Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What was on TV April 25th through May 1st, 1981

Well, I solved the mystery of the missing April TV Guides.  They were behind the May issues.  Oh well, fodder for next year.  What?  Feeling short-changed?  Okay, here's one more from April.  This time, it's 1981 and yet another M*A*S*H cover and incidentally another Al Hirschfeld cover. Find the "Nina"! (This is a tough one).

It's all out clown-a-rama in this week's issue.  Mickey Rooney was starring in a made-for-tv movie along with Red Buttons called "Leave 'em Laughing" which child star Jackie Cooper directed.

CBS was really pushing this movie.  In addition to the article,  this issue had three (horrifying) ads promoting it.

I never liked clowns, even before it was cool not to like clowns.  As a child, I never found them funny, and frankly kind of creepy.  There were only a few clowns I tolerated: Ronald McDonald, Mr. Patches (a local kids TV show) and Corky the Clown, another local kids show clown.  Coincidentally enough, Corky is featured in this week's TV Guide as well as the local NBC affiliate tries to milk the "Together Again" angle.

With her success on "Buck Rogers" and "Silver Spoons", it looks like Erin Gray has left the Virginia Slims ads behind.

"Enos", the spin-off from Dukes of Hazzard, only lasted one season.  I just learned last week that Sonny "Enos" Shroyer played Coach "Bear" Bryant in "Forrest Gump".

 I can hear it now:
William Shatner: "This..was.....AMERIGA."  
Off-stage voice: "Bill, it sounded like you said 'Ameri-ga'.  It's 'Ameri-ca'."
William Shatner: "You say 'America'.  I say, 'Ameriga.'"

I had completely forgotten about "The Phoenix" until I saw this ad.  The star, Judson Scott, is known better for his various roles in the Star Trek franchise.

Paul McCartney *and* Charlie Callas on one show together?!  And they said it would never happen.  I wonder if they did a duet a la David Bowie and Bing Crosby: "Ebony *HAWWW* and *VOOT VOOT* Ivory..."  I'd love to see Paul's face during this bit.  You deserve a special prize if you can make it to the end of the video.

I recall "It's Magic, Charlie Brown (The Great Houndini)" being the first time I felt the Peanuts cartoon franchise had jumped the shark.  I'd bought Snoopy walking on two feet, the Red Baron schtick, even his awesome fight with the folding lawn chair in the Thanksgiving special, but when he actually turned Charlie Brown invisible?  I'm sorry, Charles Schulz, but you've taken it too far.

Someone doodled on the Peanuts ad.  Blasphemy!

I never heard of "We're Fighting Back", but of course there's a clip on Youtube.

"The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything" was a 1980 made-for-tv movie based on the 1962 science fiction novel about a man who inherits a pocket watch that can stop time.

Looking at the "Real People" ad, I'm pretty sure a pizza parlor owner in a loin cloth gets you a B rating with the Health Department.  Possibly a B- depending on how clean it is.

Activision's Laser Blast was another game designed by legendary videogame designer and programmer David Crane.

Thanks for tuning in.


  1. Watching the Peanuts specials these days with my kids, I am taken aback sometimes by the sheer lack of even basic cartoon logic and with the level of sadness ol' Charlie Brown endures. Odd stuff, to be sure. I remember liking "The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything" as a kid, but probably more for the stopping of time stuff. Not sure how the actual movie holds up. I am a Pam Dawber fan, though. And Robert Hays was of course great in the Airplane! films, so maybe it is still worthwhile.

    1. Yeah, for some reason I never saw "The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything". Seems like it would have been right up my alley as I was always into the time travel-esque movies. The title probably threw me. I'll have to dig it up and watch it. As for Peanuts, I do find the cartoons pretty downright cruel to Charlie Brown. No Trick or Treats, no Valentines, no Easter Eggs. C'mon!

  2. I remember watching that movie as a teenager...Pam was super hot back then. The first time the guy uses the watch to stop time, he freezes her while she's sitting on a park bench - she's in a cool, leaning back type of pose, wearing a tight sweater top to accentuate her finer qualities. The director no doubt knew what he was doing in that scene. Whenever I think of that movie, it'll always be sexy Pam Dawber frozen in a tight yellow sweater!

    1. Just noticed you had the YouTube video of that scene posted - classic!

  3. I don't know who did the artwork for the Mickey Rooney movie, but I'll say this---his likeness of the actor is good.


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