I haven't posted in the REASON OVER GUILT blog lately, since few seem to be interested in rational discourse these days. Maybe we are indeed past that stage. But, just for the mental exercise...


Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Hanna-Barbera's take on the JLA were kinda' phoning it in by the end of the Disco Decade. Although the WORLD'S GREATEST SUPERFRIENDS had a full hour time slot (albeit as the 8AM curtain-jerker), only eight half-hour episodes were made for the series. The rest was recycled from earlier Super Friends shows.

I picked this one because it features a concept that has been recurring since the DC Multiverse was established in the early 1960s, and which has been beaten like the proverbial deceased equine in recent years... Alternate versions of our superheroes who are, in fact, villains.

From October 1979.

The Hill family gets new neighbors when a yuppie family of Laotian origin moves in next door. Hank and Peggy feel pressure to embrace the new arrivals lest they be perceived as 'racists', whether they like 'em as individuals or not.

Since Hank's stated birth year puts him in High School during the Vietnam War, it's a little surprising how ignorant he is regarding Indochina. (Doesn't seem to have a clue where or what Laos is.) Of course, the rest of the Arlen folks are worse, assuming all Asians are either Japanese or Chinese, and confusing the two anyway. Peggy seems to feel the need to welcome the Strangers From The Orient into the Western World, despite the fact that they've lived in America over 20 years.

From March 1997.

Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

So, giving the SUPER FRIENDS a break, what was on the other channel during CHALLENGE OF THE-?

Same thing that had been on, in one form or another, since 1962. And a couple years in Prime Time before that. And which would be on network TV into the 21st Century, before going to cable, and most recently to broadcast digital subchannel MeTV.

THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW is like a slasher movie star. No matter how badly the censors mutilated the classic WB 'toons, they still drew an audience. The wabbit headlined the First String collection of theatrical shorts, with Porky and others getting their own shows at times, featuring the strong Second String, while the lesser entries of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies got syndicated for your local afternoon kiddie shows. Eventually, the second string shows merged with Bugs'... By 1978, we had the BUGS BUNNY / ROAD RUNNER SHOW that ran 90 minutes.

Our sample today isn't that long. But it does spare you the commercials and is free of the killjoy censorship of '70s TV!


It's bad enough that Hank is so uptight that he can't even acknowledge a problem with constipation, but then Peggy had to go and make a big deal out of it, involving half the town and freakin' knife-happy doctors.

Sheesh, Hank... You live in Texas. Get a few burritos at a road-side stand and hope the porcelain throne can survive the result, man!!!

Did Peggy say she took TEN heaping teaspoons of Megamucil in a glass of water every day? Great Ceasar's Ghost! Pretty sure it'd take at least half a gallon of water to be marginally liquid with that dose!

From Feb, 1997.

Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

As we covered in recent weeks, the DC comic book superheros came to TV animation in the '60s, being the project that got Filmation off the ground. In 1973, Hanna-Barbera took over (mostly) and softened the superhero elements to try and satisfy the killjoy TV censorship groups by adding a big dollop of SCOOBY-DOO elements to create the SUPER FRIENDS series.

In 1977, they dropped the meddling Earth kids and their dog (who were surprisingly useful despite lack of superpowers) and replaced them with Vulcan-looking space teenagers and their blue monkey (who managed to be frequently useless despite having formidable superpowers) for the ALL-NEW SUPER FRIENDS HOUR. Covered that one while on the subject of hot Jungle Girls several weeks back. It's how we got onto this tangent.

The following year, we got CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER FRIENDS. This incarnation brought the show much closer to comics than the earlier HB takes had been, with more action, references to alter-egos, back-stories, and actual bad guys.

The first half of each show resembled the previous series' segments. The second half featured the conflict between a larger Justice League roster and the Legion of Doom; a group of comic book villains organized by Lex Luthor and including Cheetah (with razor-sharp claws), Braniac (whose mind-games are deadly), Scarecrow (who is... uh... made of straw?), and Solomon Grundy (who wants pants too)!

