LIVING IN THE PAST

TV: More '70s Nostalgia TV / More '80s Nostalgia TV

TV shows we were raised on:

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H.R. PUFNSTUF meets the guys from CHIPS
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We couldn't make this stuff up!

*** MORE '70s NOSTALGIA : '70s TV We Were Raised On***
 
COMING SOON:
 
I LOVE LUCY and THE HONEYMOONERS

 
ROMPER ROOM: ROMPER ROOM was actually a franchise. Different versions of it with different hostesses ran in different states. In New York the hostess was Miss Mary Anne, who was so irrepressibly cheerful she resembled a Stepford Wife. She hosted a flock of kids through songs, storys and games. The coolest games were the punching ball (Had one!) and the Clomper Stompers (Denied!) 
The highlight of the show was when Do Bee, someone in a giant bee costume, would come prancing out and teach you a lesson about good manners ("Do be polite!") When Do Bee showed up the reaction from the kids was priceless. They either went ape-sh*t (Like you most probably would if KISS walked into the room) or they had a deer-in-the headlights "I want my Mommy" fear of Do Bee. Either reaction was fun to watch. 
Another amusing common sight on ROMPER ROOM was watching little boys crawl under Miss Mary Anne so they could look up her dress.
The show ended with Miss Mary Anne looking into her Magic Mirror at the end of the show and saying "I see Peter, and Jessica, and Mary, and John...." She hardly ever said your name. Because of this the show would end on a sour note with you pissed off and vowing never to watch again!
 
THE MAGIC GARDEN:  "See ya',  see ya', Hope ya' had a good good time (Mmmm mmmmm), Hope ya' had a good good morning (Oooh, yeah),  Hope we get to see ya' again!"
 THE MAGIC GARDEN was hosted by two pony-tailed hippie chicks named Carole and Paula. They would swing on giant swings, tell jokes they picked off The Chuckle Patch, dress up with costumes they found in a big trunk called Story Box and argue with a pink squirrel named Sherlock. They also could strum a mean acoustic guitar and sing a pretty melody.
  My friend Raina was all over THE MAGIC GARDEN (She even met them!). If there was such a thing as a MAGIC GARDEN Groupie, she was it. She would say "Let's play MAGIC GARDEN!" and then we would fight over who got to be Carole, the pretty one.
  As a grown-up I was more than a little surprised to find out that Carole and Paula were married....to men...and not to eachother.
 
MR ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD: If THE MAGIC GARDEN was mellow than MR ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD was a coma waiting to happen. Mr Rogers was a nice man who taught you about stuff that happens in the neighborhood. ("Let's visit the bakery and see how bread is made!") Most kids sat half-heartedly through the quiet part of the show waiting for Trolley to come and take you to the Land Of Make Believe, home of the freakiest looking puppets you ever did see. To name a few: X the Owl, Daniel Tiger ("Meow meow meow meow"), King Friday and best off all...(Cuz it scared Karl)...Lady Elaine!
 
WONDERAMA: "Kids are people too, wokka-dooh wokka-dooh! "
I was very small when WONDERAMA was on TV but I remember it so vividly because my father LIKED the show! You know how when you're a kid your parents will walk into the room and say "What is that garbage you're watching?" My father actually got some sort of glee when he'd see that "Hey, WONDERAMA is on!"  
Bob McAllistar hosted while an audience of kids ran around trying to win prizes, win dance contests and stuff like that. It was sort of a kiddie version of LET'S MAKE A DEAL. The kids would run around like idiots and wind up winning...a necklace made of bagels! (Sometimes the prizes were cooler than that, but the bagel necklace is pretty hard to forget).
The two songs I remember many years later are "Kids are people, Kids are peeeeeeeeep-le, Kids are people too, They're really really people too. Wokka-dooh, Wokka-dooh!" and (Because to this day my father still sings it) "Does anybody here have an aardvark? Does anybody here have an aardvark? There's a boy over here with a left and right ear but nobody here has an aardvark."
 
DAVEY AND GOLIATH: This show played at 6 AM on weekend mornings so it was pretty hit or miss if you would catch it or not. This was a show put together by bible-thumpers and each episode taught a very important God-fearing lesson.
In case your not familiar: It was about a young boy named Davey and his  talking dog ("I don't know, Davey!") I think the dog served as Davey's good conscience, because whenever he wanted to do something naughty the dog tryed to talk him out of it. The show always ended happily though with the message that God is watching us...constantly.
 
H.R. PUFNSTUF: I could devote a whole page to the '70s mind- bending genius of Sid and Marty Krofft (And maybe one day I will!) but just to ramble off a few of their hit kid shows: LAND OF THE LOST, THE BUGALOOS, SIGMUND AND THE SEAMONSTERS and pehaps best-loved of all H.R. PUFNSTUF. PufNStuf was a giant dragon puppet mayor of Living Island who talks with a Southern drawl and wears NANCY SINATRA go-go boots. He befriends a boy named Jimmy who owns a magic talking flute named Freddy (Or as pronounced by Jimmy:"Fweddy") who is constantly being chased by a witch named Witchiepoo who wants the flute.
Everything on Living Island is alive and it's like the greatest acid trip you can experience without actually taking acid.
 
* My HOWDY DOODY Experience: Once as a child my family took a trip to Florida, where I was shocked to find out they still played THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW. I couldn't tear myself away from it. Not that it was good, mind you, but because I was reeling from the shock that somewhere in the world they still played shows like HOWDY DOODY and BOZO THE CLOWN!
 
* My BOZO THE CLOWN Experience: (See above)
 
THE MONKEES: My older sisters used to watch THE MONKEES and I, being a stupid little kid, thought THE BEATLES and THE MONKEES were the same thing. Duh!
THE MONKEES actually had all that you could hope for in a show: It was funny, fast moving and had singing and dancing and music videos. Way before MTV, THE MONKEES were making little videos to go with their songs. And way before Axl Rose, Davy Jones was dancing the "crab walk"!
THE MONKEES had four totally different Monkees (Davy, Mickey, Mike and Peter) so there was sure to be at least one of them you found attractive I like Mickey, cuz he was the funny Monkee. For some reason Davy was the most popular Monkee. I guess he had that "Teddy Bear" appeal. You know, when a guy is five feet tall and you just wanna stuff him under your arm and carry him around.
 
THE BRADY BUNCH: One of the cornyest, cheesiest shows to ever fall out of the '70s. So why the Hell do I love it so much?
Mike and Carol meet, fall in love and marry joining her three kids and his three kids into one big bunch. It's never fully explained what happend to Carol's first husband ,although it is sort of implyed in the first episode that Mr Brady's first wife died.
For some reason they have a maid named Alice. This is a great luxury for Carol who apparently doesn't work OR clean. What does she do? Well, aside from Mr Brady, she does needlepoint, reads magazines and drinks a lot of coffee. When it comes to giving advice she gives out little tid-bits, unlike Mr Brady who gives three page speeches when asked for advice. (Every Mothers Day some magazine or TV channel has a Best Mom On TV contest and somehow Mrs Brady always gets tons of votes. Why? The woman did practically NOTHING!)
 
  The Brady children:
 
* Greg: Popular self-proclaimed "cool" oldest son
*  Marcia: Pretty popular cool , oldest daughter
*  Peter: Middle son who goofs things up
*  Jan: Middle daughter who suffers from a huge inferiority complex
*  Little kid Bobby
*  Cute, little, dumb-as-a-brick kid Cindy
 
There's also a cousin named Oliver who gets dropped off for a visit and never gets picked up again. He is The Shark THE BRADY BUNCH Jumped.
 
THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY: Widowed mom Shirley and her five kids have a travelin' ''70s Rock band.
 
The kids are:
 
*  Keith: Someone for the female audience to ogle
*  Lori: Someone for the male audience to ogle
*  Danny : Comic relief
*  Chris and Tracey: Could have just as easily been a cat and dog for all they get to do on the show
 
 There's also Mr Kincaid, their manager. He hangs around their house a lot, mostly to bicker with Danny and to leer suggestively at Mrs Partridge.
They also had a dog. Sometimes.
 
THE LITTLE RASCALS: When I was a kid (B.C.= Before Cable) they used to play THE LITTLE RASCALS on TV every day after school. Me and practically everybody in my class used to watch it. We didn't care if it was a show made in the '30s (I'm referring to what I like to call "The Spanky Years", as there are in fact OUR GANG shorts even older - so old that they aren't even "talkies" - just "silent movies" accompanied with music and subtitles!) We didn't care that it was black and white. We didn't care that our folks - or even our grandparents - had watched it. We didn't care that it showed an old fashioned, simpler time that we couldn't relate to. All we cared about was that it featured an appealing bunch of kids and that it was funny as Hell!
 
