26 posts tagged with 80s and television.
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Everybody like Culture Club!

Highlights from that episode of The A-Team that guess-starred Boy George (SLVimeo)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 3, 2015 - 60 comments

And together, THEY FIGHT CRIME!

During the late 1970's and 1980's, Glen A. Larson's lighthearted television dramas were incredibly popular: Knight Rider. B.J. and the Bear. The original Battlestar Galactica. Quincy M.E. The Fall Guy. Magnum, P.I. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Larson had hit after hit and it seemed he could do no wrong. But he did produce three flops in the 80's, (and another in the 90's that managed to last two seasons): Automan, The Highwayman, Manimal and Night Man. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 16, 2014 - 138 comments

Fawlty Towers without the Fawltys

John Cleese: "I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, 'That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?'. They said, 'Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out'. And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur." The resulting effort was a 1983 ABC series called Amanda’s By the Sea which could charitably be described as a fiasco. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 24, 2014 - 68 comments

Good luck, bad luck, who knows?

In 1987, alongside another popular first-run syndicated show (perhaps you've heard of it?), a horror anthology series premiered, and together they spearheaded a massive wave of first-run syndication genre shows including, but by no means limited to, "War of the Worlds", "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", "Xena: Warrior Princess", "Forever Knight", and "Babylon 5". [more inside]
posted by Mister Moofoo on Sep 12, 2013 - 22 comments


If you were watching late-night television in July 1998 you may have seen the half-hour informercial parody that the Beastie Boys produced to promote their upcoming album, Hello Nasty. The ad features Mike D, MCA , and Ad-Rock taking on roles to shill everything from the services of phone psychics to get-rich-quick scams to a food processor that plays songs from the upcoming LP. (Warning: video auto-loads.) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 22, 2013 - 8 comments

Flintheart Glomgold!

DuckTales invented a new animated wonderland—that quickly disappeared.
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 11, 2013 - 156 comments

Thurman Lives

Back in March I posted about the forgotten Nickelodeon show Turkey Television. Recently a full episode of the show (later era) has shown up on YouTube: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.
If that's too much video tryptophan (even at its best, Turkey Television was amazingly uneven), here's a few clips (WARNING: CONTAINS UNCLE HOGRAM, also some of Uncle Floyd's bizarre Day In The Life Of A Food) from YouTube user 2reelers. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 25, 2012 - 19 comments

♪ Where Everybody Knows Your Name! ♪

"Everybody Knows Their Names: The GQ Oral History of Cheers." (Single page version.) On the thirtieth anniversary of the premiere of Cheers, GQ "sat down with just about everyone who made it." Also, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Poehler and Shawn Ryan talk about what they learned from the show. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2012 - 145 comments

Tie him up when he's fast asleep, send him on a pleasant cruise

In the Warhol episode, Marion Ross (TV mom of Ron Howard in Happy Days) is a former Warhol superstar, married to stodgy Tom Bosley (TV dad of Ron Howard). Bosley doesn’t know about Ross’ past in underground film, and she’s afraid that they’ll run into Warhol, playing himself, aboard ship. Andy Warhol takes a pleasant cruise on The Love Boat.
posted by scody on May 8, 2012 - 41 comments

"If you want real police brutaity, wait until I tell you what they served me for lunch!"

It ran for 8 seasons, from 1975 to 1982. Took home three Emmys out of 32 nominations. The Captain's badge (#233451) is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Dennis Farina, who worked as a Chicago policeman before turning to acting, reportedly once called it the most realistic cop show ever seen on television. But unlike other cop shows, there were no car chases or shootouts, and the show rarely left the precinct. Out of the 170 episodes of Barney Miller that were produced, 68 from the first four seasons can be seen in their entirety on Crackle's YouTube channel*. Take a seat, have a brownie and check out some classic television. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 6, 2012 - 85 comments

"To find out more, take a voyage down to your public library. It's all in books!"

Before Quantum Leap, there was a another scifi tv show where two time traveling Voyagers tried to put right what once went wrong….. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 4, 2012 - 37 comments

2, 12, 1, 9, 4: Big Money. No Whammies.