During its network run, the whole program ran under the "Challenge of the Super Friends" title. For a while, the show was expanded to 90 minutes by folding-in material from the previous "All-New Super Friends Hour". Later, for syndicated reruns, the first-half segments (which didn't feature the LoD) were run with the 1977 series opening, while the LoD second-half segments retained the "Challenge" opening.

From Sept. 1978.

Sometime before the first episode of KING OF THE HILL, Peggy's hot but sometimes air-headed niece Luanne moved into the Hill household when her parents were imprisoned for excessive redneckery. Hank's hope for getting his den back hinged on the girl moving-in with her no-good boyfriend Buckley, but then he dumped her.

Hank tries to fix things by matchmaking for Luanne, despite Peggy's adamant warnings. One of the few times Peggy knew what she was talking about. Poor Hank thought women could handle relationships in a sane way, like guys do. (As demonstrated at the end.)

From Feb. 1997.


Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Let's give the SUPER FRIENDS a break and see what what was on the other channel!

Ah, the well-loved creepy, kooky family who jumped from Charles Addams' magazine comic to live-action TV in the '60s is back with an animated version the next decade. Ted Cassidy and Jackie Coogan return as Lurch and Fester. The rest are new voices, including preteen Jodie Foster as Wednesday and Lennie Weinrib as Gomez. Weinrib was one of the most prolific cartoon voice actors ever, but his version of Gomez misses the mark, I think.

I noticed that, on the other channel (we pretty much only had the three, back then, kids!), we find SCOOBY MOVIES, where the SUPER FRIENDS version of BATMAN and ROBIN, as well as the animated ADDAMS FAMILY, had been introduced. (They had the live-action series actors do Gomez and Morticia on the Scooby show though.

The 1973 Hanna-Barbera Addams series ran a full season of 16 episodes. The family would reboot and be back to TV animation in '92... In a very rare case where I liked the newer version better than the first.

I covered the '92 series on the run-up to Hallowe'en a couple years ago, as seen here:


It seems that Hank has interests other than his family, drinking beer with the guys, and propane... High among these are his old guitar, golf, and Willie Nelson.

Then his boy Bobby, who just ain't right, brutally assaulted ol' Willie on the golf course, forever ruining Hank's chance of having a proper meeting with his musical idol. Unless Bobby comes through to save the day.

May seem odd that straight-laced and uptight Hank would be such a fan of long-haired, weed-smoking Nelson... But we'll forgive a great guitar picker and cowboy song singer considerable vices. Y'know. Musicians and their muses.

'Course, these days Willie is pushing 90 and quite senile. So we don't pay his addled socio-political ramblings any mind at all. Red-Headed Stranger is no less an awesome album because of them.

From February 1997.

Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Filmation studios got its start making TV cartoons featuring DC comic book superheroes, as covered here last week. But it was the '60s, and the damned hippies were winning the Culture War, so the face-punching, hero vs villain cartoons were being pushed off TV. Filmation would continue to thrive with ARCHIE, SABRINA, FAT ALBERT, STAR TREK, and other licensed characters. (Previously featured on this channel.) But it was Hanna-Barbera who would pick-up the JUSTICE LEAGUE license and run with it...

Their secret? Cut the superhero element to roughly half-strength by pouring in a big dose of SCOOBY-DOO, including Meddling Kids and semi-anthropomorphic dog.

Many call Shaggy, Velma, and Scoo... er... I mean Marvin, Wendy, and Wonder Dog "useless", since they lack superpowers, tech, or special skills. But they're the ones who tended to solve the cases, while the spandex grownups were running around reacting to events. Often, they stop the (not particularly villainous) antagonists by explaining the error of their ways.

A common complaint about superhero teams is that top heroes have to be "nerfed"... When you have a godlike being like Superman, who routinely saves the world in solo adventures, why would he need a team? They hadn't quite figured out how to nerf the characters effectively in this first episode though. We're repeatedly reminded that the Batmobile is about the slowest means of transport on the show. And, with ersatz Mystery Inc. solving the cases, Bats comes off even more useless than Aquaman... Who, for his part, gets caught by giant sea anemone as soon as he tries to swim in the ocean. (Dammit, Arthur! You had one job!!!)

