Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Sunday, July 28, 2019
2) The Seavers: Revisit our earlier Growing Pains episode and celebrate National Parents Day. It takes a strong parent to deal with a sensitive topic so deftly: "Cocaine? Cocaine?"
3) Eric Raymond: Speaking of Jem, every heroine needs a villain. And every villain needs heroin (see the unreleased darker fourth season episodes--come on, you don't think Eric Raymond had his hand in some dangerous stuff?).
4) Linda Kelsey: Happy birthday to the intrepid reporter on Lou Grant, Billie Newman, who continues to inspire our famous crack research team every day.
5) Quincy: The announcement that Comcast/NBC/Universal/Omegacorp's streaming service is coming in spring 2020 means we can start the official countdown to the return of the good doctor to video on demand.
6) Captain Kangaroo: Ellen Barkin declared on Twitter this week: I’m informing you now...Captain Kangaroo told me to go f*** myself. She's probably taking it out of context.
7) The Fall Guy: Decades' binge watch is the Lee Majors 1980s action show. The excitement on The Fall Guy is so high octane it makes me wish summer were over!
Well, maybe not, but, hey, you can see dozens of episodes this weekend on Decades.
8) Sally Struthers: Happy birthday to Sally, who is significantly below Linda Kelsey because she married Meathead.
9) Aaron Spelling and Phill Norman: I'm not sure I buy the story Spelling tells, as recounted in this interesting article, but it's a good one.
10) Life with Lucy: TV Shows on DVD reports that the beloved final sitcom from Lucille Ball is getting a complete series release. And by "beloved," we mean "reviled."
Friday, July 26, 2019
And don't forget to check out our official YouTube channel for playlists like this and past episodes of BOTNS!
*These episodes, #23 and #24 of the first season, The Jem Jam parts 1 and 2, premiered February 8 and February 15, 1987, when the show was a weekend series, teamed with Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines and The Inhumanoids. For more on the latter, check out this cool piece. You can see a Super Sunday intro spotlighting these cartoons in this week's YouTube playlist.
*The Stingers are a German glam rock band!
*Barry Harman (lyrics) and Anne Bryant (music) wrote the songs featured in the series.
*There is indeed an anti-drug episode of the series! It's Alone Again in season 2 and spotlights two (conveniently) new characters in a story based on pill abuse.
*Here are the "guest stars" in the episode:
Roland Owens = Stevie Wonder
Ron Cox = Mick Jagger
Lena Lerner = Tuna Turner
Dominick Lerner = Michael Jackson (sort of)
Luna Dark = Madonna
Johnny Deacon = Bruce Springsteen
Randy James = Johnny Deacon's drummer
*As far as we know, unlike Deacon, the real Springsteen is not an accomplished pilot. However, the current Swamp Thing series on DC Universe names many of its episodes after Bruce songs, and the pilot episode is titled Pilot. Coincidence? Yeah, most likely.
*Here's a look at the current global helium shortage (no mention of Eric Raymond, though).
*Here is a cool 1986 article on the Barbie and the Rockers/Jem feud.
Thursday, July 25, 2019
In another listener poll, our listeners chose eighties cartoon Jem and the Holograms. We chose two episodes promising appearances by stand-ins for some of the biggest acts of the eighties. Can you guess the real identities of the likes Roland Owens, Luna Dark, Johnny Deacon, Ron Cox, and the mysterious Lina Lerner? Also, some of the Starlight girls have some issues--including Vietnam flashbacks--the Misfits cause trouble, and bears bear!
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
I'm not sure folks who know him from Password, Tattletales, or even the 1978 TV movie The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders know he was an accomplished stage performer, appearing in numerous Broadway productions including the original Fiddler on the Roof. Here's Bert showing off his singing talent:
Monday, July 22, 2019
In case you somehow forgot, Joe Piscopo is from New Jersey. So it's only appropriate that he return to the Garden State for a primtime TV special. the program aired 10:00 on Tuesday, May 13, 1986, losing out to Stingray on NBC and a CBS TV-movie called Second Serve (based on Renee Richards' autobiography).
