Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Horrifying TV Discovery

I was flipping channels the other day when I came across Who's the Boss on the Hallmark Channel. I was several minutes into watching the hijinks of Angela and Tony before I was struck with the horrifying revelation that a show I watched as a child now qualifies as an "oldie."

I won't lie to you. I mourned silently for a moment or two.

I'm used to seeing shows on cable re-runs that my parents watched before my time: Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, Happy Days, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and so on.

I always feel sleepy and sad whenever I hear the theme to Cheers because I remember my parents watching it after I was in bed, and I wanted to be up having fun doing whatever it is adults do after the kids go to bed--which is watch TV. "You wanna go where everybody knows your name" would drift down the hall to my bedroom as I floated off to dreamland.

So it's flabbergasting to me to see shows I used to tune in to see on TVLand now.

I dug up a couple of videos of some of my very favorites that were hits before Seinfeld and Friends came along, and thought it might be fun to share.

Want to reminisce with me (if you're in a reader or email, you'll have to click over to the blog for the video)?
  • I Love Lucy was waaay before my time, but Lucille Ball's comedic timing cannot be matched. I consider the show to be one of the greatest sitcoms ever. The episode where Lucy gets to act in a commercial for "Vitameatavegimin" (which was 23% alcohol!) was one of my favorites.

  • My family loved The Cosby Show. The mom and the dad loved each other and their kids, and the show didn't rely on silly gimmicks or mocking parental figures to get laughs. This scene from the first episode where Cliff tries to get Theo to see what life will be like in the real world always makes me giggle.

  • Who remembers TGIF?! As a kid, I didn't have to worry about dates or papers due or games to cheer for. I got to stay home with the fam and watch the TGIF line-up, which included Full House. I loved me some Uncle Jesse. (Anyone else love John Stamos on Glee?) I thought Stephanie was much funnier than Michelle, and DJ seemed like best friend material. And I loved the theme song:

  • But the best night of all was Sunday when Disney would premiere a movie or set of old cartoons on ABC. They called it the "Magical World of Disney", and it was magical. With easy access to the Disney channel and DVDs, kids don't get excited about stuff on TV anymore. I remember my mom making grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for my brother, sister, and me so we could watch. I was able to find one of my very favorites on YouTube (your kids will probably love this one):

There were plenty more (and I didn't even talk about weekday cartoons--My Little Ponies, anyone?), but those are a couple of my favorites.

{Which shows were staples in your house growing up?}


  1. I think I have seen every episode of Full House that there ever was! I remember that being the one night were we got to stay up a little later and watch tv:) We have been watching old cartoon on instant netflix and man it brings back old memories...inspector gadget and fragglerock!!

  2. I feel the same way! I love turning on those old shows when I working in my craft room. I saw Family Ties the other day. Good times! I'd love to see some reruns of Facts of Life, Knot's Landing, Dallas, and Falcon Crest. Did you watch any of those?

  3. I just had flashbacks of Saturday nights filled with The Love Boat and Fantasy Island... Great Post!

  4. Oh girl, we must be about the same age! Those shows were my childhood shows too! LOVED T.G.I.F! Have you realized that nothing good comes on on Friday nights anymore?

  5. You had me at T.G.I.F.! WOW! What a trip down memory lane! It's so hard to believe that those shows were on not so long ago. I always loved The cosby show, Lucy & The Mary Tyler Moore show growing up :-) Mary was my idol with her cute retro clothes & funky apartment :-)

  6. We all sat down for Sunday night wonderful world of Disney. I watched all of Boy Meets World when I was working a late night desk job in college. Thanks for this.

  7. I know what you mean! Maybe I'm a dork, but when I was a kid, I used to stay up too late & watch Nick At Nite (I had a tv in my room). They played shows like I Love Lucy, F Troop, Dragnet, Green Acres, Mr. Ed, etc. I loved em! Now they play Fresh Prince on Nick at Nite. Its crazy!

    Wonderful World of Disney was awesome, and I loved TGIF! We watch Full House sometimes when it's on ABC Family.

    Check out this website I found the other day, Things 90s Kids Realize:

  8. I lovedddd watching The Cosby Show, Full House, and Mickey growing up. I seriously think i've seen every full house episode ever made.

    I'd love if you'd link this up to my "this is how I feel about..." series! I just talked about thrift stores lol. Check it out!