From September 1973. The first episode of the first iteration of SUPER FRIENDS.


As Hank and the guys take the neighborhood boys out camping for the titular club, the Great Spirit Whee-Muh-Tawn-Yay saves Bobby, his rising shaman, from certain death on the Snipe Hunt by transforming the vicious beast into a Whooping Crane... Which the boys stuff into a sack and pummel to death.

Meanwhile, Hank and company run afoul of a bunch of damned, dirty hippies and the park authority.

Peggy takes advantage of the family's absence to go on a long trip to a discreet store specializing in unusually large-size women's shoes. She'd probably say her size 16 feet are her only physical imperfection.


Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Last week, we wandered into the realm of Hanna-Barbera's SUPER FRIENDS. The various series in that franchise were a bit of a departure for HB, featuring characters owned by DC Comics. The studio's closest competition in TV cartoons, Filmation, was more into licensed properties. In fact, they had pretty much made their start doing DC superheroes themselves.

Filmation's 1960s DC superhero cartoons featured the JUSTICE LEAGUE, TEEN TITANS, with all their members, villains, and associated characters. They were produced in association with DC editorial, so they closely resembled the comic books. This would ultimately be the downfall of the shows, as the rock 'em, sock 'em action was decried by killjoy busybodies who were already wrecking TV in the late '60s. (This is why the '70s Super Friends series are so laughably neutered that actual super-villains weren't even included in the first few iterations.)

As one might expect, Filmation's DC superhero 'toons started at the top, with SUPERMAN himself. Here seen in his first made-for-TV short from 1966.


Hank and Peggy are appalled when the school wants to teach Sex Ed to young Bobby, though their attempts to do it themselves are less than stellar. Things get even more uncomfortable when Peggy gets enlisted to teach the class at Bobby's school.

From January 1997.


Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Last week we had an episode of JANA OF THE JUNGLE. I noticed it got a down-vote almost immediately. I'm guessing because the crummy VHS transfer didn't live up to the thumbnail.

To make it up to y'all, this week we'll do a similar character as she's featured in a more popular show (of which I can find decent prints).

Hanna-Barbera usually prefers characters they own outright. So it's no surprise that they used a near-copy of RIMA, a jungle babe who had previously been animated... The odd thing is that Rima herself had been animated by HB the year before. But that was part of the SUPER FRIENDS, one of HB's few major licensed properties. This version of Rima basically came-along with the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE characters from DC. This episode is the first of her several appearances in the franchise.

Of course, Rima wasn't created by DC comics. She actually predates TARZAN (but not MOWGLI) in literature. She only got one movie though, probably because the 1959 Audrey Hepburn vehicle flopped. DC put her into her own comic book in the '70s, and that's the version adapted here.

This the second incarnation of the Super Friends, which catered to ever-shortening attention spans by breaking the hour-long show into multiple, brief stories and filler segments. This one includes Doctor Fright / Drag Race / Plant Creatures / Fire.

I kinda' feel like the popular meme image of Batman slapping the hell out of Robin applies. Seriously, Dick! Sit this one out and let ol' Bruce 'adventure' with the hot, half-naked blond without you along as a third wheel!

Also, just how damned fast IS the Super Friends Batmobile? That sucker seems to be able to get across the continent in no-time.

From October 1977.

The FLINTSTONES was a popular, prime-time, animated sitcom from 1960-'66. The success of the modern stone-age family prompted several other attempts, but none of them really took. (Though they were recycled on Saturday Mornings with better results.)

With 49 episodes, WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME (which we just concluded) was the only multi-season, 2D sitcom on TV until the SIMPSONS hit at the end of the '80s. That juggernaut initiated a veritable flood of adult-ish cartoon comedies, most of which quickly crumpled. (Even likable ones like MISSION HILL, which we covered last year.) The ones that survived tended to have one thing in common... Like Homer Simpson, the fathers were morons and/or nutcases. But there was one great exception.

