Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who Knows More Useless 80's TV Knowledge? - The Duel

In our last post we debated what show should be dubbed the Best 80’s TV Show. Pat could only come up with the pathetic suggestions of Riptide and Silver Spoons while I suggested Threes Company, so obviously I won.

But in the process of crowning me supreme ruler of Best 80’s TV Show selecting, Pat challenged me to a duel. A duel to see who has the most useless 80’s TV knowledge!

And I accepted.

Now, the duels I usually find myself in typically involve pistols at dawn and are over a fair maiden or some kind of land squabble. But for our duel, here are the rules:

1. We can not use Google, Wikipedia, or any other source that is not our own brain (We’ll have to be on the honor system here. And I would like to point out at this time that Pat cannot be trusted.)

2. We’ll take turns asking each other 80’s TV Show trivia questions that we ourselves must know the answer to. Let’s say with each turn we can ask one question and one related bonus question.

3. We’ll score things up somehow after we grow tired of this and figure out who won.

Before we begin I would like to point out that while my 80’s TV Show knowledge is as powerful as some kind of Falcon and Stallion hybrid, my memory and knowledge of obscure actor names is not that great. So asking a lot of questions like “What was the name of the actor that played so and so” would be kind of a pussy thing to do. So I’m not going to do it.

Let’s begin!

Christian:  What was unusual about the child that Mork and Mindy eventually had? And as a bonus, what city did Mork and Mindy take place in? BAM!!!! FEEL MY THUNDER PAT!!!!

Pat: That’s how you want to start? Do you realize how traumatized I was, FOR YEARS AFTERWARDS, by the idea of a fully formed Jonathan Winters emerging from poor Pam Dawber’s--I mean “Mindy’s”-- womb, in full-on man diapers nonetheless? That’s enough to really mess a kid up!

Totally no clue on which city it was win there! I was too preoccupied with Mork’s suspenders and by the excessive chest hair protruding from his scoop necked top. Cool apartment maybe it was Cincinnati? Were they friends with the folks from WKRP? turn (and I’ll start off with a soft-pitch):

Which country star appeared at the end of Different Strokes’ run as the ex-husband of Mr. Drummond’s new fling, played by Dixie Carter. He was important, ‘cause his kid (and the implied soon-to-be stepbrother of Arnold, Willis and Kimberly) was one of those lame attempts to revive an ailing sit-com with a cute, bowl-cutted kid.  

Bonus: what was the kids’ character name?

Christian: I’m surprised you didn’t know what city Mork and Mindy lived in, since you’re such a geography whore. It was Boulder, Colorado.

You got me on this Different Strokes one. I don’t recall the end of the series too much. I was probably too busy socializing with friends and women around that time to have anytime to watch it. But I will guess John Denver since that was probably during his “acting” phase. Or did he play the kid? Was the kid’s name Billy? Seems like it had to be.

OK, no more easy ones for you.

Name three 80’s TV Shows that George Clooney had a regular role in. And for the bonus, I guess I’ll have to keep with the modern day actor theme, what 80’s TV Show did Courtney Cox have a reoccurring role in?

Pat: Okay...first the answers, respectively. Hoyt Axton, singer of the MASSIVE (non) hit “Bony Fingers”, and known for his mediocre cover of Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay”, as well as for his mother’s fame as a songwriter, her most notable hit being the lyrics for “Joy to the World” (Three Dog Night, not the holiday jingle). And the kid’s name was Sam.

And...ouch, you got me! All I know is “Facts of Life”, but that’s it for Georgie, unless, of course, “ER” started in the Fall of ‘89. Do I want to know what else he was in?

And, duh!--“Family Ties”. How on earth are those two related? Are you going for thematic questions or are you just employing the “random sniping” method?

Christian: The relation was “modern day actors that were in 80’s TV Shows”. Pretty simple stuff.

Yes “Family Ties” was correct as was “Facts of Life” for George Clooney. The other two were “Roseanne” - He played Booker, boyfriend of Jackie in the first couple of seasons which came out in the late 80’s - and the third was ER! BUT not the ER you’re talking about which didn’t air until the 90s.

