80s TV!



My parents used to watch DALLAS. I was too young to understand what the big deal was. I do, however, recall the "Who shot J.R.?" fiasco (it was all a dream - an entire season - AAARRGH!). I remember everyone being aggravated with that. A one-hour show about a Texas oil tycoon family just wasn't riveting enough for me as a young teen. What else can I say? Brad Pitt made an early-in-the-career appearance on one episode! That's kinda cool...
I don't ever think I watched this show. Like Sheena said, it was probably directed toward adults at the time. I remember Johnny Carson and David Letterman ripping the show apart after the "dream" fiasco.


"We need YOU to make it happen!"

This show was after school (and Saturday mornings too during it's heyday) on the USA Network. It was sort of a sickeningly 80s Bandstand wannabe. It was almost a religion for me and my friends (a couple of my friends were even ON it!). It was kind of a real-life soap opera. We all had a regular we crushed on. If you watched this, maybe you remember the guys who collectively called themselves "Marquis" - Bob, Jason, Joe, and Marlon. At the time, they were the coolest. Everyone loved Bob, and waited and waited and waited for him to take off his ever-present shades, which he finally did during a lip-sync to Wham's "Careless Whisper." I think I might still have that on tape somewhere! Anyway, while most girls drooled over his Bobness, I had it bad for Jason. Then there was Joe, the loveable Jon Bon Jovi wannabe. Other regulars of note: Jimmy Jam - the youngest and hippest dancer, Ed - the oldest and hippest dancer, Annette the Madonna wannabe, and Princess - the girl who dressed like Prince and had a fake teardrop stuck to her face until she got to meet him (and I hear she finally did!). Let's not forget our irritating hosts: first Dave Raymond, and later, for the longest time, dorky Andy Guiry.
Much as I am picking on this show, I really, really, loved it. I adored Jason Pascoe, and even wrote to him once! I still have his little autographed bio somewhere. So Jason, if you're out there reading this, you made me very happy one day in my young life!
I must make a mention of one special alumnus of DPUSA: Kelly Ripa. That's right, All My Children and Regis and Kelly beauty Kelly Ripa was once a regular on Dance Party USA!
DPUSA was fun to watch because it was a real-life soap opera right before your eyes. There was drama among the regulars. It was fun to see (the now hideous) fashions people were wearing. I love dancing. I wanted to be a dancer (like Broadway or videos, not a stripper! LOL), so this show was fun for me to watch. I am not saying in any way that this was the greatest show of all time. It was horrendous and wonderful, hideous and beautiful. And a great snapshot of the time. I think anyone can appreciate that!
I had never even heard of this show until Sheena told me about it. I think it was mostly viewed by girls at the time. Recently, the owners/producers (apparantly with too much time on their hands) have taken to searching for any web site that includes a tribute to their show. Upon finding these sites, they will threaten legal action unless the pictures from the show are taken down (NOTE: there are no Dance Party pictures on this page....coincidence?). This kind of behavior seems very unnecessary and hypocritical to me. Unnecessary because the only thing these sites are doing is spreading the show's name around and actually PROMOTING the show. Hypocritical because this show is basically just a rip off of American Bandstand. If anything, Dick Clark should have threatened THEM with legal action.
I just wanted to quickly add that this turn of events with the lawyers disappointed me greatly. I am just a fan, we weren't hurting anyone, and due to a misunderstanding we lost this site (and all of our work) for a time simply because we posted a couple of photos! It was very, very harsh. Thankfully, the wonderfully reasonable people here at Angelfire were very understanding, giving us a second chance, and we got Notes From The 80s back! But anyone interested in Dance Party should know that they are very serious when it comes to their copyrights. Tread very carefully when it comes to copying and selling tapes and making websites, etc.