I remember always carrying a speacial torch in my heart for the show all through my teen years and early adulthood. I honestly believed that watching the show had somehow "shaped me" and made me a better person.
 
Now that i'm a grown up and a parent I wondered if I had built the show up in my mind as being something bigger and better than what it actually was. I told my daughter about the show and she would feign interest and say "Oh really?" without even looking at me, playing her video game, listening to a CD and watching TV all at the same time.
 
I bought a THE LITTLE RASCALS box set and with great anticipation I put it on. I warned my daughter (who was 9 at the time) that the show was gonna be sort of "old time-y" and that if she didn't dig it I would totally understand and not force her to watch it.
 
To my pleasnat surprise we noth totally loved it. THE LITTLE RASCALS is a timeless classic that is as much fun to watch today as it was to watch as a child.
As for "aging well", my daughter practically BEGS me to play it! There is some ageless, timeless quality to the show. "Kids Is Kids" is the way I imagine The Rascals would put it. There is something so appealing about seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Hal Roach knew it. I know it. Now my daughter knows it.
 
A weird thing about watching THE LITTLE RASCALS now is that there are charactors we all know that have been tatooed on our brains: Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Porky, Darla, Stymie. But then there are lesser-known charactors like Scotty (who I had a HUGE monumental crush on as a child and who my daughter NOW has a crush on!), Wheezer, Dorothy, Jackie, Mary, Wally, Dickie (Another cutie!)....within moments of seing their faces again I remembered them again. It was like running into old friends that I hadn't seen in years!
 
There is no reason why this show shouldn't be playing on bable regularly. It is such a fun, happy,uplifting show (at least up until "The Froggy Episodes" where Froggy, Mickey and Janet annoy the Hell out of us and Spanky talks about bombing "the Japs") that I recommend that anyone who remembers enjoing it as a kid get some of the DVDs for their children. You might be surprised to find out they love it as much as you did/ do. Remaaaaaarkable!
 
SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?: Ascot-wearing pretty boy Fred, sexy Daphne, brainy Velma, stoner Shaggy and their dog Scooby travel in a Funkadelic Mystery Machine solving fairly obvious mysteries ("Fairly obvious" because the number of potential suspects is usually about two).
In every single episode Shaggy and Scooby are clearly terrified, which will have you wondering why the Hell they ever got into the Mystery Solving Biz in the first place.  It doesn't help their cause that whenever it's time to split up Fred takes the two girls and leaves them alone with eachother. Not just a smart dresser, that Fred, but a sly man on the make!
No matter how grandiose the haunting is it usually just boils down to being someone in a cheesy looking mask.
There were many different versions of the SCOOBY DOO show, including hour-long SCOOBY DOO movies that boasted such cheesy guest stars as SONNY & CHER and DAVY JONES.
 Most people pinpoint the show Jumping The Shark with the arrival of Scooby's annoying nephew Scrappy Doo, like Cousin Oliver, a relative who came to visit and then never left.
Anyone who had the patience for Scrappy's crap lost all hope at the introductions of an ethnic yellow pajama-wearing orphan named Flim-Flam and a big, fat, boob genie named Baboo
 
JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS: THE PUSSYCATS band consists of three fairly hot chicks:
 
*  Josie:  Red-head goody two shoes
*  Valerie: Token black girl smart one
*  Melody: Attractive dumb-as-a-doorknob blonde (Think Jessica Simpson).
 
The people they hang out with:
 
* Alan: Josie's boyfriend who looks like a long-lost relative of SCCOBY DOO's Fred. You know, the cartoon version of a "hunk": He's big, buff, blonde and ambiguosly gay looking
*  Mega-b*tch Alexandra whose sole purpose on the show is to try to sabotage the band and steal Alan from Josie. Why do they hang out with this b*tch-on-wheels? Because the show wouldn't be as much fun without her
* Alexandra's "Chicken Brother" Alexander, a long lost relative of SCOOBY DOO's  Shaggy, most probably hangin' on the hopes that Valerie or Melody will give him a tumble It's never gonna happen.
* Alexandra's sneaky cat Sebastian
 
They sing the occasional song, solve the occasional mystery. When playing gigs on Earth got dull they took a rocket into outer space where they met a fuzzy pink and white alien named Bleep. Somehow Melody, who up until then could barely string four words together, could somehow communicate with the alien even though it only talked in "bleeps".
When you were a little kid you swallowed the whole premise of Josie and friends lost in space. As an adult I have to ask the obvious questions: Isn't it a coincidence that no matter what planet they landed on the air was breathable for them? And how come the rocket never ran out of fuel?
 
THE ARCHIE SHOW: "Sugar....Ahhhhh, Honey Honey......You are my Candy Girrrrrl...and ya' got me wanting you!"
THE ARCHIE SHOW was not of the same high caliber as SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? or JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS but when you consider we didn't have cable options as kids you'll be able to see why we sat through ARCHIE, THE GROOVY GHOULIES, WOODY WOODPECKER and some of the other stuff we sat through.
ARCHIE was based on the famous comic book series. You know the guy: None-too-attractive, red-headed, freckled guy with the two hottest girlfriends in cartoon history: Sweet girl-next-door blonde Betty and rich b*tch brunette Veronica. Why they never left him for much hotter Reggie, I'll never know!
There were a few different versions of the ARCHIE show. The one I best remember had a group of live studio audience children clapping, smiling and laughing at the jokes. My older sister clued me in that since Archie was a cartoon these kids were really just sitting there applauding NOTHING! An empty stage! (I would love to see this show again just so I could see the audience reaction shots again!)
The big treat was when THE ARCHIES would get together and perform one of their hit songs. As far as I remember they only had two: "Sugar Sugar" and "Jingle Jangle".
* NOTE: THE ARCHIES sang  the lyrics "Pour Some Sugar On Me" years before DEF LEPPARD ever did. I think I smell a law suit.
 
 
* THE DONNIE AND MARIE SHOW: A little bit Country, a little bit Rock & Roll and all teeth.
I wasn't a big OSMOND FAMILY fan, but I used to be friends with a girl who loved this show (Yeah, well, she also loved SHIELDS & YARNELL. As you can imagine, I no longer hang with this loser). Because I slept over her house a lot I saw my fair share of these grinning idiots. She even had the DONNIE AND MARIE dolls! DONNIE AND MARIE were a sugary-sweet, corny, wholesome brother and sister act with the whitest teeth in the world. They sang, they danced and to show that Donnie was a Mormon with a wild side he wore purple socks. Now excuse me while I go throw up.
 
* LOONEY TOONS: Ah, the sheer brilliance. I loved these as a kid and still enjoy them as an adult.
 
My favorite ones:
 
* Any one with Pepe Le Pew in it
* The opera one where Bugs Bunny dresses up as a woman, Elmer Fudd falls in love with him, the wig falls off and Elmer vows to "Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!"
* The one where a stork delivers Bugs to a mother kangaroo. This one features "Nature Boy" trying to kill Bugs with poison darts and other methods. "Unga Binga Bunga!"
* The one where Bugs is caught by a Mad Scientist. Upon escaping Bugs knocks over some gas and they "run" through the castle in slow-motion "Come heeeeeere, Bunnnnny Rabbbbb-bit!"
* Bugs and Daffy find a magic lamp with a Genie in it. "It's mine! Mine, mine, mine! Go, go ,go! Miiiine! I'm rich! I'm a wealthy miser!"
 
THE FLINTSTONES: THE FLINTSTONES were pretty much the cartoon version of THE HONEYMOONERS. Not that as kids we knew what the Hell THE HONEYMOONERS was.
Fred Flintstone was a short-tempered caveman who lived with his wife Wilma and, in later episodes, their daughter Pebbles. Their neighbors and best friends were Barney and Betty Rubble and, in later episodes, their son Bamm-Bamm. In even later episodes Fred and Barney found a little green martian named The Great Gazoo. Some people consider Gazoo The Shark they Jumped. I was a stupid little kid and found it totally plausible that cavemen could find a space man with special powers. I envied them and often fantasized about finding my own Gazoo who would make life easier. I still do!
 
