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March 22, 2008 11:33 PM   Subscribe

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 (47 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
From the Pacific Princess link above:
"The "new" Pacific Princess takes over the name of Princess' famed "Love Boat." She travels the South Pacific as well as Alaska."
Are you sure this is the same boat?
posted by paulsc at 11:39 PM on March 22, 2008

Not the same boat, but the namesake of the boat. (sorry, should have made that clear)
posted by amyms at 11:41 PM on March 22, 2008

How come the Love Boat never stopped at Fantasy Island?

De ship, Boss, de ship!
posted by bwg at 11:55 PM on March 22, 2008

According to Wikipedia, the original boat is still sailing for a new line, now named the Pacific. Not a boat I can personally recommend, but no point in being a knocker...
posted by paulsc at 11:55 PM on March 22, 2008

How come the Love Boat never stopped at Fantasy Island?

I should have included a nod to Fantasy Island in my post, bwg. In my neck of the woods, it aired immediately following The Love Boat.
posted by amyms at 12:02 AM on March 23, 2008

You didn't have to be around when it originally aired to have had The Love Boat in your childhood -- I grew up watching early 90's TV, and I can sing you the entire theme song.
posted by spiderskull at 12:02 AM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Cool, thanks for that, paulsc :)...

Between 1975 and 2002 she sailed for Princess Cruises as Pacific Princess, famous for appearing in the romantic sitcom The Love Boat. Between April and October 2008 the Pacific will be chartered to the newly-established Quail Cruises to operate cruises out of Valencia, Spain.
posted by amyms at 12:04 AM on March 23, 2008

Good memories of the Love Boat. Light, breezy fun, with one of the best TV songs ever.

I never understood the casting of Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing, though...coming off of his role as a shlubby - albeit quick-witted - TV news writer on MTM, and then just a year or two later being a "captain of the seas" just seemed to be a bit of a stretch.
posted by davidmsc at 12:15 AM on March 23, 2008

Can someone - anyone - explain to me the appeal of this show? I mean that sincerely. I feel so grumpy posting this, but the only thing worse than The Lurve Boat is that god damn theme song.

Which is now stuck on endless loop in my brain. Curse you Jack Jones!!!
posted by Space Kitty at 12:15 AM on March 23, 2008

**sends earworm to davidmsc**
posted by Space Kitty at 12:16 AM on March 23, 2008

Love Boat was on in Mexico?
posted by MNDZ at 12:24 AM on March 23, 2008

Love Boat was on in Mexico?

Sure, MNDZ. Did you miss out on El Barco De Amor between your telenovelas?
posted by amyms at 12:29 AM on March 23, 2008

Zounds. In addition to bridge cams, most of the boats have cams running in their wedding chapels, too. Almost to a one, they look like funeral parlors.
posted by mumkin at 1:08 AM on March 23, 2008

Damn! This is cool as hell!

*young little thing from the late 90's*
posted by blessedlyndie at 1:28 AM on March 23, 2008

charo AND jack klugman... how did i miss that?
posted by blessedlyndie at 1:34 AM on March 23, 2008

How come the Love Boat never stopped at Fantasy Island?

Because The Others didn't want it to.
posted by lovecrafty at 1:40 AM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Daaaad, is Battlestar on yet?
Daaaad, is Battlestar on yet?
Daaaad, is Battlestar on yet?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:57 AM on March 23, 2008 [7 favorites]

coming off of his role as a shlubby - albeit quick-witted - TV news writer on MTM

MTM was the best show evar. What a terrific cast: MacLeod, Ted Knight, Ed Asner, Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper.
posted by psmealey at 2:09 AM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm definitely one of those 70's/80's kids, but this is one of many shows from then that I know the theme song and opening titles by heart, but never really watched the show. I'm sure I would've found most of the storylines pretty boring, but man did I ever enjoy that song! Dallas is another show that comes to mind--know the song, never watched the show. There's probably a dozen more theme songs just crouching there in my subconscious...
posted by zardoz at 3:43 AM on March 23, 2008

