i remember (TV edition)

Just in case people were starting to lose track of my born-on date, I decided I would introduce a new series of posts called “I Remember.” These posts will serve to a) alienate my younger readers and b) make my older readers feel bad about their age and therefore themselves.

Enjoy!

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I remember when Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood were literally the only programs on television for kids. And they were all boring as shit. But WE WERE HAPPY TO HAVE THEM. Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that if we missed them, we were completely fucked. Because NO VCRs BACK THEN, BITCHES.

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R.I.P. Fred Rogers. You were the sweetest and most boring man on Earth.

I remember when The Dukes of Hazzard’s balladeer/narrator was known as Waylon Jennings, not as “that one dead dude whose kid had that one song on Sons of Anarchy and also made an album with Stephen King or something.”

I remember when the “six million” in The Six Million Dollar Man actually sounded like a shitload of money. Today it just sounds half-ass and shoddy. “Oh, so you’re The Six Million Dollar Man? What did that six million dollars buy you, a cochlear implant? Not even? Go fuck yourself.”

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A publicity still of Lee Majors as The Six Million Dollar Man. His eyelashes look weird.

I remember:

“LOOOOOVE/ EXCIIIIITING AND NEWWW/ COME ABOOOAARD/ WEEEE’RE EXPECTING YOOOOUU…”

*beat*

“…AAAAND LOOOOOVE/ LIFE’S SWEETEST REWARD/ LET IT FLOOOWWW/ IT FLOAAAATS BACK TO YOUOOUUUUuuuuuu”

I remember thinking The Prisoner was the most bomb-ass thing on television even though I was way too young to understand it. And, in fact, did not understand it. But I watched it anyway. Because Patrick McGoohan reasons.

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But… but… Patrick McGoohan.

I remember being absolutely scandalized by The Benny Hill Show. “OH MY GOD. THAT GUY JUST GRABBED THAT LADY’S BOOB. ON TELEVISION. DOOMSDAY APPROACHES.” Now I watch full-blown oral sex on shows like Six Feet Under and Banshee and I’m all: “Eh.”

I remember when The Golden Girls wasn’t cool, nobody wanted to watch it, and Betty White did not have one ounce of hipster street cred.

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I remember when MTV began and the only artists you ever saw on it were The Buggles, Pat Benatar, Men at Work, and Human League. And yet, despite that, it was the coolest channel that ever existed. Ever.

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Just in case you ever wanted to know the REAL reason behind the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Speaking of MTV, I remember pretending to go to bed on Sunday nights, then keeping myself awake so that I could sneak into the living room later and watch 120 Minutes. Sure, on Monday mornings I would look like zombie barf, but come on. Jesus and Mary Chain? The Cure? PiL? Worth it.

I remember when Alex P. Keaton revealed he wasn’t a virgin on Family Ties. I was all “OHMYGOD WHAAAAAAAAAT HEHADSEXXXX????” (Seriously, do you remember what Michael J. Fox used to look like? He probably lost his virginity as a fetus.)

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Here’s Michael J. Fox at the 40th Emmy Awards, August 1988. And I was shocked his character on television HAD LOST HIS VIRGINITY. Man, I was dumb when I was 13.

I remember when Jem was truly outrageous. Truly, truly, truly outrageous.

I remember when cable boxes looked like this:

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Still, as ugly and bulky as they were, they granted you access to scrambled soft core porn, that sweet mistress of my adolescence. Oh, scrambled porn. Wherefore art thou now, scrambled porn? *kisses two fingers* *pours one out for scrambled porn* 

Well. I think that scrambled porn is a perfectly good note to end on, don’t you?

BUT THIS IS A BETTER ONE!

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What? You’re going to have that stuck in your head all day? I am SO. SORRY.*

*Totally not sorry.

36 Replies to “i remember (TV edition)”

  1. I remember watching Maria wedding on Sesame Street and crying.

    A Boomer who didn’t know her child was watching MTV when I was sleeping.