 My favorite episode of THE FLINTSTONES was the one where they were to inherit from Fred's (Supposedly) deceased Uncle Giggles Flintstone if they could stay in his haunted mansion one night. Uncle Giggles was a kook and his staff is a bunch of nuts who run around with cleavers trying to kill...or at the very least scare the crap out of...Barney and Fred. (I should have known at a young age that I would be a big Horror movie fan:  I even liked macabre cartoons!)
 
THE JETSONS: THE JETSONS are pretty much THE FLINTSTONES only instead of being cavemen from the past they are people from the future living in outer space with those cool flying car rockets.  Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, Jane his wife. There's also a robot maid named Rosie and a dog named Astro who has the same speech impediment as Scooby Doo. ("Roh-oh!") In later episodes they found an annoying, fuzzy, white alien and kept it as a pet ala Bleep from JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. I personally think the fuzzy, little alien was The Shark for THE JETSONS.
 I loved THE JETSONS as a child but have a hard time enjoying it now,unlike THE FLINTSTONES which I still enjoy watching.
 
But I do remember the best episode: The Jet Screamer episode."Eeep Op Ork Ah-Ah! That means "I Love You!""
 
MAGILLA GORILLA: He in the window, Magilla Gorilla,full of charm and appeal. Handsome, elegant, intelligent, sweet: He's really ideal. This is another show I loved as a child that would probably have me groaning and wincing in my seat as an adult. Magilla was a gorilla in the window of Mr Peebles Pet Shop and Mr Peebles had a dread that he'd never get rid of the stupid monkey. People would buy Magilla and then return him leaving Peebles stuck with him once again. A cute little girl named O.G. ("Because I always say "Oh, gee"!) wanted to buy Magilla. But it never worked out and the show would end with the shop owner contemplating euthenizing Magilla.
The show also featured other cartoons such as MUSH-MOUSE & PUMPKIN-PUSS and RICOCHET RABBIT & DROOP-ALONG (Bing, Bing Bing! Ricochet Rabbit!)
 
G FORCE (aka BATTLE OF THE PLANETS): Is it possible to fall in love with  cartoon charactors? Hell yes, when their as hot looking as Jason and Mark from G FORCE! G FORCE was the hot before-school-starts show I used to watch in the morning. It was Anime, not that at that age we knew what the Hell "Anime" was, dubbed into English and cleaned up a bit (Supposedly, the Asian version is more violent). It was about Jason, Mark, Princess, Tiny and Keeyop battling the evil Zoltar to defend the Earth.
 
HAPPY DAYS: The Cunninghams were your average '50s  American Family. They had a son named Chuck (Who mysteriously disappeared!),a son named Richie and a daughter named Joanie. Along the way they got a hoodlum sex-fiend named Fonzie who rented the apartment over their garage. Fonzie was the cool guy who got Richie and his friends, Ralph the funny guy and Potsie the stupid singing guy, in and out of trouble.
HAPPY DAYS ran for ten years and a lot of people believe it should have stopped the day Richie (Ron Howard) left for the Army. But since Fonzie (Henry Winkler) was so popular they just left him free to run the franchise into the ground. They filled Richie's void by having relatives come to visit and never leave: Crystal Bernard as niece K.C. and kiss of death Ted McGinley as nephew Roger. (Why didn't they just have Ted McGinley play Chuck home from college?) They even added additional teen charactor friends, most notably: Teen slut Jenny Piccolo, who dressed more like an '80s Valley Girl than a late '50s/ early '60s teenybopper.
While we're on the subject of Jenny Piccolo's Fashion no-no's I want to also point out that from the point Joanie and Chachi started dating this show seemed to drop the ball on fashion. Chachi had feathered '80s hair and dressed like a late '70s/ early '80s metalhead and Joanie had an '80s perm. All their friends dressed in '80s mall fashions. Somehow once the show's focus was off Richie and his friends and on Joanie and Jenny Piccolo and their friends the show almost forgot it took place in the '50s and had the teen cast wear pretty much whatever they felt like. The only ones who dressed Totally '50s the whole run of the show were Mr and Mrs Cunningham.
 Well anyway,HAPPY DAYS is also responsible for coining the phrase "Jump The Shark" because so many people believe that a good show went bad the day Fonzie got on water skis in a leather jacket and a pair of shorts and jumped over a shark in the water, once again proving that Fonzie was a Demi-God living among mere mortals.
 
LAVERNE & SHIRLEY: The sister show of HAPPY DAYS (Fonzie was getting it on with Laverne and tryed to fix Richie up with her roommate Shirley so maybe Richie could finally lose his dreaded virginity. His parents and kid sister walked in and ruined the whole plan.) LAVERNE & SHIRLEY is about best friend roommates who work in a brewery and are looking for a good time. At least Laverne is looking for a good time. Shirley is not the fun-loving hooch she was in the HAPPY DAYS episode where she was fooling around with Richie. Now she's a prudish goody two-shoes who doesn't "Roe-dee-oh-doe". She has a sometimes-boyfriend named Carmine, a boxer who sometimes breaks into song and dance. ("You Know I'd Go From Rags To Riches...........") But for the most part Shirley only sleeps with her stuffed animal Boo Boo Kitty. Laverne and Shirley also have annoying neighbors named Lenny and Squiggy who walk in unwelcome because Laverne and Shirley are too stupid to lock the door. (Think Kramer on SEINFELD)
LAVERNE & SHIRLEY has it's little trademarks: Boo Boo Kitty, The "L" on all of Laverne's clothes, Milk and Pepsi, "Schlameel Schlamazzel"......
Like HAPPY DAYS it still stands up today as a show that you can sit through and laugh at. That isn't to say LAVERNE & SHIRLEY never Jumped The dreaded Shark. They did. They started Jumping it when they moved from Milwaukee to California. Then they hurled over The Shark and into oblivion when Cindy Williams (Shirley) left the show and Penny Marshall (Laverne) tryed to keep it going on her own.  A funny thing here is that even though the Shirley charactor was long gone they kept the show's title LAVERNE & SHIRLEY and the show would begin with a lone Laverne dancing Shirley-less as the words LAVERNE & SHIRLEY popped up on the screen. Watching a show titled LAVERNE & SHIRLEY have an intro that included no footage of Shirley was almsot comical. They should have at least changed the name of the show to SHIRLEY DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE or JUST LAVERNE.
 
CHARLIE'S ANGELS:  Aaron Spelling invented the Most Used Most Successful TV  Formula Ever: Pretty People Solving Crimes! Really, this pretty much started with THE MOD SQUAD, another Spelling show, and it really hit it's stride with CHARLIE'S ANGELS.
 
The Angels are three pretty undercover agents:
 
Farrah Fawcett the blonde feathered hair poster girl for the '70s as Chris
Jacklyn Smith (Who I always thought was way hotter than Farrah) as gorgeous brunette Kelly
Kate Jackson as the pretty yet prudish and brainy Sabrina.
 
They would get their assignment from either Charlie's intercom or his man-servant Bosley and then they would don their bikinis and halter tops and solve the crime.
Plotwise this show was really not that great. But that didn't stop hordes of people from watching it. (Think BAYWATCH) And considering we little girls only had CHARLIE'S ANGELS, WONDER WOMAN and THE BIONIC WOMAN to look up to as role models there was always a fight at recess to see which one of us got to be Kelly.
 
Over the years angels would come and go. The first one to leave was Farrah Fawcett,w ho got replaced with Cheryl "Jill" Ladd. Other angels included Tanya Roberts and Shelley Hack. As far as I know, Kate Jackson stayed on the show through it's whole run.
 
THE LOVE BOAT: Love, exciting and new. Come aboard, we're expecting you!
This show was pure fluff. It was a totally corny craptastic journey on a cruise ship called The Pacific Princess where B-level celebrity guest stars went looking for love and more often than not found it. (Very rare to leave THE LOVE BOAT without gettin a little sumthin' sumthin')
Did you ever lie in bed at night and think "Gee, I wonder what it would be like if Scott Baio fell in love with Kristy McNichol." Well, wonder no more! It's THE LOVE BOAT's job to fulfill these fantasies we have of seeing our favorite TV celebrities intermingling and dating and mating with one another.
 
The boat's staff:
 
* Bald Captain Stubing
* His love child Vicky
* Annoying, perky activity planner Julie
* Cool as ice token black bartender Isaac
* Sex maniac ship doctor Doc
*  Dopey Go To It Boy Gopher
 
Sometimes even the people working on the ship would get to make out with the celebrity guest stars. (Doc in particular scored more than all the passengers on the ship combined). When we kids in the audience saw the cabin door closing we knew it meant sex was gonna' be a' happenin' so THE LOVE BOAT was the closest thing we had to porn. Only to be topped by LOVE AMERICAN STYLE.
* In the year 1998 they came out with LOVE BOAT: THE NEXT WAVE but that sunk.
 
