Sunday, July 28, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #26

1) Jem: The greatest rock star of all time got her due this week on the podcast. Now it's time to start the push to get her into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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

The JEM playlist is now live!

It's Friday, and that means it's time to explore our latest featured series with a bunch of related clips on our YouTube playlist! Click below to see more Jem and the Holograms including the theme song, promos, toy ads, and more! Plus we dive into the MTV era with videos featuring Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Tina Turner...and Kurt Loder! All this and more!

And don't forget to check out our official YouTube channel for playlists like this and past episodes of BOTNS!

Show Notes: Episode 6-8: Jem and the Holograms

*Jem and the Holograms aired in syndication for 65 episodes from 1985 to 1988.

*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

Episode 6_8: Jem and the Holograms "The Jem Jam" Parts 1 and 2

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!

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Happy birthday, Bert Convy!

On this day in 1933, BOTNS superstar Bert Convy was born. Before his early death in 1991, he was an actor and game show host, and I think eventually we should have a Bert Convy episode.

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

YouTube Spotlight: The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special

Joe Piscopo makes his way back to the blog with an appearance in one of the clips on our YouTube playlist for Moonlighting. One of the original series promos also touts an original ABC presentation, The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special.

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

BOTNS Top Ten #25

1) Moonlighting: We have received good feedback to this week's podcast, and while we appreciate the recognition of our awesomeness, we figure it's a response to the brilliance of the show. Again, we say, some streaming service oughta pick it up.

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

The Moonlighting playlist is now live!

This week's YouTube playlist is now up, and you can click below to see more of Moonlighting, including: Commercials! Promos! Curtis Armstrong! Dolly Parton and Allyce Beasley together at last! All this and more when you click below:

Remember to check our official YouTube channel for more playlists like this and past episodes!

Show Notes: Episode 6-7: Moonlighting

*My Fair David, the fifth episode of Moonlighting's second season, premiered October 29, 1985, on ABC, sandwiched between Who's the Boss/Growing Pains and Spenser for Hire. It aired against Riptide on NBC and an original TV movie called Into Thin Air on CBS.

*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

Episode 6-7: Moonlighting "My Fair David"

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?

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

YouTube Spotlight: Back to Thicke

We're running an extra YouTube Spotlight because we want to ensure as many people as possible see THIS:

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

Happy birthday, Alex Karras!

The late Webster star and NFL great was born on this date in 1935. Karras' TV career had more variety than you might think; in addition to his family sitcom fame in the 1980s, he was a Tonight Show regular, a member of the Monday Night Football booth for several seasons, and the star of efforts like this:

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

BOTNS Top Ten #24

1) Bob Uecker: Mr. Baseball steals the show in our Greatest Sports Legends episode this week, as we talk as much about Mr. Belvedere as we do sports and legends. I think we should all thank Ueck for the excuse to watch a ton of old Miller Lite commercials.

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

YouTube Spotlight: Pac-Man Meets the Pittsburgh Pirates

This week's Spotlight focuses on one of the more intriguing items from our Greatest Sports Legends playlist: A 1982 Atari Pac-Man ad featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates:

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

The Greatest Sports Legends YouTube playlist is now live!

If you are a fan of sports in general, hilarity, Pittsburgh sports, or Mr. Belvedere, you will want to check out this week's massive YouTube playlist. Click below to see Terry Bradshaw sing! Bob Uecker on The Tonight Show! The Immaculate Reception! Iron City beer! And speaking of beer, plenty of Miller Lite commercials with Mr. Baseball himself!

Enjoy, and remember to visit our official YouTube channel for past podcast episodes and playlists like this one!

Show Notes: Episode 6-6: Greatest Sports Legends

*Greatest Sports Legends aired in first-run syndication from 1972-, producing 207 episodes. In this week's podcast, we discuss the profiles of Terry Bradshaw (May 1987) and Bob Uecker (July 1985).