  2. Your preamble made me SNORT!! I am an oldie and I embrace it! (and now I do feel old…sheesh)
    Seriously, I was Squeeing at all of these pictures because YES!! (and we totes had that remote control) I am just nodding my head and reliving the olden days magic. (and how did I forget that Rue McClanahan died? *sob* Ashley does this all the time with celebrities and I have to tell her they’re dead and have been dead for years and then she mourns them all over again…and now it’s happening to me! I blame Ashley) –Lisa

  3. This is HYSTERICAL! “Cochlear implant? Go fuck yourself” has got to be the funniest lines I’ve heard in a long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I gotta follow this blog.

  4. Ha! I couldn’t think of anything better to write…I was too busy feverishly tearing apart the closet looking for my parachute pants.

  5. Aqua Net…giving girls in the 80s those awesome satellite dish bangs! My girlfriend’s hair was so big i made her crawl out my bedroom window and sit on the roof so I could get better reception on the squiggly boob channel.

  6. I so remember all of these. And Fantasy Island! My teenage daughter is now addicted to reruns of Matlock…how’s that for bizarre? She says its better than watching the graphic stuff on some of the tv dramas now. I feel sorry for her friends when she tells them how great of a show it is and makes them watch too. It cracks me up.

    1. I don’t know the answers to these questions. I suspect they may have something to do with when/how it became cool for a 20 year old man to have a pedophile mustache and wear jeggings.

  7. Yes! To all of this! For a short time in ’90 or ’91 our scrambled channels would become way less scrambled after midnight….only a small scramble at the top of the screen. My sister and I would watch the Spice Channel for hours! Then there was a big upset when it was reported that this was happening and my parents started talking about it at dinner that “the porn channel” was not scrambled properly and my sister and I just died because we both turned bright red and my parents then knew we had been watching it.

    1. Oh. My. GOD. I had totally forgotten about the Spice Channel. HOW DUMB WAS IT?! It was totally just Skinemax/After Hours hotel porn with a bad 80’s/90’s instrumental soundtrack. Hahahaha! Spice.

      1. It was so awful it was great. I’ll never forget the first one I saw; it is burned into my memory. Every time I see doctor/nurse outfits at Halloween, I remember that movie. 😉

  8. Land of Confusion by Genesis. And Walk Like an Egyptian by the Bangles. ALL THE TIME. Loved them. Now, I’m like “What was I thinking?”

  9. The summer we FINALLY got MTV the Police video with Sting knocking over all the candles was on EVERY 5 MINUTES!!!! Before that all we had was Night Tracks which was a video recap show that played late at night on some other basic cable channel like maybe TBS. I remember BEGGING my mom to let us stay up and watch Night Tracks. It was all we did at slumber parties. Well that and prank call people because Hello! No caller ID so you were all sneaky and shit. Aaaahhh 1985…….I miss you!

    1. Oh Night Tracks. I can’t believe I almost forgot about show. And wasn’t there Friday Night Videos or something that showed TERRIBLE dance music videos by people no one had ever heard of? (I’m guessing because they couldn’t afford the rights to good videos.) We also watched SNL, Saturday Night Main Event, and the first 3 seconds of Showtime at the Apollo.

  10. Do you remember every season of Growing Pains they used different real-life childhood photos of each character in the opening credits? I used to get SO EXCITED to see those credits every year.

    I had no friends.

    “We’ve got each otherrr, sharing the laughter and loooooooooove.”

    Also – Fuck yes, Banshee. That’s my dirty little Cinemax secret.

  11. 1) You’re evil (I will NEVER get that out of my head!)
    2) I’m old
    3) Before there was MTV there was Friday Night Videos. LOoooooooved me some Friday Night Videos. I thought Duran Duran was the coolest band around after Hungry Like the Wolf.

      1. Your son is the coolest kid on the planet! I was madly in love with John Taylor. At my parents’ house we only got MTV in black and white with no sound, so I used to have sleepovers at my cousins’ house so we could watch the Top 25 countdown. I think it was on Friday nights. And 120 minutes–LOVE!

        Now I have MTV and I never watch it. It’s awful.

  12. Laughed hysterically as I read this! I was est. 1970… Spent my preteen Saturday nights watching Dance Fever and Deney Terrio and Solid Gold with Andy Gibb, Marilyn McCoo and the SG Dancers… What I wouldn’t give for one good rerun of either or both. Is that very sad?

    The world needs this blog. Never, ever quit.

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