FANTASY ISLAND: THE LOVE BOAT's evil step-sister.
When I was a kid the parents would say "Go to bed" after THE LOVE BOAT. If I was lucky they let me stay up and watch FANTASY ISLAND.
FANTASY ISLAND was like THE LOVE BOAT written by the guy who wrote "THE MONKEY'S PAW": Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
 Every show would begin with a beautiful shot of a descending airplane getting ready to land on a gorgeous island. A little three foot tall dark man in all white would race up to a bell tower, chime the bell and scream "Boss! Boss! The plane! The plane!"
As the plane un-loaded with this week's cheesy B-level guest stars (Same quality as THE LOVE BOAT's guests) suave silver fox Mr Rourke would walk with Tatoo, the little man-servant, and explain who the guests were and what they'd wished for. Then he would raise a daqueri and say "Smiles,everyone, smiles! I am your host Mr Rourke. Welcome to Fantasy Island!" and the people would all smile and toast their drinks oblivious to the fact that Mr Rourke was truly evil and was gonna grant them their wish in the most painful way possible. They would get what they wanted, but at what price, and then they would leave the island not wanting that thing anymore, a little wiser.
This would never work in today's society because the law suits against Mr Rourke would be outstanding. Even so, they did try to do a new 1998 FANTASY ISLAND with Malcolm McDowell as Mr Rourke and a female sidekick subbing for Tatoo but that flopped, Boss.
 
SOAP: So damn funny. It was a satire on soap operas: Someone's getting married, someone's getting killed, someone's having The Devil's baby, etc.  
 
The show revolved around two sisters.
 
Jessica, the dumb one, was rich and married to big time cheater Chester. They had two daughters and a son: Corrine who was in love with a priest, uptight shrew Eunice who later fell in love with an x-con named Dutch and son Billy who was about thirteen and having an affair with his teacher.They also had a black butler named Benson ("I ain't getting that") and a crazy grandfather named The Major who still thought it was wartime.
 
Mary, the smart one, was middle-class and married to nice guy Burt, who,unbeknownst to Mary, had killed Mary's first husband. Mary had two sons: Danny who wanted to kill Burt and a gay son named Jodie (Billy Crystal!) Burt had a son named Chuck who never went anywhere without his ventriloquist dummy Bob (Who had some of the funniest lines on the show because he liked to diss people.) Mary and Burt later had a baby named Scotty who may or may not have been fathered by an alien.
 
 I could write pages and pages about the charactors on this show and the wild things that happen to them but if you've really never seen SOAP then I highly suggest you rent or buy copies of it and marathon watch.
 
* Best epsiode: When Billy is being brainwashed by a cult and they break in to rescue him. This episode has a hilarious tap dance seqence in it.

THREE'S COMPANY: This is one of those shows that I loved as a kid that loses some of its charms when I view it as an adult.
The premise is this: A guy gets drunk at a party and wakes up in the bathtub of the two girls who threw the party. Since the guy is cute, funny, flirty and can cook they decide to keep him. The only problem is their landlord Mr Roper (Funniest charactor on the show) won't dig a man living with two women so they must pretend Jack is gay.
The plot-line of every single show is this: There is a misunderstanding.
 
Main charactors:

Jack: Cute, funny, single guy who can't get laid. Go figure
Janet:Smart, sensible brunette
Chrissy: Blonde bimbo who keeps forgetting to wear a bra and is dumb as a post
Larry: Jack's horn-dog best friend
Mr Roper: Landlord who makes Tinkerbell jokes at Jack's expense
Mrs Roper: Muu-muu wearing sex-deprived wife of Mr Roper
Mr Furley: Badly dressed, stressed out landlord who replaces The Ropers when they attempt to spin-off.
Cindy: When Suzzane Somers demands a pay raise they substitute Chrissy with a dumb,blonde, clumsy, cute cousin
Terri: Intelligent, stuck-up blonde who replaces acting-impaired Jenny Lee Harrison. This one's not stupid: Just blonde and leggy
 
THE ODD COUPLE: Beer drinking slob Oscar lives with anal retentive butt-clench Felix who moves in with him (Unasked) when his wife kicks him out. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving eachother crazy? Of course not and that's why the show is so damn funny.
Best episode: When asked to take care of Felix's sick bird Oscar gives the bird an overdose and then has to plan a funeral for it.
 
WKRP IN CINCINNATI: Andy Travis takes over at an AM Gold-type radio station and turns it into a Rock & Roll station.
 
On hand:

Dr. Johnny Fever:  DJ who works in two modes: Wasted or hung-over
Venus Flytrap: Black cool Daddy-o DJ
Jennifer Marlowe: Sexy, blonde, busty receptionist heiress
Bailey Quaters: Much prettier than Jennifer program director. A living doll.
Les Nessman: Dorky newsman with unhealthy obsession with The Silver Sow Awards
Herb Tarlec: Hilariously badly dressed jerk-off who hits on Jennifer
Mr. Carlton: The boss. He's clueless.
Mr. Carlton's Mother: A b*itch-on-wheels
  
* The best episode they ever did was when Herb and his family agreed to do a Reality TV Show called REAL FAMILIES.The camera crew was supposed to show up at his home on Monday. They show up Sunday morning because they figure he won't have prep time and they'll get a more acurate look at his lifestyle this way. When they arrive at his house Herb's still sleeping and there are empty beer cans are on his nightstand. He gets out of bed and hurrys his family to "their church". When they get to the house of worship it's closed and Herb is beating on the doors. His wife whispers to him "It's a synagogue". This episode is hilarious from start to end.
 
* Another good one was when during a cold winter day Mr Carlton's mother gets drunk. She starts calling Andy "Cowboy", touches his leg(!) and sings "Someone To Watch Over Me" while playing with Herb's hair.
 
TAXI: A bunch of New York City cab drivers.
 
Alex Reiger: Cab driver. No other ambitions.
Elaine Nardo: Busty female cabbie/ Works at Art Gallery
Bobby Wheeler: Cab driver/ Actor
Tony Banta: Cab driver/ Boxer
Reverend Jim: Cab driver/ Stoner
Latka: Cab driver/ Foreigner (It's New York City and they only have one of these?!)
Louie DePalma: Boss from hell. As funny as he is loathsome.
John: Early episodes Country boy/ Cab driver
 
Most all TAXI episodes are winners but two stick out in my mind as favorites.
 
* One night at MARIO'S a handsome man asks Tony if he and Elaine, who Tony is sitting next to, are "together". Tony says "No" and promptly sets Elaine up with the perfect stranger. Elaine quickly falls for him and everyone is thrilled. A few days later the guy comes to the garage to talk to Tony. He tells Tony that there's been a misunderstanding: When he had asked Tony if he and Elaine were together he wasn't trying to pick up Elaine. He was trying to pick up Tony! Tony builds it up in his mind that the guy is spending "tortured nights dreaming about me" and decides to meet the guy at a gay bar to let him down easy. He brings Alex along for support. Once there Tony loses his nerve and bolts out the door leaving Alex at the gay bar explaining to the guy that Tony doesn't swing that way. At the bar a guy asks Alex to dance. Alex says "No" but the guy won't take "No" for an answer. The next thing you know Alex isn't just dancing with one guy, he's the belle of the ball! Pee your pants funny. (This was probably the single funniest thing I have ever seen on television. I cried.)
 
 * Another great episode is when Reverend Jim decides to take his driver's test to become a cab driver.
 
Jim:(Whispering to Bobby) What does a yellow light mean?
Bobby: Slow down.
Jim: Whaaaaaaaat doooooes a yellllllllllow liiiight meeeeeean???
(Repeat a few times)
 
GILLIGAN'S ISLAND: This was my #1 favorite show when I was a kid. I used to run home from school to catch it. Try to watch it now and I cringe and twitch. It's just so...oh, I don't know: Implausable?......Corny?.....So stupid it stinks? 
A boatload of dumb-a**es go on a "three hour tour". Half of them are packed like they'll be away for months.(Howells, Mary Ann and Ginger, I speak of you). A storm hits, the tiny ship is tossed and the passengers and seemingly all of their luggage wash up on the shore of a deserted isle. Although deserted, the damn thing has many a visiting guest star. 
Oddly enough, life on a deserted island is quite livable and pleasant. Not like those pussys on SURVIVOR would have you believe. No one needs a haircut or a shave, their clothes never get dirty, the Howells and the girls are impeccably dressed and accessorized and The Professor is such a genius MacGyver-type that he should be working for Ronco. He makes excercise bikes out of bamboo, builds a stereo out of bamboo and coconuts and makes a radio without batteries run for over seven years! 
 
