Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Television Generation

by Joan Kayse

I am a child of television.

I confess, I do watch or at least listen to a fair amount of it. What can I say? I was raised in the era of programming expansion. My parents had just gotten used to grainy black and white pictures of Milton Berle when Panavision was invented. They never dreamed they’d be able to watch programs in color and to get reception from the moon? Unthinkable.

I still remember how my parents let my brother and I stay up to watch the broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon. History was being made and I saw it live.

Television brought world events to my living room in Kentucky..nightly broadcasts of the Vietnam War, the protests, the bra burning. The cultural revolution was unfolding on our small screen. I was a kid. I didn't understand what all that was about but it impacted me.

But I also remember curling up every Sunday night, after my bath, snug in my jammies to watch “Wild Kingdom” and “The Wonderful World of Disney”. I was safe and secure in my living room while Marlin Perkins wrestled giant anacondas to the ground….or rather sent his trusty sidekick Jim in to do it. (Wonder if ‘ole Jim got extra pay??)

Miniseries were big for a time. “Roots”, “The Winds of War”, “North and South” (minus Richard Armitage). Sagas told over the span of five days. Books brought to life, given faces, making an impact, leaving impressions.

Then Cable TV was invented. The first thing I watched when my parents got it was “The Blue Lagoon”. Pretty risqué business in the early eighties to see semi nude Brooke Shields flinging around that lagoon. Now you can access hundreds of stations and lots more skin if you have the money to pay for all that opulence. I could and have watched The Food Network for hours! Yes, I learned the art of cheesecake making from Good Eats.

Even with all the choices out there I still find myself gravitating toward the classics: I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke. Not a lot of meaning or deep psychological implications in these simple but entertaining shows (save for the AG episode with Opie and Winkin, Blinkin and Nod...sniff). Barney Fife was one of a kind. Watch the "Checkpoint Chickie" episode and not laugh. I dare you! Nobody has neighbors like Ethel and Fred and a boss as hilarious as Alan Brady? Thank goodness for TVLand!

What about you? What were some of your favorite shows? Which was the funniest? Golden Girls? Wings? The Cosby Show?


Suzanne Welsh said...

Is the GR singing The Yellow Rose of Texas?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Joanie, we are of the same generation. And I still love to watch Lucy and Andy Griffin reruns. Oh and the Carol Burnett show. OMG...Tim Conway was the absoloute funniest man. Did they ever finish a scene with him in it without someone, usually Harvey, cracking up? Or how about the scene with Carol making a Scarlet dress out of the curtains, with the rod STILL in place?! Talk about your big wide shoulders, hehehe

Esri Rose said...


Esri Rose said...

Is there some kind of Golden Rooster sniping program I can get?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Suz! He clearly wanted some Southern hospitality. Just don't show him any fried chicken recipes! They might involve his cousins!

Esri, if you didn't spend all that time talking to Latvia about foreign editions, you WOULD get the GR. Hmm, small private joke - if you want a laugh, read Esri's take on the life of a romance writer at:


Shhhh! Esri, if everyone knows that's what it's like to be a romance writer, they'll all want to do it!

Joan, what a great post. In Australia, we have the best of a lot of worlds - we get British TV and American TV and Australian TV, plus occasional bits from other parts of the world. I didn't really watch the shows you listed - which is odd as I'm sure I'm older than you. But let me think - favorites from my childhood, Gilligan's Island, Wonderful World of Disney, The Brady Bunch, the Rolf Harris Show. Then I went to boarding school and TV was something I only saw sporadically - still remember fondly The Duchess of Duke Street and Upstairs Downstairs. See what I mean about the British influence? Doctor Who was a perennial favorite with me - loved Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. Doctor Who fanatics can argue forever about who was the best doctor. Then Blake's 7 - wow, what a series! More science fiction! The David Attenborough nature documentaries - breathtaking. Who can forget him with the gorillas? I know it's corny - but I had a huge craze on The Nanny. I thought it was such fun and I loved the romance.

Jennifer Y. said...

OOOOH...a subject I LOVE almost as much as book...television.

I could go on and on about some of my fave tv shows (which I might do later when I can think more clearly...LOL), but I do want to say that I enjoyed all the ones you name (even if I am from a different generation).

One of my all-time fave shows growing up though was Reading Rainbow with Levar Burton. I can still remember the words to the theme song...I loved that show.

And I love watching shows in reruns. I have discovered quite a few faves on Nick at Nite, TVLand, The Hallmark Channel, etc.

And what used to be called The Family Channel used to have western Saturdays that I looked forward to each week...they showed shows like High Chapparal, Rawhide, Big Valley, and my fave The Young Riders *sigh* such yummy looking guys...on horses (I have a thing for westerns, can you tell? LOL)

I recorded every episode of The Young Riders onto VHS tape (this was before TV on DVD) and was thrilled when they released Season One on DVD a while back...now if they would just release the other seasons.

I grew up when shows like Saved by the Bell, Full House, The Cosby Show, 90210, etc. were popular. And I am just as ecletic when it comes to watching tv as I am when it comes to reading...I'll give anything a shot...LOL.

Well, now I am just rambling and you made me want to watch some old shows...will need to see what I can find on tv...LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, how could I forget the Fonz? I had a huge crush on him! But sadly, he was a on when I was away at school and I only saw him very sporadically. Sigh. Star-crossed lovers, Fonzie and I were!

Suzanne Welsh said...

We always watched The Lassie Show, which always made me cry, followed by The Wonderful World of Disney and the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom.

My first crush was on the Monkeys. I loveeeeeeeeed Mike and Mickey. Davy was just a tad too short for me. :)

And of course there was Rawhide with a young actor named.........Clint Eastwood!! Hoo baby!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Suzanne. My favorite oldies include Leave It To Beaver and Bewitched. My favorite Dick York was my favorite Darrin. I also loved Charlie's Angels and Seinfeld. I always wanted to be an Angel. Some of my favorite British shows are Are You Being Served? and Keeping Up Appearances.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Fun post, Joanie!

And CONGRATS on the GR, Suz!

