Gweekly goodness: Jonny Quest (1964)


60 Responses to “Gweekly goodness: Jonny Quest (1964)”

  1. Lenny Kanehl says:

    And don’t forget, probably the hippest Saturday morning theme music ever!

  2. voiceinthedistance says:

    Jonny Quest was a poor imitation of Clutch Cargo.  In Jonny Quest, the mouths don’t even look superimposed.

    PS: Paddlefoot over Bandit, hands down!

    • beepbeep says:

       Good God! Clutch Cargo was totally creepy. I think that was its main and only appeal for me. I liked watching those disturbing mouths move all around the faces. But that is the ONLY thing I can remember about it.

      • Halloween_Jack says:

         Having seen that short bit in Pulp Fiction where Butch is watching it before getting the gold watch, I have absolutely no desire to see any more of it.

  3. Lloyd Alter says:

    i was 12 when it came out, I adored Johnny Quest, my favourite show!

  4. Ummm… not sure this show only ran for one season.  I think the available DVD set is only one season.  Either way, you should also mention that this show is largely the basis for The Venture Bros, one of the greatest shows of the modern animation era, and in fact the older drug-addicted Jonny Quest is a recurring character on Venture Bros.

  5. JQ only ran for one season??? Gobsmacked. It was such an abiding part of my childhood, sustaining me through years of Saturday mornings! Coolest one was when they nailed the invisible monster after blasting it with paint guns to find out where it was. Definitely the inspiration for The Venture Brothers.

    • JustAdComics says:

      I absolutely LOVE that episode! I still break out into sweat at the scene where Johnny’s jet pack malfunctions as the invisible monster “chuffs” closer and closer…

    • Same principle as Thunderbirds, most people imagine it as this huge thing, but there were only a handful of episodes, and another handful of feature length ones.

  6. cyclicredundancy says:

    I used to be in love with all things JQ. First the original 70s series, then the hour long golden adventures of JQ (which I have only seen once), and finally The real adventures with Quest world and the new music:

    But I think I still like the music from the original series the best.

    • Seriously says:

       It was actually from the sixties. I am in my forties and we watched it as reruns in the seventies. Its an awesome show. My favorite is the gargoyle episode.

  7. delfinclutch says:

    And let’s not forget the other homage, Toby Danger.


  8. VibroCount says:

    In 1947, a series of science/electronic adventure books began, somewhat similar to the Hardy Boys. Beginning with “The Rocket’s Shadow” more than 20 books in the Rick Blaine series began, running to the late 1960s. At least two Jonny Quest episodes seem directly lifted from Rick Blaine novels, and the entire setup, including characters, is quite similar. If you enjoy JQ, you might have fun seeking out Rick Blaine books.

  9. Sean Lally says:

    My favorite show as a kid.  Our current dog was named Bandit by the kids.

  10. Vanwall Green says:

    The Quest Documentary – essential viewing:

  11. Vanwall Green says:

    And a shout out is required for Doug Wildey, the great comic artist who designed the Quest show.

  12. Stefan Jones says:

    I remember, as a little kid, eagerly watching every episode in hopes of seeing the one with the sequences from the credits.

    It turns out that these (one shows Johnny flying some kind of hover-platform)  were trial footage made for the sales pitch.

  13. Gordon Klock says:

    I remember having weird nightmares about mummies, invisible cyclops-ghosts,& Lovecraftian frog-monsters all inspired by this show…(it was one of my favorites)
    p.s. go team Venture!

  14. robcat2075 says:

    the Jonny Quest theme has a well-earned place in the pantheon of great trombone lines.

    It ran for only one year in prime time but ran almost every year after in re-runs on Saturdays mornings which was how I encountered it. It persisted until, I guess, too much of it didn’t meet evolving children’s TV standards.

    Watching it today I notice all the economies the animation had to make to get it done, but i still enjoy it.


  15. planettom says:

    In 2008 Hallmark did this pretty cool Jonny Quest Christmas ornament:
    With Jonny wearing a jetpack fighting off a pterodactyl.
    A month after Christmas, I found 4 of them remaindered in Hallmark for a buck each.
    Gave two to friends of mine who were JONNY QUEST fans, kept two more to use as geocache trinkets or whatever.   Which I haven’t used, they’re still around here someplace.

    But they’re still only going for $4 on Amazon…

  16. Better Wings says:

    Just had to pipe in… the music was SPECTACULAR. I was all of 9 years old in ’64, and I knew the score was really something special.

    Some of the episodes scared the living bejeesus out of me. The invisible cyclops they revealed by covering with paint… full shivers-up-the-spine terror. 

    It was very cosmopolitan… Hadji, an extremely rare non-white, non-Western character, was essentially just a cool kid. No different, just another one of the gang. Very good lesson at an early age.

    • Halloween_Jack says:

      Hadji, an extremely rare non-white, non-Western character, was essentially just a cool kid. No different, just another one of the gang. Very good lesson at an early age.