Our tribe:
 
Skipper: Big, fat, short-fused Cap'n who yells a lot , mostly at Gilligan
Gilligan: Skipper's dim-witted submissive "partner"
Professor: Genius surrounded by morons. Cute but asexual
Mr. Howell: Multi-millionaire with "Teddy" issues
Lovey: Older-than-dirt uptight fussbudget married to Howell
Ginger: Vampy actress c*ck tease
Mary Ann: Hot lil' country girl. Row!
 
Two somewhat decent episodes:
 
 *  A crate washes ashore. It's full of seeds. They plant 'em not knowing they're radioactive. They eat the huge produce that grows and notice strange side effects (Carrots make Mary Ann see for miles, spinach gives Gilligan Hercules-like strength) They find out through the miracle radio that they can die from eating this stuff so The Professor makes a batch of the antitdote: Soap... which they then eat and blow bubbles.
 
* A band called THE MOSQUITOS goes to the island to relax and get away from their fans. The castaways find them and beg to go back to civilization with them. Mary Ann, Ginger and, yes, even Lovey form an all girl singing group called THE HONEYBEES and sing "You need me.You neeeeed me!" The band sneaks off in the middle of the night so they dont have to take these losers with them.
 
*I loved this show as a child. I remember my friend and I made paper dolls of the GILLIGAN'S ISLAND charactors out of cardboard. Even Teddy. We also used to write plays about GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. Man, we were GILLIGAN'S ISLAND groupies. Too bad we grew up and realized that the show is utter crap.
 
WHAT'S HAPPENING!!: In the '70s there were two popular black sitcoms (If you don't count THE JEFFERSONS and SANFORD & SON): One was GOOD TIMES and one was WHAT'S HAPPENING!!. I preferred WHAT'S HAPPENING!! because it was more light-hearted and genuinely funny, whereas GOOD TIMES, aside from Jay Jay Walker's constant mugging and catchphrases, was pretty damn "heavy", dealing with issues such as poverty, someone getting shot, someone being a closet alcoholic, someone's prom date having heroin paraphenilia in their purse, a child being beaten by her mother etc.
WHAT'S HAPPENING!! was about three black teenager boys Raj, Duane and Re-run and their teen adventures that consisted of  hanging out in the local soda shop ROB'S PLACE (Where they sparred with the sassy waitress Shirley) and trying to get dates.  Raj, the main charactor, lived with his single big, bad Mama Mabel and his obnoxious, bratty (funny) sister Dee. Nothing overly-dramatic happens to them, they just have goofy fun. The most serious thing to ever happen to them was the time they were tricked into making a bootleg tape of THE DOOBIE BROTHERS. I love that episode!
 
AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS: I can't possibly be the only one who raced home from school to watch AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS. Now is the time to fess up, People!
Specials in which a teenage or "tween"age lesson was learned. This show ran in the '70s and '80s. Then the OPRAH show came along and crushed it like a grape. 
I can vividly recall a few of the specials most probably because the storylines and some of the guest stars are so hard to forget:
 
* MY MOM'S HAVING A BABY: Told us, more or less, where babies came from. They sort of beat around the bush with the details.This one ends with an actual birth being shown. Yikes!

* STONED: Scott Baio is a nerdy teen who starts smoking The Devil's Weed when he gets a crush on a girl that he doesn't have the cobbles to talk to. When stoned he's brimming with confidence and personality and making with the funny.
One day after his daily smoke his older brother, who is a champion swimmer, asks Scott to follow him in a rowboat to "spot" him while he swims in a lake.  Well, Scott, who is stoned, accidentally whacks his brother in the head with an oar and then tearfully confesses at the hospital that he was stoned but, don't worry, it's never gonna' happen again!
He later runs into the girl he had a crush on and she lets him know that she actually prefers him when he's not stoned. Everyone smiles like they're in a MENTOS commercial, The End.
 
* THE BOY WHO DRANK TOO MUCH: Scott Baio again! This time he's a hockey player who lives with his Dad. Dad's an abusive alcoholic. Scott's starting to sneak drinks here and there and soon he develops a bit of a problem with the hooch too.
He makes friends with nice boy Lance Kerwin who takes him to a preppy cheese and cracker party. Scott livens things up by breaking out a six pack and some airplane bottles of liquor. Soon Scott is making out with his friend's girlfriend, getting into a fight and wetting his pants. ("He wet his pants on my mother's rug!" the girl hosting the party whails)
In the end Scott is in AA smiling. He and Lance are friends again and everything is gonna be okay. (P.S.: Lance Kerwin was The King of these things, probably making more AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS than anyone else)
 
* SCHOOLBOY FATHER: Rob Lowe almost drops his box of cereal when his mother, who is reading the morning paper, tells him about some local hoochie who got herself "in trouble" and decided to have the baby regardless of the fact that she's not married.
The big surprises here are: Rob knows this girl, he may quite possibly be the bastard child's father and the hoochie is played by none other than Dana Plato!
He rushes to the hospital. She throws things at him and tells him that she's giving the baby up for adoption. He says he'll take the baby.
After a few days with the baby that never stops crying Rob realizes that the infant is making him miss a lot of cool parties and blowing his chances of ever getting into Nancy McKeon's pants so he gives the baby up for adoption.
 
* ONE TOO MANY: Michelle Pfeiffer plays an unpopular Plain Jane (!) who, while hanging out with Mare Winningham one day,  meets two cute interested guys. One is Val Kilmer! He's soooo cute! But he has a little drinking problem.
Mare starts realizing that Val hardly ever has a sober moment and points this out to Michelle, who doesn't want to break up with him because, gee whiz gosh, she's never had a boyfriend before.
One day he shows up drunk. Mare starts a fight with him, he and Michelle get in the car and as they go to speed off Mare jumps in front of them getting turned into roadkill.
 
* There is an episode called DESPERATE LIVES that I somehow missed. Man, do I wish I had seen that one. It featured Helen Hunt smoking angel dust and then jumping out a window!
 
DEAR ALEX AND ANNIE: '70s Kiddie Advice segment that aired in between Saturday morning cartoons alongside stuff like SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK and TIME FOR TIMER.
Were Alex and Annie brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend or, like THE WHITE STRIPES, both? Whatever. They answered such Earth-shattering dilemmas such as "Dear Alex and Annie: I want to get my ears pierced but my mom says I'm too young". Sounds corny, right? It is. But almost in a refreshing way. If you could watch old DEAR ALEX AND ANNIE's from the 70s you would realize how much the world has changed. And not for the better. No one was asking DEAR ALEX AND ANNIE about bringing guns to school, having a baby at the prom or selling drugs on the corner back then.
 
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK: "SchoolHouse Rocky, he's a chip off the block with your favorite schoolhouse: SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!"  This was the best thing to ever happen to me as a kid. It was a way to cheat on tests! SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK could teach you facts on Grammar, Math and History. All summed up in cute little two minute songs. I remember taking English tests and singing to myself: "Conjunction Junction, what's your funnnnnnnnnnction?"
 
THE MUPPET SHOW: The best variety show ever to be hosted by a frog. Or a puppet. Or both. Kermit The Frog was the charming host with the most who would introduce the special guest stars that would range anywhere on the spectrym from Jim Nabors to ALICE COOPER(!) and the acts of singing, dancing, acting puppets. Still entertaining this many years later!
 
THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: The Queen Of Comedy Carol Burnett hoted a hilarious skit show with Harvey Corman, Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence. Dependably funny. Some unforgetteable charactors were Mama's Family, Mr Tuddball and his curvy dumb blonde secretary Mrs Whiggens and Carol as Scarlet O'Hara dressed in curtains.
 
ALICE: Single mother Alice moves to Arizona with her son Tommy and beomes a waitress at Mel's Diner, working for b*stard with a heart of gold Mel Sharples. Her follow waitresses are sassy good-time-girl Flo ("Kiss my grits!") and neurotic basketcase Vera.
 