My grandfather's favorite show was Bonanza. Sadly, he passed away before he and my grandmother could afford a color TV so he only got to see it in black&white. I LURVED WWofDisney, and I Dream of Jeannie (they couldn't show her belly button, remember?), which happened to co-star a young actor named Larry Hagman... Whom my Gramma LURVED as the evil JR Ewing in Dallas!

Thanx for the stroll down memory lane, Joanie!

Nighty night all,

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jane, remember when Samantha used to have her cousin do the "witch's honor" thing with her fingers over her nose? I know two nurses young enough NOT to know what that was! I loved Bewitched!

Christine Wells said...

Nice post, Joanie T! Hmm, childhood faves would be a lot of the ones Fo listed. As she mentioned, in Oz we have a smorgasboard of English speaking TV shows to choose from including Canadian. De Grassi Jr High anyone? That show was dreadful but somehow, I just kept coming back for more. Loved the Banana Splits, anyone remember them? In high school I got hooked on a Brit show called Press Gang. Get Smart--just hated that show but my father loved it. Then there were all the British comedies like To the Manor Born, Yes, Prime Minister, Blackadder. Loved all of them. Oh, and Love in a Cold Climate was a series that really captivated me. Used to watch Duchess of Duke Street, too, Fo!

Christine Wells said...

Congrats on the GR, Suz! Poor Esri. He will bless you with his feathery presence one day, I'm sure.

Eva S said...

Congrats Suzanne!

I was a child of television, not so much anymore..My favorites were dramas, such as Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest and one from Australia I'd love to watch again:"Against the Wind".And Onedin Line... Not so much comedy.. But Fonzie was special!
Thanks Joan!

Anna Campbell said...

I Dream of Jeannie! How could I forget that?

Eva, I never saw Against the Wind - another one that was on when I was in boarding school - but the whole country went mad about it. The song from it, sung by Jon English who played the hero, was a huge hit - Six Ribbons. Do you remember that?

And speaking of music, do you remember the music from The Onedin Line? That wonderful swelling romantic music over the sailing ships. Wow!

Eva S said...

I loved the music from Against the Wind, bought the LP and listened for hours...

Amy Andrews said...

I grew up in the bush and we only had one channel so most of my really early influences were from British shows. It Aint Half Hot Mum, Are You Being Served, Some Mothers Do Hav Em, The Goode Life, Fawlty Towers. Then there were the afternoon shows - The Goodies, Dr Who (those Daleks scared me silly) and The Kenny Everet Video Show.
Loved the Banana Splits Christine but that was only on in the school holidays.
The Duchess of Duke St also, The Onedin Line - fabulous music Fo - and another one I remember called When The Boat Comes In.
There was also this detective show called Whodunnit and it was hosted by John Pertwee and the viewers had to guess the murderer. Me and my 2 brothers would get out our pens and paper and race to be the first one to guess.
Also the comedies - The Two Ronnies and The Dave Allen show. Both rather risque for kids if I think back now.
But I loved going into the big smoke and visiting my nana who had 2 channels and I got to watch Little House on the Prarie and The Wonderful World of Disney and Lassie.

Amy Andrews said...

Oooh ooooh, Pam Ayres, the British poet used to have her own show too. I loved that one!

Amy Andrews said...

See now you've got me started...
Rush was another show that was fab. It was Australian and set on the gold fields and starred a very young and sexy John Waters that ALL my mothers peers drooled over.
Hmmm, can see why, he was quite yummy.

Bunny B said...

Oooo! I loved Reading Rainbow! That was an awesome show!! :) I also liked Murder She Wrote, Remington Steele (had a huge crush on Pierce Brosnan and I was just starting school!! :P), and MacGyver (sp?). Great shows!

Anna Campbell said...

Amy, I do remember how sexy John Waters was in Rush. Do you remember that scar? Ooooh!

The Banana Splits! One Banana, two banana, three banana, four. Four bananas make a bunch and so do many more!

Carol said...

Congrats Suzanne on the GR...I hope Jane was able tho get him back in order...he completely ran amok when he was here!!!

I loved the Medical ones...Ben Casey, Dr Kildare.
and The Fugutive.

Drumroll please...
Perry Mason...(I loved Raymond Burr)

and of course Lassie and Rin Tin Tin
Cheers Carol

Anna Campbell said...

Was that amok or a-bwok, Carol?

Margay said...

When I was real young, it was The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family (I have cousins whose last name is Partridge, so we had fun with this one!), but my all-time favorites were Home Improvement, Roseanne and The Golden Girls, as far as sitcoms go. I used to like Charlie's Angels (I know, i know) and Bionic Woman (Lindsay Wagner ruled), but can't remember becoming a slave to tv until ER (the first couple of years) came on. Now, I'm all about Lost and Grey's Anatomy.

Joan said...

Congrats, on the GR Suz!

Oh, I agree about Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. Remember the episode where he was the dentist and kept shooting novacaine into himself? ROTFL funny.

Carol said...

Oh Anna is a bwok what a bad boy chook does to a stylish harem of lady chooks?

Oh... I loved Little House on the Prairie too!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Joanie, I love old TV shows! Of course, you know I rarely watch any TV nowadays, but I used to watch it after school and on weekend nights.

After school, they showed reruns of "Gilligan's Island", "Stalag 13", "I Dream Of Jeannie", "The Andy Griffith Show", "Green Acres" (which was hilarious!), "Petticoat Junction" and "Gomer Pyle". They would run one until they ran through all the episodes they had, then switch. It's the only way I got to see any of those shows, since they were on when I was little (or before I was born *ducking*). =:-0

I remember being snug in the jim-jams watching "The Brady Bunch" and "Room 222" on Friday night. Saturday night was "Carol Burnett". There has never been a funnier show! When Harvey Korman and Tim Conway got going, they had us ROLLING on the floor! The "Gone With the Wind" skit. Oh. My. Goodness!

Caren Crane said...

Suz, forgot to say, way to nap the bird! And good job keeping it away from Esr...never mind. That was supposed to be a secret, wasn't it? *BEG*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats on the GR Suzanne, I don't think he wants to come see me anymore cos I took him to work!
I don't watch TV much anymore unless BF is around. Long ago when I was young though it was about the only entertainment I had outside of my books. I loved everything mentioned so far. In the old days it was Lucy, Andy, and Rawhide. Later it was Cosby, Saved by the Bell, and Happy Days.

