80s TV!



"Hi. I'm Larry. This is my brother, Darrell, and this is my other brother, Darrell..."

NEWHART was about a Vermont bed-and-breakfast run by Bob Newhart and his wife Joanna. They had a humorous handyman, played by Tom Poston. They also had ridiculously stupid neighbors - the brothers Larry, Darrell, and Darrell. Man, they were funny, though. And then there was the uptight society girl named "Stephanie VanDerKellen" or something like that. Her hubby was played by BOSOM BUDDIES' Peter Scolari. I vividly remember Mr. Newhart's extremely dry sense of humor. I remember "Joanna's" extensive sweater collection. And, of course, the neighbor brothers' introduction in every episode. Good show!


Judge Harry (Harold T.) Stone, Bull, Dan Fielding, there were so many great characters on this comedy. Judge Stone was a practical joker who loved the music of Mel Torme. Bull was the lovable, bald, oaf of a balliff. Dan Fielding the male chauvenist pig lawyer. Markie Post played the female lawyer, a foil to the "Dan" character. For some time, she had one wickedly large 80s mullett! This show was the final quarter of the famous Thursday night lineup with THE COSBY SHOW, FAMILY TIES, and CHEERS. For a while, it was followed by MOONLIGHTING. It is a part of classic TV history. Because of this show, I for a time, decided I wanted to be a judge - especially in a night court! Unfortunately, that never did pan out. But I'm still happy!


NIGHT FLIGHT was a late night show on the weekends, I think (I can't remember exactly) on the USA Network. I think Flavor can probably fill in the blanks for me on that part. For a long time, I did not get MTV in the 1980s. So NIGHT FLIGHT (along with FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS) was the only opportunity I had to see the videos I craved. And they did show a lot of metal videos. Some bizarre ones. I think this show was my introduction to Motorhead, W.A.S.P., and the like. But I also saw the softer vids here. In particular, I do recall seeing the premier of Warrant's video for "Sometimes She Cries," which was in black and white and showed a girl crying at her door and hanging up clothes and stuff. Yes, NIGHT FLIGHT was a saving grace for those of us without MTV, and a supplement for those of us who did.
Night Flight was on the USA Network every Friday and Saturday night for about 5 years. It was replaced by the horrible "USA Up All Night". Night Flight would mainly show videos, but would also show short films and interviews. My favorite segment was "Heavy Metal Heroes", which included interviews and videos from some of my favorite metal bands. Night Flight was definately my preferred viewing over MTV at the time, and I think cable TV needs another show like this again.


"We'll do the dance of joy!"

PERFECT STRANGERS told the story of Balki Bartokamous (I know I probably spelled that all wrong), who was from the fictional country of Mepos. Balki came to America to live with his "Cousin Larry," and hilarity ensued. I believe this show was one of the original shows in ABC's "TGIF" lineup. It was very, very funny, though, in a most basic way. Most laughs revolved around Balki's misunderstanding or mispronunciation of something American. They eventually got girlfriends who were only somewhat believable. Mostly, I couldn't understand why someone as pretty as Larry's girlfriend would go out with an unattractive, uptight geek such as he was! My favorite episode of PERFECT STRANGERS was the one where they made the bobkas and Balki insisted that while they made them, they sing the "Bibby Bobka Ditty!"


"Big money, big money, no whammies, no whammies...STOP!!!"

Wasn't this game show on USA? I could be wrong. The fun of this game show, in which people would answer questions in order to have the right to take a stab at the whammy board (an electronic wall where one had to stop a set of lights when it landed on an amount of money, and not the dreaded "whammy"), was when they did, in fact, hit a whammy. At that point a cartoon "whammy" would dance across the screen spewing some sort of subtle insult to the player and then laugh cruelly in their face. It was great. And for some reason, whenever someone had control of the board, they would inevitibly yell the "big money, no whammies, STOP!" mantra. I really have no idea why this was so riveting. But ask anyone who remembers the 80s, and I can guarantee they will remember this game show!
"No whammies, big money, big money, no whammies, no whammies....STOP!" I wonder if the producers of the show encouraged this behavior from it's contestants. If they didn't, I guess they figured the more they chanted the better luck they would have.


"Punky's on!!!" I used to yell at my parents as I dove for the spot in front of the TV. For some reason I still do not fathom, I lived for this show. Punky, played by Soleil Moon Frye (sister to 80s fab guy, Meeno Peluce), was just really, really cool to me at such a young age. She was an orphan who pestered this old man until he adopted her. She had a diverse group of friends - the friendly African-American girl and her mom, the snobby blonde, and the blonde adorable-but-annoying boy. She dressed a bit like Rainbow Brite - with mismatching, multi-colored clothes. But wow, I wanted to be like her for some reason! I enjoyed this show as a little girl. I think a lot of little girls did!

Comments by Kelly and Brian

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