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Ground breaking TV show that probably could never get made today. Queens blue-collar worker bigot Archie Bunker lives with his dingbat wife Edith, his daughter Gloria and her meathead husband Mike. Archie was not one to mince words, often complaining about the blacks, the Spanish, the Jews, the gays and just about everyone else.
 
BENNY HILL: When I was a little kid BENNY HILL was Must See TV. I'll never forget how my heart would soar when I would hear the eight notes of music that played during the THAMES intro. It meant BENNY HILL was gonna go on! Yay! BENNY HILL was like a Sex Education class for grade school kids. We learned all about sex form watching that show: When a man and a lady are standing on a corner and he raises his arm to hail a cab and it causes his umbrella handle to lift up her skirt in a way that shows her thigh high stockings, garters and knickers? That's what sex is all about, Kids! And the show, which was consistantly funny, always ended with a bang with the unforgettable BENNY HILL theme Yakkety Sax playing while Benny got chased by a bunch of people, most of which were in some sort of stage of undress. Very funny show that I still watch to this day. Just like when I was a kid, when I find out BENNY HILL is on I will stop whatever I'm doing and sit down and watch it.
 
*** MORE '80s NOSTALGIA : '80s TV We Were Raised On ***
 
THE SMURFS: The smurfs are little blue woodland creatures who live in mushroom houses in the forest. They live a mostly happy la-la existense. Their one cross to bear is the evil wizard Gargamel and his evil cat Asriel who want to catch them because, wouldn't you know it, It seems that every recipe and spell Gargamel owns lists "smurfs" as the main ingrediant. So Gargemel wants to capture them, enslave them and use them to enhance his wizadry. 
 Now here's an ironic twist: The smurf village was once all male populated until Gargamel made a Smurfette to lure them into his clutches. Smurfette was an evil brunette but when the smurfs showed her kindness she turned good, went blonde and became the lone femme in the smurf league of gentlemen. 
When news that there would be a baby smurf joining the show hit it was the ultimate cliffhanger. We kids couldn't wait to see if a lesson about the birds and the bees would be offered to explain Smurfette's delicate condition and we couldn't wait to see out of one hundred and one potential pops who the father of Smurfette's baby would be. Alas, we got hosed: Baby Smurf wasn't "made the old fashioned way" and was pretty much The Day THE SMURFS Jumped The Shark.
 
*Best Episode: A female witch named Hagatha is chasing the smurfs. To get close enough to catch them she transforms herself into a smurf. Only she doesn't have a tail. So she paints a pea blue and glues it on. No one seems to notice or care that they've never met "Snorty Smurf" before and she blends right in until....Gasp!...The blue pea falls off and Papa Smurf has to check one hundred and one a**es to find out which smurf is an imposter!
 
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: A bunch of kids go on a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ride at an amusement park. The ride opens up some sort of porthole that they get sucked into. Now they have to try to find their way home through the skullduggery. The bad news is they have the Evil Venger trying to screw things up for them. The good news is they now have special powers:

* Hank: Hunky dreamboat archer
* Eric: Obnoxious rich boy with sword and shield
* Presto:Harry Potter wizard-type 
* Diana: Afro-American acrobat
* Sheila:Red-headed girl with invisibility cloak
* Bobby: Red head's little brother, now a barbarian
* Uni: Bobby's pet unicorn who most find annoying but I find cute
 
JEM: An '80s soap opera about an all girl band JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS and their rival band THE MISFITS.
Jerrica Bennett is a blonde, blue-eyebrowed girl with a secret: Her earrings magically transform her into pink-haired, blue-eyebrowed Rock goddess Jem. ("Showtime, Synergy!")
When she's not a-rockin' she runs a home for orphaned girls.
She also has an unfaithful purple-haired boyfriend named Rio who, unaware they're the same girl, pitches woo at both Jem and Jerrica!
 
HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: Adam is a buff prince with a Pete Rose haircut. He has a magic sword (Get your minds outta' the gutter) and when he raises it and says the phrase that pays ("I HAVE THE POWERRRRR!") he turns into He-Man, who looks just like Prince Adam only in fetish-gear and furry underwear. His pussy pet tiger Cringer turns into The Battle Cat and they're off to fight evil. Evil being Skeletor and his Evil Horde: Beast Man, Ramm-Man and Mer-Man (No, not Ethel)
Of course, there is a lot of kick-a**  sword and sorcery and a couple of hot chicks too: Teila: Good hot chick, Evil Lynn: Bad hot chick.
 
SHE-RA::PRINCESS OF POWER: Okay,  I'm gonna clear this up for all you chuckleheads and perverts out there who are always asking me why He-Man and She-Ra never hooked up and had Power Sex: THEY WERE BROTHER AND SISTER!
In fact, I believe they were twins.
Adora and Adam are siblings with secret powers. His turn him into a CHIPPENDALES dancer warrior and hers turn her into a GOLDFINGERS dancer warrior. I have no idea why they live on different planets. But his show is just a little bit better than hers, mostly because they cutsey-ed SHE-RA up to appeal to girls by adding a little fuzzy-wuzzy rainbow animal that is She Ra's equivalent of Orko, He-Man's little annoying hooded invisible imp thing-a-ma-jig. Orko is sort of annoying. She-Ra's cutsey companion is annoying in spades.
Rest of the show was pretty good though.
 
THUNDERCATS: There was a**-kicking aplenty in the '80s, what with DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, HE-MAN, SHE-RA and THUNDERCATS....Ho!
A group of sexy cat people battle a villain so evil he gives Venger and Skeletor a run for their money: MUM-RA!
I used to have a bad-a** boyfriend with a mohawk, leather trenchcoat and combat boots who used to race home to watch THUNDERCATS every day. That right there is testament that it was a really cool show.
 
STEAMPIPE ALLEY: Sunday morning cartoon show with a host (Think modern version of WONDERAMA). The host was Mario Cantone who was one of those guys who was always "on", hyper to the max. Think Richard Simmons on crack. And it was a shame too cuz he was one of those guys who is sort of cute until he opens his mounth. And, boy, did he open it: The man never stopped screaming!
Well, almost "never": Halfway through the show he would have a serious moment where he would sit in an empty playground holding a catcher's mitt and a baseball and talk about his early childhood in The Barrio. ("Ju know, my friend Paco, he was different than the other kids....") and an instrumental of "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" would play in the background. Then when that tender moment was over, cut to a commercial and...We're back...And Mario is screaming again!
When I was a teenager we used to go out big drinking Saturday night and on Sunday morning when you rolled over and turned on your TV with a hangover there would be Mario screaming in your face, making you wish you hadn't drank so much.
But now that they don't play it I actually miss it. I love the sound of Mario Cantone screaming in the morning. It sounds like victory.
 
BOSOM BUDDIES: Very funny show starring Tom Hanks before he was an Oscar- winning serious actor. Also starred Peter Scolari, who went on to lesser success than Hanks.
Ironically, Ton Hanks is proud of this show and has offered to do a reunion while "The Other Guy" won't because he thinks it would be beneath him. (Why? What's he so busy doing?)
The show is about two single guy best friends whose apartment building get condemned so they move into a hotel for women. So, yes, this means they will have to dress up in drag and try to fool everyone into thinking they're just really ugly women. This works for a few seasons, then a couple of charctors catch wise in the later seasons.
The premise of men dressing up in drag has always been a real eye-rolling groaner of a plot device. To my knowledge only SOME LIKE IT HOT, TOOTSIE and BOSOM BUDDIES have been able to pull it off with funny results.
 
U68: A UHF station that played three different loops of videos. This was for us poor, deprived kids that didn't have MTV yet. Some favorites featured on this station were DEAD OR ALIVE's "You Spin Me Round", ANIMOTION's "Obsession", BARNES & BARNES' "Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Roly Poly Fish Heads"  and comedy bits by Uncle Floyd and his puppet Oogie. U-U-U-U! U68!
 
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: The creepyest thing about this Horror show was the theme music. To this day I get pee pee chills if I hear it! Before we '80s kids had cable options we had the late night treat TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, which was sort of a cross-breed between THE TWILIGHT ZONE and TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Most of the episodes were below average or mediocre but there were a few gems. 
 
My favorite tale from the darkside was about a college girl who rents a room in the house of a man who is a big time taxerdermist. He has stuffed dead animals all over the house and stuffed animals heads mounted on all the walls. There's a small little closet in the girl's room that she's not supposed to open. Late at night she hears noises coming from inside there. She suspects something might be living in there, maybe mice. But, Brother, it ain't mice! It's a little gremlin thing that is the man of the house's "baby"! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Over twenty years later that STILL scares the crap out of me!
 
