Monday, August 17, 2020

This Day in TV History: Joe Namath's All-American Pie on ABC

40 years ago today on ABC, August 17, 1980 Joe Namath hosted a variety special called All-American Pie.  This description is from Vincent Terrace's Encyclopedia of Television Pilots:

Joe Namath hosts this variety magazine, looking at unusual occupations and lifestyles against a variety of colorful American backdrops. Highlights include a visit with a driving instructor in San Francisco; a New York coach-lawyer and his juvenile basketball team; a look at a phone answering service in Chicago; kids in Phoenix discuss ways in which they make life rough for grown-ups; and the patrons of a Youngstown, Ohio cafe talk about "perfect 10s" while the women in a local beauty salon explain what they like about men.

What can be more all-American than womanizing, hard-drinking, playboy-ing ex-jock Joe Namath!

Michael McKenna talks about the show in his book Real People and the Rise of Reality Television. He says the result seems like the producers wanted to combine Real People with That's Incredible and that it was burned off in August with little attention.

Namath would go on to join the Monday Night Football booth for ABC later in the decade, an experiment that did not end happily for either side.  Let's enjoy Joe in a more successful venture:

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