Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Groovy TV

When the discussion and idea of today’s post initially started between me and the way cool Sonia, it was going to be inspired by and about the Match Game or possibly, Match Game ’76, the ultra cool game show from the 70s. As we thought of how best to pay tribute to The Match Game, well, we drew a…blank. If you’ve seen the Match Game, trust me, that was funny. That was a great show with such wicked-hip panelists as Richard Dawson in his pre-Family Feud swinger days. Even Charles Nelson Reilly was part of the gang. I swear it was like a senior citizen’s Rat Pack. If you had asked me growing up what Florida would be like, I would have directed you to The Match Game. Anywhoo, we modified the theme ever so slightly so that we can discuss how 70s TV influenced our lives, and in my case, at least half of my cultural references.

Being yanked from the warmth of my mother’s womb and placed into the cold harshness that was the last week of 1973 (I’m thinking of starting a novel using that last sentence, but wanted to try it out here first), I don’t remember a lot about 70s TV as it was happening. I did however grow up on 70s reruns. Lots of them. In fact, by the time this post is over, you may well think I grew up on too many 70s reruns…

Do I really need to tell you that everything I expected high school to be was inspired and influenced by The Brady Bunch? You can imagine my shock and I dare say disappointment when I got to high school only to discover that kids didn’t go around in butterfly collar jumpsuits or sing songs like ‘Keep On Keeping On.’ Nope, we had MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, who of course today goes by the name Vanilla Iced Macchiato. I debated and I debated and went ahead and kept that line in there. I do apologize and understand if you are already clicking to a different site…

If only Marcia Brady had been in my class so I could have fawned over her and befriended Jan in order to get closer to Marcia. I mean I like Jan, don’t get me wrong, but I swear Marcia winked at me once in that episode where Tiger runs away and fathers poodle pups with Sam the Butcher’s prized toy poodle. I’m making that up, but surely Tiger ran away at least once. Heck, weren’t there entire seasons where Tiger was MIA?

Then there was the phenomena that was ‘CHiPs.’ Lo, the countless hours me and all the neighborhood kids rode our bikes pretending to be the CHP motorcycle riding cast of that fine cop-show drama. For some reason though, I always had to be Sarge or John Baker. Once, just once, I wanted to be Ponch, but the neighbor kids never let me. There was also ‘Emergency,’ with the delightful Nurse Ratchett. Ahh Dixie. Do you know how many times in my life that I’ve said ‘Squad 51, squad 51,’ followed by an imitation of the alarm that rings whenever John and Roy got a call to go help someone? You can imagine my surprise as I got older only to discover that Dixie was the same Julie London whose singing sends shivers up my spine (the good kind, not the uh-oh do I have Meningitis kind) or that she was married in real life to the man who played Dr. Joe Early, who wrote the song ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66.’ File those away for your next Trivial Pursuit Game!

There was the time that I had to wait in the psychiatrist’s lobby at my doctor’s office and I kept
seeing Dr. Bob Hartley’s door from ‘Newhart’ in my mind. I also love to spontaneously sing the chorus of ‘The Love Boat,’ just to annoy people. When I wrote once about how I wanted my final blog entry to go, I made mention of wanting to do it Mary Tyler Moore style and have a group hug as we all shuffle to the door before I turn out the lights. Obviously, the practicality of doing this makes no sense, but I was caught up in the moment, the finale, if you will. I am also pretty sure that I called an idiot co-worker at my past job a ‘Ted Baxter’ once. He didn’t get it. In the same ‘how I’d end my blog’ post, I also said I wanted to display the words good-bye in rocks, ala the finale of MASH. Yes, I am aware that MASH ended in like 82 or so, but it began in the 70s, so my argument trumps yours.

One of the best things to happen to 70s TV was WKRP in Cincinnati. If you’ve never seen it, I just want to say: ‘Thanksgiving Episode.’ Possibly one of the finest 25 minutes of television, ever! If you do remember that fine ensemble show, you will no doubt remember news man and Silver Sow
Award winner Les Nessman. His cubicle had no walls and no doors (yes, I bastardized adapted that from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion) so he outlined where walls should be with tape and wouldn’t acknowledge anyone in his ‘cubicle’ unless they pretended to knock on his imaginary door. Many, many times have I asked people to knock before entering my cubicle. Sadly, no one has yet to honor this request and only a few have any clue as to what I am even talking about. It makes me chuckle though, so it’s worth it. But then seeing someone hit in the man area makes me chuckle too.

