We return for another exciting round of the Fame Game! Will Mike be able to guess this week's BOTNS-era celebrity, character, or possibly location, or will he go down trying? Plus, what have Bobby and the BOTNS Orchestra been up to? Find out this week!
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Credit to to Newspapers.com and Garage Sale Finds for the scans.
Police Story began March 20, 1973 as a TV movie, then aired on NBC as an anthology before hanging on as several TV movies. This was the finale...until it came back 7 years later! Police Story: The Freeway Killings featured Angie Dickinson, Ben Gazarra, Richard Crenna, Tony Lo Bianco, and many more TV vets. The show was revived yet again in 1988 when ABC reshot screenplays from the original series run for programming during the writers' strike.
All in all, Police Story--with its diversity of storylines and performers--may be one of the most underappreciated but with interesting production history series of the era!
Monday, April 27, 2020
Sunday, April 26, 2020
2) Carol Burnett: Happy birthday to the legend best known for her long-running CBS--you know, I haven't even finished the entry and somewhere Harvey Korman is already breaking up.
3) Honky in the House: I don't care how good this book by former Jeffersons writer Jay Moriarty is, that title alone puts it on the shortlist for best of the year.
4) Madeline Khan: Also on our Facebook group, we discussed who you might "draft" to build a TV show around, and while there were some great answers (join us to learn more!), this one by Friend of the Show Dann intrigued me most because it never would have crossed my mind.
5) ALF: It's National Kids and Pets Day, AND this series was just added to Prime Video again. Oh, ALF was totally a pet. Everyone knows Brian was the real force in that household.
6) Three's Company: Antenna TV celebrates the sitcom (which we celebrated here) with a marathon today. I celebrate it by posting this old Pizza Hut ad featuring Richard Kline:
7) John Barbour: The former Real People star was on TV Confidential again last week, and while I can't say I understood everything he was talking about, he sure had a lot of energy. His memoir is called Your Mother's Not a Virgin, which is almost as good a title as Honky in the House.
8) Shirley Knight: R.I.P. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role in this 1980 Vanessa Redgrave telefilm:
9) HBO MAX: It finally has a launch date: May 27. The announced slate of new programs is weak, and I am not thrilled by Big Bang Theory, so I am anxious to see how deep into the catalog they go, Surely this is the streaming return of Warner Archive Instant faves like McLain's Law, The Man from Atlantis, and of course:
10) Growing Pains/Who's the Boss: Both sitcoms ended this day in April, and I think we can all agree that ABC's "Things That make You Go..." promotional branding campaign gave each show the gravity it deserved.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
I didn't know Alex Karras did commercials for Faygo Redpop. I didn't even know Faygo did commercials for Faygo Redpop. I must have grown up in the post-glory years of the Faygo empire. And, yes, it is Redpop--one word.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
The same uploader posted the next 3 segments as well, and the running storyline is John Elway's drafting by and refusal to play for the Baltimore Colts. Paul Zimmerman, Howard Balzer, Bob Ley, and a subdued Chris Berman are the talent.
Monday, April 20, 2020
Karras is closer to his prime here but still mellow considering he's playing SUPER JOCK! This looks like a great toy, though I am dissapointed by the apparent lack of potential to break a window.
And how ANGRY does Super Toe look? They say kickers are a different breed, but, man, I bet you really have to be on eggshells on gameday around this guy.
Sunday, April 19, 2020
2) Supertrain: Speaking of our Facebook group, there is growing sentiment we should cover this series on the podcast, and if it's not growing now, I plan to make sure it does:
3) Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes V: This special aired on this day 40 years ago. yes, there were 4 of these before this one. Here is a summary of the series.
I'm especially intrigued by the Eight Is Enough vs. White Shadow event!
4) Hugh O'Brian: happy birthday to the late star of one of our favorites, Search! Put a candle on a bit of peach melba
5) Tales of the Gold Monkey: It's on the semi-problematic list (just be glad you don't know why if you don't), but as we said in this week's bonus episode, it would have made for some cool toys back when it aired.
6) Peacock: This streaming service is rumored to have launched this week with old favorites (and season 7 subjects) like Miami Vice and Murder She Wrote, but I don't know of anybody who actually has it.
7) Saul Turtletaub: R.I.P. to one of the creative forces behind Sanford and Son and What's Happening! because of course "Saul Turtletaub" had his finger on the pulse!
8) Dick Sargent: Happy birthday to the late Sargent, who gets too much blame for being the second Darrin on Bewitched...and not enough for being the second dad on Down to Earth.
9) Up with People: Hey, someone did the "favor" of posting the 1986 Super Bowl Halftime show. After this, Up with People was not invited back, as the NFL went with a hipper group next year: Mickey Rooney, George Burns, and some college marching bands.
10) Howard Finkel: R.I.P. to one of the voices of my childhood, the great WWF ring announcer.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
His interaction with Milton Levine, inventor of the ant farm, is a highlight!
Friday, April 17, 2020
And remember, our official YouTube channel has all of our past episodes and accompanying playlists for each one!