This was several years after Piscopo's SNL run, and it was less successful than a 1984 HBO special. A contemporary Chicago Tribune review was lukewarm.
Unfortunately, the result is an occasionally amusing hour that is mostly undistinguished for its persistent self-indulgence.
Danny DeVito has a prominent role, Eddie Murphy and then-governor Thomas Kean less so.
This special is available on YouTube in segments, but here is an official clip from its apparent rights holder:
Sunday, July 21, 2019
2) Allyce Beasley: I mispronounced her name during said podcast, and I apologize for the error. I should have just said "Agnes Dipesto." And i should have rhymed the whole episode.
3) Alan Thicke: Because I feel the need to link to this just one more time (for now):
4) J.J. Starbuck: Anyone remember this series?
5) Rebecca Schaeffer: This week marked the 30th anniversary of the My Sister Sam star's slaying by a deranged fan. Part of her legacy is the changing of anti-stalker laws.
6) Space: 1999: Now available in a new Blu-Ray set from Shout! Factory. Screen the show at midnight instead of Star Trek and irritate Rick (reference to previous podcast episode).
7) Don Knotts: Happy birthday to the late comic icon, whose proudest accomplishment remains his epic battle against Norman Fell in our Three's Company episode.
8) Robin Williams: Happy birthday to the late comic icon, and it's no disrespect to rank him below Don Knotts, but it does seem kind of cool to do so.
9) Eddie Murphy: Reportedly in talks to do standup comedy for Netflix for 70 million dollars! Just quit messing around and give us Norbit 2. Or better yet, would 70 million be enough to get Universal/NBC/Concast to license those Eddie years SNL episodes it's sitting on?
10) Ted Danson: One of our all-time favorites already has a series lined up after The Good Place.
Friday, July 19, 2019
Remember to check our official YouTube channel for more playlists like this and past episodes!
*The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice is the famous black-and-white episode, it's highly recommended, and it aired two weeks before this one.
*For more talk of Bruce Willis at his Bruno-ist, check out this episode for our discussion of his Seagram's ads from the 1980s, and click HERE for Mike's exploration of his musical career.
*Willis was an arms dealer in an episode of Miami Vice (No Exit) before landing the role of David Addison.
*The Yellow Rose starring Cybill Shepherd and Sam Elliott aired on NBC in the 1983-84 season. The nighttime soap lasted only 22 episodes.
*The limbo originated in Trinidad but was originally tied in with the slave trade. Around the mid-twentieth century, it became the peppy signifier of fun we know today!
*Barbara Bain played agent Cinnamon Carter on Mission Impossible, co-starring with husband Martin Landau.
*The series' theme song, recorded by Al Jarreau and written by Jarreau and Lee Holdridge, reached #23 on the Billboard singles chart and #1 on the AC chart in 1987.
*Check out this fascinating Chicago Tribune piece from the time of the series finale. In it, the author points out the decline of the ratings, implying that the time slot shift to Sunday night was partly responsible, and also quotes TV critic Tom Shales blaming the consummation of the David-Maddie relationship for the decline of the show. However, it also touches on on-set tensions, production delays, and all the things that added up to a rocky ride.
*Here's another article debunking the "Moonlighting Curse."
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Fed up with David's antics--limbo party, anyone--Maddie challenges him to act like an adult for a week. Will he, or won't he? Also, some guy gets kidnapped or something. Plus, we put on our own detective hats and try to answer whether the "will they, or won't they?" aspect of the show truly caused its demise?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
This number was performed on the 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship, which alone might merit an investigation if I weren't so fixated on Thicke;s song. Here's a closer look at the tune and analysis of the lyrics if you are interested in doing your own investigation.
Monday, July 15, 2019
The 1977 TV movie is an interesting look at the world of pro grappling that I never see discussed in conversations about wrestling movies. It's a worthwhile watch, though, co-starring Nicholas Colasanto, Susan Anspach, Elisha Cook Jr., and Tracey Walter. At first glance it's a movie about a lug of a rassler who wonders if he is right for the woman he falls for, but, hey, he's also being stalked by a homicidal loner!
Read more about the movie here.
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Come to think of it, all things considered, was the "Tastes great, less filling," campaign the best in TV history? It should be in the conversation.