  9. My girls love Full House and at first, couldn't believe it when I said I had seen it when I was younger. I used to love Little House on the Prairie!

  10. Awe, I loved all those shows. I feel the exact same way when I hear the Cheers song, too. There were a few times I got to stay up late (like when I was sick) and got to watch it. I'm guessing we are about the same age - and I cannot believe these are considered oldies now, either. Remember when Nick at Night was shows like Mork & Mindy? Now it's the shows we grew up with.

  11. My kids love The Nanny! :) And Doogie Howser! :)

  12. what a fun post! i loved full house, and had a major crush on jon stamos. still do. small wonder was a staple as well as mr. belvedere, remember that show?

  13. Realizing that shows I used to enjoy are now considered "classics" is scary. The same thing is happening with the "oldies" radio station--right now they are including the 70's in their rotation. So are 80's songs going to be on the oldies station in a few years? I think the sad part about that is that a lot of the 50's and 60's music is really fun. I had a little truck I drove around in HS that only had an AM radio, so I used to love listening to all the 50's/60's hits. It'll be a shame if they never gets played or appreciated by anyone any more.

  14. Great post topic! My kids recently came across the Cosby Show, which they had never seen before, and they REALLY enjoyed it. It struck me at the time too how odd it is that this childhood classic is an oldie now! Time sure does fly!

  15. Doesn't it make you feel soooo old? My oldest has Full House Season 1 and 2 on DVD and watches the reruns at night. She loves it! I'm trying to get her into The Cosby Show too. I loooove Cosby! I love the way they parented with humor! So funny! I think I've seen every episode 20 times. It does totally make me feel old though!

    As for me, I looove Lucille Ball. I cried for three days when she died. She and Carol Burnett are amazing!

  16. I Love Lucy is my favorite show! The Vitameatavegamin episode is great.

    Have you seen the one where she and Vivian steal John Wayne's cement footprints? lol

    Full House was def. one I watched growing up. And Family Matters!

  17. Hands down the winner in our house was The Andy Griffith Show. Yes, I am a child of the 60's. But I still love that show today!

    And anytime you're feeling old, remember that the shows you watched as a small child I was watching as a newlywed. :)

  18. Family Ties and Growing Pains! I still miss them! lol

  19. What a fun walk back in time. Yes, I believe we have crossed over. I too remember hearing the theme song from Cheers while going to sleep.

  20. I know you're younger than me, but we have some overlap. I watched Cosby and even some Full House and Who's the Boss?. But I also watched the last season or two of Cheers as a newlywed.
    When I was about 12, we got cable and the one pay channel my parents got was the Disney channel. It was so awesome back then, all old cartoons and old Wonderful World of Disney shows, and old Hayley Mills movies and stuff. Now I don't even let my kids watch The Disney Channel!

  21. Little House on the Prairie! My favorites would definitely all be oldies!

  22. Totally agree on Full House and the Cosby Show, and I have to add... The Muppet Show!! It was the absolute best. Sunday nights, I think.

    Your line about "kids don't get excited about TV anymore" is so true, too: remember when a holiday rolled around and we'd look forward to watching "specials"? I feel like I have to put that in quotes now, it's such a foreign concept.

  23. This is a fun post. I'm sure this is way before your time, but we used to watch Love American Style and Mannix and the Love Boat. Oldies, for sure. I saw you on the MOPS Facebook page, by the way, and thought I'd pop over and say hi. :)

  24. I have so many "oldies" in the DVD collection:

    Punky Brewster (my kids adore her!)

    What's Happening! (my kids crack up at Dee)

    Three's Company (my kids love Jack Tripper's antics)

    Little House on the Prairie (my husband still chokes up during most of these episodes! and my kids trip out on how polite and proper the kids are to their parents AND to each other!)

    When I was in elementary school and middle school I watched all of the above, plus The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Happy Days, Lavern & Shirley, Brady Bunch, I love Lucy....

    Those were some good times! Oh yes, and that reminds me... Good Times! I loved that show, too.


    I even had coloring books of Happy Days and Good Times. I once colored a page of J.J. saying, "Dynomite!" with his arms all waving up in the air. Man, I wish I still had that coloring book....

  25. Every Friday night was TGIF...loved loved loved Full House!!! oh and 90210...had to get my Jason fix;-)


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