1) Tales of the Gold Monkey
3) The Year Without a Santa Claus
4) Dungeons and Dragons (the animated series)
5) Thundaar the Barbarian
1) The Greatest American Hero
2) Mike Torello from Crime Story
3) Mel Sharples from Alice
4) Eddie Murphy as Gumby
5) Dick Enberg
Honorable mentions: Plastic Man, Gary Gnu, Fat Albert, The Odd Couple playset
*The Golden Girls action figures now in stores come from Neca.
*Mike found this look at prototype Greatest American Hero toys that never really made it to shelves.
*These Year Without a Santa Claus toys came way too late for our tastes.
*This official board game came with figures from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon:
And now here are our picks for toys we want to see NOW (if not sooner):
1) Search a la Mego Star Trek
2) The Sandbaggers
3) Spider-Woman with mystery villain assortment
4) Universal detectives (Columbo, Quincy, Rockford, etc.)
5) In Search Of... with various Leonards and various show subjects
Honorable mentions: Pray for the Wildcats dirtbike action set, BOTNS Genius Award collection (including Marjoe with real hair), Lego Cheers set
1) Late Night with David Letterman playset
2) Battle of the Network Stars
3) Don Cornelius
4) Bob Uecker
5) Paul Williams as Allison Troy
Honorable mentions: Edna Garrett, Sam the Butcher, Disco Paul Lynde
*There is in fact a Robert Conrad toy, though not in track outfit, but as James West from a 1997 "best of the West" line.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
While shows ranging from Transformers all the way to M*A*S*H had action figures during the BOTNS era, plenty didn't, so we offer up a double-decker wish list. First, we look at toys we would have wanted as kids at the time. Then we list toys based on the era we'd love to have now. Join us for all the action and play along with your BOTNS action figures!
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
This promo touts CBS' lineup for November 29, 1981, and The Jeffersons looks like the winner on that Sunday night. It's interesting that both Archie Bunker's Place and One Day at a Time have the first of two-part episodes. A highlight is Archie Bunker telling Stephanie's father to get out. It's nice to see the distaff side of the "booked two dates for the same night--oh, no" plot on One Day at a Time.
On Alice, I can't condone a promo that mentions Mel but doesn't show Mel, even if time is limited. And I do admit I am intrigued by Vera pushing Henry's face into--what is that? A mixing bowl? Did Mel start serving his chili in mixing bowls? It looks tense on Trapper, but I have to investigate this Alice situation.
Is Henry the friend who gives a bad check? I can't believe that. There must be extenuating circumstances!
According to IMDB: Vera cashes a check for an old boyfriend that bounces.
Whew! Henry is off the hook. Yet he still winds up with a faceful of something. Vera is outraged!
You know, Flo should have kept a bowl of grits handy so when she got the urge to lash out at a regular, she could yell, "Kiss my grits,": while actually forcing the offender to kiss her grits.
Monday, April 13, 2020
Sunday, April 12, 2020
2 Fred Astaire: The GOAT of Rankin-Bass narrators is Burl Ives, but the fact we can even discuss Astaire without dismissing him right away is a credit:
3) Family Circus Easter: We at BOTNS never forgot the Keanes, but this is one of the forgotten holiday cartoons of the era. Will you learn a lesson? Shed a tear? Enjoy a warm, knowing chuckle? All of the above.
4) The Easter Beagle: A lesser-screened Peanuts special is still a Peanuts special.
5) David Letterman: Happy birthday to one of the true TV legends.
6) Mort Drucker: The MAD icon drew so many of the stars of the 1970s and 1980s. R.I.P.
7) Thomas Miller: The prolific producer helped bring the world Full House, but we mourn his passing anyway.
8) Cadbury: A distant runner-up to peanut butter eggs, yes, but it has its following.
9) The Ten Commandments: Honestly, ABC showed this each year, but unless it was Superman or James Bond, there was no way I was gonna watch 4 hours of movie on TV.
10) James Drury: R.I.P. to the star of long-running The Virginian, which is kind of on the periphery of our time period, but he was also in this short-lived 1974 series called Firehouse, which I can't help but wonder if it was in any way "inspired" by Emergency.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
Naming a restaurant 'Clam Broth House" is a little restrictive, isn't it? Despite the efforts of this charming fellow to tell us about the other delights one finds at the eatery, all I can think of is...clam broth. I mean, this guy is fighting off lobsters, and I still can't help but think about clam broth. Are the lobsters boiled in clam broth?
How do you even eat clam broth? Like soup? Or do you just dip your whole head in a giant bowl and slurp it up? Oh, come on, don't tell me you can't see this guy doing that.
According to the video uploader, this is Big Bernie. To me he resembles a deranged Stuart Pankin. It's as if someone thought, "We need a Crazy Eddie approach to hyping our restaurant. If it worked for electronics, it'll work for clam broth."
Friday, April 10, 2020
Now let's watch Madden breaking down the 1985 Chicago Bears defense. You have to love that instead of using the "coach's clicker" he would have later, or even just game film, he has a regular-size board and a marker!