They don't make 'em like they used to (born early 76).
posted by autodidact at 4:02 AM on March 23, 2008

I'm a child of the time, but I'm a British child of the time. The Love Boat for me evokes rainy Sunday afternoons when there was no decent war film on BBC2.
posted by vbfg at 4:44 AM on March 23, 2008

God, that show sucked.
posted by orange swan at 5:25 AM on March 23, 2008

Seems to me that shows like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island were like make-work projects for B-level Hollywood celebrities. At least back then TV producers used to write scripts and stories to keep them busy. Now it's just reality shows and glitzy quiz shows, where these same out-of-work actors now play themselves (supposedly). Same as it ever was, I guess.
posted by spoobnooble at 5:33 AM on March 23, 2008

I had *such* a crush on Gopher. Is that wrong?
posted by Lucinda at 5:49 AM on March 23, 2008

If it weren't for The Love Boat, Americans would never have come to love the phenomenon that was Charo.
posted by Spatch at 5:56 AM on March 23, 2008

I was a Japanese kid growing up in North America during the late '70s and early '80s. And my mom and I watched The Love Boat. (And Fantasy Island.) Probably every week, because I can still sing the opening song. I'm pretty sure my mom actually liked the show. I suspect part of the reason why was because the language and plot were straightforward enough for her to follow without having to concentrate, since she didn't understand much English. I mean, who wants to have to concentrate on something on a Saturday night?
posted by misozaki at 6:04 AM on March 23, 2008

Why is there no YouTube clip of Sonny Bono on the Love Boat as Gene Simmons-style hard rocker, Deacon Dark? "Crash it, crash it, hit it with a hammer and bash it!"
posted by jonp72 at 6:06 AM on March 23, 2008

Without The Love Boat establishing the format for "cavalcade of has-been guest stars" programs, we would never have had the marvel of modern entertainment that was Murder, She Wrote.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:30 AM on March 23, 2008

I was easily terrified when I was a kid (to the point where my parents were taking me to shrinks to find out what in the hell was wrong with me) and I can remember one or two episodes of Fantasy Island that frightened me enough that the show became synonymous in my mind with terror. There was one that had to do with a house on fire (and I think the ghost of someone who died there), and another in which someone's fantasy was to become a ventriloquist. And really, what could be more terrifying than ventriloquism in the late 70's, when the ads for the movie Magic were airing?

The Love Boat meant that Fantasy Island was about to come on, and to this day anything having to do with the Love Boat makes me feel slightly uneasy, as if I have suddenly remembered that there is a ghost in the next room.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 6:35 AM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I remember watching it...even enjoying it. Fortunately or unfortunately, I can't remember why. Maybe it was the excitement of every episode at the beginning when everyone was boarding and checking in that you knew somewhere in that crowd would be a married couple having a rocky time in their life. ... Or not.
posted by Atreides at 6:41 AM on March 23, 2008

I did not need that song in my head this morning! I see The Love Boat made it once in the yearly top-20 Nielson ratings (according to this list) and Partridge Family made it a few times. I don't see the Brady Bunch in there anywhere. Marsha and her braces! That cute little den. Florence Henderson's shag haircut.

Oh look! There's Hawaii Five-0! Now there's a theme song I can get behind. "Book 'em, Dano!"
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:51 AM on March 23, 2008

We should have a MeFi music challenge connected to this song! I am serious.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:01 AM on March 23, 2008

love boat was the first show where i really became aware of structures of multiple plot tv shows -- how things went from the A plot to the B plot and back again. and then i decided to write an episode. i was, i think, 13?
posted by rmd1023 at 7:02 AM on March 23, 2008

I've never seen Loveboat, even though I was born in 1977 and watched plenty of junk television growing up. That's because it was on the list of TV shows, along with the Flinstones and Bewitched, that my mom forbade me to watch because they were "too stupid". Completely arbitrary on her part, but hard to argue against.
posted by bluejayk at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2008

