The Most Important #FlashbackFriday In The Whole Wide World Is You…

…and you hardly even know you!

In past weeks, we’ve looked at segments encouraging us to read, misspelled titles and good advice, TV actors providing good advice to adults and children, characters teaching us nutrition, and A Squad for Bods, to topics that are “in the news.”

For once, an interstitial that doesn’t try to give advice, or pander to our child-like sensibilities. Instead, there’s politics and geography to be learned!

Yea, CBS News!

Today, we’re shifting back to animated segments attempting to encourage a positive self-image and self-esteem, through 1970s animated and song.

Move over Schoolhouse Rock!, you’re not the only one teaching through singing!

Today’s interstitial series comes to us from 1972 (but aired beyond that), and focuses on The Most Important Person in the whole wide world…you!

And you hardly even know you, but come on, we’ll show you!

Seriously though, it’s called The Most Important Person, and it really is all about you, and you, and you!

The Most Important Person was an interstitial airing on CBS beginning in 1972, until 1975 during Captain Kangaroo airings, with sixty-six total produced in 1972. Beginning in 1975, The Most Important Person went into syndication, airing on local independent stations during afternoon children’s programming blocks until 1981, as well as a few PBS stations in the late 1970s as part of their in-school programming, and some pre-1994 syndicated Underdog prints. Of course, as I’ve said in past articles that was around the end of The Television Code and the use of interstitials as educational/informative tools. While Public Service Announcement-type interstitials like One To Grow On and Schoolhouse Rock continued past that time (One to Grow On actually came after the end of the Television Code), most interstitial programming was done away with, though it was easy to spot them in the wild once in a while.

Image: The Big Cartoon Database

The shorts were produced by Sutherland Learning Associates, who also created a sequel series, The Kingdom of Could Be You in 1973. Sutherland Learning Associates also produced commercials to help finance a series of audiocassette tapes, filmstrips and booklets. Beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot of information that came up in my Google search. I’m assuming they were one of those educational companies that made the film strips we used to watch in high school, with the funky 1970s music. This was in the 90s, but we liked our disco beats during ninth grade health class.

Anyway…

Why is “the most important person in the whole wide world” you? And how come you hardly know you?

Well, isn’t everything a mystery?

Like Cousin Itt interacting with blonde girls?

The actual segment itself talks about pretty much the same retread of topics other interstitial programming discusses – that’s it is ok to make a mistake, disappointment, being yourself, combating loneliness, curiosity, understanding, the senses, and controlling anger, combining animated and live action moments, as well as regular characters Hairy (as exactly as the name states), as well as Mike and Nicola, and songs about each situation discussed. Nothing we haven’t heard before in any of the other interstitials floating around.

Including something talking about touch, and making it sound inappropriate.

And speaking of floating around, YouTube, as it always is, has fifteen segments, compiled in a nice playlist for easy viewing.

You’re guaranteed to get this theme song stuck in your head, along with a few others.

Hope you like torture!

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

This one, like most interstitials, was a little before my time. The curse of being “born too late” is something I’m well aware of when it comes to stuff like this. By the time I was watching Saturday morning cartoons, most of these were going away (or long gone), and our “educational stuff” came from the quick moral lesson at the end of the episode. He-Man and She-Ra taught us everything we needed to know in “insert incest joke here” segments, and the G.I. Joe characters were picking up downed power lines and saving kids stranded on icy ponds.

Good times.

But, for what they are, and what they aim to teach, The Most Important Person is very much of the time period in terms of music and animation style, and worked hard to impart the same information other interstitials worked hard to throw at us. Those lessons, my friends, are timeless.

Like we’re the center of everything!

And we start hardly know you – I mean, me! I still hardly know me!

And of course, because there’s a sequel, I’m going to make that part of my next round of Interstitials Week…next month!

Yeah, total spoilers, friends!

Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, acknowledge your mistakes without crying, and have a great weekend!

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