one of the favorites to this day, but it spawned a number of other shows that used the same premise and, for a large part, the same characters.
Josie and the Pussycats, another of the most popular cartoons of the time, did follow that premise as well. Josie was the smart one, the leader. Her and her band mates frequently found themselves solving a mystery before they could play a gig. But, there was twist in the show, unique to its plot- Josie and her crew had rivals that they often had to battle as well.
Jabberjaws, a cartoon that featured a shark that sounded like Curly from the Three Stooges, was another cartoon that used the Scooby Doo premise. Jabberjaw was big and should be ferocious (like Scooby) but was instead a big coward. He was friends with a group of teens who often had to solve mysteries. Other cartoons of the time that featured the same premise included the Great Schmoo, which had an amorphous blob as the central character, and Captain Caveman, with a prehistoric caveman as the main star.
Hong Kong Phooey, which featured the voice of the great actor Scatman Crothers, was a dog that worked as a janitor in a police station unless there was a crime. When danger struck, he would become Hong Kong Phooey, his identity disguised by a small black mask across his face. Somehow, no one ever put it together that Henry disappeared and Hong Kong Phooey appeared at the exact same time, every time.
Another very popular cartoon in the 1970s was Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Bill Cosby would set up the theme for the show and sometimes provided further narration between commercial breaks. In some shows, Bill, as a live action person would even interact with the animated kids, praising them for learning a moral or ethical lesson. The group often talked about their issues- Albert’s weight, a boy with a speech impediment, a very short boy and other issues, in a way that was both entertaining and enlightening. It was not the first or only cartoon that used humor and animation to teach a lesson, but with the endearing charm of Bill Cosby, it quickly became one of the most beloved of the 1970s cartoons.