Are there any shows like The Love Boat now? Would they work? I look back on that show with nostalgia. The goofy stories, the heartwarming mild romances, the sense of pure fun. And so many wonderful guest stars. We need TV like that. (And yes I know about The New Love Boat, which was a dismal failure. Maybe that's my answer?)
posted by Nelson at 8:22 AM on March 23, 2008

I have fond memories of The Love Boat, especially when I would piss my mom off by singing the tmese and replacing "boat" with "goat". I still do it today, too.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:02 AM on March 23, 2008

The love goat soon will be making another run
The love goat promises something for everyone
posted by Meatbomb at 10:26 AM on March 23, 2008

Stockholm, Sweden, 1995. I moved out of my parents house, settled in a dorm. Wooo, party time! But, you have to watch some TV while you crack open the first beer of the day and wait for your less fortunate friends (ie those who still lived at home) to show up. Enter The Love Boat. To this day, whenever I see these three words somewhere I'm beamed back to that dingy (dinghy, lulz) dorm kitchen, a lazy afternoon sun drifting in through the windows, a cold, cheap and promising beer in front of me, a night full of adventures ahead. If I hear the theme song, I get slightly drunk. That's Pavlovian conditioning I can get behind!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:39 AM on March 23, 2008

Holy cats! I just realized that the Love Boat is maybe part of why I'm able to enjoy movies like multiple plot movies like Magnolia. It may have been created to give work to C-listers, but it also had the effect of making a nation used to this sort of narrative by - yes - making it oversimplistic and cheesy.

Meanwhile, in the 1960's, Del Close was spearheading an improvised form called "The Harold" which featured, typically, three unrelated stories that developed thematic (and sometimes story) connections over 30 or so minutes.

The Harold sort of became the improv standard beginning in the 1980's. I wonder if this is at least partially because of schlock shows like "Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" (and "Supertrain") injecting this sort of storytelling into the popular mind.

Wow, I have all sorts of ideas now. And, also, that damn song is stuck in my head. One win, one lose.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:22 AM on March 23, 2008

I loved the episode where some cad told this woman she looked like a hausfrau in her outfit and she should take it back, only to have her wail after he shut the cabin door in her face, "But I can't take it back! I sewed it myself!"

The original Julie was the best, and the little girl that joined the show was really annoying to another kid. But, yeah, Gopher was teh Hottie.
posted by misha at 11:32 AM on March 23, 2008

Above all, Love Boat gave us Richie's Dad vs. Andy Warhol!! [YouTube, 41 seconds, mind-blowing.]
posted by Superfrankenstein at 11:35 AM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ugh, I was always stuck at home on a Saturday night, in the New Hampshire suburbs, bored out of my scull. I was 14, 15, ish. Old enough to know that somewhere, cool people were doing something interesting. I remember that feeling of dread -- there would be a coupla okay sit-coms sometimes between 8 and 9, and then it was just bad to worse for the rest of the evening. And No Where to Go, Ever!!! I'd go to the kitchen and make brownies just to do something. And I'd swear I wouldn't watch, but I did watch. Pretty much always.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:40 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Did anyone link to this yet? Time-eating link to TV schedules from the 1940s to the present.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:42 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Love Boat/Fantasy Island Saturdays were swell, but Simon & Simon/Magnum P.I. Thursdays were the be all and end all (excepting Sat. morning D&D cartoon, of course, but that's straying a little further into the 80's).

OMG ClaudiaCenter. That rocks. You rock.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:38 PM on March 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you were a North American kid (well, a kid stuck at home, younger than driving age) in the late 70s/early 80s,

I was all those things, but even when I became driving age, I tended to stay home and watch tv. I never understood going out.
posted by JanetLand at 2:17 PM on March 23, 2008

Deacon Dark!!!
posted by bradth27 at 2:43 PM on March 23, 2008

I had such a crush on Julie. (Yes, the original Julie, of course.)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:32 PM on March 23, 2008

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