Buffie said...

**raising my hand** Yes, I am a tv junkie!!! If I'm not reading a book, I'm watching tv. I like all types of shows -- from the national news to Man vs. Wild to any reality tv show out there to BBC America's The Graham Norton Show (that man is a trip!!!). I love it all.

As far as tv shows I watched as a child, I vividly remember running home from the school bus to catch reruns of The Monkeys. Oh Davey Jones was just so cute!! And on Saturday afternoons, my dad and I would sit and watch the Creature Feature, which was some lame horror show like The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Suzanne Welsh said...

I used to get home every afternoon to watch DARK SHADOWS

Barnabas Collins was just tooooooo creepy and yummy for my pre-teen brain!!

Cheri2628 said...

I, too, grew up in the golden days of TV. I remember how limited our choices were...we only had 3 channels! So, everybody watched the same shows. I loved My Three Sons, The Carol Burnett Show, The King Family, Ed Sullivan, Big Valley, Wonderful World of Disney, and so many others. I also remember the news that at times dominated programming, like when JFK was assassinated and the coverage was continual for 3 days. Back then, TV was a huge part of everyone's lives.

terrio said...

Congrats on the GR Suzanne. Esri - you crack me up. LOL! That bird hasn't made it to my house either so don't feel bad.

Anna - I think you've gone totally bananas.

Great topic, Joanie. Y'all are mentioning so many shows of my childhood. I believe I'm of an age with Jennifer.y since she mentioned the ones I also grew up with. I loved Happy Days and The Carol Burnett show might just be the funniest show ever. Then again, Cheers and Nightcourt were up there too.

I hit the Monkees craze on their second trip around and fell in lurve. Even traveled 5 hrs to meet Mickey at a car show in Cleveland. But then I've always had a thing for drummers. *g*

The show I miss the most is The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I know the show is still there but it's not the same and never will be.

My 8 yr old has watched quite a bit of the I Love Lucy episodes and loves her. It's wonderful how timeless those shows are.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Okay, why has nobody yet mentioned the LOVE BOAT?? It was a Saturday night staple--The Dukes of Hazard (who didn't love Beau & Luke??), the Love Boat (which is the only place I've ever seen Charo), & then, if we were lucky & my folks weren't paying attention, Fantasy Island. My mom considered this too racy for us, so we had to sneak it. She didn't let us watch Three's Company, either, because it featured men & women living together. All of her children went on to subsequently live with their boyfriends/fiances prior to marriage, so I'm not sure what banning Jack Tripper from the house managed, but she was adamant. :-)

As for huge impactful TV moments, I was sitting in my 8th grade choir class when they brought a TV in so we could watch the Challenger land or take off or something. I can't remember which. All I remember was it exploding instead. So sad.

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG Caren...Billy Jo, Bobby Jo and Betty Jo!! I loved that show, and yes I was old enough to watch it, barely!! teehee

And Green Acres...
Green Acres is the place to be,
Farm living is the life for me,
Land spreading out so far and wide,
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!

And Arnold was one of the smartest characters on the show!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Esri, this is only the third time in a year that the GR has come to Dallas!

Anonymous said...


Susan stole my post!! I LOVED the Dukes of Hazard, but my mom and dad thought Daisy needed a new pair of shorts (and shirt!). Besides that, it was on at the same time as the McNeil-Lehrer Report, so my dad and I had to take turns. One week I got Dukes, then next week he got news. :-)

I loved Love Boat, but Fantasy Island freaked me out. Also loved Three's Company.

I don't watch much TV these days. Too much other stuff I want to do. But I have great memories of those shows!

The thing that made TV work for our generation was the novelty -- and the limits. Where we had specific shows we waited for all week, kids today can get their favorite shows 24/7. Today there's just too much, too easy to get.

Claudia Dain said...

Joan, I am a TV kid to the bone.

My mother used it as a baby sitter for restless little me. She'd plop my play pen in front of the screen and I'd hop and bop to American Bandstand. This girl still loves to dance!"It's got a good beat and I can dance to it."

My grandmother had it bad for Marlin Perkins, her breath caught in her throat while he spoke to the camera, his glossy white hair gleaming. "He's so brave!" she'd flutter. When I pointed out that his buddy Jim did all the dangerous stuff, she giggled like a school girl.

I watched it all, every show, every episode. The only thing I never watched was the news. Bra burning? Everyone I knew wore a bra. Riots? My street was quiet.

Here's a fun tidbit: I was a freshman in college when Roots was first aired. In my sophomore year I joined a sorority and became friends with Fred MacMurray's (My Three Sons) daughter. She briefly dated LeVar Burton of Roots fame.

doglady said...

Suzanne rustled that rooster right out of Esri's hands! Keep trying, Esri!

You do realize we are all telling our ages with this post, right?

If I must, I will confess to loving Dark Shadows! And the music was so creepy and beautiful.

I still love I Love Lucy and OMG The Carol Burnett Show! Mama's Family and the incredible Tim Conway! All of it was perfect comedy.

As I lived in England for three years as a child many of my favorites are British shows. I still love Are You Being Served? and Keeping up Appearances. Ever heard of Nearest and Dearest? And we watched Coronation Street and Crossroads religiously.

I loved Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and all of the Richard Attenborough's Nature documentaries.

MsHellion said...

My favorite miniseries (besides N&S) was Desperado.

Dukes of Hazzard was my absolute FAVORITE show. And Little House on the Prairie. When I was in high school, The Young Riders was THE show for me to watch. I adored it.

Later, I loved Friends--and wouldn't allow anyone to schedule things on Thursdays because I'd miss the show if that happened. I also love, recently, That 70s Show. Okay, I love the re-runs.

Suzanne Welsh said...

You know what TV movies I adore and still watch when they pop up? The Shadow Riders based on the Louis L'Amour books. Sam Elliott and Tom Selleck. oh yummo! (Yes I know they weren't a series, but they were/are still great!)

Esri Rose said...