2) Terry Bradshaw: I hope Bradshaw is secure enough in his skin these days to not be offended at being runner up to Bob. He still has the 4 Super Bowl rings and his legacy as a surprisingly effective pitchman:
3) Jim Bouton: While we're on a sports theme this week, R.I.P. to Jim Bouton, who (with co-author Leonard Shecter) turned a diary of his season with the expansion Seattle Pilots into one of the most outstanding and influential sports books of all time, Ball Four. Longtime BOTNS listeners will remember we discussed Ball Four the TV series as a "What We'd Like to See" feature back in this episode AND a "What We Saw" episode here!
4) Love Boat: You know what I would be doing this weekend if I had Decades channel? Figuring out how I inadvertently paid for a streaming package that included it. But THEN I would settle in and watch the Love Boat marathon, coming out of it on Monday in a Stubing stupor.
5) Charlotte Rae: Watching some early Facts of Life on Roku Channel makes me think that if anything, we undersold what a "force of nature" Rae was. I mean, it takes guts and gusto to sell every_single_line with a wink, a wiggle, and a lilt
6) Rip Torn: His greatest TV role came after our time period on The Larry Sanders Show, but I can't imagine seeing him in anything and not being entertaining. Me-TV pays tribute to him, highlighting his appearance on Columbo, here.
7) Quincy: Hey, all this furor over Friends and The Office leaving Netflix MONTHS from now makes me wonder where the heck everyone was when Quincy M.E. just left with little warning? I was fighting the fight back then, folks. Now y'all want to jump on the bandwagon and talk about beloved series switching streaming services? Well, at least Friends and The Office are going somewhere, unlike Quincy, still in limbo.
8) Lynda Carter: Speaking of Me-TV, this article on TV stars who made disco albums in the 1970s would be great even without the picture of her, but with it...
9) Eric Laneuville: Happy birthday to the former St. Elsewhere regular. Hey, would anyone like to hear us cover that one on the pod?
10) Eddie Mekka: Because we can't emphasize too strongly how great that Me-TV disco article is. Did you know Mekka cut a record called Big Boss Man in 1979?
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Now, the info at the end indicates this was a local campaign targeting the Western PA area, but I am intrigued. In how many markets did they do this? keep in mind that though they had won the World Series in 1979, the Pirates had a bad year in the strike-torn 1981 season, finishing well below .500, so they weren't exactly a hot marquee team.
It's funny to see manager Chuck Tanner trying to track down his starting middle infield of 2B Johnny Ray, who was one of my favorites as a kid for his "J-Ray" nickname; and SS Dale Berra, who was one of my favorites as a kid for his massive cocaine habit (just kidding!). Berra would become a notorious figure in baseball circles as the Pittsburgh drug trials blew up, but for now, the guy just wants to Hoover up those Pac-pellets.
As for the game, I was never an Atari man--we had like every other system except that one--but this version of Pac-Man was reviled even though it was a huge seller. it was a big hit in the Bucco clubhouse, though!
Friday, July 12, 2019
Enjoy, and remember to visit our official YouTube channel for past podcast episodes and playlists like this one!
*The series featured multiple hosts over the years, including Jayne Kennedy (who hosts the Uecker episode) and George Plimpton, but also jocks (ex- and current) like Tom Seaver and Reggie Jackson.
*Despite what Rick says on the podcast, the New England Patriots have won 6 Super Bowls, with quarterback Tom Brady winning all of them.
*Here's a cool pic from Pinterest of the old Sears catalog NFL merch:
*Terry Bradshaw played QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1970-1983, then entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1989. he started his broadcasting career in 1984 as a color commentator on CBS' NFL game coverage, then moved to FOX and became a studio analyst.
*Check out Franco Harris' Immaculate Reception in our YouTube playlist this week!
*Willie Stargell, the "guest host" for the Bradshaw episode, is himself a Hall of Famer, entering the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988 after a 21-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in which he hit 475 home runs.
*Bob "Mr. Baseball" Uecker was a career .200 hitter.
*Mr. Belvedere aired 1985-1990 on ABC. Let us know if you want us to cover it on the podcast!
