Friday, August 31, 2018

The YouTube playlist for our new Fame Game episode is live!

Remember to make sure you listen to our Fame Game episode this week if you don't want the identity of the mystery BOTNS figure revealed!

When you're ready, check out the above YouTube playlist for glimpses of the mystery guest, plus Sonny, Cher, and Phyllis Diller!

Show Notes: Fame Game #3

Remember, if you want to play along as Mike tries to deduce the identity of the subject in this installment of the Fame Game, please do NOT read this or check out our YouTube playlist until after hearing this week's mini episode!

We hope that Bobby will be back next time in his customary spot leading the Battle of the Network Shows orchestra, but we couldn't deprive him of a lucrative gig in Tahoe.

Just a few notes for this bonus episode:

*Our subject this week is Daphne Blake, whose most prominent voice was the actress Heather North. According to Mark Evanier, she is based on Thalia from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and the other teens are inspired by others from that series.

*Daphne co-starred with Don Adams in The Exterminator from the second season of The New Scooby-Doo Movies; Phyllis Diller in A Good Medium is Rare from the first season (I like that title) , and Sonny and Cher in The Secret of Shark Island, also in the first season.

*Fred's last name is Jones; Shaggy's is Rogers; Velma's is Dinkley.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Fame Game Three

Can you solve the identity of this week's mysterious BOTNS-era individual before Mike does? With Turtle Wax and his reputation on the line, will Mike even solve it? Find out on the Fame Game!

Check out this episode!

Monday, August 27, 2018

More from our TV Guide game...

Mike and I recently played our TV Guide game again, journeying back in time to January 1987. Here are some scans from that issue that relate to the stuff we talked about:

NCAA Basketball action on 5 different channels!

In case you are not interested in the lighter fare on the airwaves this Wednesday night, enjoy a look at Mother Teresa.

 BOTNS does not endorse nor approve the above product but includes this ad for historical purposes.

No catfights on Dynasty (see below) tonight? Well, check out this National Geographic special.

The infamous (not really, but I want it to be) My Dissident Mom really exists!

Ooh-la-la, the glamour of the 1980s encapsulated in one full=pager.

Friday, August 24, 2018

YouTube Playlist for our latest bonus episode is now live!

After you hear our lists of ill-fated and ill-advised additions of kid characters to TV shows, if you're not ill by the  thought of so many weak characters, check out our YouTube playlist:

See the likes of Bumper Robinson and Brian Bonsall in action! See Danielle Brisebois on the interview circuit! Joey Lawrence tells us to buckle up! And is that Sam from Diff'rent Strokes singing "Keep Your Hands to Yourself"?

It is!

Show Notes: List-o-rama: The Kids Aren't Alright

In this bonus episode, we look at the most ineffective/counterproductive (we're being diplomatic!) additions of child characters to shows in the BOTNS era. Each of us made a list of top/bottom 5 characters without consulting each other, then shared our results on the show.

For the record, here are our lists:

5) Leon (Bumper Robinson) from Night Court
4) Dodie (Dawn Lyn) from My Three Sons
3) Scrappy-Doo from Scooby-Doo
2) Andy Keaton (Brian Bonsall) from Family Ties
1) Sam (Danny Cooksey) from Diff'rent Strokes

Honorable Mentions:
Stephanie (Danielle Brisebois) from All in the Family
Jessica (Ebonie Smith) from The Jeffersons
Alfonso (Alfonso Ribeiro) from Silver Spoons

5) Joey (Joey Lawrence) from Gimme a Break!
4) Penny (Janet Jackson) from Good Times
3) Sam (Danny Cooksey) from Diff'rent Strokes
2) Andy Keaton (Brian Bonsall) from Family Ties
1) Chachi (Scott Baio) from Happy Days

Honorable Mentions:
Nicky Papadopolous (Corin Nemec) from Webster
The Smurflings from The Smurfs
Andy (Mackenzie Astin) from The Facts of Life
Cousin Oliver (Robbie Rist) from The Brady Bunch
Jeremy (Ralph Macchio) from Eight Is Enough


*The Family Ties spinoff Mike refers to is Day by Day with Linda Kelsey and Doug Sheehan.

*Corin Nemec joined Webster as George's nephew Nicky near the beginning of season 5 but did not return for season 6.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

List-o-rama: Kids, Tykes, Moppets, and Urchins

Nothing quite says a show has grown long in the tooth quite like the addition of a new "cute" kid. Groan along, as we break down the worst of the worst from the seventies and eighties

Check out this episode!

Friday, August 17, 2018

The YouTube playlist for our newest TV Guide game is now live!

Click below to see promos and clips from the shows we discuss in this episode, including My Dissident Mom! Plus theme songs for Perfect Strangers and Head of the Class! Dick Van Dyke on Highway to Heaven! Rex Reed and Bill Harris review Full Metal Jacket! And Yakov Smirnoff finally makes his way into one of our playlists!

Show Notes: Bonus episode TV Guide Game

*This episode's game is courtesy of the Richmond, Virginia, edition of TV Guide, cover-dated January 10-16, 1987. We look at 8:00-11:00 P.M. Wednesday, January 14.

*My Dissident Mom was slated to be a CBS Schoolbreak Special but was shifted to this prime-time slot because...well, it's not clear. This review from The New York Times provides some background.

From the review:
This kind of hourlong drama is so tightly packed that oversimplification is unavoidable. But Mr. Sheen and Ms. Potts manage to get remarkable character-development mileage out of their relatively brief snippets of dialogue. Both Joe and Kathy become genuinely touching figures, and their dilemma is wisely left unresolved.