Caren: OH! I knew there was a conspiracy! Just wait'll I pay off the cabana boys...

TV: Carol Burnett show when I was wee. Remember the Gone with the Wind bit when she comes down the stairs in the dress she made out of curtains, and the curtain rod is still across her shoulders? "I saw it in the window and couldn't resist!"

Hogan's Heroes, Wild, Wild West (I had a crush on the nerdy smart one as opposed to Robert Conrad. The Monkees (Mickey!)

And I just recently discovered Graham Norton on YouTube and think he's brilliantly funny. OMG, watch the one where he's reading smackdown posts from rival Orlando Bloom fans. "Eat shit and DIE, Jessica!"

And let's see how many people know this cult favorite: FRESNO. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave...eh, Juan?"

Minna said...

Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, Kate and Allie, Dempsey and Makepeace, and yes, I watched Love Boat, too. I saw some reruns of Love Boat a while back, but at least for me it's one of those shows that you should never ever watch as reruns because you find it's not as good as you remember it. Another such show was Robin Hood with Jason Connery as Robin and Macgyver. That one just irritates me these days.

Esri Rose said...

Whoops, I see Suzanne remembers the curtain rod scene, too. I was so jealous of her rooster nabbing, I didn't read her post until just now.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Way to go on the bird nabbing Suz! And if you can get that chook to sing Yellow Rose of Texas I'll be amazed. He's a stubborn cluck that one. Then again, he's been singing about Carrrrrollll a lot lately too...what's up with that? And Jane too...hmmmm.

JT, this is so fun! And to hear everyone's favs. Suz, I'm right there with you on Dark Shadows, but like Susan with Fantasy Island, we had to sneak it. Just the idea of it was so baaaaad to my young self that it was nearly irresistible. Grins.

I adored Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, but I think I got them later. My parents, having grown up in green acres kinds of areas really turned their noses up at it. Sort of like a Dr. hating to watch ER. ha!

But we ALL adored Carol Burnett. OMGosh. There were some of those episodes...I cannot remember laughing that hard at TV - esp. the Tara and Novocaine ones. The one with Mama's family which then spun off, just about slayed us all.

And the British sitcoms. More laughter. Fawlty Towers. John Cleese at his finest. And my sister and I still laugh about Black Adder ("I have a cunning plan!") BTW, you can look BA up on YouTube. There's a hugely funny scene w/ Hugh Laurie in Black Adder.

Speaking of which I nearly had a mental twitch the other day. Hugh Laurie was on three different channels playing three different types: Dr. Gregory House, the bow-tied dad in Stuart Little, and the criminal thug in 101 Dalmatians. MAN is he versatile. :> But you HAVE to see him in Black Adder...

Wow, there are so many...toooo funny! And like so many, I don't think my childhood would have been the same with out Marlin Perkins (Brought to you by TIMEX!) and Wonderful World of Disney. Wow. The genesis of the Discovery Channel. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooh, Esri! Wild Wild West. And Baa baa Black Sheep. Lurved me some Robert Conrad. Of course I loved Artimus Gordon for his brains too....grins. Then there was Bob Crane. Hogan's Heroes anyone? ("I see nuthink!")

Minna said...

Oh, and those Brittish shows like Yes, Minister, Yes, Prime Minister, Black Adder, One Foot in the Grave, Keeping Up Appearances, and I think there was some show called Bottle Boys or some such. And I still love David Attenborough's nature documentaries. His books are great too. And I loved his memoirs, Life on Air. And Michael Palin's travel shows, Pole to Pole, Around the World in 80 Days etc. are wonderful.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Isn't it funny that all the Pythons - Palin, Cleese, Graham and co. ended up doing serious stuff too? :>

Minna said...

Oh, and have you seen Last of the Summer Wine? They have been making that show for years!
Then there's this travel show I really love, Lonely Planet, Pilot Guides, Globe Treckker or whatever they call it these days.

Esri Rose said...

And Caren remembers it, too! Okay, for those who haven't seen it, here it is, in two parts:



I think the curtain part is in part two, but I'm still watching part 1.

Minna said...

And any other Due South or Pretender fans here?

Palin and Cleese were also in a documentary about faces.

terrio said...

How could I forget Hogan's Heroes? Loved that one too. And I lived for my Tuesday nights when I got to stay up to watch Moonlighting and Remington Steele. Talk about a one-two punch of yum.

I've fallen in love with this British show on my local PBS called The Way We Were with Dame Judi Dench. How old is that one? Anyone else watch it?

terrio said...

Speaking of British shows, we can't leave out Benny Hill. That is probably the only British show that ever came on the tele in my house.

Esri Rose said...

Terrio: OMG, I completely forgot about Remington Steele! Rowrrrrrrrr!

And I used to watch Benny Hill, too! My family just shook their heads. It was basically vaudeville on TV.

Esri Rose said...

Jeanne: WHICH funny scene with Hugh Laurie in Black Adder? There were so many! Or are you thinking of the last of the Prince George episodes, where Wellington (Stephen Fry) smacks him around so mercilessly? Laurie looked like a bomb went off next to his head. I really hope they didn't have to do too many takes on that one. But it was horribly funny.

All right, I gotta quit for a while. I'll check back much later to see if anyone remembers FRESNO.

Esri Rose said...

Okay, just one more, to stir the pot. Any Dwarfers on board?

(sings) He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer...

terrio said...

Esri - I haven't heard of Fresno or Dwarfers. LOL! Where are you getting these?

Anyone remember Fraggle Rock? And I loved The Muppet Show. Never missed it.

limecello said...

I love "I Love Lucy" too - I've taken to recording it, and this month we have TCM, which is just thrilling. I need to get DVD-R's...
I also really like Tom and Jerry. This is such a great post - recently I became nostalgic about commercials. Of course, it's a bit funny for me to think "back when" because it's not really that far... but I miss certain old school commercials/themes. Like the "cotton" jingle?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

"I know this fraggle he's a good friend of mine..." I don't have that quite right, but I remember the tune. :>

Moonlighing. The young Bruce Willis. Oh, and Remington Steele. Probably why I love Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crowne Affair. Oh. My. :>

Benny Hill was always a knee slapper, but being American, there were some jokes that just passed me by. Ha!