IT'S YOUR MOVE: Jason Bateman stars as a crafty kid who is always playing pranks on his mother's new boyfirned. Only the boyfriend always seems to one up him.  An unsung gem from the '80s.
 
CHEERS: Horny womanizer Sam Malone runs CHEERS, a bar where everybody knows your name. He cracks wise with the bar regulars: nasty waitress Carla, Dim bartender Coach (Later replaced with dim bartender Woody), know-it-all mailman Cliff and barfly Norm. Sam has a love hate relationship with hoity toity waitressDiane. Til she leaves and then he has a love-hate relationship with sexy new bar manager Rebecca.
 
THE FACTS OF LIFE: This show started out as a spin-off for the Kimberly Drummond (Dana Plato) charactor from DIF'FRENT STROKES. The funny thing is, after introducing us to Mrs Garret and the girls Kimberly disappeard from the FACTS scene forever! No matter. The show started off with a bevy of gals (one of 'em was 80s Goldmine Molly Ringwald!) but by Season Two the show centered squarely on fat Jewish girl Natalie (Mindy Cohn), little black roller-girl Tootie (Kim Fields), blonde rich b!tch Blair (Lisa Welchel) and "the new girl" Tough Girl Jo ( I think it's safe to say a lot of us had our first "gay crush" on Nancy McKeon's Jo, right? Or is it just ME?) Somehow bad-a** Joe wanting to rip off Blair's head and sh*t down her neck made the show work!
 
There was a point of time during "The Jo Years" where this was my #1 Favorite Show....but like most shows, the show couldn't help changing as the years went on. And not always for the better.
 
For some reason or other Charlotte Rae STOPPED singing the theme song after Season Oone (I loved when she "sang" it - it sounded like a chicken clucking!) . Then she decided to leave the show. She was replaced by Cloris Leachman, who was okay as "Beverly Ann" but not as great as she was in all those Mel Brooks movies. The little food-stuffs shop the girls ran was turned into a novelty shop that sold lava lamps, butt plugs and rubber chickens. Then Beverly Ann's nephew (?) Andy (played by one of Patty Duke's kids (No, not the Hobbit one (Sean) the other one (Mackenzie)) pulled a "Cousin Oliver" and came to vist and never left. THEN George Clooney came (and I was no longer lookin' at "Jo" funny...I was 100% straight and dyin' to get into George's tight nut-hugger jeans  (HOLY HELL! WAS HE HOT OR WHAT?! You people can watch ER all you want- I'm like ELVIS- I like 'em young! Young And Yoocey George Clooney was FINE!) But alas: George left (his charactor ran off with STACEY Q - I kid you not!) and the show started petering out around there (the last season or two were just TERRIBLE).They tryed to add new charactors here and there ("Pippa"????WTF was THAT?!) and soon the whole show crumbled...and not gracefully. The "last show" is practically a pilot for a spin-off about Blair buying the school and running it! Those FACTS girls never say "die"! (By the way, had this last show somehow launched a new FACTS series about Blair running the school we would have gotten to watch Blair play "Mrs Garrett" to none other that Juliette Lewis, BLOSSOM'S Mayim Bialok and Seth Green ( who dresses up in drag so he can get closer to the ladies!)
 
THE WONDER YEARS: Watch Child Of The '60s Kevin grow up (Played by Fred Savage, narrated by Daniel Stern). He has to deal with his ball buster older brother, his strict father, his hippie sister, his doting Mom, his nerdy best friend Paul (Who is NOT MARILYN MANSON. I can't stress this enough, People!) and cute girl-next-door-turned-hottie Winnie Cooper. Touching, funny and has a kick a** soundtrack full of old-school jammies!
 
 
*** SHOCKING SHOWS YOU THOUGHT YOU'D NEVER SEE...THEN DID! ***
 
DIF'FRENT STROKES - THE BICYCLE MAN: Arnold and Dudley start hanging out at a special bicycle shop. It's special because it's run by Gordon Jump (Mr. Carlson from WKRP IN CINCINATTI / The MAYTAG Repair Man) He's a real swell guy. He's always giving them free stuff! This gets 'em lured back to the shop, you see!
As they become buddys with The Bicycle Man he starts letting them hang out in the back room of his shop where he gives them wine ("Children drink wine in France all the time!") and lets them watch dirty cartoons.
Then he gets a fun idea: He breaks out a camera and starts taking pictures of Arnold and Dudley. They're all too willing to oblige and start striking poses for The Big Guy. Then he asks them to pose like Tarzan, reminding them "Tarzan never wore a shirt!" The kids start stripping down and posing.
For some reason or another Arnold goes home and leaves Dudley alone with The Bicycle Man. This is when The Bicycle Man's true evil intent is found out: He's a child molestor! (Didn't see it coming, did you?)
* To this day whenever my friend Karl goes to take my picture he says "Tarzan never wore a shirt". Classic!
 
THE FACTS OF LIFE - Tootie Almost Becomes A Whore!: The girls go to New York City, The Pit of Hell, and they run into seedy types.
Tootie befriends a teen in a Valley Girl ensemble and fur coat(!) It's '80s TV movie staple Tammy Lauren (From WISHMASTER!) and, unbeknownst to Tootie, she's a teen whore!
When her pimp catches site of Tootie he pulls Teen Ho to the side and says "I want her. She's got "The Look"" (What? Blair and Jo didn't have "The Look"?!)
So Teen Ho goes and tells Tootie, who is tired of being treated like "a kid", that she should come work with her. She'd have plenty of money, her own place, and lots and lots of sex! Okay: She doesn't mention the last part.
When Tootie realizes she almost signed on to be a ho she's livid and disgusted. But a little bit wiser of the ways of the world or at least New York City.
We really salivated when we thought this episode was a set up for a spin-off where Tootie moves to New York City and becomes a street walker but, alas, it was only a Very Special Episode.
 
THE FACTS OF LIFE - Natalie Almost Gets Raped!: The girls are getting ready to go to a costume party. Natalie decides to tempt fate and go in the ulta-sexy seductive costume that no man could possibly resist: Charlie Chaplin.
Walking alone to the party Nat gets grabbed and almost raped. She escapes with her good virtue in tact.
The rest of the episode teaches us self-defense techniques women can use if ever grabbed in an alley while on their way to a costume party dressed like Charlie Chaplin.
 
There are two things that always puzzled Karl and I about this episode:
 
1. Out of all THE FACTS OF LIFE girls he chose Natalie?!
2. She was dressed as Charlie Chaplin at the time!
 
Would you wanna have sex with Natalie? Would you wanna have sex with Natalie while she's dressed as Charlie Chaplin?
 
MR BELVEDERE - A Camp Counselor Trys To Molest Wesley!: To avoid an uproar in the Catholic community, instead of having Wesley be an alter boy molested by a priest, MR BELVEDERE opted to have him be at camp getting leered at and  leg-touched by a camp counselor.
MR BELVEDERE probably wants to pat itself on the back for breaking down a wall here but WE know better: WE know this is just a Poor Man's THE BICYCLE MAN!
When Mr Belvedere comes to the campsite to rescue Wesley there is an absolute look of fear on the counselor's face when he see's Mr Belvedere rolling up on him. 
 
Four People You Don't Wanna F*ck With....Ever!:
 
1. Arnold Schwarzeneggar
2. Sylvester Stallone
3. Vin Diesel
4. Mr Belvedere
 
GROWING PAINS -  Mike Almost Loses His Virginity.... To Dana Plato!: When teen moron Mike announces that he's having a study buddy come to the house The Seavers are thrilled. Then they get a look at Special Guest Star Dana Plato in all her fabulous sluttyness dressed as a MADONNA wanna-be and  Mrs Seaver is no longer thrilled. Mr Seaver, great psychiatric mind that he is says "Now, Maggie, you can't judge a book by it's cover."
They decide to cut the little tart some slack.
Well, the next time she comes to the house she's dressed in the "Like A Virgin" wedding dress.They leave Mike alone with her anyway trusting that he'll know what to do or what not to do.
So what does he do? He takes his sexual frustrations out on an excercise bike. No, he doesn't do anything obscene with the excercise bike. He just rides the Hell out of it. How this compares to riding the Hell out of Dana Plato in an X-rated wedding dress I do not know.
 