      This. I’m sure that there must have been a few non-white characters that were part of a popular cartoon series’ main cast between Jonny Quest and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

    • Shanghai says:

      Very true about Hadji! 

      JQ had to be the first kids’ cartoon to attempt to realistically depict such a wide range of international characters – Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, Latinos, Indians, Pacific Islanders, natives of the Americas, etc.  A Norwegian dwarf. 

      And yes, the jazzy score and incidental music were fantastic!

  17. Stasw says:

    The battle  between life partners Dr Benton Quest and Race Bannon for custody of Jonny and Hadji was movingly presented in Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law.  Strangely this was never actually referred to in the original series.

  18. mariancisar says:

    “it’s so over-the-top it’s funny rather than offensive”
    Is that the barometer of offensive these days?

  19. crummett says:

    I prefer the post-modern adventures of The Venture Brothers.

  20. doug rogers says:

    Yes… I was eleven years old….

  21. rainsingin says:

    …as a couple commenters have already mentioned, the episode with the invisible monster was one of my favorites.  it wasn’t until years later that i realized it was an “homage” to what became one of my favorite movies: forbidden planet.  cheers!

  22. That spider dealy with the laser was nuts.

  23. gt bear says:

    Johnny Quest was one of the cartoons shown on the banana splits show. It must have been early 70s; during the 60s our parents didnt like us watching the UHF stations for some reason.  When boingboing ran a trailer for kick-ass featuring hit-girl slaying bad guys to the tune of the dickie’s version of the banana splits theme, i became a chloe moretz fan. i hear there’s going to be a kick-ass II.
    - arbitrary aardvark

  24. Mark Neumayer says:

    Good memories from the old days when cartoons could not be watched at the drop of a hat. And the music is phenomenal. If I hadn’t lost my hearing I would go buy it right now. (Mentally starting up the brass section in my head – buh-bup-bup-bah-buh-bah!)
     When I reached high school age my friends and I used to wonder why Johny looks more like Race than his own “father.”

  25. I watched Johnny faithfully, I was his girlfriend in my mind. I was only a little girl too.  I watched The Venture Brothers just for the memories of Johnny & Hadji.. 

  26. beepbeep says:

    I was totally in lust with Johnny. And I hadn’t even quite hit puberty. One season? Really?? And it was a prime time show too, as I recall, something like 6:30 pm central, back before “family time” or whatever the fuck it was that completely killed early prime time.

  27. Jay Wherley says:

    Regarding the political correctness – note the edits made to episodes on this DVD in that regard. See this review:

    “All the while Race’s mouth is moving but no words come out!”

    • sdnative1958 says:

      WOW! Thank you for that link – I’ll NEVER buy this now. I’ll remain happy with my childhood memories of this great cartoon intact.

    • Quiche de Resistance says:

      Are you claiming that the unedited show was “Race”-ist?

      • Quiche de Resistance says:

        But even if it is, I think it is wrong to put a Bann on such language.

        • Quiche de Resistance says:

          Plus, I heard it wasn’t anything actually racist, just that he had recently had occasion to meet Hadji’s mom, and he described her as “down for anything, a real freak. Prime “Race”-bait!”

  28. xkot says:

    Not only are there a couple of bowdlerized moments on this DVD set, but for some unknown reason, they used the same end credits at the end of every episode on the set, despite each episode having distinct credits; also unfortunately, they used the only version that didn’t have creator Doug Wildey’s stylized signature. That said, the episodes are brilliant in their own special way. I’m shocked that Hollywood hasn’t already made a horrible live action adaptation of this property. Not that I want them to; just surprised they haven’t.

  29. JIMWICh says:

    Dr. Quest and Race Bannon with jetpacks, flying around and fighting a shrieking giant pterodactyl with a bazooka represents to me the absolute pinnacle of awesomeness during my boyhood.

    It’s still the most amount of WIN ever accumulated in a single scene in any media.

  30. Dennis Putnam says:

    I’d like to add a recommendation for the 1980′s comic book series from Comico, if you can find it in some obscure corner of the internet. Great art and stories, very true to the spirit of the TV show.

  31. Dayum!  Nobody’s mentioned JADE!!!  What about Jade, Race’s “friend”?  She suddenly shows up the day Dr. Zin installs an impostor for Race (even bitch-slapped him for not holding his fork and knife like an American!).  Jonny and Hadji have to piece together clues that Race left behind, but Jade knows in an instant that something is wrong.  

    Later, when Jade states she knew all along, the boys ask how.  All she says is something like, “It’s just one of those things that women know.”  I was somewhere between 5 and 9 yrs/old at the time.  To this day, I still wonder if that episode might have prematurely kickstarted my hormones.

  32. Culturedropout says:

    My favorite memory of Jonny Quest was when Race Bannon was voted Mother of the Year by fans of the Cartoon Network.  And of course the episode where Jonny and Hadji discover the world’s greatest lubricant…

  33. Historybuff says:

    Check out the Stop Motion version of the opening credits made by Roger Evans

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