John J. O'Connor's piece spends a significant amount of ink speculating on right-wing groups seizing on this program as evidence of liberal bias!

*Ernie Sabella played landlord Donald Twinkacetti (hence the 'Twinkie" nickname) on Perfect Strangers.

*The late Joe Alaskey voiced many classic Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs and Daffy in Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

*This Magnum P.I.  episode, Murder by Night, aired in black and white but is shown in color in reruns.

*Spoiler alert: North Carolina beat Virginia 95-80 in this night's game and would finish undefeated in the ACC before eventually losing to Syracuse in the NCAA tournament.

The Heels were indeed led by J.R. Reid, along with Jeff Lebo, Dave Popson, Joe Wolf, and the great Kenny Smith! UVA's top scorer that season was forward Andrew Kennedy.

*The Mother Teresa doc on PBS is a rebroadcast from 1985.

*Fast Break with Gabe Kaplan is a 1979 basketball comedy.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

TV Guide Game: Wednesday, January 14, 1987

The TV Guide game returns as Rick dives into his vast collection of vintage TV Guide issues and tries to guess what shows Mike would have watched. This time, we go back to January, 14, 1987, and find out what Mike and Richmond, Virginia, might have watched. Keep an ear out for past BOTNS favorites Tom Selleck and Connie Sellecca.

Check out this episode!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Great Moments in 70s and 80s TV History: Joe Frazier on "Hee Haw"

I didn't think anything could top Johnny Bench covering Jim Croce in the cornfield, but if there's one thing I know after years of watching television it's the folly of underestimating Hee Haw. In 1979, Roy Clark, Buck Owens, and the whole gang welcomed former heavyweight boxing world champ Smokin' Joe Frazier to enjoy the scenery, tell jokes, and of course play some music.

I mean, how could you have Joe Frazier and not do a number or two with him, right?

They do a few songs, but the highlight is Six Days on the Road. One thing I notice about this episode is that Joe seems to be having the time of his life. It may look incongruous to have the champ appear on this syndicated cornpone variety show, but Frazier himself is totally game and right at home.


Frazier didn't want to be "just" a pugilist; he actually recorded and toured with a band called Joe Frazier and the Knockouts and even made an appearance on the Jerry Lewis Telethon:

I think I prefer the performance on Hee Haw, which is a legitimately good number...though, I must admit, not really for Frazier as much as for his partners:

Friday, August 3, 2018

The A-Team playlist is live!

The video playlist for our fourth-season finale is live and loaded with vintage commercials, promos, and PSAs as we dive deeper into The A-Team. See George Peppard get cranky on Password! See Dirk Benedict as you've never see n him before! See Dwight Schultz host the Yummy Awards (?)! See Mr. T pitying fools! Plus Boy George, Tom Selleck, action figures, and...Jerry Lewis!

Show Notes: Episode 4-13: The A-Team

*"The A-Team" aired 5 seasons (1983-1987) on NBC, mostly on Tuesdays, though it began as a Sunday show and ended as a Friday show.

*While the first "regular" episode aired after Super Bowl XVII (Washington 27, Miami 17), the two-hour pilot premiered a week earlier on January 23, 1983.

*Showdown! is the ninth episode of season 3. It premiered Tuesday, November 20, 1984, at 10:00 P.M. on NBC., likely up against AfterMASH and E/R (CBS) and Foul-Ups, Bleeps, and Blunders and Three's a Crowd (ABC).

*Here is the Broadcasting & Cable article we mention with the explanation of the pitch from Brandon Tartikoff that launched the show. The relevant paragraph Mike quotes on our podcast:

“Brandon's pitch was very strange,” Cannell remembers. “He said, 'Have you seen The Road Warrior with Mel Gibson?' I said yeah, Mad Max. He said, 'Yeah, but the idea, it's not that. Have you seen The Dirty Dozen?' I said, yeah, Lee Marvin. 'Well, it's kinda that, but, like Road Warrior, it's kinda not that.' And he said, 'You know that guy Belker on Hill Street Blues?' I said, yeah, the cop that bites everybody at the booking desk? He said, 'Yeah, he could be in this show. And you remember Mr. T from the Rocky movie?' And I said yeah. And Brandon said, 'Well, he drives the car.' And that was the pitch.”

*The British show Mike references is Bring Back the A-Team (1986), one of a series of specials trying to reunite casts of various movies and TV shows.

*Foul-Ups, Bleeps, & Blunders lasted 1984-1985 on ABC. The show it ripped o--uh, followed, NBC's TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes,  lasted until 1986 as a weekly series but then survived as a series of specials.

*The fifth season of The A-Team was a massive flop. The big-screen version (2010) was a critical failure and an overall commercial disappointment.

*Boy George appeared in season two's Cowboy George, one of the series' better-known episodes.

*For more on Mr. T, check out our look at Silver Spoons in season 2. Come for T, stay for P--John P. Navin, Jr., that is!

*Mike and I are not mercenaries, but we do take listener requests...for free! If you have a request,  if no one else can podcast about it, and if you can find us, maybe you can get BOTNS to talk about your favorite show. Thanks for a great fifth season, everyone!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

4-13: The A-Team "Showdown"

In our EXPLOSIVE season finale, the one-and-only A-TEAM SPRINGS into ACTION to help a struggling wild west show against...THE A-TEAM?! This one has it all: FIST FIGHTS, DISGUISES, MILITARY STOOGES, NONLETHAL VIOLENCE, BILL LUCKING, AND WEAPONIZED TAFFY!

Check out this episode!