Mike Judge had his big break with a short made for MTV's LIQUID TELEVISION, which actually featured characters based on what critics of MTV thought popular culture was making of the younger generation: Borderline illiterate, perverted sociopaths. The short spawned BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD, a long-running staple of the network.

One character from that show, Tom Anderson, was a retired war veteran who was often victimized by the dimwitted duo's behavior, but was just too decent a person to kill them and dump their corpses in the landfill. (Though nobody in the neighborhood would have minded.) Tom's voice (done by Judge) and much of his personality were recycled into the father/protagonist of Judge's next landmark project.

Hank Hill is just a good, old-fashioned American man. He lives in a working class neighborhood in a small Texas town. Works an honest job. Drives a pickup truck. Tinkers in his garage. Drinks beer with his neighbors. Obsesses a little over keeping his yard perfect. Is true to his wife. Loves his son, despite the boy's occasional weirdness. He's a bit uptight, but tries to be reasonably tolerant of others. And he is not a moron.

He'd never, ever strike a woman or child... But, sufficiently provoked, he will respond violently to idiots, including twig-boy, uppity civil servants from the Left Coast. As we see in this pilot of KING OF THE HILL from January 1997.

There were 259 episodes of this series. We'll see how far we can go with it...


Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Filmation (the "We're #2, so we try harder!" studio for classic TV animation) did mostly licensed properties, including TARZAN in 1976. (Which I covered a good while back.) Hanna-Barbera, the leading cartoon outfit, usually preferred to avoid licensing fees by going with 'original' characters. AKA: Knock-offs.

Possibly in response to the aforementioned Tarzan series, HB gave us JANA OF THE JUNGLE. Of course, half-naked white gals running around having adventures in jungles was a trope going back many decades in prose, comics, and film before this one was created to fill-out the GODZILLA POWER HOUR.

Jana's show bore considerable resemblance to Tarzan's. From the opening narration to the use of rotoscoping to give her more realistic movement. (Common practice by Filmation, but a rarity in HB productions.) One difference was placing Jana in a South American jungle, as opposed to Tarzan's Africa. Natives were somewhat conspicuous by their absence in the Ape-Man's stories, likely because there was no way to get away with depicting primitive black folks that wouldn't be offensive in the '70s. But you could still put spear-chucking Indians in loin cloths and feathers on the Jungle Girl's program.

Jana's big native fellow-traveler was voiced by Ted Cassidy (Lurch from the live-action and first animated ADDAMS FAMILY, as well as various voice roles including the HB Godzilla), who also guest-starred in the episode of Tarzan I uploaded.


Jana's episode is from October 1978. Sorry about the sketchy print. It doesn't appear that she was ever released on DVD, so VHS transfers are the best we can find.


WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME, the only successful, animated sitcom in the 27 year gap between the FLINTSTONES and SIMPSONS, progresses to its 48th regular episode...

Tom Bosley (who voices our series' titular father) once had a guest role on Joe E. Ross' early '60s live-action show CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?. So I suppose it was sort of payback for Ross to guest on WTYFGH. He even reprized his old character Officer Gunther Toody, driving Car 54. Too bad they didn't manage to get his original partner Fred Gwynne (of Herman Munster fame), and went with Ronnie Schell, whom you'll probably recognize as Duke from GOMER PYLE USMC, but also did tractor-trailer loads of cartoon voice work.

No explanation for how a Bronx cop and his department were somehow serving the Boyle's neighborhood, which has been established as being on the Left Coast.

Gunther manages to rope brother in-law Harry into a daycare side-business for preschoolers, which leads to a misunderstanding and not-really-kidnapping train wreck akin to THREE STOOGES comedies going back to at least 1938.

And so, after the LOVE AMERICAN STYLE pilot and four dozen subsequent episodes, we bid farewell to the Boyle family, as this is the final episode. Unlike the FLINTSTONES, JETSONS, JONNY QUEST, and TOP CAT, this prime-time animated show was a bit too adult-oriented to transition well into Saturday Morning reruns, so it mostly faded from view after production ended. I hadn't seen it since then myself.