Esri, if you want a complete LOL from Black Adder days, and or are a Hugh Laurie fan, here's the You Tube link:


Wait past the part w/ the Inside the Actor's Studio guy to see the clip. :> As he says, if you only know Laurie from House...brace yourself. Snork.

p226 said...

Hill Street Blues...
NYPD Blue...

But if I consider what TV had an influence on me when I was a kid... that maybe drove some of my personality or later decisions...

I can vividly remember being three years old, and watching combat footage from Saigon. That imagery has never left me.

I can also remember a show called "Baa Baa Black Sheep." And I remember watching it at my grandparents house. And my grandfather walking through, and saying "That Boyington Sonofa***** was crazy."

And then me GRILLING him. Because he was THERE. Every day when the Japanese attacked the airfields, when they got through the thin air defenses provided by VMF-214 (aka "The Black Sheep"), it was my grandfather's job to go smooth them out with a dozer. At one point on Guadalcanal, my grandfather was performing maintenance on one end of the runway (held by Marines) and the Japanese held the other end!

But I knew what I had to be. I had to be a pilot. But alas, the eyes weren't good enough..... So ground-pounder it was. The only speed and G-forces I get come from the motorcycle.

These days, I don't watch much TV. I consider it intellectual junk food. It's all such pointless, braindead trash, that I just can't stomach it. At least TV seems to be moving away from the "reality shows" a bit. Ugh.

Donna MacMeans said...

I'm know I'm late to the blog, but I'm scrolling going Dark Shadows...Dark Shadows...why isn't anyone saying Dark Shadows - Then Suz mentioned it. Yay! Johnny Carson in the Tonight show was the second one on my list & Terrio got that too.

I still watch the Seinfeld reruns & Frasier. Even when you know the punchlines they're still funny.

Fraggle Rock - Is that the show you're thinking of Jeanne? I watched that with my kids - loved it.

I remembers watching Howdy Doody (now that's old) and that Kindergarten Show. My Friend Flicka & Sky King. To Tell the Truth and Password for game shows.
All in the Family & Star Trek (I was one of the original trekkies!)

Now I'm feeling old - must nap.

terrio said...

Donna - I mentioned Fraggle Rock. I think that's where Jeanne was going. I have that jug band song on a CD somewhere.

Mash! *smacks forehead* How could I forget Mash?!

When I was very little, there was Captain Kangaroo. And we can't leave out Mr. Rogers.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226, I heard that same comment about Pappy Boyinton from my uncle. Grins. And we're on TV today, but the movies...Bridge over the River Kwai, The Green Berets, To Hell and Back...wow. I'll never forget watching the news from Vietnam either.

And I'll just shout a second, hoo-ha! for the hopeful demise of reality TV. Please. There are some I like - competitions like Top Chef or Project Runway - but the ones like Big Brother seem so pointless and narcissitic. (Sorry to offend fans...but...)

BTW, too funnyscary about your grandad dozing at one end of the runway while the Japanese held the other...wow.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terrio!! Mash. Of course! I don't think I missed many episodes of that.

And Mr. Green Jeans from Capt. Kangaroo! Yeah!

Claudia Dain said...

I've been on a MASH jag lately and it hit me for the first time...how come no one is smoking? It's the early 1950's, it's war, it's doctors and nurses...they should ALL be smoking!

No one's mentioned Wild, Wild West. That was my dad's favorite show. He laughed through every episode. Jim West was the first superhero, without the tights, though his pants were very tight.

jo robertson said...

"There's a yellow rose in Texas that I am goin' to see . . ." Yay for Suz and the Texans!!!

I remember the first time I saw a television. We'd been living in Germany and we'd never seen one until we came back to the states. My neighbors had an old black and white, and we thought it was magic!

Jennifer Y. said...

Christine, I used to watch Degrassi Jr High with my sister...and I still catch episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation which comes on now. LOL

Oh, and for those non-US folks, I wish we got more British and Australian shows here in the US...I have taken to renting them on Netflix.

And any other Due South or Pretender fans here?
I didn't watch Due South, but I LOVED Pretender...and Profiler.

I also loved a show called American Gothic...it was a little creepy though.

And I clearly remember asking my mom if we could move to Chicago so I could be on Bozo the Clown...I loved his Grand Prize Game.

One of my very first crushes though was on Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains...then I switched over to Leonardo Dicaprio when he appeared on the show in one of his earliest roles.

Our digital cable ONDemand has a "Tube Time" channel and has episodes of The Monkees (I loved that show), The Fact of Life, Party of Five, Fantasy Island, One Day at A Time, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Silver Spoons, and Who's the Boss available to watch anytime right now. I loved all of these shows, but do admit to watching most in reruns. I am a child of the 80s and 90s...LOL.

Virginia said...

I think I fall in the same generation as you and still watch the same shows. Oh and yes I can still remember when we got our first color TV that was something. The wonderful world of Disney was something you just didn't miss on Sunday night. And Barney Fife was my mothers favorite charactor until the day she died. I still watch those old shows today.

Janga said...

What a terrific blog! It lured me out of lurkdom.

Donna, it is comforting to know that someone else can remember Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob.

Am I the only one who made bargains about how well I would do my homework if I could only watch the Mickey Mouse Club first? I loved the Adventures of Spin and Marty with Annette as the perfect- good-girl princess, Roberta Shore as the mean girl, David Stollery as Marty, the rich orphan, and Tim Considine as the cool guy Spin. I had a huge crush on him.

One of the best combacks I ever heard was when Tom Wopat (Luke Duke) appeared on the Tonight show at the height of Dukes of Hazard fame. Johnny responded to Tom's assertion that the Dukes of Hazard was a family show by questioning whether any show with Daisy in those pants could accurately be termed a "family show." Tom's riposte: "But she keeps them on." :)

Cassondra said...

OMG Esri!
Remember the Gone with the Wind bit when she comes down the stairs in the dress she made out of curtains, and the curtain rod is still across her shoulders? "I saw it in the window and couldn't resist!"

