80s TV!



I pity the fool who don't remember THE A-TEAM!

OK, like most of us, my memories of THE A-TEAM primarily revolve around the ultra-hip Mr. T, whose mohawk, heaps of gold jewelry, and outrageously tough persona made him one of the most recognizable stars of the 80s. You still see him around once in a while on TV to this day. Hmmm...what else do I remember about this show? Wasn't there a dumb guy named Murdock?
"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."

The Intro:


A DIFFERENT WORLD was a spinoff of The Cosby Show. In this thirty minutes of comedy we followed Denise Huxtable to Hillman College and got to know her and her new friends. Remember Marisa Tomei in her breakout role on this show? Who could forget Dwayne Wayne and Whitley going 10 rounds in every episode. When Debi Allen joined the cast (formerly of FAME and an acclaimed choreographer as well as actress), the show really took off. I always felt this show didn't get the recognition it deserved. It really was cool and different.

The opening theme of A Different World:


ALF was the alien that came crashng into the Tanner's garage roof and into the collective American consciousness. To a completely annoying level. Alf stuffed dolls, Alf cartoons. You name it, Alf was on it. Wasn't that father annoying?
In the style of Cliff Clavin, how about a few little known facts about everyone's favorite prime time alien? Alf stands for "Alien Life Form". Alf is from the planet Melmac. Alf loved to eat cats and would always try to eat the Tanner's cat "Lucky". Alf's catch phrase was "No Problem". Max Wright, who played father Willie Tanner, had to be the most annoying actor ever on a sitcom.

The intro to Alf:


Well, kiss my grits, Mel!

ALICE told the story of a single mother (played by Linda Lavin) who was a waitress in a greasy-spoon diner. Her boss was the pot-bellied, grease-covered chef named Mel. Her co-waitresses were the lovable idiot Vera, and the sharp-tongued, big-haired redhead Flo (who did leave the show before it ended, I think, but hers were the best years, so I'll just focus on that). ALICE is good for a laugh and you can still find it occasionally on Nick at Night or TV Land.
---DING---Pick-up dingbat! Such was the lovable Mel's cry for the ever-attentive Vera to please take a plate of food to the gracious customer. Alice ran from 1976 to 1985, and I agree with Sheena that the earlier years were the best. Flo eventually left and had her own spinoff show (appropriately titled "Flo"), and she was replaced by Jolene. In the later years, we also got to see Alice's son Tommy grow up and face all of the problems of a teenager in a sitcom (drinking, girlfriends, trying to be independant).

Intro to Alice:


Hmmm...I can't think of a witty catch-phrase from BENSON. So much for being on a roll. Mostly, I remember extremely disliking Missy Gold, who played the daughter on this show. This is odd because I was a big fan of her real sister, Tracey, who played "Carol" on Growing Pains later in the 80s. I actually don't remember a lot about this show. Oops.
The only episode of this show I remember is the one where Missy Gold snuck out of the house to go see a KISS concert. Her father was not very pleased when he found out, so we were treated to the "sitcom father figure's unforgettable valuable lesson" at the end of the episode. I can't remember what it was though.

Commercial for Benson:


"Hot in the city tonight..."

Remember Billy Idol's hit "Hot In The City?" That was the theme song for BOOKER. BOOKER was a late-80s, short-lived spinoff of Fox's 21 Jump Street. A huge fan of 21 Jump Street, I remember being very excited when they decided to make a spinoff series for the charismatic Booker, played by 80s sensation Richard Grieco.
I don't remember all that much about the show, other than it was another detective show. I can, however tell you this: Richard Grieco was originally from somewhere in NY state (where yours truly resides). I recall one weekend in the late 1980s. My high school's football team had made it to their division finals, which were held in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. Long story shorter, I spotted Richard Grieco walking around the football field between games (there were two semi-final games that day). Word spread like wildfire that Richard Grieco (DENNIS BOOKER, if you will) was among us. As it turns out, he has a younger brother who was on one of the football teams that played that day. Mr. Grieco was subsequently mobbed by cheerleaders, the only chicks allowed on the field. We were very annoyed that we could not get near him. This was a very exciting development for a bunch of teenage girls who lived in a secluded small town in upstate NY! One of my friends was livid that she had stayed home and missed it entirely.

Opening theme for Booker:


"I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life...go ahead with your own life, leave me alone!"

Kip and Henry. Buffie and Hildie. Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari (did I spell that right?). The beautiful Donna Dixon. What more could you want in a TV show? For a while in the 80s, this was one of my favorite shows. Definitely a classic. BOSOM BUDDIES told the story of a couple of guys who live in a Girls-only apartment complex because they couldn't afford to live anywhere else. So they are not evicted, they wear dresses, pantyhose, makeup, and wigs and are known by all but a select few as Buffie and Hildegard. Kip and Henry worked in an ad agency which also provided some laughs. BOSOM BUDDIES was the breakout role for Tom Hanks. For this alone, the show should be remembered. But mostly, it was one of the funniest sitcoms I have ever seen!
The only other comment I can add to this is that I loved the theme song. "My Life" by Billy Joel opened every episode, and you couldn't help but sing along.

Opening theme for Bosom Buddies:

Comments by Kelly and Brian

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