*There are no plans for a Belvedere revival...none that we know of, anyway.
*Ahmad Rashad is a former NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver and sportscaster who was NBC's main sideline reporter during the Michael Jordan years.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
This week, we look back at an unofficial TV genre, weekend dad TV, the kind of show that might fill the gap between the early game and the late game. Greatest Sports Legends combines interviews and documentary footage to cover the great athletes of the day. In a typical episode, Willie Stargell interviews Terry Bradshaw. Then an atypical episode parodies the show buy focusing on legendary bad player, raconteur, announcer, and actor Bob Uecker.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Sunday, July 7, 2019
2) Mad Magazine: News that the mag is ceasing publication bummed me out. Much of what I knew about 1970s and 1980s pop culture, I learned from reading Mad.
3) Arte Johnson: R.I.P. to the Laugh-In star, who was a fixture on TV in general in the BOTNS era. Cartoons, game shows, variety shows--he was everywhere!
4) Olivia De Havilland: Not a major TV presence, but, come on, she just turned 103!
5) Dolly Read Martin: The Playmate and actress was on the TV Confidential podcast in a delightful appearance. Any excuse to watch some old Tattletales episodes is all right by us.
6) Lee Iacocca: The former Chrysler leader, one of the business icons of the Eighties, died this week at 94.
7) Ringo Starr: Born on July 7, 1940, the former Richard Starkey did a little drumming but is of course best known for this TV special:
8) Captain America: Hey, speaking of Independence Day and America, don't forget this guy! One of our greatest (but not THE greatest according to TV--see #1) superheroes got a shot at TV stardom in the late 1970s, and while it didn't work, well, we got a podcast episode out of it.
9) Ryan's Hope: The ABC daytime soap premiered this day in 1975 and lasted till 1989.
10) Remington Steele: The weekend binge on Decades is celebrating this NBC series.
Friday, July 5, 2019
Remember to check our official YouTube channel for more playlists like this as well as past episodes of the podcast!
*Growing Pains edged Valerie and Who's the Boss to win our listener's choice poll. The series aired 7 seasons (1985-1992) and 166 episodes on ABC.
*Tracy Gold's sister Missy was the governor's daughter on Benson.
*Kirk Cameron's feature film career included 1987 body-switching comedy Like Father Like Son with Dudley Moore and 1989 debate-team drama Listen to Me. The latter flopped after attempting to capitalize on the fact that it featured a debate about abortion!
*We didn't mention it on the pod, but Cameron also headlined the two-season WB sitcom Kirk.
*Thick of the Night was a late-night syndicated talk show that lasted less than a year. Before that, however, Alan Thicke did have a popular daytime show in Canada.
*Keep watching this site for more info on the CD by Steve Dorff that we talk about in this episode!
*Andrew Koenig (Richard "Boner" Stabone) (1968-2010) was the son of Star Trek's Walter Koenig.
*Want more fun facts about Growing Pains? We recommend this cool Mental Floss article.
*College guy and party maven Roland Taylor on Thank God It's Friday is portrayed by Justin Williams, who also appeared as a contractor in season 5's two-parter The New Deal.
*Kristy Swanson was Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the 1992 film.
*Nancy Reagan's appearance on Diff'rent Strokes was April 30, 1983's The Reporter.
*It's difficult to find precise tonsillectomy rates, but the incidence of the procedure declined in a major way in recent decades--both in real life and, more importantly, on sitcoms.
*Alan Hale Jr., AKA Jonas "The Skipper" Grumby, was 66 at the time This Is Your Life aired.
*Cast member Jeremy Miller is active in the media discussing a Growing Pains revival, but there are no firm plans right now. The series is complete on DVD and is in reruns on Antenna TV.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
This week, we take a long, hard look two episodes of our Eighties Family Sitcom listener poll winner Growing Pains. In "Thank God It's Friday," Mike faces a tough decision when he finds himself at a cocaine (cocaine?!) party! Then a tonsillectomy sends Ben on a long, strange trip that includes the Skipper and a stunning heel turn by Danny Cooksey! Pull on your favorite pastel baggy sweater and cozy up to your hi-fi for Growing Pains.