Carol Burnett was, to me, the most amazing drop-dead-laughing comedic talent I've ever seen. She and Lucille Ball both. Wasn't that GWTW the same episode where she couldn't fit the skirt through the doorway and had to flip one side of it up to walk through? I never laughed so hard in my life! When my mother-in law passed two years ago we ended up with her video collection and there are a good number of Lucille Ball episodes among them. I don't get tired of them ever.

I watched Hogan's Heroes, Green Acres, The Dukes Of Hazzard, Gunsmoke, and The Wild Wild West(I had a crush on that guy from TWWW). I Dream of Genie, The Three Stooges (I thought they were funny then for some reason), McHale's Navy (Did I spell that right?) Get Smart (My husband still talks into his shoe to make me laugh, and we often invoke the Cone of Silence).

I'd rush into the house from the bus and turn on the tv to see Fury and Lassie, which came on before Bewitched, then the news.

The Night Stalker was the scariest one I was allowed to watch. I still get shivers when I think of that hand coming up out of the grave during the opening credits, and that typewriter in the moonlight, as he typed the words "He came at me....."

Susan I WAS allowed to watch Fantasy Island, though I don't know why. "Racy" was arbitrary in our house. Lots of kissing or a lot of skin--either one would normally put it on the banned list.

My mom was SCANDALIZED by Wonder Woman's outfit. But still, I got to watch. The Bionic Man, The Bionic Woman...Gosh, JOANIE! You make me wish for those shows again, though now I guess a lot of them would seem cheesy.

My absolute favorites were WWof Disney and Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. My dad watched that show with me every Sunday night.

We could get three channels, and someone had to go out and "turn the antenna" to point toward that station so we could pick it up. When there was ice in the winter we couldn't turn the pole! Horrors!

Andy Griffith will never grow old in my eyes, and Dick Van Dyke--I loved everything he ever did. The Mary Tyler Moore show was one of my fav's. Anybody remember Doris Day? Can anybody sing that song?

Joanie what a wonderful post! These are good memories of a far more carefree time.

Cassondra said...

Oh, the color tv.

We got a used color tv and the first thing I got to watch on it was Saturday morning cartoons, and the Pink Panther was actually pink!

Does anybody remember the Saturday film festival with Fran and those two puppets? Kukla and Ollie I think?

I saw a fairy tale film on that show one time called "Three Nuts For Cinderella," and I've wanted to see it again ever since, but never have been able to find it. Hmmm. Maybe I'll go in search of that one now that we have Google magic!

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

I don't think my childhood would have been the same with out Marlin Perkins (Brought to you by TIMEX!) and Wonderful World of Disney. Wow. The genesis of the Discovery Channel.

Ha! Jeanne, you came to Marlin LATE you young thing you! He was sponsored by Mutual of Omaha when I was a kid, and there WAS no Discovery Channel. (grin) Yes, I'm SO old. :0/

Cassondra said...

P226, it was the news footage of Beirut that probably shifted something in my soul. I don't think I recognized the impact it had on me until I went to NYC in the aftermath of the trade center attack. We were walking around ground zero and I saw the concertina wire hanging from the balconies, the blown out windows and I said to my husband, "this looks just like the footage of Beirut from when I was a kid."

It wasn't as real to me then, as I didn't have family there at the time and my dad didn't talk about his experiences in WWII very often, so I didn't have much first hand information. It didn't "touch" me in that way. Still, it left an impression.

Claudia, I never thought about that--no smoking in MASH. Of course they would have been smoking. MOST of them. Interesting.

Cassondra said...

Oh, Captain Kangaroo was my MUST SEE! I watched it before the school bus picked me up. Me in the living room chair with my cheerios and Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit on the tv!

Anybody remember Big Blue Marble?

Jennifer Y. said...

Anyone remember Romper Room?

I used to sit there and wait for her to say my name when she looked in the magic mirror.

Pat Cochran said...

Here are a few listings from the
really older generation( that's my
Honey and I): Room 222, St. Elsewhere, Howdy Doody, Colgate
Company Hour, Burns and /Allen Show,Dinah Shore Show, Perry Como Show,Nat King Cole Show, Cheyenne, Maverick, Have Gun, Will Travel,
Navy Log, and Roy Rogers and Dale
Evans Show. Most of these were
from the earliest days of TV. Are
we dating ourselves or what!!!

Pat Cochran

flchen1 said...

Hee! Congrats, Suzanne, and I'm so sorry, Esri! (But maybe you can take small comfort in having made me laugh this morning with your GR sniping program...that sure would come in handy! ;))

I grew up watching TONS of TV... Raised on Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Electric Company, and occasionally something called Zoom? (And yes, I remember Romper Room, JenniferY! "And I see Jennifer and Suzanne and Esri... and Anna and...")

And then as we got a little older, we watched this SciFi thing in the afternoons that showed Ultra Man and other slightly bizarre shows, usually from Japan. Then the Brady Bunch and Star Trek (yes, the original episodes--probably seen all of them more than once, thanks to my brother, the Trekkie)...

In the evenings I remember CHiPs, and definitely the Love Boat, Susan! Sometimes we watched Fantasy Island, but that was a bit spooky ;)

I also remember Silver Spoons, Different Strokes, Family Ties, and other sitcoms too numerous to list (or remember! ;)) Loved Moonlighting!

For slightly more recent TV, I used to watch Friends and ER a bit obsessively. Watched Melrose Place for a bit, but never got into 90210. And we watched a couple seasons of American Idol and Amazing Race and House, but I just don't have much time for TV these days, especially with all these new books you Banditas keep introducing!!

peggy said...

i love the tv show my three sons.
the patty duke show. and gidget

Minna said...

Has anyone watched Diagnosis: Murder with Dick Van Dyke as Mark Sloan and Barry Van Dyke as Steve Sloan?

Minna said...

I watched Benny Hill, too. And I also watched Paul Hogan Show and Kenny Everett Show. And then there were the magic shows: David Copperfield, Paul Daniels (I wonder if he's still alive), Wayne Dobson and then there was also this hypnotizer, Paul McKenna.

Minna said...

Jennifer, if there's a rerun of Due South or if you can get it on DVD... I recommend it! It was fun to watch and Paul Gross in that uniform... Mmmmm... Whenever I saw it I got this strange urge to go to Canada. I wonder why...

