Saturday, December 20, 2014

What was on TV December 15th through 21st, 1979

This is another re-post from last year with a few enhancements.  With everyone's favorite hood gracing the cover, it's the December 15th through 21st, 1979 issue of TV Guide.


I recall the "Oh What a Feeling" Toyota campaign.  From a time when Toyota was still an underdog.

New for 1980, the Chevy Citation though highly touted and promoted turned out to be a lemon for Chevy.  Dogged throughout their production years with recalls and lawsuits it ceased production in 1985. I never noticed how much it resembled the Toyota above.

The reason for Henry Winkler's appearance on the cover was his starring role in "An American Christmas Carol" which debuted on ABC this week in 1979.  I was a huge fan of this movie at the time and I still watch it every year at this time (I just finished watching it this afternoon).  Set in 1933 New England, Henry Winkler plays a miserly man, Benedict Slade, who runs a credit and loan business.  Slade seems to relish repossessing the items his customers have defaulted on, even when it's a stove during the bitter of winter.  The story is the familiar Christmas Carol but concentrates much on how Benedict became the miserable soul he is.  Of course, after being visited by the 3 ghosts of Christmas, he find his heart and redemption.

"This Week's Movies" enjoyed "An American Christmas Carol" somewhat less than me stating "a more pointless project is not easy to imagine."  The entire movie is available on Youtube.  You decide.

Now let's jump back to Saturday morning.  A pretty typical lineup I recall with Superfriends and Bugs Bunny dominating the majority of the morning.  Throw in some Plastic Man, Spider-woman and Flash Gordon and my morning was complete.  Over on Channel 30, one of my comedy staples, Blondie and Dagwood, appear in "Blondie has Servant Trouble."  One of my favorites because it involved Blondie and Dagwood staying in a haunted house. Ray Turner in his role as Horation Jones provides much of the humor, although mostly at his expense in a typical-for-the-times black role as the cowardly bumbler.

The ABC Weekend Special this week was "The Revenge of Red Chief", a sequel to the O. Henry short.

I vaguely recall "The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas".  I also vaguely recall being unimpressed with it.  Meanwhile, KTVI is probing Kenny Rogers.  Can't recommend that.

Above, a poorly-drawn Glenn "Pa Kent" Ford takes a swing at somebody.

"Major Effects"?  More like "Major Dork".  And over on Channel 11, it's the oxymoronic special "The Best of Donny and Marie."

Some more detestable delectable recipes for you.

Taking a queue from "Battle of the Network Stars", CBS tries its hand with "Circus of the Stars".

I loved Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, but Rudolph's Shiny New Year did nothing for me.  And why are Rudolph's antlers tiny again???

 "Has Jennifer got a BOSOM buddy for Christmas?"  The use of that particular word was just a coincidence, right?

Street-wise?  You go out on the street with that hairdo and you'll get your butt handed to you.

Some lower-tier Christmas specials.  I recall "A Family Circus Christmas" featured creepy "Ghost Grandpa" sneaking around the Keane family household directing young Jeffy to a missing Christmas star.  Okay, that won't traumatize the kid.

The Tiny Tree was probably the first example of "a very special" animated Chritmas special.

Whenever the tagline of a movie is "In 25 years of marriage, Eddie has never cheated on his wife..." I'll give you three guesses what the movie is about.  It looks like he's cheating with Meredith Baxter Birney, so not a bad choice for Ed.

Tastes fishy.

Looks like the Hulk finally gets his chance to smash puny Banner.

I've never seen "It Happened One Christmas", but I do recall it's a remake of "It's a Wonderful Life" with the role reversal of Mary Bailey losing her faith and hope.  And Orson Welles in the role of Mr. Potter?  Sheer brilliance.

 Is it fun to be Fonz?  Well read this and find out for yourself.

 Rum Nog.  Say it.  It's fun.

Just a couple weeks back, Robert MacKenzie blasted Battlestar Galactica.  This week he rips Gil Gerard and Buck Rogers for bringing his Ron Burgundyesque chauvenistic ways to the 25th century.

And that's it for this week.  I have to apologize in advance because I'm missing the week of Christmas Television Guide.  I'll pick up again the week after Christmas.  Until then, Merry Christmas to all my readers.  Now, go watch some Christmas specials.


  1. Wonderful stuff. I am not sure I have ever seen Winkler's version of the story. Want to now, though. Maybe YouTube can help me out! Happy Holidays to you and yours, as well!

    1. An American Christmas Carol shows its age, it's a little schmaltzy in parts (as should all good Christmas specials) and the ghost of Christmas Future looks a little like Shaft, but still a good retelling of the story. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Joe.


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