Who could ever forget that one of TV’s finest and longest running institutions, SNL, debuted in the mid-70s? And while the late 80s-mid 90s cast is probably my favorite, the original cast and first 5 years was AMAZING. I seriously think that not a day goes by where I don’t quote from the original SNL, particularly ‘Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute,’ just don’t ask why. I also love to
quote Scooby Doo and say ‘if it hadn’t been for those meddlin’ kids’ whenever Lucy and Ethel (or LaVerne and Shirley as I also call them every now and then) do something they shouldn’t have. For the last few years, I have found myself eschewing (that’s what she said. I know it doesn’t really fit here, but it just sounded so good) the ‘OK’ hand signal in favor of the ‘thumbs up’ signal. We all know where that came from. AAAYYY.

I could go on and on about my recollections of 70s TV, but then you wouldn’t have time to read
Sonia’s 70s TV post, and that is something you MUST do. So, head over there now and enjoy. Be sure to come back here tomorrow though, or in other words: come and knock on our door, we’ve been waiting for you. I’m done now. It’s out of my system. I promise…


meleah rebeccah said...

Gene Rayburn is my all time Game Show Host Idol.

"Norm said, "I wish my mother-in-law would stop barging in our house. Last night, she came in while my wife and I were blanking on the couch."

"Nick said, "My girlfriend is almost beautiful, from the back she looks like Miss America, unfortunately from the front she looks like B-L-A-N-K".

Man I love me some Match Game.

Thanks for this post!

Amy said...

What fun memories! I was born in 1974...so I had many years of reruns...I have a passion for the Brady Bunch...seriously, I know the most random and DUMB things about that show...although I did miss the episode with Tiger and Sam's dog... : )

Great post! Now, I'll go over to Sonia's!

Sunshine said...

I swear I wrote a comment on this post already last night when I was up and Blogger ate it.

I had some MAD love for John from CHiPs. I saw some sort of horrible CHiPs reunion show and thought he still looked good, too.

And I want to know why I'm not on your blogroll....hmmmm.

cmk said...

Uh, oh, I AM old. I saw all of those shows the FIRST time they were aired--didn't need to wait for the reruns. :)

Valerie said...

I LOVE Match Game. I liked Fannie Flagg, of course, since I'm from the South.

sari said...

What about "What's Happening?" Do you remember that show? I still remember the day The Doobie Brothers showed up for some "Takin' it to the Streets" with Rog and Rerun.

Mel Heth said...

When my brother was little and the freeway by our house was still under construction, he got to go see CHiPs filmed. I probably would've peed my Wonder Woman underroos if I'd been there.

Dr.John said...

I still marvel at your stream of though blogging. It just sorta flows. There are little ripples and wide and sudden turns. It takes some kind of talent to write like that.

On a limb with Claudia said...


I have a flood of responses? But all my fingers want to type is:


Momo Fali said...

I was born in June 1971, so I can appreciate this post. I can quote each and every episode of The Brady Bunch. And, if I thought retiring in Florida would be anything like The Match Game, I'd retire right the heck now.

Sizzle said...

Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!

Ow, my nose!

Michele said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one, who let the Brady Bunch influence their idea of what high school would be like. Boy was I ever disappointed!!

And yeah, what about "What's Happening?" Rerun rocked!!

magickat said...

Love it!

Hey the WKRP pic isn't working. Is it just my computer refusing to dowload what is assuredly a photo including a portion of Loni Anderson's cleavage?

Gina said...

I watched all but the Bob Newhart show.

But I loved me some Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

Patti said...

I'm feeling old...saw these first go-round. Oh well.

I loved Gene Rayburn and Charles Nelson Reilly.

"Three's Company too" was the rest of the lyric.

Can you do 60s' shows? Please??

sexy said...