And hasn't anyone mentioned Northern Exposure yet?

Anna Campbell said...

Carol, how funny! I now have a new word for 'nooky' - bwokking!

Hey, Terrio, bananas is fightin' words! Well, WORD!

Actually any Aussies of my generation reading this just need to see one word -COUNTDOWN!

It was actually the first music video show in the world (I'm pretty sure about this). And we used to sweat on what would be number one every week. I used to watch it on Sunday nights and then the repeat on Saturday nights. It was an absolute ritual.

Hey, Susan, love the Six Degrees of Separation thing! How cool!

Anna Campbell said...

Ack, that should have been TICD, not Susan! Apologies and grovelling, Ms Dain!!! I still think it's a way cool story!

Ooh, Minna! Robin of Sherwood. Michael Praed was so sexy and then when he died and Jason Connery replaced him, almost as sexy! Definitely worth checking out!

Jeanne, speaking of the Pythons, Terry Jones put together the most wonderful series on the Crusades a few years ago. Really smart and perceptive but approachable at the same time. Great stuff. I LOVE the Pythons!!!

terrio said...

Ooh, Anna, Bwokking Bananas! There's a new expletive for you...

I could never forget August 1, 1981. When my world shifted for the better.

The birth of MTV. Buggles anyone?

Anna Campbell said...

Is the Way We Were about a couple who fell in love and lost touch and get together in later life, Terri? In Oz, it's called As Time Goes By and it's enormously popular. The acting on that is amazing, isn't it? It's been going for years - they had some one-off specials recently that were fun.

And, man, Pierce in Remington Steele! Hubba hubba!

Minna said...

Anna, have you wathed the new Doctor Who? Or the spin off, Torchwood?

Top Chef reminded me of food shows. I just loved the Canadian Lovin' Spoonfulls show.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, I can't get into the new Doctor Who although I think the young Scots guy who is the second Doctor is very nice looking. To me, it lacks the playful charm of the earlier series. And I know I'm in the minority here - most people I know think it's fantastic.

Claudia Dain said...

Does anyone remember Night Gallery?

Pure, spine-shaking terror. Another Rod Serling concept (like Twilight Zone, also great tv). The episode with Roddy McDowell and the portrait of the corpse coming out of the grave...I still get the shakes!

Esri Rose said...

I don't remember Romper Room, but to this day, my parents still say, "Romp her, bomp her, stomp her boo," and then snigger.

So no one else is a fan of the British Sci-Fi spoof Red Dwarf? (People who watch it are referred to as "Dwarfers."

And FRESNO was a week-long miniseries featuring Carol Burnett, Dabney Coleman, Charles Grodin and pre-orthodontia Michael Richards. It was a send up of shows like Dallas, Dynasty and Falconcrest. The ownership is in question, and to this day it hasn't been commercially released, leading to a black market for disks and tapes.

Oh, and here's one for you all -- Bosom Buddies, where Tom Hanks got his start. OMG, I was so hot for the blonde guy.

Back to the cave.

Carol said...

you have reminded me of Combat with Vic Morrow, we Loved it.
It was a never a miss program and some episodes are on dvd now.

Helen said...

Congrats Suzanne

Great post jo Ihave been out of the loop for a few days the computer went bang I am waiting for it to get back to us I am using someone eles at the moment.
I have loved all the shows mentioned I too remember watching the Disney on a Sunday night and loved all the British and American comedys here in Australia and Eva loved Against The Wind I even found the book and read it.
I hopefully will have my own computer back by the time I get home from work. I feel as if I have had my right arm cut of since Sunday
Have Fun

Jane said...

Carol, I'll keep him in line when he visits again. The Big Apple is full of temptations, maybe he's picked up some bad habits.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, hope you solve your computer woes! Man, I'd be SOOOO frustrated!

PJ said...

Wow, the memories are flying at me but I have to say, I feel positively ancient when y'all talk about those "really old shows"...that were on after I was married! lol

I remember when my parents bought our first color television. We had never imagined such a thing was possible. I remember when stations signed off with the Star Spangled Banner after the 11pm news. We had four stations, an antennae on the roof, rabbit ears on the TV (complete with tin foil)and had never heard of a remote control.

Saturday mornings were for Fury, My Friend Flicka, The Roy Rogers Show, The Lone Ranger and Sky King. It was all about the western and I loved them all. Late Saturday night was Shock Theater and Creature Features on WLS out of Chicago.

Every morning we watched Romper Room. Lunch time was Bozo the Clown and early evening was Garfield Goose with Frazier Thomas and friends and cartoons like Clutch Cargo.

Like Janga, I was a devotee of the original Mickey Mouse Club, knew all the Mousketeers by name and had an enormous crush on Tim Considine. Did you know he was the oldest brother, Mike, on My Three Sons? I was crushed when he left the show after only a couple seasons.

Kate Carlisle said...

Fabulous post, Joanie! And Yay, Suz! Watch out for the BBQ sauce...

Esri, I've never caught the GR so I'm feeling your pain. By the way, your RNTV blog was hilarious. I just saw it today so was too late to comment but still laughed like a loon. :-)

I grew up a TV fanatic and still am a TV fanatic. I'm constantly having to explain to the DH that for me, it's business. I'm studying popular culture. It's for my art. Yeah, that's my story. Anyway, I'm with Janga and PJ - my early faves were Sky King and Spin & Marty. Also loved to watch Dick Van Dyke and My Three Sons, drooled over the Man from U.N.C.L.E. and never missed Carol Burnett and Ed Sullivan. And so many others, too many to mention.

Joan said...

Greetings, everyone!

Just in from the DDJ....would have MUCH rather hung out with y'all in the lair today. Really.

Anna,I remember "Upstairs,Downstairs". They showed that on our PBS station. That is the station with the "educational" programming. First time I'd ever seen a non-American program. Unless you count the anaconda episode...they live in Brazil :-)

I'm ambivilent about Gilligan's Island. Too goofy for words sometimes though what I know of Hamlet I learned from their stage production. (ducks)

Joan said...

