Pop Culture | TV | 70s

Only True 'Schoolhouse Rock' Fans Will Remember These Lost Episodes

No matter how old you are, hearing the words "I'm just a bill" is bound to bring back some happy memories.

I probably learned more from this cartoon than I did in Civics class.WUSF

Despite all of the boring and slow educational shows we watched as kids, it was always enjoyable to learn something from Schoolhouse Rock. The TV show taught us math, science and English using catchy tunes that were easy to remember.

Be honest, do you still hum the multiplication songs to yourself? That was why the show was created in the first place. Madison Avenue ad executive David McCall realized that his son couldn't remember his times tables, but could sing rock songs by heart.

He recruited legendary jazz musician Bob Dorough to write the songs, and used his connections with ABC to put the shows on the air. The rest was history. While the show only "ran" for 12 years, the shorts have never really left TV since then.

Remember these characters? You probably haven't seen them since 1985.ABC

But even if you know every word of the original shorts, you've probably never seen the four lost episodes...

After Multiplication Rock, Grammar Rock, America Rock and Science Rock, the show went in a bold new direction with Computer Rock in the early '80s.

Talking computer Mr. Chips taught Scooter Computer about cutting-edge technology.ABC

Instead of a new song and story each episode, the show's fifth season followed Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips, a radical teenager and his talking computer. The shorts used songs to teach some pretty basic information about home computers.

So how come the episodes only ran once? By the time it took to produce them, some of the information in the songs was already getting out of date. Home computers in the '80s were just changing too fast, so it didn't make sense to rerun Computer Rocks after 1985.

Until box sets of Schoolhouse Rock were released almost 30 years later, nobody had a chance to watch Computer Rocks. Which is a shame, because these episodes are just as fun as the others.

Recently, some new Schoolhouse Rock shorts have been made as well. The "Presidential Minute" shorts were released in 2008.

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