In the mid 80’s he was actually on another show called ER (I think it was written E/R) which was a sitcom and also starred Elliott Gould. I don’t think it was on for very long.

Pat: My turn--since you started with ‘Mork and Mindy”...what was the name of Pam Dawber’s follow-up hit sitcom?

BONUS question...what tragedy befell the co-star of that show?

BONUSx2 question...what city was said co-star from and what middle school did she go to?

BONUSx3 question (and WAY too easy, of you ask me!)...who was Pam Dawber’s real-life husband at the time of said follow-up sitcom?

ps...they might still be married. Hard to know in these times of fast-n-furious celebrity relationships. Oh, dammit! I just gave you a hint!

Christian: I didn’t realize you were such a Dawber zealot. I know I have always said it is good to have hobbies, but you might be taking this Pam Dawber one a little too far.

And to be honest, there were so many questions flying all over the place there that I’m now a little disheveled. So I’m just going to throw out some random answers in hopes that something sticks: It’s Our Time, Death from dieing, San Diego, Pam’s World, San Berardino Middle School, Denver, Hang gliding accident, Chocolate bunnies, Vin Diesel.

Did I get any right?

Pat:  Hah, hah, hah,

1.  My Sister Sam.

2.  She was killed by a stalker, prompting strict new privacy and anti-stalking laws in California.

3.  Roosevelt Middle School in...EUGENE, OREGON. Anyone representin’?!

4.  Duh! Mark Harmon!

Christian: Ah. All of that seems very familiar now, now that you have told me. Which means technically that knowledge was in my brain. Just not retrievable. Although I can’t believe I didn’t remember that girl being from Eugene*. I must have been too busy at the time, excelling at outdoor sports and meeting women, to have noticed.

But now lets try our hand at some Sci-Fi/Fantasy!

Buck Rogers: What was the name of the stuck up computer medallion thinging Twiki wore around his neck well before a certain member of Public Enemy made such fashion statements popular?


And for the bonus, sticking with the theme of Sci-Fi/Fa ntasy shows, not a Buck Rogers theme Pat, so don’t get confused when this next question isn’t about Buck Rogers even though the previous one was. Similar to how my one theme up above was “modern day actors that were in 80’s TV Shows” and you were expecting it to be a Family Ties theme which it turned out not to be.

OK, what was I talking about? Oh yes, crime fighting shape-shifters.

What was the name of the show that was about a guy that could morph into any kind of animal which naturally meant he should go around fighting crime. Which he did.

Pat:  Dammit! I swear that I spent years sitting in front of the TV after school watching reruns on “Buck Rogers” on KPTV, and while I can describe almost every one of Gil Gerard’s chest hairs, I cannot remember the name of Twiki’s necklace robot. Do I get credit for remembering that he had a robot girlfriend who uttered “Booty Booty”, in a slightly naughty manner, to his “Beety Beety”?

But number two...MANIMAL!!! Man, that would be fun to see again! I think if I had that power I’d turn into a river otter and never come back.

Christian: Yes Manimal! Here’s a cast photo that says it all:

Is there something in her hair?

But as for the robot medallion name? Dr. Theopolis. I always wonder what the highly intelligent Dr. Theopolis thought of only having a Frisbee for a body.

OK. Fire away!

Pat:  Y’know...there’s a band here in Portland with the name “Dr. Theopolis”. They’re kind of a funk-ish band, and I thought that name added a certain funkiness to their already existing funk, but now that I know they took it from a cheesy early ‘80s low-grade sci-fi show, one that I admittedly liked, I kind of find them a lot less funky. Hmm.

Okay...your turn, and we’re going public this time!

Name the educational show that aired during my formative years on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS be representin’, yo!) and that contained the fantastic serial Bloodhound Gang. By the way, this is another one that I can sing the song to. I will if you want me to. Do you want me to?

Christian: No singing please. Was it Electric Company?

