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July 24, 2014

1980s

What You Missed Last Night: Jimmy Fallon teaches you how to wrap gifts (in 1984)

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 17th 2009 5:02PM
So it's Christmas and you don't know how to wrap that special something that you bought for your special someone. Last night Jimmy Fallon pulled out an old videotape that a production company made in the '80s that show you how to wrap Christmas gifts (tip: don't give anyone anything that's round). I'm not sure if it's realistic that Fallon could have hosted a talk show 25 years ago, but the production recreation is well done.

[Watch clips and episodes of Late Night and other shows at SlashControl.]

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Punky Brewster is back! (For a limited time only)

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 2nd 2009 10:24AM
Did you know that Punky Brewster star Soleil Moon Frye is on Twitter and that she has over one million followers? To celebrate this achievement, she dressed up as Punky Brewster again. Warning: she starts screaming a couple of minutes in so adjust your speakers accordingly.

[via Pop Candy]

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New Coke wasn't it

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 16th 2009 3:03PM
So I hate summer and I spend most of the hot and humid days of June, July, and August sitting in front of a fan and drinking Diet Coke (and Diet Pepsi - yes, I like both). And that got me thinking about New Coke.

Remember that? It was the disastrous reformulation of the Coke taste that people didn't really like and it came and went rather quickly in the mid-80s (though you could still get it in some areas as recently as 2002!). Wikipedia has the history of New Coke (long, but very much worth the read), and here are the commercials that introduced it to the world.

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What's the greatest year for debuts in TV history?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 28th 2009 3:00PM
FriendsI was reading a story over at Entertainment Weekly about whether or not 1984 was the greatest year for movies ever (answer: no). It got me thinking: what's the best year for TV show debuts in history?

There are a lot of choices. In 1994 we saw the premiere of Friends, ER, The Game Show Network, Due South, Touched By An Angel, My So-Called Life, and Inside The Actors Studio. Or how about 2000, which saw the debuts of Survivor, Ed, CSI, and Curb Your Enthusiasm? And 2004 wasn't too shabby either, with the launches of Lost, Rescue Me, Entourage, Veronica Mars, House, and Desperate Housewives.

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Pontiac used to build excitement

by Bob Sassone, posted May 5th 2009 1:39PM
You've probably heard the news that GM is ending the Pontiac line of automobiles. Here's a commercial from their glory days, the 1980s. And I mean the commercial screams 1980s. The song, the editing, the way it was filmed, the clothing. The only thing missing is a cameo by Don Johnson having a shootout with a drug dealer. So long, Pontiac. You served Jim Rockford and Michael Knight well.

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Brought To You By ... Steve Carell, Jason Alexander, and a hobbit who loves cheese - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2009 10:02AM
Jason AlexanderThis month we're taking a look at celebrities who did TV commercials.

Whenever you get into any profession, you have to start at the bottom. The TV business is no exception. The stars you see in prime time today probably cut their teeth working in TV commercials. Heck, some of them still do TV commercials even after they become big stars (but it's often overseas...shhhhhhhh).

After the jump, a sampling of TV commercials from years ago that star celebrities who are now household names. If you're old enough to remember these commercials, you'll probably say to yourself, "Oh yeah, I remember this ad, but I didn't realize that he was in it!"

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Bruce and Cybill are up for a Moonlighting movie

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2009 6:08PM
Bruce and CybillIf you were to make a list of the TV shows from the '80s you could bet wouldn't come back as a reunion movie, ABC's Moonlighting is one of them. Not only is the show 20 years old, but there was constant tension/problems/fights/delays on the set of the show (sometimes Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd weren't even speaking to each other, except in scenes as Dave and Maddie), and when it ended Willis went on to a major big-screen movie career and you'd think he wouldn't want to look back on some TV show he did in 1986. But you'd be wrong.

Liz Smith reports that Willis and Shepherd ran into each other at an Encino deli (probably the last place I would think they would run into), and they were quite happy to see each other, even getting a little teary-eyed talking about old times. They're both up for a reunion movie (this year marks the 20th anniversary of the show's end), but they'll only do it if creator/producer Glenn Gordon Caron is in charge of the show again.

Glenn is currently doing Medium, and before that created Now and Again, which I really liked and should have stayed around a lot longer than it did.

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Worst. Peanuts special. Ever. - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 20th 2008 6:10PM
SnoopyHere we are in the time of year of the holiday specials. And many of them are Peanuts specials. We've already seen It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and coming soon are A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (next Tuesday on ABC) and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Those are the good ones. What you're about to see if a bad one.

Whenever there is some hot, hip pop culture trend, you see everyone adopting it. That's why James Bond went into freakin' space in Moonraker. The damn success of Star Wars and other space films. It happened to Snoopy too, in It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. Yup, Snoopy and Franklin and others donned sweats and break danced in this special from the 80s, as you can see in the video after the jump.