On May 19, 1984, an unemployed ice cream truck driver named Michael Larson went on Press Your Luck and over the course of two episodes, took home more money than had ever been won in the history of television: $110,237 -- to the shock of the show’s producers and host, the late Peter Tomarken. How did he do it? The show’s game board had only 5 patterns of 18 squares, and Mr. Larson had memorized them all. After the show, CBS tried to disqualify him but couldn’t, because Larson hadn’t done anything illegal. But they did refuse to allow those episodes to be aired in syndication. So, they didn’t re-air until 2003, when the Game Show Network produced a Tomarken-hosted documentary about Mr. Larson’s incredible win: Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 3, 2012 - 42 comments

From Days of Long Ago...

"From days of long ago... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 2, 2012 - 30 comments

“Digitize Her!”

Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2012 - 28 comments

Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game

I catch a lot of flak over my description of the years 1974 to 1983 as the Golden Age of roleplaying games, much of it based on a misunderstanding of my original point, namely that, after this period, tabletop RPGs would never again command the same degree of broad cultural significance that they did during this time. A good illustration of my point is this odd product, from wargames publisher SPI: Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game. Published in 1980, the same year as the company's more well known foray into roleplaying, DragonQuest, Dallas was designed by none other than James F. Dunnigan, famous as (among many things) the designer of the classic wargames Jutland and PanzerBlitz. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 29, 2012 - 26 comments

Yours To Rediscover

RETRONTARIO: Yours To Rediscover. "RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost."
posted by chunking express on Feb 13, 2012 - 23 comments

New! And Improved! Buy Now! Half off! Limited time offer! Fortified with 11 vitamins and minerals!

Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Oct 30, 2011 - 11 comments

Drink Milk!

The A-Team film is filled with sex and violence. Mr T pities the fools.
posted by Artw on Jun 9, 2010 - 127 comments

Collection of outtakes from TV's ALF

Outtakes from one of America's most beloved television programs, ALF. Oh, and NSFW.
posted by item on Apr 20, 2010 - 39 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

Get your Saturday morning on

Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 22, 2009 - 160 comments

A BetaMaXmas

80s era holiday television complete with antenna, TV guide, and remote.
posted by Korou on Dec 8, 2008 - 22 comments

Totally outrageous!!!

Branded in the 80's: Peel Here From the obvious to the obscure to the downright frightening, Peel Here documents the collectible stickers of the 80's and related ephemera.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jun 26, 2008 - 42 comments

Come Aboard, We're Expecting You...

If you were a North American kid (well, a kid stuck at home, younger than driving age) in the late 70s/early 80s, your Saturday nights were likely spent in front of the television watching The Love Boat. The show subsequently gained worldwide popularity. Did you know that the Pacific Princess is still ferrying the lovelorn across the blue abyss, and that she has a bridgecam? Did you know there were Love Boat action figures? For your nostalgic pleasure: complete episode guide, complete guest star list, theme song video (variations 1, 2, 3), lyrics and chords, and song facts.
posted by amyms on Mar 22, 2008 - 47 comments

Multi-link Mike Post post

If you only watch the opening credits of 279 shows from the late 1980s, make it these 279 shows from the late 1980s. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 1, 2008 - 57 comments

Classic Nick Homepage.

Classic Nick Homepage. The Adventures of Pete and Pete! Welcome Freshman! Mr. Wizard! David the Gnome! Pinwheel! Eureka's Castle! Count Duckula! Danger Mouse! Salute your Shorts! Hey Dude! They're all here!

Relive your childhood by perusing the pages at the Classic Nick Homepage. Remember whole subplots for shows you can't remember ever having watched! Go that extra step and demand the shows be put back on the air--sign the Petition! Already 5961 signatures strong, maybe there's a chance that MeFi could help the 80's Nick generation to once again experience the majesty of Artie... "The strongest man in the world!"
posted by Hammerikaner on Jul 17, 2002 - 41 comments

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