*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

6-6: Greatest Sports Legends Terry Bradshaw and Bob Uecker

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.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Steve Dorff and Friends: Growing Pains

As promised on our Growing Pains episode, a review of Steve Dorff and Friends: Growing Pains, Theme from Growing Pains and Other Hit T.V. Themes. Even before I listened to the CD, I felt disappointed. The liner notes revealed that the album featured new recordings of the various theme songs by Dorff and others. I would have preferred the original versions, but this issue seems to plague TV soundtracks. Nevertheless, I dug into the 35 minutes of this album. Before I get into the individual songs, I should mention that most use a lot of generic eighties soft rock production that I don't care for--the electric piano sound that launched a thousand ballads, highly processed, harmonized guitar lines, drum machines, etc. That said, Dorff does have a knack for writing catchy melodies.

"Growing Pains Theme: As Long As We Got Each Other": This remake of the duet version features B.J. Thomas and Dusty Springfield. It clocks in at over 4 minutes, but it doesn't sound weird that way. With an added verse and many added choruses, it feels more like a duet that the truncated versions, and Dorff didn't add a bridge or any extra parts really. Instead, he leans on the best aspect of the song--the chorus. At the end, Thomas and Springfield vamp over background singers repeating "As long as." You know, this one works.

"Spenser: For Hire Theme": The highlight for me. I liked this theme back when, and I like it here. It combines some cooler eighties synth sounds (the kind that could almost fit with Miami Vice) with a melody and general arrangement that would have worked on a seventies detective show. Saxophone and admittedly cheesy guitar trade melody lines, and strings (or string-like sounds) add that seventies touch.

"My Sister Sam Theme: Room Enough for Two": Kind of weird. Kim Carnes couldn't make the recording session, so Jill Colucci (the writer of two songs I've never heard of) fills in. It opens with a one-minute instrumental intro, and then Colucci sings the very brief lyrics. I guess Dorff and lyricist John Bettis never wrote a full-song version of this one.

"Murphy Brown Suite: Like the Whole World's Watching": I don't get this. From what I can tell, Murphy Brown didn't have much of a theme song, so I don't know where this originally appeared. I'm also not sure what makes it a suite. Anyway, vocal group Take 6 gives a spirited performance, singing a capella for about half the song before some drums and other instruments join. They also sing Murphy Brown's name a bunch of times. Baffling.

"F.Y.I.": Another instrumental, and I dig this one. This must have served as the theme for Murphy's TV news magazine F.Y.I., and it fits. Energetic piano drives most of the song, although Dorff makes room for a wailing guitar solo, too. It sounds a little like early Bruce Hornsby and the Range. A lot more exciting than a ticking stopwatch.

"Growing Pains/'Aloha' Episode: Swept Away": You know, I kind of like this one, too. The cheese factor goes up, and yet it feels more like a soft, spreadable cheese than a hard cheddar. Christopher Cross plays tasteful lead acoustic guitar, and various synths play various mellow sounds. You can really visualize the Hawaii montage that must have gone along with it. No doubt, Mike fell in love, Jason and Maggie had some alone time, Carol learned about Hawaiian culture (and maybe fell in love, too), and Ben did something goofy (hula dancing, surfing, finding a cursed idol?). Anyhow, a nice calm song.

"Growing Pains/'Graduation Day' Episode: This is the Day": B.J. Thomas returns for this catchy tune produced very much in the same style has the theme song. I'm pretty sure it might hold a record for the most key changes in one song. In fact, I'd swear it had key changes in the middle of lines. I can't figure out the point of view. Some parts sound like Jason and Maggie talking to Mike, but other parts sound like Mike talking to them: "I believed with every part of my heart/I would catch that one falling star for you/Oh, it might be a shade overdue/But this is the day."