From October 1974.

Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Last week's Saturday upload was 1978's FREEDOM FORCE, a short-lived Filmation superhero 'toon that included Super Samurai, whom I described as a "less sci-fi version of Ultraman".

Now, the name Ultraman has been used in DC comic books for various alternate universe, bad guy counterparts to Superman. It was also used in self-reference by a teenager with superpowers in the late '80s sitcom MY SECRET IDENTITY. But I wasn't writing about those guys...

You see, back in the '60s and early '70s, Japan sent us a show featuring a giant super-dude doing battle with leftovers from Godzilla's movies. ULTRAMAN was a live-action program, done with the titular hero in a silver and red wetsuit judo-fighting rubber-suit monsters in the midst of miniature buildings while the Science Patrol flew around in toy planes on strings with small pyrotechnics in them... We freakin' loved it!!!

Ultraman spawned a whole franchise of follow-ups, including cartoons! Today we have a classic bit of Japanimation (from before everyone got uppity and rechristened it 'anime') introducing a new incarnation in 2D.

From 1979.

WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME, the only successful, animated sitcom in the 27 year gap between the FLINTSTONES and SIMPSONS, progresses to its 47th regular episode...

Fans of relatively short-lived programs often lament that their shows ended too soon. This penultimate episode of WTYFGH may demonstrate the opposite. In last week's installment, we saw the notion of chubby teen Alice's would-be exhibitionism (and subsequent chickening-out) recycled from Season 1, Ep 02. This week, the Boyles get pulled into the troubles of a newlywed couple, much as they did in S1, E24. A 'professional relationship expert' screws up the family dynamic, similar to S2, E01...

Not that the show has gone bad. There are some humorous 4th wall breaks, including a particularly subtle one (especially for animation). But, had the series continued much longer, it might've jumped the shark well before HAPPY DAYS (featuring Tom Bosley's more famous fatherly character) established the trope.

Note that Jamie's suggestion for babies to be made in a lab became reality just a few years later with the first known, successful "test tube baby" human birth.

From October, 1974.


Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

A few weeks ago I featured the YOUNG SENTINELS / SPACE SENTINELS, one of Filmation's rare ventures not involving licensed properties. That show was a single season and mostly forgotten, but one of its characters was recycled the next year in the FREEDOM FORCE, which was broadcast as part of the TARZAN AND THE SUPER 7 cartoon block. The oddly Nordic-looking version of the Greek demigod Hercules returned, now riding Pegasus, the winged horse.

Now, why Hercules, who possessed the ability to fly under his own power with the Sentinels, needed a winged horse here is a good question. But Pegasus has always been too popular an image to be confined to the lesser-known hero Bellerophon, his original rider. So he's been associated with bigger stars like Perseus. (Who didn't need a winged horse either, since he had the ability to fly thanks to talaria he wore.) Strange paring him with Herc though, as one of the strongman's legendary labors involved killing Pegasus' nephew!

Filling out the team were generic versions of public domain characters Merlin and Sindbad... Along with "Super Samurai", who was sort of a less sci-fi version of ULTRAMAN, a Japanese guy who could transform into what appeared to be living, giant samurai armor.

Probably the biggest "star" of this little group was ISIS, an animated version of the super-heroine from Filmation's 1975 live-action, Saturday Morning show, originally shared with SHAZAM. The animated Isis would pop into Filmation's HERO HIGH a few years later... By which time the mere five episodes of Freedom Force would already be slipping into oblivion.

From 1978.

WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME, the only successful, animated sitcom in the 27 year gap between the FLINTSTONES and SIMPSONS, progresses to its 46th regular episode...

When a grungy, Euro-trash artist wants to paint teenage Alice in the nude, Harry and Irma are understandably unenthusiastic about the whole idea.

Yeah, getting out of clothes was a popular thing back in the '70s. Ray Stevens had a #1 song about streaking the year this episode aired. The late-hippy to early disco crowd loved to get nekkid. But, hairy as so many of 'em were, it barely mattered!

