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Inspector Gadget’s first season to stream on Twitch next week

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Inspector Gadget card
“Next tiiiiiiiiiime ...!”
DiC Entertainment via Next Time Gadget

All 65 episodes from the first season of Inspector Gadget, the cartoon classic syndicated to UHF stations nationwide in the heyday of the 1980s latchkey generation, will air in a Twitch marathon starting next week.

The marathon starts Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. PT and runs to Dec. 24 at 9 a.m. PT. Moreover, the show’s creator, Andy Heyward, will be chatting with viewers during the marathon. And Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) will livestream the demonstration of props inspired by the show on his Tested channel.

Twitch does nostalgia livestreams all the time, but Inspector Gadget is notable not only for the cartoon itself, but also because it’s sorta scarce on the major streaming services. Tubi has the first season, Vudu and iTunes have seasons one through four, and Starz and DirecTV subscribers can watch seasons one and two through those platforms.

Inspector Gadget got a reboot on Netflix in 2015, one that notably lacked original voice Don (Get Smart) Adams, who died a decade earlier. His nasal know-it-all-iness was essential to the persona of the earnestly bumbling Gadget, whose efforts to thwart Dr. Claw were usually carried out behind the scenes by niece Penny and her anthropomorphic dog, Brain. Fun fact: Cree Summer, who voiced Penny (for all but the pilot episode), was the daughter of Don Francks, a substitute voice for Dr. Claw (and, more frequently, one of his loutish henchmen).

The show is fondly remembered by several generations of children, although Gen-Xers are the most likely to get the most territorial about it. When the Reagan administration deregulated the hell out of broadcasters in the early 1980s, all kinds of crap (Gobots, Care Bears, Jem and the Holograms) suddenly satisfied educational programming standards. Inspector Gadget was one of the few after-school cartoons that was neither a 22-minute advertisement for an extant toy line (M.A.S.K., Wheeled Warriors, Centurions somehow all had adaptations) or a Japanimation import (Tranzor Z, Robotech, Voltron). Of all the shows actually fun enough to watch, Inspector Gadget had probably the best claim to being educational.

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