"The Oldest Rookie Theme": This theme to the short-lived Paul Sorvino The Oldest Rookie, um, awesome. Electronic percussion and rhythmic synths churn under the sunny main melody (played on harmony guitars natch). Then blues harmonica adds a dash of incongruity before a heavier "riff" section (just imagine two or three or a dozen guitar players moving to the front of the stage, then riffing together). At the end of that section, electric piano and more blues harmonica trade back and forth (just imagine the keytar player and Bruce Willis moving to the front of the stage and facing off) before transitioning back to the main melody. If The Oldest Rookie had been a hit, everyone would know this song.

"Just the Ten of Us Suite: Just the Six of Us/Doin' It the Best I Can": I don't mean to pick on the talented guys in Take 6 (they sing lovely harmonies and seem full of joy), but again, weird. I guess it qualifies as a suite by actually having two parts, though. The first part, which takes up the bulk of the running time, features the guys from Take 6 (hence the title) doing an a capella variation on "Doin' It the Best I Can." That ends, and without transition, the actual original recording from the show kicks in. If you don't remember this Growing Pains spinoff or its theme, it features Bill Medley (fresh off his Dirty Dancing resurgence) giving it his considerable all in this spirited, positive-thinking theme. Like the show itself, it doesn't quite live up to Growing Pains.

"Whattley By the Bay Theme": Whattley By the Bay featured on CBS Summer Playhouse, a good reason for not having heard of it. Richard Gilliland (J.D. from Designing Women) played, to quote IMDB, "a big-city newspaper editor [who] decides return home to the town where he grew up." A pleasant instrumental in the same spirit as "Swept Away."

"Medley: Every Which Way But Loose Theme, I Just Fall in Love Again, Through the Years": The true disappointment of this album. I admit some of that disappointment comes from my own expectations, but it does seem like a missed opportunity. The liner notes explain that Dorff accompanies his own vocals on piano, which seems fair enough, and that the singers best known for the included songs join him: Eddie Rabbitt, Anne Murray, and Kenny Rogers. You can imagine it on a variety show or an awards show. Dorff sits alone at the piano in the spotlight and starts singing, then out of the shadows steps Eddie Rabbitt. The crowd goes nuts, Rabbitt takes over the vocals. The same happens for the other two songs, and then all three join Dorff for a final rousing chorus of "Through the Years" (or better yet the Growing Pains theme). Alas, this doesn't happen. Dorff does start alone, but then Rabbitt and Murray only join him with subtle background vocals. Rogers at least gets a chorus of "Through the Years." I didn't know the "Every Which Way But Loose Theme," but I recognized "I Just Fall in Love Again" from my mom's love of Anne Murray, and of course "Through the Years" was a big crossover hit.

Final thoughts: Going back through a second time to write this, I ended up a little more positive on the album overall than I thought. The instrumentals definitely stand out and seem more adventurous than some of the other pieces. Then again, the two Take 6 pieces show a willingness to experiment. I just didn't get the experiment. Music played a huge part of TV in the BOTNS era, and I wish there were more collections out there.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #23

1) Ralph Hinkley (AKA Ralph Hanley): On this extended holiday weekend, there is no better personification of our nation's essential awesomeness than the Greatest American Hero himself!

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

The Growing Pains playlist is now live!

Happy Independence Day weekend, everyone! After listening to this week's Growing Pains podcast, check out the YouTube playlist for the show. Click below to see Stan Lee! Jeremy Miller imitates Columbo! Alan Thick sings something called...Sweaty and Hot! All this plus vintage promos, PSAs, commercials, and bloopers! This might be the most packed playlist we've ever assembled, so don't ya dare miss it!

Remember to check our official YouTube channel for more playlists like this as well as past episodes of the podcast!

Show Notes Episode 6-5: Growing Pains

*The two episodes we discuss on the podcast are Season 2 Episode 15. Thank God It's Friday, which aired 8:30 on February 10, 1987; and Season 3 Episode 10, This Is Your Life, which premiered November 10, 1987.

*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

6-5: Growing Pains "Thank God It's Friday" and "This is Your Life"

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.

Check out this episode!