Christmas 1981 – We’ll Be Back To Pick You Up Later

1981. By the time Santa came, the world had been through the ringer.  Bob Marley died, Reagan was shot, Walter Cronkite left our televisions, the first AIDS cases were officially recognized, Muhammed Ali lost his last ever fight, the Cold War raged on, and the Iran Contra scandal caught its spark. But! Also in 1981,…

Incrediburgable – Burger Chef (1950s-90s)

If I asked you to name a burger restaurant established in the 1950s with a patented cooking method, a signature burger with the word “Big” in the title, a packaged meal themed just for kids, and a roster of make-believe characters, what name would you guess? You’d say Burger Chef, right? (courtesy Burger Chef Memories)…

You’re In Showbiz! – Showbiz Pizza Training Videos

Showbiz Pizza Place was the Pepsi to Chuck E. Cheese’s Coke. The video game pizza parlor  boasted a superior band with the Rockafire Explosion and an inferior everything else. Chuck eventually absorbed Showbiz to create a grand unified theory of mediocre food and semi-operational robotics, but before that happened they were engaged in a brutal war…

Five Things – 05.15.17 – Fall Has Come To Millbrook

Nintendo Fun Club – April 1988 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link I played the new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, for about an hour this morning. I didn’t have a ton of time to play, so I didn’t want to get into anything too big. Instead I just collected some food and…

Five Things – 3.27.17 – Dough-licious

The Jim Henson Hour This 1989 experiment tried to marry the light and dark sides of Jim Henson’s work into one weekly television event.  It didn’t really take. Henson himself hosted the weekly hourlong anthology series, setting up the episode’s lineup and theme.  The first thirty minutes were called “MuppeTelevision”, hosted by Kermit and structured…

Five Things – 2.6.17 – Two Simple Digits

The Y2k Family Survival Guide Leonard Nimoy lends his credibility to this alarmist video produced to aid those concerned with the potential societal collapse caused by the world’s computers’ refusal to acknowledge the year 2000. This video is one of several attempts to cash in on the hysteria around the Y2K phenomenon.  1999 was the…

Five Things – 11.28.16 – I Doubt My Feet Can Disco

The Burger King Kingdom McDonaldland gets some flak for its suspicious similarities to the world of H.R. Pufinstuf, and alot of that flak is deserved, but at least there’s some charm and originality to McDonaldland that redeems the effort.  Burger King’s 1976 attempt to rip off McDonaldland, on the other hand… there’s no redemption here. We’ve talked about…

Five Things – 10.17.16 – Never Known To Fail

  Robot Odyssey I’ve never been as simultaneously captivated and out of my league as I was when I played Robot Odyssey as a child in the 1980s. Robot Odyssey, created in 1984 by educational game company The Learning Company, had a unique sort of difficulty to it.  Other games by The Learning Company of the…

Five Things – 10.10.16 – Wallow In A Sea of Emotionalism

Follow Us To Disney World Last time we took a look at a 1984 video brochure for EPCOT Center. This one, called “Follow Us”, came out at the same time but has an expanded scope to the entire Disney World area.  At the time this included the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Discovery Island, and the resorts. The…

Five Things – 05.30.16 – And The Wind Would Carry Your Light To The Skies

Kid’s Court Court shows are the connective tissue of the daytime TV schedule.  They seem to be necessary components for local TV stations to function. They’re everywhere and have been everywhere for decades.  Perhaps I have rose-colored nostalgia glasses on (I have several pairs), but I feel like the court shows of the 1980s were a little more…