Pat:  Nope, sorry sucker! That would be “3, 2, 1...Contact!” Is the secret, is the moment, when everything haaaaapens!”  And imagine that lyric layed on top of a killer “waka-waka” disco guitar track. AWESOME!

Do I win yet?

Christian: I’ll calculate the scores... Let’s see, one point for each correct answer... scale by difficulty factor... divide by the total number.... carry the Mork.... OK I have the results.

Looks like I won. Is that what you get?

Pat: No, that’s not what I got (and you know I’m not good at arithmetics, anyway). It’s not really fun playing games with you.

Y’know who IS fun to play games with? Chuck Woolery! Wanna’ try naming all of the 80s game shows HE was on? Do I hear a round two calling?

* FYI, cherished PCPPP readers, both Pat and I grew up in Eugene

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Best 80's TV Show?

It’s been awhile since we did one of these Best 80’s blah blah and I know how much Pat loves them so let’s do another! Best 80’s TV Show!

I’ll start. Threes Company! Yes the show originally aired in 1976 but it ran until 1984 so in my book that qualifies as 80’s since 1980-84 were some good quality 1980 years.

In fact I still can’t believe they haven’t made one of those block-buster Hollywood movie remakes of it, in 3D of course, like they have with all those other classic shows like the Brady Bunch, The A-Team, and Schindler’s List, which I’m assuming was a remake of Hogan’s Heros. I don’t know, I’ve never seen it.

Or better yet. They should do one of those TV reboot remakes of it but make the new one more dark and sinister. Maybe change the Mr. Furley character to be more like Marlon Brando’s character from Apocalypse Now. Or even better! More like Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs.

This could work.

Plus, Threes Company taught me everything I know about misinterpreting conversations I’m overhearing. Those are skills I still use to this day.

So Pat, what do you think? What’s your pick for Best 80’s TV Show?

Pat: Oh god.

Christian: Not only was “Oh God” a movie (starring George Burns and John Denver) and not a TV show but it also came out in 1977 not in the 80’s. It’s like you’re not even trying Pat.

Come on. There must have been some show you loved watching during the 80’s?

Pat:  Nope. Familiar with all three of the “Oh God” films. Hard not to like George Burns. Easier to not like John Denver. Seen ‘em. They’re okay.

Do I have to? I felt your disapproval on this one before you even started thinking of it. I hope you realize the mental anguish you cause with these questions. I name a show in my head, and automatically the thirty laughing Christians in my head start berating my choice with emphatic condescension. Just call me an idiot, name YOUR favorite show, and let’s move on to the next topic.


I’m not giving up that easily!

“Riptide”!  Remember?
HELL, yeah!

Vietnam vets turned private eyes who solve crimes? Cody and Nick, the muscles of the outfit? Boz, the computer whiz (how the hell did HE make it out of--or into, for that matter-- Vietnam?)? That crazy helicopter, the “Screaming Mimi”? Ringing any bells?

(At this point I should tell our readers that I had NO hope of winning this one, so I threw out “Riptide” as an obvious loser, mainly because a long time ago-- when I was catering to deal with the summer ennui that defines a teacher’s life--I worked a wedding that had a very special guest...JOE PENNY! He was my brush with fame, and I’ve never had a forum to gloat about it. So there you go. I worked a wedding at which Joe Penny--from “Riptide”--was a guest. Impressed? By the way, he’s the one sitting IN the car. Yeah. The HOT one! I catered him.)

Hey, and by the way. Just how much of a true “Three’s Company” fan are you? Hmm?

You refer above to how cool it would be if Mr. Furley appeared as some sort of murderous villain, but the picture you inserted showed Mrs. Roper in the apartment with Chrissy. Umm...I don’t think you have your situational-comedy situations correct there buddy!

Christian: First off with regards to your Threes Company image critique. I am talking about a reboot of the series which means story lines and characters can change. And since we are remaking it more as a serious and dark drama/thriller it will need some hot and steamy love triangle story line. And the best Threes Company characters to write a hot and steamy love triangle storyline for is obviously the Ropers and Mr. Furley. Thus the picture with both the Mrs. Roper and Mr. Furley characters.

