I loved growing up in the 80’s. We had Pac-Man, Masters of the Universe, and Transformers when it was cool and awesome! However, despite how much I loved that decade I still feel I missed something not being born a decade or so earlier. What exactly? Here’s a look.
#5.Early Saturday Night Live
I missed the glory days of SNL, when it was the Not Ready for Prime Time cast which included Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase. Sure, I’ve seen the clips but it’s just not the same. I actually didn’t start getting into SNL until very late, so late I even missed a majority of the Dana Carvey/Phil Hartman era. I would have loved the see the show in its prime, before it became the empty shell it is today.
#4. Saturday Morning Cartoons
Yeah, I got to experience some of the glory days of Saturday mornings when it was actually worth getting up and watching cartoons all morning. However, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had gotten to experience Saturday morning in the 70’s. I missed when it was really popular. They had the silliest shows, many based on popular sitcoms of the time (I would like those? Who’s surprised?). Ah, the shows I missed (not The Brady Kids, I hated that!). Fonzie and The Happy Days Gang, Laverne and Shirley Join the Army, and the early days of Superfriends which I managed to experience in syndication. That’s only scratching the surface of course.
He likes it! Mickey likes it! I wonder who remembers that classic ad from Life cereal ad which ran so long that Mickey was an adult when it finally faded from the airways. 70’s commercials were unique, while not as theatrical as the golden age of television there was also real care put to those ads. One of the most famous Christmas ads ever was the classic Coca-Cola one which simply has people singing. Unlike the noisy crap that fills the airways today, back in the 70’s and 80’s the clever ads were simple, straightforward, and as much a part of watching TV as the program itself.Today commercials are something that give our dvr’s some exercise as it fast forwards by them, which is a shame.
#2.Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
I was too young for almost all of Carson’s reign as the king of late night. I was familiar with him of course; in fact his cameo in an episode of Night Court was one of my favorite moments on that show. By the time I was old enough to watch, he was on his way out and Jay Leno was on his way in. While I loved Jay and was kind of happy he was taking over, I still feel like I missed something never getting the chance to see classic Carson in his prime. He was the quintessential entertainer. He could tell jokes, do sketches, and carry one a heck of an entertaining interview. He interviewed celebrities and regular people, and it’s no wonder he reigned for thirty years wiping out any competition who dared to air against him. I did get to see his final episode, and that was one very moving hour of television.
#1.Variety (Carol Burnett Show)
I’m not kidding making this #1; it kills me that I missed out on the variety era. I know I would have loved it. Sony and Cher, The Smother’s Bros, Donny and Marie, The Brady Bunch (well, ok maybe they weren’t all good. Thank heavens I missed that disaster). However, as much I regret missing these there is one that I truly regret more than any other, one show I know I would have cherished and loved every second of. Which show? Let’s talked about The Carol Burnett Show.
I have a memory of being a kid and see the closing credits to some strange show; the credits had a cartoon lady dressed as a maid watching the scroll of names. I wondered, what the heck show was this? A few years later I discovered Carol Burnett and Friends (a syndicated version of the variety show), and learned to love the crazy characters and performers. The brilliant family sketches, Nora Desmond, Mr.TuddBall, and even the famous Gone with the Wind spoof which was great even though I never saw the movie. It was gold, and I still haven’t seen so many of the moments because only the sketches were syndicated not the music numbers and other stuff.
Name a celebrity from that era; they were on the show at least once. The cast included Carol Burnett, of course, as well as Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Wagoner. This show was an institution, and if there is one thing that I wish I had seen when it was originally on, this was it. I could go on and one talking about the sketches and music numbers. If you’re not familiar the show than check the show out on dvd and there are clips on YouTube.
Well, there you have it. Five things I missed being and 80â€™s kid. Until next time when I discuss the things that I did get to experience being an 80â€™s kid.