Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What was on TV November 21st through 27th, 1981

It's back to the real deal with TV Guide for this week in 1981.  The cover features John Lennon who had been assassinated just the year before in December.

Some Christmas ideas from Sears.  Hard to believe Marty McFly was still wearing one of those puffy vests 4 years later in Back to the Future.  Men's coat fashions must have been in a rut.

We were a J. C. Penney and Sears Catalog family.  I don't recall Aldens.  Apparently, they were mail-order only out of Chicago.  They closed the following year in 1982.

Robocop looks lovingly down on the new Chevrolet Cavalier.

The first attempt to unseat the VCR as the dominant home entertainment medium.  It would take another 12 years and a similar disc less than half the size to accomplish that.

The ads and box art for Atari games were always so much better than the actual game.

Cable channels begin entering the local Television scene.  These would be mystery channels to me as we never had pay tv.

This was the beginning of the end of my Saturday morning viewing.  Not only was I getting too old, the programming was getting markedly crappier.  But the Channel 11 Saturday afternoon movie marathon (sorry, "Mystery and Mayhem") still had me.

This was also the introduction to the TV listing grid, which I recall welcoming.  Easier to plan an evening's viewing.

Dance Fever was the death knell of Saturday afternoon.

Those look like knockoff KKK members.  Were the producers afraid of offending the real organization?

I think the same artist that drew the Moonraker poster drew this Sinatra promo.

Once again Dolly Madison brings you a holiday Peanuts special.  It's somewhat poetic that Woodstock is under the glass. Lacking the nerve to finish Woodstock off, Charlie Brown looks forlornly at his toast, pretzel sticks and jelly beans.  Woodstock, on the other hand, has no qualms with eating his brethren at the end of the show, rubbing his belly in glee.  I've never heard of "No Man's Valley", but it looks craptacular.

TV After 10 on Channel 11 was for adults only.  Benny Hill and Women in prison.

NBC hauls out Daffy Duck and that Berenstain Bear special yet again.

My brother used to call this show "Simian and Simian".

Ed Asner and Gene Simmons in a movie!  Wow I want to see that.  Oh, JEAN Simmons.  Nevermind.

Anyone else want to punch this woman, or is it just me?

Just off his Messy Marvin gig, but before he would gain fame as Ralphie, Peter Billingsley briefly joined "Real People".

I don't recall this Steve Martin special, but it starred many of the original SNL gang.  I believe this is was a repeat.

The NBC Macy's Thankgiving Day Parade's near-do-well brother, CBS's All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade.  They would spend some time in New York, then switch over to Hawaii and other locales and parades.  I would switch over to it whenever the Broadway numbers started on NBC.
As I wrote about on my previous post, the Friday after Thanksgiving was always time for odd cartoons and specials you never saw any other time of the year.

Check out Channel 5 at 6:30: Intergalactic Thanksgiving.  That's full of all kinds of "Wha?!"

I'm not sure what "Little House on the Prarie" had more of: life-threatening and/or debilitating diseases or gentle, slow-witted children.  The correct answer is Gentle slow-witted children with life-threatening and/or debilitating diseases.

Diff'rent Strokes: Drummond allows Kimberly to take an unchaperoned ski trip with a girlfriend, and then pays her a surprise visit at the lodge -- where the girls are sharing a room with two boys.

Well, at least they weren't holding up a video store.

I'm not sure what's more disturbing: the fact that Santa's reindeer forgot to mail their Christmas cards, or that one of them has a nipple and a belly button.

"Darkroom" was one of the many "Twilight Zone" knockoff's that came out of the early to mid 1980's.  I'm sure I watched it, but I don't recall any episodes.  It had a very short run (ending in January of 1981), but reading about it, it appears to have had some fairly big actors and good storylines.

Trains and Slot cars.  Always on my Christmas wish list.

And finally, this toy ad from True Value in the waning days when hardware stores still carried them.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  And stay tuned as What Was on TV ramps up for the Christmas Season.  All of your favorite TV specials back when you could only watch them once a year and if you missed them, you were out of luck.


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  2. how did i miss this?? john lennon's death haunts me to this day. and sinatra and moonraker?? man, right i the nostalgia nexus. your TV guide posts are such a great thing. andy warhol would be so thankful.


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