Can I just say that DAY BY DAY was, quite possibly, the funniest, most underrated sitcom of the 1980s? Yes, I can say that - I just did. :o) DAY BY DAY was about a family that ran a daycare center out of their house. The cute kid factor was mixed with the teenage angst factor in the capable hands of actor Christopher Barnes. His character was a teenage slacker (roughly my age at the time, I'll guess 15) who liked nothing more than to hang around all day in his bathrobe and gawk at his mother's gorgeous daycare assistant. Said daycare assistant was played by the lovely and talented Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place, Ally McBeal, Summer School, etc). I believe the father was fresh off of 80s nighttime soap FALCON CREST. Also of note, the hilariously uptight conservative neighbor was played by future Seinfeild genius Julia Louis-Dreyfus! How could this show have missed?!
The best, most memorable (and probably most famous) episode of DAY BY DAY had the son falling asleep after watching The Brady Bunch when he should have been studying. What followed was the best, and at the time ONLY, Brady Bunch spoof the world had ever seen. The son becomes "Chuck Brady," a long-lost Brady brother. In an ironic twist (or perhaps not, maybe this episode had somethimg to do with it!), Christopher Barnes played Greg in the Brady Bunch movies of the 1990s. If you ever get a chance, check out DAY BY DAY. It's not to be missed!


"Whatch you talkin bout Willis?!"

It takes DIFF'RENT STROKES to move the world, yes it does. A white rich man with a daughter adopts underpriveliged African-American brothers and everything turns out peachy. Well, on the show anyway. We all know what happened to Dana Plato, Todd Bridges, and Gary Coleman since then. At least Todd and Gary may possibly have come to their senses by now. Ms. Plato unfortunately slid down into an abyss of drugs. Sad. I recently saw her play a hilarious 80s slut on a re-run of GROWING PAINS. All I could think was that it's too bad no one could see what was happening at that time. Or maybe they could and she wouldn't be helped. Who knows?
DIFF'RENT STROKES itself was a stroke of genius. But with a dark, and sad side. Janet Jackson (shown above) played Willis' girlfriend for a bit and was probably the biggest ray of sunshine the show ever saw. I liked the show at the time, but watching it now is just bittersweet. Something about knowing there's a tragic outcome kind of ruins the light mood the show should have, you know? Hmmm.
I must agree that I can't watch the show now and enjoy it like I used to. Arnold and Willis were hilarious together. Mrs. Garrett, played by Charlotte Rae, would go on to appear on another sitcom, Facts Of Life. She was replaced by the older, shorter Adelaide.


"Maxie Burgers, Maxie Burgers - Yum, Yum, Yum....Maxie Burgers Maxie Burgers - make you want to hum HMMMMMMMMMMMMM!"

So goes my favorite episode of Double Trouble, where the twins try out for a burger commercial. This short-lived sitcom was a legend in my house. My friend Karie and I would reenact every episode in my playroom the day after it was on. DOUBLE TROUBLE was about twin sisters, and I think they wanted to be in show business. Beyond that, you got me. I don't even remember! But the show rocked, I do know that! Ha!


"Just the good ole boys. Never meaning no harm.
Beats all you ever saw, been in trouble with the law since the day there were born. YEEE-HA!"

Bo and Luke. Daisy. The General Lee. Uncle Jesse. Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrain. Cletus and Enus (man, I hope I spelled that right!). That darn droopy dog (what WAS his name?). This show was the bomb-diggity boys show of the early 80s. My cousins couldn't get enough of it. And when we played DUKES OF HAZARD, of course I was always the designated "Daisy." My cousins had all the action figures and toys. This show played a pivotal role for young males of my generation, and I'm afraid. I'm very afraid...:o)
I profusely started calling everyone "dipstick" after watching this show. What was that droopy dog's name, you ask? Well, I'll quote my good friend Roscoe P. Coltrain from his 1982 hit song--"My old dog, his name is Flash, I don't know why cause he ain't that fast...". Yes, I have the Dukes Of Hazzard album. Yes, I'm also nearly insane. The album also has songs sung by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Boss (J.D.-Jefferson Davis) Hogg, Bo, Luke, and Daisy. Uncle Jesse was probably off somewhere making moonshine. I used to watch the show every week at my Grandparents' house. Also on that night of the week was The Incredible Hulk. Every week my grandmother would say the same thing about both shows. About The Hulk she would ask, "How come he never rips out of his pants?", and about The Dukes she would say, "They are just some Good Ole Boys, aren't they?". Yes, they are, Grandma, they certainly are.


Drama. Bitches slapping each other silly. Yes, DYNASTY! I really was to young to be too into this. I remember thinking "Fallon" was one heck of a nifty name for a girl. And, while "Sammy Jo" isn't as cool a name - Heather Locklear always rocks. Then there's the DYNASTY drinking game (do a shot every time someone gets slapped). DYNASTY is an 80s classic!

Comments by Kelly and Brian

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