From September 1974.

Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Not long ago, my weekday upload for grownups was an episode of WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME featuring an appearance by Jonathan Winters. Like Don Adams and Phyllis Diller, Winters had also guest starred on HB's top Saturday Morning 'toon... But, in his case, he also brought along the same Granny Maude Frickert character to both shows.

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (Basically ersatz DOBIE GILLIS characters crossed with the old I LOVE A MYSTERY radio show plus a semi-anthropomorphic dog thrown-in for good measure.) was a big hit for the studio in 1969. Not only did it get a second production season, which was kinda' rare for Saturday Morning Cartoons, but is spawned a slew of follow-up series, one-shot video features, and even big-budget live-action movie adaptations.

Scooby and the gang also became the go-to template for many of HB's 'toons through the '70s, as YOGI BEAR had been for the '60s. Just rename the Meddling Kids, and swap-out the dog for a semi-anthropomorphic car, phantom, cat, shark, or even a goofier-looking dog, and there's your new show. Heck, even the Justice League got a pair of Meddling Kids and their dog when HB took over the superheroes' license with SUPER FRIENDS.

Scooby's second program, the NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES, had the mystery adventures extended to an hour-long, and featured guest stars. And what a mixed-bad that lot was! Sometimes real people, like Cass Elliot, Davy Jones, or Jerry Reed, voiced by their real-world selves. Sometimes fictional characters, like Batman, the Addams Family, or the cast of other HB Scooby-esque cartoons. Sometimes a splitting of the difference, with the onscreen personas of real people voiced by impersonators, as with the THREE STOOGES and LAUREL AND HARDY due to the originals being retired or dead.

From September, 1972.

WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME, the only successful, animated sitcom in the 27 year gap between the FLINTSTONES and SIMPSONS, progresses to its 45th regular episode...

Popular Saturday Morning cartoons sometimes get a short second production season to crank out a handful of new episodes to freshen the rotation when the show goes into a mostly-rerun second broadcast year. But WTYFGH was a prime-time sitcom and had completed two full production seasons of 22 episodes each. I'm kind of at a loss for why they did a third, short production season. It wasn't enough to put the show across the threshold for secondary strip syndication. It seems like they either would have done another full season or finished with the two.

This season premier features legendary celebrity voice impersonator Rich Little in a story designed to let him demonstrate his talents. Rich Little is still with us and active at 82. But I don't think the same can be said for any of the celebs he impersonates here.

From September 1974.

Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Three of the five characters starring in the MARVEL SUPER-HEROES wheel show were shiny, new, Silver-Age adventurers who'd just debuted in print a few years before. Saturday before last, we covered one of the Golden Age players in the rotation with CAPTAIN AMERICA. Today we'll look at an even older superguy. NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER, who dates back to 1939, around the same time as BATMAN.

Namor, predates rival DC Comics' AQUAMAN by over a year, but each character seems to have influenced the other over the decades of publication. Namor, however, has been more consistently depicted as a borderline antihero, while Aquaman has been everything from that through a generic good-guy nerfed for '70s network kid shows.

Apologies for the eccentricities of this 'print'. It was surprisingly difficult to dig-up a copy of this particular segment. But I didn't want to stop short of finishing the set.

From 1966.

WAIT TILL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME, the only successful, animated sitcom in the 27 year gap between the FLINTSTONES and SIMPSONS, progresses to its 44th regular episode...

Jonathan Winters joins the ranks of Don Adams, Phyllis Diller, and Don Knotts as alumni of the NEW SCOOBY-DOO MOVIES who also guest-starred on WTYFGH. (Both Hanna-Barbera productions.) Winters actually portrayed the same character, "Maude Frickert" on both shows. He also voiced, and was the model for, several others in tonight's program.

This was the second season's final episode. (No other prime-time, animated show got a second season in the '70s.) But we're not quite done with the Boyle family yet!

From January 1974.


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Category Anime & Animation

This channel is just for stuff I dig and think could use a little more exposure... And to test the BitChute platform for an original content channel later.

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