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James and Dule talk Psych

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 28th 2008 6:40PM

Psych is coming back! Starting on July 18th, the comedy starring James Roday and Dule Hill will be returning to USA Network with all new episodes. The third season of this series looks to be a very interesting one, as viewers will finally get to meet Shawn Spencer's long-lost mother as well as get to see a more dramatic side of the character ... something we got a taste of during the last few episodes of last season.

The two stars of Psych got together with the press last week to touch on a number of subjects. Topics included a preview of the upcoming season, a discussion about the duo's "Ebony & Ivory" commercial, Roday's appearance on the NBC anthology Fear Itself, and the never-ending 1980s references that the two spout during each episode.

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Another '80s show is coming to the big screen - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted May 15th 2008 3:03PM

I Love The 80sOK, so one of the scenarios below is actually true. Can you guess which one?

a.) Superbad star Jonah Hill is going to write and star in a big screen adaptation of 21 Jump Street.
b.) Nicolas Cage is going to star in a big screen version of the action series Riptide.
c.) George Clooney will star in and direct a movie version of Magnum, P.I.
d.) Ian Ziering will star in a big screen version of The Greatest American Hero.

After the jump, the answer.

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25 awesome openings to '80s action shows (and five they missed) - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 28th 2008 12:07PM

Magnum, P.I.We've talked a lot here about theme songs and how they just don't make them like they used to. The openings to shows used to be a lot longer, a real part of the show. Today we're lucky if we get a few bars of music and maybe a credit or two. Heck, one show, Lost, only plays one note and shows the logo.

The Popcorn Trick has a list of the Top 25 Opening Credits of '80s Action Shows, and you can't argue with most of the picks. Magnum P.I. is on the list, as is Riptide, Miami Vice, and The A Team. I would quibble a little bit with the choice of The Rockford Files. One of my favorites, but it was really more of a '70s show than '80s (it ended in 1980). I was 13 years old when Vegas premiered (in 1978 - it ran until 1981) and I wanted to be Dan Tanna and live in Vegas and have hot girlfriends and drive around with a lion in my sports car.

Cagney and Lacey shouldn't be on the list though. It should be replaced with one of several other shows from the '80s. After the jump, the five shows they missed.

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Gosh darn it, group forces TV Land to change weekend plans

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 15th 2008 3:03PM

TV Land logoThis one belongs in the "You've Got To Be Kidding Me" file.

This weekend, TV Land has an event devoted to movies (Footloose, Flashdance, Say Anything, etc) and trivia from the 1980s. They were going to call it "OhMyGod, That's So 80s," but after a protest from the American Family Association, they've changed it to OhMyGosh. The AFA issued a press release saying (among other things) that TV Land "easily disrespects Christians" and viewers should send e-mails to network President Larry Jones to protest.

I guess no one in that group was alive during the late 70s and 80s.

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Ricky Gervais in the 1980s - Seona Dancing

by Kevin Kelly, posted Feb 17th 2007 1:36PM
Ricky Gervais - then and nowWe've previously reported that funnyman and the star and creator of Extras and The Office Ricky Gervais was in a very short-lived pop group in the 1980s, but I recently uncovered a wealth of information on the subject that just had to be shared.

For those of you who might not know yet, Ricky Gervais was part of a pop duo from 1982 to 1984 called 'Seona Dancing' (shawn-uh, not see-own-ah). They released two singles ("More to Lose" and "Bitter Heart" - both wide b-sides) in the UK that climbed to numbers 117 and 70 on the charts, before they dropped into obscurity. However, in 1985 a DJ in the Philippines started playing "More to Lose", and it rocketed to the top of the Filipino music charts. According to the All Music Guide, "In one part of the world, Seona Dancing's "More to Lose" became an '80s anthem as ubiquitous as Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."

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Simon Cowell wasn't brutally honest with Eddie Murphy

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Feb 5th 2007 11:30AM
Eddie Murphy and Michael JacksonAmerican Idol's oh-so-brutally-honest judge Simon Cowell wasn't always quite so brutally honest. In fact, back in the 1980s, Simon was so intimidated by mega-star Eddie Murphy, that he didn't have the nerve to tell him that the songs he had written were complete and utter crap.

Simon recalls how he went to Eddie's home, expecting it to be "just the two of us and one hi-fi." Instead, he found himself in "a recording studio with about 20 nodders; a nodder is someone who gets paid to agree with the person paying him."

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Top 20 '80s TV shows (or so they say)

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 26th 2007 3:04PM

perfect strangersHenry and Matt at Brohans.com have compiled what they are absolutely, positively sure are the twenty greatest '80s television series ever. They are:

  • Mr. Belvedere
  • The Dukes of Hazzard
  • Knight Rider
  • Night Court
  • ALF
  • Perfect Strangers
  • The Golden Girls
  • Growing Pains
  • Married ... with Children
  • Who's the Boss?
  • Magnum P.I.
  • Doogie Howser, M.D.
  • The Cosby Show
  • The A-Team
  • Miami Vice
  • The Wonder Years
  • MASH
  • MacGyver
  • Cheers
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation

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