(Special thanks to Mark Arnold for providing story and possible author info)
ABC also used the opportunity to advertise its prime time fall programs in full page ads.
Off To See The Wizard was a showcase for recent MGM family movies such as Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion and Flipper, highlighted by wraparound animation segments and music from the Wizard of Oz. Chuck Jones was executive producer, Abe Levitow, producer and director, and the voices were provided by Daws Butler, June Foray and Mel Blanc. You can view an animated segment here:
There was an air of excitement that Saturday morning in September 1967 when the new cartoons premiered. At seven years old I was already hooked on comics, having been weaned at an early age by my older brother John (still reading and collecting after all these years) and was particularly thrilled that two of my favorites - FF and Spidey - were cartoon shows. In 1966 I enjoyed the syndicated Marvel Super Heroes, shown in New York on WOR-TV channel 9. ABC's affiliate in New York was Channel 7, and after Casper (yes, I watched that too!) the FF appeared. I recall enjoying watching the Lee-Kirby characters come to life, along with the jazzy theme song and incidental music. I later learned that Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic was voiced by Gerald Mohr, a character actor and radio star on many shows, including "The Adventures of Philip Marlow". Spider-Man followed (with the words IN COLOR flashing on my black and white TV. I didn't quite understand why there was no color on MY set!). Spider-Man was also entertaining, although I was disappointed when the Green Goblin appeared and they didn't adapt the unmasking story! Obviously, Grantray-Lawrence didn't understand their target audience!