Thursday, April 9, 2020
The show lasted a mere 10 episodes in the fall of 1982 on ABC, but this promo makes it a must-see. First, you have that classic sitcom take, with Dennehy looking towards the camera, doing a great face palm gesture, and muttering, "Oh, boy." I think I could watch Brian Dennehy mutter, "Oh, boy," for a half-hour. If it's the climax of some sitcom hijinks, well, then all the better!
(By the way, that is not Paul McCartney on Joanie Loves Chachi)
Let's not overlook the notion that guest star Joanna Kerns is interested in both Dennehy's character and his son (Michael Dudikoff!) despite the fact that the two guys look nothing alike. Perhaps they are more alike than I can glean from just this promo. I'm sure the writers have a rational explanation for why Kerns is attracted to both men!
Here's a little more of Star of the Family, created by Rick Mitz, author of The Great TV Sitcom Book. Harry and Wally's Favorite TV Shows writes the series "goes to show that TV historians should probably stick to chronicling past shows and leave the creative writing to others." OUCH!
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
(The above promo is from a repeat showing, and, hey, is that Rick Dees trying on a "cowboy" accent?)
The CBS made-for-TV movie debuted Tuesday at 9:00 EST after a White Shadow rerun and up against an episode of failed variety/event series The Big Show on NBC and ABC's combo of reruns of Three's Company and Taxi and a new Hart to Hart. The film was a big hit, spawning 4 sequels over the years; Country Music: The Encyclopedia says "it achieved the highest rating of any TV movie shown over the past two years." The book also notes that Rogers headlined 3 specials on CBS, and then in 1981 starred in other song-to-movie adaptation, The Coward of the County.
Speaking of great titles, I love that Kenny's first CBS special (April 12, 1979) is called A Special Kenny Rogers and not A Kenny Rogers Special.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Even when he is just smiling and rubbing his hands together in anticipation of a nice steak (can we offer you a bottle a' Lowenbrau?), he's charming. We all know that despite the efforts of Us to prove otherwise, celebrities are not real people*, but if you are gonna do an ad campaign built around the slogan "real food for real people," this guy is a great choice.
Happy birthday to the late James Scott Bumgarner, born this day in 1928!
*Except Robert Pine. We know for a fact HE is a real person.
Monday, April 6, 2020
Sunday, April 5, 2020
2) FOX network: It's prime-time premiere (technically Joan Rivers' talk show kicked off the network months earlier) was April 5, 1987 with Married with Children at 7:00 and The Tracey Ullman Show at 7:30. Then it actually repeated those two shows for the next two hours!
Here's a great piece on the night from TV Obscurities. And isn't it funny to think of Married with Children as a 7:00 P.M. Sunday show?
3) Brent Musberger: Makes it on the list by virtue of this hat:
By the way, this uploader posted dozens of short clips from the NFC and AFC Championship games, and they are GOLD!
4) Dick Cavett: It's National Nebraska Day, and perhaps the most famous TV star born in the Cornhusker State is the talk show host, author, and Woody devotee:
5) Murder, She Wrote: The series is no longer on Prime Video, but you can catch it on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Yippee?
6) Frank Gorshin: One of the stars of the Legends of the Superheroes specials entered the world on this day in 1933.
7) The Love Boat: Set a course for Decades this weekend and enjoy the Weekend Binge of the quintessential television program (don't @ me).
8) The 1984 Orange Bowl: Speaking of the Cornhuskers, this isn't exactly the best moment in the state's sports history, but it is one of the most memorable:
9) Max Gail: Happy birthday to the former Wojo from Barney Miller!
10) Bill Withers: R.I.P.
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Little House on the Prairie (all seasons) -- IMDB TV
Yes, that's it! At least that's all I found. Shout! Factory TV is touting Johnny Carson reruns on its channel, and that's cool, but those episodes and many more are already on Prime Video without ads. And speaking of ads, this Little House thing isn't so special when you consider the series was on Prime Video proper (ad free, easier to find) until recently.
Maybe we should be happy that more 70s and 80s shows didn't leave streaming services this month. Murder, She Wrote's first 5 seasons were on Prime before vanishing this week. Will the series move to Peacock, which, like the series, is owned by NBC Universal and has a limited launch on April 15? We'll see. In fact, let's keep a close eye on all those "throwback" series like Buck Rogers and The Six Million Dollar Man that are currently free on NBC.com.
So there isn't much to get excited about so far in April, but maybe Peacock will not just poach the series NBC has licensed out to other streaming services but will add multiple series that currently are not streaming anywhere. Otherwise, April is looking like a big disappointment for retro TV fans who hoped that some more vintage material might be made available this month.
Friday, April 3, 2020
The NBA player that Ivory Soap got, though...
Danny Vranes was a star at Utah (of course!) and the fifth overall pick in the 1981 NBA draft. The 6'7" forward had a few years as a starter in the early 1980s, but in his 7-year career never averaged more than 29 minutes, 9 points, nor 6 rebounds per game.
But he was clean!