Now back to your suggestion. Man I haven’t thought about Riptide since it aired. As soon as you listed off all those things about the show all the memories came rushing back to me. I must have suppressed them until now for some reason. Probably because the cast was such a bunch of D-list celebrities, especially that Joe Penny.    

I was a fan of the show but you are right, no way is it a winner. It’s just one of those many 1980’s shows that for some reason felt the need to have a signature motorized vehicle be a central part of the show. In the case of Riptide it was the “Screaming Mimi.” Here are a few others:

Knight Rider

Dukes Of Hazzard


Magnum P.I. actually had two! (Probably why it was so good)

Hardcastle and McCormick


Small Wonder

So as you can see, there was nothing special about Riptide. Except for it’s incredibly forgettable cast of non-celebrities.

What about Silver Spoons? You seem like a Silver Spoons kind of guy. Why don’t you suggest that.

Pat:  It probably wouldn’t be a good idea at this time to confess to you that I was SUCH a fan of “Silver Spoons” that I once wrote a fan letter to Ricky Schroeder addressed simply, “Ricky Schroeder, Hollywood, California.” Fucker never wrote me back!

I can name virtually every star (JASON BATEMAN!!!!) who appeared on that show (ALFONSO RIBIERO!!!!) and I can sing the theme song (ERIN GRAY!!!!<---she played “Wilma” on Buck Rogers!) and I could probably draw the floor plans to the mansion they lived in (JOHN HOUSEMAN!!!!).

Christian: No. I don’t think Silver Spoons is worthy of Best 80’s TV Show. I can name several that without a doubt are better selections than Silver Spoons. Cheers, Family Ties, Miami Vice just to name a few. And I think pretty much everyone remembers Jason Bateman, Alfonso Ribiero, and Erin Gray, and John Houseman were on Silver Spoons. But did you remember Sharon Stone?

In your face Pat!

Also, Facts of Life, Night Court, Bosom Buddies.

Pat:  What the hell? Don’t you DARE try to steal my thunder (Ooh! Blue Thunder! That was a vehicle show you missed! BURN!). NOBODY knew that those people were on that show. Just me.

And I can sing the “Facts of Life” theme song by heart, too. Impressed? I probably shouldn’t say at this time that I had a HUGE crush on Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeown...sister of Philip McKeown, himself a star on “Alice”). No, not Blair, the hot one. Jo, the future auto mechanic. Something about the way she could fix a bike or punch a bully turned me on.

Quick! Without looking it up, who sang the theme song to “Bosom Buddies”?

You tapped into something really dangerous here, buddy. My life was WASTED during the 80s on bad TV. I tried to steer you away, but nooooooooooo! You HAD to push this one.

Get ready to get schooled! I’m not even gonna’ need Google™ or Wikipedia™ on this one!

Christian: First off, I didn’t miss Blue Thunder. I had listed it but it seemed like I had too many as it was so I removed it. Did you know that a pre-Saturday Night Live Dana Carvey was on the show Blue Thunder? I didn’t think you did.

And could you have asked an easier question than who sang the “Bosom Buddies” song? No, you couldn’t have. Billy Joel.

It sounds like you are suggesting a duel here. Perhaps our next post topic shall be a battle to see who has the most useless 80’s TV knowledge. With no Google or Wikipedia usage allowed. Are you game?

Also, since you only had the feeble suggestions of Riptide and Silver Spoons as the Best 80’s TV Show, we’ll just go ahead and say the best was Threes Company so that we have some closure here.

Pat: NO! I refuse (to admit Three’s Company wins, that is, not to the duel). Three’s Company may in fact win in the end--it WAS a pretty good show full of amazingly diverse versions of the same plot line--but it won’t win without a noble fight!

Shall I even suggest the social implications of progressive show that pushed the race issue America struggled with so dearly in the 80s? The Cosby Show? Different Strokes? The Jeffersons? Scarecrow and Ms. King?

Christian: Save it for the duel bucko. Save it for the duel.