THE FACTS OF LIFE -  The Girls Learn The Facts Of Life.... At A Strip Club!: The girls decide it would be a hoot and a holler to take Mrs Garrett to a male strip club ala CHIPPENDALES. 
They get there and they're all whooping it up until they notice that....Gasp!...One of the strippers is Blaire's boyfriend!
Suddenly Blaire, who was acting like male strippers were the best thing since beer in a can five minutes ago, is absolutley appalled and disgusted that her beau can drop trou and get pawed by horny customers for money. He explains that he's stripping his way through school. Does richer-than-Trump Blaire offer to pay his tuition? Of course not! He's left to shake his money-maker.
 
GROWING PAINS -  Ben Gets Hooked On Phone Sex!: Mr Seaver is running around flapping this month's phone bill in his hand shouting that it's "outrageous". He notices a certain phone number on the bill has been called over and over again. He dials the number to find out who the number belongs to. It ends up being a pre-recorded sex talk message. He freaks out and pulls Mrs Seaver on the phone to have a listen. Between the two of them they deduct the calls must be being made by teenage horndog son Mike. They go to punish Mike and he claims he didn't make the calls. They skip over daughter Carol and ask son Ben if he knows about the calls. He takes the chicken-sh*t way out and claims one of his friends made the calls. That friend gets whooped by his father. Eventually Ben's guilt gets the best of him and he confesses that he was the pervert who made the calls. He also admits that when he listened to the hot sex talk messages  he didn't "understand" most of them!
 
SAVED BY THE BELL - I'm So Excited! One Of The SAVED BY THE BELL Kids Is Taking "Drugs"!: I hated this show but even I have to admit there was One Good Episode (If I am channel-surfing and stumble across this episode I actually punch my fist in the air, yell "YEAHHH!" and watch it) and that was the one where Jessie got hooked on Caffeine Poppers.
 
The BELL girls start a little singing group and they are rehearsing their little asses off, trying to sing and choreograph moves to THE POINTER SISTERS hit I'm So Excited (THE POINTER SISTERS had NOTHIN' on the BELL girls! You ain't lived til you've heard I'm So Excited sung by three little white girls! Wait a minute....whaddaya mean Lisa was black? Really? She acted so "white"! She made Tootie from THE FACTS OF LIFE look like Malcolm X!)
 
Now trying on cute spandex outfits and AQUA NET-ting your hair to make you look like WHITESNAKE is hard work! Add to that learnin' the lyrics to I'm So Excited, learnin' the choreographed moves to I'm So Excited, and of course, keeping up with your schoolwork. Somehow airheads Kelly and Lisa aren't sliding in their studies (or maybe they just don't care) but brainy Jessie is becoming a manic over-achiever having to make time to study, study, study as well as shake ass and sing. She starts taking caffeine pills to stay awake. They aren't "drugs", right? Cuz you can buy them at RITE AID and the girl at the register won't even look at you funny!
 
So the big day of exams AND The Talent Show comes and Jessie crashes and misses both. Zack climbs in her bedroom window and shakes her around trying to wake her up (And those of us at home scream "Throw her in the shower, Zack!" - but, alas, he doesn't) and she wakes up all disheveled and junky-like and she's all "OhmyGod, I'm gonna miss the test! I'm gonna miss the-thing-where-I-have-to-sing-like-THE POINTER SISTERS!" and Zack is all "You already missed 'em" and with that Jessie starts totally spazzing out! She starts singing/screaming "I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO......SCARED!" and collapses, weeping into Zack's arms.
 
Now this was supposed to be a Really Dramatic Moment, right?  So what do you think those of us at home DID when Jesse said "I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO......SCARED"? That's right: We laughed our f*ckin' asses off! It was HYSTERICAL! If only the rest of the SAVED BY THE BELL episodes were THIS funny!
 
* Incidentally, the girl who played "Jessie" later ruined her career by doing the raunchy movie SHOWGIRLS and the guy who played "Screech" further ruined his already-ruined career by starring in a home-made Porn called SAVED BY THE SMELL. Here's hoping they will one day get together (maybe even with the rest of the SAVED BY THE BELL cast) and make a movie called SHAVED BY THE BALLS.
 
FULL HOUSE - Oh Those Wicked Tanner Girls!  It's very hard to watch FULL HOUSE because a lot of times you are forced to watch a sickeningly sweet episode about a family full of perfect people who just love love love the Hell out of eachother. There are only four episodes of FULL HOUSE that I can actualy say I like.
 
#4. Stephanie Rocks!: Stephanie is in an all-girl "Rock" group that plays ONE song: A cover version of I Saw The Sign by ACE OF BASE (remember THEM?!) 
The girls somehow get a gig and they squeel and start planning what they're gonna wear, how they're gonna do their nails and how high they're gonna rat their hair. Then they all squeeze in front of a full-length mirror and start practicing their  "Bad Girl" poses. The FULL HOUSE Family repeatedly urges them to rehearse their ONE song, but the girls are too busy trolling for trampy outfits at the mall.
 
So the day of the big "concert" (?) comes and there is Stephanie in thigh-high stockings (Bob Saget ALLOWED this????) and sure enough when her and her Bimbo Band hit the stage they are all screwing up the lyrics, hitting bad notes and knockin' eachother over with the mike stand.
 
Lesson learned? Stephanie wouldn't have made such an ass out of herself if she had just rehearsed playing the damn song! (After all - the band only KNEW one song! How hard could rehearsals have BEEN?!) and worried less about lookin' like White Hot Jail Bait (which I believe was the name of their band).
 
#3. Stephanie Gets Bullied! : There is a new girl at school -Tough As Nails Teen B*tch Gia. Both Gia and Stephanie like the same boy. He likes Stephanie. So what does Gia do? She starts rumors about Stephanie (I forget WHAT she said - but chances are it was "Stephanie Tanner Puts Out!" or something like that. Stephanie retaliates by telling everyone that Gia is a dumb-ass who got left back. She even posts Gia's old report card up on a wall at school. (Check Mate!) Gia is crushed and The Tanner Clan explains that maybe BECAUSE Gia is a moron of epic proportions that is WHY she is such a Hard To Love B*tch. Stephanie apologizes and the two polar opposites become Best Friends (In fact, Gia was even  in Stephanie's all-girl I Saw The Sign band!)
 
#2. Stephanie Smokes!: Gia and the other Bad Girls smoke and if Stephanie and her friend Micki wanna hang with The Cool Kids they gotta smoke too, right? (This is when cigerettes cost less than $20 a pack so kids could actually AFFORD THEM!)
 
Of course Stephanie suspects smoking is bad for you so she calls up a radio talk show hosted by one of her uncles, puts on a Russian accent, and asks if smoking is "cool". Her uncle tells her it's NOT cool and so Stephanie returns to The Girls Room the next day and refuses to smoke. The Tough Girls say something bitchy to her and Stephanie throws some sass right back at them. They respect Stephanie for being ballsy enough to stand up to them and they decide she's cool enough to hang with them. The Tough Girls even say THEY have been thinking about quitting smoking too, throw the ciggies in the trash bin and everyone smiles like they are in a MENTOS commerical. The End.
 
#1. DJ Holds A Can Of Beer!: This is the best FULL HOUSE eppy EVER! DJ goes to The Big School Dance with The Cutest Boy In School. He is very shy and nervous about his date with DJ. On the way to The Little Boys Room he runs into some classmates in the hallway who are drinking some COORS LITE that they have hidden in a locker!) They tell DJ's date The Truth: Beer Will Give You Balls! So he kicks back a few brewskies with the fellas and a few minutes later DJ comes into the hallway looking for him. She is AGHAST to see him and his friends getting shnookerd. The guys try to get DJ to imbibe too and DJ tells them that drinking is for losers. One guy - a real scrote - shakes up a can of beer and sprays DJ with it. To let them know how stoopid they look DJ grabs a can of beer and starts to immitate them. At that precise moment Uncle Jesse - who is a Dance Chaperone (natch!) - walks into the hall and sees DJ standin' there with a beer can in her mitt! The other kids go "Uhhhhh....no thanks, DJ, we don't want any of YOUR beer" and scatter like roaches. DJ is confused and she turns to see a very pissed off Uncle Jesse who yells at her for drinking beer. She tells him she wasn't drinking the beer and he tells her she smells like  a brewery. He drags her home to lock in her room for the next twenty years. DJ crys and swears she's innocent. Only Stephanie believes her. Finally the boy who was DJ's date comes clean and tells everyone that the beer wasn't DJs. DJ is freed from captivity.
 
 
We couldn't make this stuff up!
 
 
 
 


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