Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Special post-Memorial Day list: 10 military-themed shows from the BOTNS era we'd like to see on streaming
Monday, May 30, 2022
Happy Memorial Day to everyone here in the United States, with special greetings to those who have served our country and the loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country.
One of the first things I think of when I consider the military and TV is the ad campaigns the armed forces ran in the Eighties. The Air Force had some impressive ads.
Sunday, May 29, 2022
1) Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: We had a blast this week on the podcast, and I really think we could have talked for two hours about the series. Hey, could the gang be eligible for a Batty this year?
2) Professor X: He's a class act (You gotta hear the podcast this week for that one).
3) The Incredible Hulk: They said it couldn't be done, but somehow, someway, this 1982 cartoon has tied with Quincy for "most whiny references to it not being available on streaming." Congratulations, 1982 Hulk!
4) Stan Lee: Watching Amazing Friends confirmed for us that Stan the Man narrating just about anything is gold. Heck, Stan just talking is usually pretty cool.
5) Family: I watched the first batch of 6 episodes (originally intended as a limited series, then designated season 1 when the show continued) since the show was leaving Tubi in June. What a shame that Tubi licensed it for less than a year. Hopefully someone else picks it up since as of now, only the first two seasons got DVD releases.
6) Lisa Whelchel: Happy birthday! If you take the good and you take the bad, which category holds Facts of Life and which holds this:
7) Oceans: Silent Crisis: On this night in 1972, ABC News presented this special at 8:00. Narrated by newsman Frank Reynolds, it explored the effects of pollution on the world's oceans.
Very noble, yes, but I bet most people watched reruns of Gunsmoke or Laugh-In instead. If only it were narrated by Stan Lee.
8) Love, American Style: Decades has a marathon this weekend, which by my calculation means approximately 89 episodes, 547 segments, and 213 of them featuring Jo Anne Worley.
9) You Can't Do That on Television: Shout out to Toy Galaxy for an interesting recent YouTube video exploring the surprisingly convoluted history of the Eighties Nickolodeon hit.
10) R.I.P. Ray Liotta and Bo Hopkins: Before breaking through as a movie actor, Liotta had recurring roles on several TV series, including Another World and the David Soul 1983 Casablanca series.
Hopkins had a recurring role on Dynasty in addition to a long movie and TV acting career.
Saturday, May 28, 2022
Friday, May 27, 2022
Thursday, May 26, 2022
*Thanks again to friend of the show James and his daughter Lucille for suggesting this week's podcast!
*Our video playlist for this episode, featuring theme songs, toy ads, Stan Lee on CBC, and James Mason for Thunderbird wine, is below!
Remember to visit our official YouTube channel anytime for all of our past podcasts and episode-specific playlists for each one!
*Before we get into the episode, I want to mention 3 things I LOVE about the cartoon that we somehow didn't mention on the pod.
1) This logo that begins each episode:
2) The incredible (but not Hulkish) theme song, including the stellar shot of the trio running to the camera:
*The 1981 Spider-Man series we mention (with mucho Dr. Doom-o) aired in first-run syndication. Here's a decent summary of the differences and similarities! It premiered the same day as Friends as part of a package that included the 1960s Spidey-toons. I wasn't able to find a listing for the show on September 12, 1981 (the debut of both), but it must have aired somewhere! I remember seeing the 1960s ones but not this one.
*Here is a pic of the Treasury Edition I mention that features Dr. Doom and is cover-dated July 1981:
*Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends aired 3 seasons (1981-1983) and 24 episodes on NBC, with reruns continuing into 1987.
*We give props again to Dan Gilvezan, who we both credit as being "our" Spidey voice of the era based on his work on this show. Due credit as well to Kathy Garver and Frank Welker, the other Spider Friends.
*Ka-zar appears in an episode of the Spider-Man cartoon co-starring Kraven.
*"The Quest of the Red Skull," the final Season 1 episode, is the one missing from Disney Plus.
*"The X-Men" Adventure, the episode we spotlight, premiered Saturday, October 29, 1983 at 11:30 AM (most markets) on NBC.
*For the record, I like this version of Iceman!
*Laurie showed her Crack Research Team-worthy credentials by doing some digging on Ms. Lion, discovering the lovable canine is a Lhasa Apso. Sorry we don't feature Ms. Lion more on the podcast, but she isn't featured in the episode!
*Here is a website devoted to the series and packed with lots of info.
*Spider Friends, GO FOR IT!
Before Spider-Man teamed up with Spider-Man and, uh, Spider-Man (let-alone Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Ham) at the movies, he teamed up with Ice Man and Firestar on Saturday morning TV in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Not only that, but in "The X-Men Adventure," Spidey and his friends also join forces with the X-Men to defeat a deranged cyborg with a personal connection to one of the heroes. By fan request from our celebrated 2-11-year-old demographic, we nerd out over this standout eighties cartoon. Excelsior!
#podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #spidermanandhisamazingfriends #spiderman #marvel #cartoons #superheroes #xmen
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
This one is much more difficult because of the lack of Asians on television in the 1970s and 1980s. So to get a respectable list, I cheated and focused on shows that aren't streaming--some of these are on DVD--and ones that featured Asian-Americans in the supporting cast, not just leads. If I am missing some worthy efforts of the 1970s and 1980s--and I know I am--please add your own suggestions in the comments.
1) Mr. T and Tina: Notorious Pat Morita flop from the creator of Welcome Back, Kotter that only lasted 5 episodes but has some historical value for the Asian-American casting. Poor Morita left Happy Days for this.
UPDATE: No way, but at least I have One-Armed Pat Morita on my desk if not his old sitcom:
2) Ohara: Speaking of Pat Morita, this short-lived police procedural (1987-1988; I am actually surprised it made it to 30 episodes) is worth a spot on this list for this alone:
3) Sidekicks: See above. Actually, see this promo again:
4) The Amazing Chan Clan: It's not high art, but it could at least be thrown up on Boomerang. Keye Luke plays Chan in this incarnation of the famous detective.
5) Longstreet: It's a reach, but this series featuring James Franciscus as a blind investigator has cult status in part because it features Bruce Lee in a handful of episodes. Shouldn't anything with Bruce Lee be available?
6) Quincy M.E.: Shoutout to Quince's awesome right-hand man Sam Fujiyama. I have been yearning to see this one on streaming video on demand pretty much ever since Netflix dropped all its Universal catalog shows years ago.
UPDATE: I have no idea why this remains on the shelf, but maybe Peacock will trot it out eventually.
7) and 8): China Beach and Tour of Duty: Where are the 1980s Vietnam War shows?
9) Kung Fu: It was on Prime Video for a very short time, but now is MIA despite a relatively high-profile reboot running on CW. Seems like a natural for HBO Max. And, yes, David Carradine was the lead, but the show also starred Keye Luke.
10) The Courtship of Eddie's Father: Miyoshi Umeki played the Corbetts' housekeeper in this gentle family sitcom (another James Komack show) which aired on the gone-but-not-forgotten Warner Archive Instant.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Sunday, May 22, 2022
1) Ebert and Siskel: We had a lot of fun celebrating the impressive television legacy of the two legendary film critics on the podcast this week. I gotta say, though, I really, really disagree with them on this:
It's something else when Roger starts a review by saying he never found Steve Martin funny!
2) Judith Crist: Not only did author Jerry Roberts call her the first mainstream national TV critic, today she would have celebrated her 100th birthday! Of course she was a longtime critic for TV Guide:
3) Aaaand the rest...: We also salute the many critics who tried to get in on that Siskel/Ebert train, especially Bill Harris, who just seemed like a nice guy; and Rex Reed, who...didn't, but we didn't get to talk much about him.
4) Summertime: Mike and I have long maintained that Emotional Summer (TM) began Memorial Day, but the Eastern USA is experiencing a big heat wave this weekend, and I think when it's 96 and humid, it feels like Summer.
5) Lionel Richie: The soon-to-be Rock Hall of Famer just won the Gershwin Prize. Unfortunately, this puts him no closer to a BEGOT, as he already had a Grammy and still needs a Batty, an Emmy, and a Tony.
6) The Beatrice Arthur Special: I really should write more about this sometime, but I think I need a few more...months to process it:
Actually, it's not bad for what it is, and it's really quite typical of the then-fading variety format. Madame steals the show, and a bizarre "poignant" sketch with Rock Hudson is a highlight of sorts.
7) I've Had It Up to Here: 40 years ago tonight, this Dick-Clark-produced special, hosted by Steve Allen, joked about the foibles of everyday life and its concerns. And of course it invented about 20 comedy bits.
8) National Vanilla Pudding Day: Do rollups count?
9) Johnny Carson says goodbye: 30 years ago tonight, the King of Late Night (sorry, Pat Sajak) ended his long run on The Tonight Show:
10) The Networks: Hey, remember when we used to get excited about the new Fall shows coming to the good old-fashioned Big 3 networks? This week's upfronts kind of glossed over CBS, ABC, and NBC proper. It makes me nostalgic for this:
Then again, eating an ice cream sandwich is enough to make me nostalgic for a Fall preview issue.
Saturday, May 21, 2022
Friday, May 20, 2022
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_LeBWlgEcc (actually a solo Ebert review)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXTjgBc_Tnk (actually from the 1998 re-release)
Thursday, May 19, 2022
The thumbs, the tension, the balcony--who can forget Siskel and Ebert and their various movie review shows? They helped create a new TV format and defined and dominated it with their winning personalities and unique dynamics. We take a look at an episode fron 1989 and also discuss some of their competitors and imitators.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Monday, May 16, 2022
Sunday, May 15, 2022
1) Jane Pauley: Don't want to give away the subject of the Fame Game in this week's bonus episode, but Jane has a connection.
