Friday, October 21, 2016

Show Notes: Family Ties, "Say Uncle"

*This episode aired Thursday, January 26, 1984 on NBC.

*Tom Hanks' first appearance as Uncle Ned was in the first season's two-parter "The Fugitive."

*Brian Bonsall joined the cast as Andy Keaton at the beginning of season 5 when the show accelerated the character's aging to make him a 5-year-old (Andy was born in season 3).

*There was no Family Ties lunchbox--much to our disappointment--but it is true that NBC  exec Brandon Tartikoff suggested Fox be removed from the cast of the series because you would never see him on a lunchbox. After Back to the Future, as Fox recounts in his book, he sent Tartikoff a custom Michael J. Fox lunchbox.

Tartikoff's own memoir says the note inside the box read, "Eat crow, Tartikoff." To his credit, the late exec always owned up to his mistake and told that story with good humor.

*Steven Keaton is the station manager of public TV station WKS, but I still can't figure out what Mr. Wertz's role is.

*Mind-blowing show note of the week: The Family Ties theme song, "Without Us," was performed by Denice Williams and Johnny Mathis for most of the sitcom's run. However, the initial version was sung by...Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams and Mindy Sterling of Austin Powers!

*You CAN call AA on the phone!

*The Seagram's segment begins at 44:00.

*Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone never co-starred in a movie in their heyday, but they did both appear in 2006's Alpha Dog.

*Willis was reportedly fired from his Seagram's gig after a DUI bust, but his version is that he decided not to re-up because he quit drinking after that incident.

*Here is the clip we watched for this episode:

*Check out our YouTube channel for a playlist for the full show playlist, s episode, including the Seagram's ads, more from Bruce Willis (You have to see "This is where the fun starts"), and some great clips from this episode of Family Ties, including the Shot (and not of vanilla extract) Heard Round the World!

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