I love the Internet. If someone hadn’t recently decided to sell the Panthermobile from this TV show, I wouldn’t have come across this retro intro. Then my inner child wouldn’t be hopping up and down, arms flailing about, calling everybody to come sit down, cuz the show’s about to start.
The Pink Panther Show, as titled, aired on NBC Saturday mornings from 1969 to 1970. Though the show was renamed multiple times, it continued until 1978. I’ve watched it for most of those years, but this particular intro, from when I was 2-3 years old (fully-memorized from repetitive viewing), had been forgotten and stashed in the back of my head, in a place where old jingles and lost toon characters await a moment of recall. Seeing these familiar images again today, with its live-action animals and animated Pink Panther exploits, zooms me back to my introductory years of watching the cool cat worldlessly glide through abstract backdrops, face off peacefully against The Man (apparently modeled after creator Friz Freleng) and groove to the jazzy sounds of Henry Manicini.
Oh and I vaguely recall getting the idea I would be driving my dad’s car before I was ten, after seeing that kid zip towards Grauman’s Chinese Theater in that snazzy race car. Thankfully, I promptly forgot about it when the titles of the show changed.
Many thanks to Club1981Channel for the upload.