2) National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day: If there's one thing this country needs, it's another day to have an excuse to eat sweets. I mean, Easter was a few whole weeks ago!
4) The A-Team and The Six Million Dollar Man: B.A. and company are joining Steve Austin as recent Universal TV show stars coming to Blu-Ray. Magnum and Incredible Hulk got recent releases, too. Can B.J. and the Bear be next?
Answer: Sorry, fans, but, no, it can't.
5) Nicholas Hammond: Happy birthday to the star of the 1970s Amazing Spider-Man. Talk about something I'd like to see on disc! Shout! teased this as a possibility when announcing its recent Dr. Strange limited edition, so maybe it has a chance.
6) The Waltons: Decades has a marathon this weekend, just in time to celebrate the news that The CW is running another "modern" movie of the franchise later this year.
7) George Brett: Happy birthday to the Royals legend and Hall of Famer!
8) The FBI: As 3 of the new Dick Wolf FBI series just earned renewals from CBS, let's take a moment to acknowledge the Quinn Martin joint that ran from 1965-1974!
9) Leonard Maltin: He recently received the Robert Osbourne Award at the TCM Classic Film Festival. His speech was humorous and friendly, with the warmth and the Warren Beatty cameo overcoming the unimaginative direction. I give it...a 7. (Note: full clip below is 20 minutes)
10) Fred Ward: R.I.P. He was primarily a film actor, but he has some interesting TV credits on his resume, like an uncredited role on a Quincy, several shots on Incredible Hulk, and some TV movies.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
*The 2005 film The Weather Man was directed by Gore Verbinski and co-starred Michael Caine and Hope Davis.
*Public Eye won a Peabody but only lasted one season (1997-98) on CBS.
We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you another round of the Fame Game, where Mike has to guess a famous personality (real or fictional) from the BOTNS era based on a series of clues. Will his hot streak continue, or will he crash and burn? Find out!
#podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #game #famegame #bonusepisode
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Monday, May 9, 2022
Sunday, May 8, 2022
1) Maude: Granted, we didn't exactly love the series on the podcast this week, but it ran 6 seasons and is an essential part of TV history and of course the Learverse. Most important, it gives us an excuse to enjoy this again:
2) Conrad and Bonar Bain: No explanation necessary. Bonar's season 5 Maude appearance is still officially unavailable on streaming.
3) Bill Macy: Not to be confused with William H. In fact, to make sure you know the difference, here is the latter (and later) Macy:
4) Mother's Day: Lest you think we're giving the mothers short shrift out there, remember Maude is a mother! In fact, some would say she's a baaaaaad mutha. Happy day to all the mothers out there! Antenna TV is celebrating with a Family Ties marathon, but if you want to have a Maude marathon, we say that's an OK way to commemorate the occasion as well.
5) Dolly Parton: Congratulations to the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee!
6) The 12:30-ish CBS time slot: Now that James Corden is leaving The Late Late Show, maybe we can go back to the days of this approach to programming late night:
7) Melissa Gilbert: Happy birthday! Our gift to you: We won't call you "Half-pint" today.
8) Goldie and the Kids: Listen to Us: 40 years ago tonight, CBS started the night with this special featuring Goldie Hawn, a selection of our nation's youth, and Barry Manilow!
9) The 1980 Los Angeles Lakers: Magic Johnson's docuseries is on Apple Plus, and tonight sees the season finale of Winning Time. Where is an update on that 1980s Lakers docuseries on Hulu?
10) David Birney: R.I.P.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Friday, May 6, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022
"Arthur Moves In" (Season 1 Episode 17)
""Florida's Problem" (Season 1 Episode 18)
In the past, we've visited a wide array of locations in the Normal Lear Universe: the Park Avenue penthouse of the Drummond-Jackson family on "Diff'rent Strokes"; the Jeffersons' de-luxe apartment in the sky; the Eastland School on "Facts of Life"; the Chicago projects on "Good Times." Then there's Maude! This week, we head to Tuckahoe as Maude (the great Bea Arthur) directs a charity salute to burlesque only to butt heads with Arthur (the great Conrad Bain) over the content! Songs, jokes, arguments, questionable pairings--this one has it all! #podcast #tv #retrotv #seventies #eighties #maude #normanlear #beaarthur #billmacy #conradbain #ruemclanahan #estherrolle
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
It's been a while since we shared an Ernie Anderson promo. Courtesy of the fine YT account Bionic Disco, here's a good one for a Thursday night in 1978:
You really get a great rhythm with this spot. The way the clips and Anderson's comments intersect just make a nice flow. of course it all ends with a great, "on Soap!" to punctuate everything.
Monday, May 2, 2022
Britbox (it does have the modern follow-up to Open All Hours)