Ok, Suz...you had me worried at first. I read "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" and then "I loved a monkey"....What????

Oh, the Monkees. It's just as well that you did not like Davy because he was mine...mine I tell you!!!!!!

I even bought maracas like he "played" and when they announced the show had been cancelled...well, you never saw such pre-teen angst as I had. I locked myself in my bedroom, turned on their albums and sobbed.

I'm kind of over it now.

Joan said...

Jane, my favorite Darrin was Dick York too! He always had the right amount of courage and sheer terror to pit against Endora.

Joan said...

Amy, you can add "Little House on the Praire" to my list too.

Only the early episodes though. Once Laura turned into a grown up woman in pigtails, the show lost it's luster.

I find I'm like that about many shows. I will stop watching Andy when they start showing the color episodes. No Barney so what's the use? And I Love Lucy takes on a strained note when they move to the country. It was during those episodes that Desi and Lucy were breaking up and it showed.

Joan said...

bunny, I fell in love with Pierce during Remington Steele. Don't think he's ever quite matched it since...IMHO

Joan said...

terrio, I loved Night Court too though I didn't get into it until it was in reruns.

And nobody, I repeat nobody can beat Johnny Carson! It was always a treat when my Mom would let me stay up with her on Friday nights to watch! I especially liked it when he had animals on. Remember the marmoset who climbed on top of his head and peed?

Joan said...


Charo actually only existed on the Love Boat :-)

I loved Ricardo Montalban on Fantasy Island. He could be by turns mysterious, playful, seductive and mesmorizing. And this is a classic example of the impact of TV. Now confess, how many of you have ever said "Da plane, da plane?"

Och, the Challenger. I was at the hospital that day and watched with my patients in disbelief as it exploded. I especially remember them focusing on the parents of Christa McCullife and watching the dawning horror.

Joan said...

My grandmother had it bad for Marlin Perkins, her breath caught in her throat while he spoke to the camera, his glossy white hair gleaming. "He's so brave!" she'd flutter. When I pointed out that his buddy Jim did all the dangerous stuff, she giggled like a school girl.

That is so cute!

What a hero Marlin was....DIRECTING Jim "While I waited in the Range Rover, Jim subdued attempted to extract the leopard's jaws from his ankle"

Joan said...

p226, I remember those images too, though I'm a BIT (cough older cough). It seemed far away and almost like another show. Until you saw you cousin come home a changed from a boy to a man...a very sad man.

I agree that a majority of the programming on the 3 major networks these days is pitiful. Thus do I watch the old reruns....

Esri Rose said...

Neither a borrower,
nor a lender be...
Do not forget,
Stay out of debt!

That's the only Gilligan's Island episode I remember.

I remember my parents watching Upstairs, Downstairs and thinking, "This is so booooring!"
Last year we rented the whole thing and were absolutely riveted. I confess to being glad when the son offed himself. He was such a waste of space.

Anna Campbell said...

Esri, wasn't Anthony Andrews gorgeous as the man Georgie ended up with? Sigh. I had a major crush on him when I was a young gel! And sing with me, "Hamlet dear, your mother is here..." And I still call mushrooms roomis de gloomis. Do you remember when someone (probably Gilligan) got poisoned with mushrooms? Oh, how sad! I'm flat out remembering the name of the Prime Minister these days and still the lyrics of the Hamlet opera from Gilligan's Island loom large in my mind!

jo robertson said...

Great post, Joan! I've enjoyed reading everyone's favorite shows from the past.

One of my favorites was the one-armed-man show --The Fugitive.

And of course, Clint Eastwood's way back when he was just a baby --uh guy-babe -- Rawhide! I think I loved the songs. Maverick, too, had a cool song.

terrio said...

Anna - Yes, yes, At Time Goes By. That's the one. The Way We Were is TOTALLY different. LOL! That's a movie! I had the song in my head, you'd think I'd get it from that.

And I'll third that Hubba for Pierce as Remington. I always wanted a little white convertible Cabriolet like Laura's. Maybe someday.

Dina said...

Wow, there are so many that I forgot about that I watched too. You are all good with memories.

Joan said...

Not only did I get my introduction to Hamlet from "the Professer and, Mary Ann" but I also heard my first opera from Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Doglady? Doglady? Quick, somebody get the smelling salts!

doglady said...

THUD!!! Where am I? Did someone say Elmer Fudd and opera in the same breath? SACRILEGE!!! Actually when rehearsals went very late into the night we would do the scene where Bugs conducts the opera singer and makes him sing low, high, soft, loud and on and on forever. Sometimes the director really HATED us! Especially when we all sang "Kill da wabbit" to the tune of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries!

jo robertson said...

Terrio and Anna, isn't that song, "you must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, as time goes by?"

The Way We Were was a Barbra Streisand-Robert Redford movie, I'm pretty sure

jo robertson said...

Oops forgot the line, "the fundamental things apply, as time goes by."

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, they use that song as the theme song for the show. It really is a lovely show - it's one of those things where nothing much really happens but everyone's so charming, it's like settling down for a chat with a really witty old friend or two.

Minna said...

Anna, Last of the Summer Wine is a bit like that, too. Well, things happen, but still everything stays more or less the same. I've heard that it has been running on BBC for over 20 years.

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, that summer wine will sure be vintage by now ;-)

Esri Rose said...

Anna: Is that who that was with Georgie? He really was a looker.

I think Bugs Bunny did Americans a huge cultural favor by introducing a lot of people to opera who otherwise wouldn't have been. Although I'm not sure how many people understood that Bug's version was really not THAT much of a send up, and that many operas are delightfully silly.

Today, Joe and I both love opera (Verdi is a god). And we always sing "sorta magic helmet" instead of "sword and magic helmet."

anne said...

My favorite show was Father Knows Best. We would watch it every single Sunday evening. I loved it for the era it represented and still do now.

Minna said...

One more thing I like about Last of the Summer Wine: actors look like real people with wrinkles and all and they are not ultra pretty either, unlike the actors in many American series are.

traveler said...

I enjoyed all the Westerns. Gunsmoke, The Virginian and Leave it to Beaver. Guess what era I am in. Love this post.