Thursday, December 31, 2009


To ring in 2010, here's a great 10-minute montage of Times Square ball drops from 1978 to 2009 that features glimpses of folks like Donny Osmond, Regis Philbin, Ashlee Simpson (!) and Paul Anka, plus plenty of cheesy graphics and -- of course -- Dick Clark.

Happy New Year!

More toy commercials

Now I don't remember a SINGLE ONE of these products. CHUCKLEBUG? The Best of the West playset? The Chopperoo? Zestabs chocolate vitamins?

But even though I don't remember them, damn if I don't love the ads. The Best of the West ad is apparently hawking a main character as a "scout for General Custer." Doin' a great job there, Brownie.

There was a doll named Crumpet?

As you ease into 2010, here are some commercials from 40 (40!) years ago that might throw you back in time. That's Henry Fonda in the Talking View-Master ad!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wax on! Wax off!

So how do you feel about Will Smith's kid starring in the "Karate Kid" remake?

Or better yet: How do you feel about the fact that there IS a "Karate Kid" remake?

And where's Billy Zabka when you need him?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Growing up Heroes

I knew about the Growing Up Star Wars Flickr pool, but not about the Growing Up Heroes blog, which features photos of little kids, from the 1960s thru the 1990s, dressed up like superheroes.

Awesome if only for the background photo!

(Via Kottke)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Classic Clip Monday: A real change of underwear

Underoos came out in 1979, so these boys dancing around in their cool superhero undies are probably just about old enough to have their own kids who are now horribly embarrassed by these ads.

Now I always loved Aquaman, but seriously, who would want Aquaman Underoos when you had other choices like Spiderman, Superman and Batman? Also, shouldn't Aquaman be on swim trunks or something instead?

Who had Underoos? Confess in the comments!

(Need more Underoos ads? Here's a block of them. VERONICA LODGE was on Underoos? That seems pretty declasse for the rich girl of Riverdale High.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

They learned nothing from the failure of "Bionic Woman"

From the NY Times: "Among the most prominent projects under consideration as new series next fall are these familiar names: “The Rockford Files” on NBC; “Charlie’s Angels” on ABC; and “Hawaii Five-O” on CBS."

Hollywood, QUIT REMAKING OUR SHOWS! They always suck, and we really just want to sit home and watch the old reruns on DVD or Nick at Nite or whatever's replaced that.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, Muppet Style

Happy Holidays from! Here's a classic clip from 1979's "John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lemon Up

Body on Tap, Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific, Herbal Essences...the 1970s and 1980s were shampoo's golden age.

Who else remembers Lemon Up, which supposedly had lemon juice in it, and had an irresistable plastic lemon on the top of the bottle?
You can now buy many of these at Vermont Country Store. Bless them!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kate Gosselin as Carol Brady?

Kate Gosselin as Carol Brady? Oh, not even.

It's really all her fault for buying JARRED BEETS

The Retroist linked to this funny vintage Tide commercial.

I don't remember seeing this exact one on TV, but the daughter's hair is so wonderfully 1980s. And I love the Retroist's commentary: "Not sure why I remember this commercial so clearly. Either its the slow motion shot of the beets hitting the coat or just the idea that people write letters to a product and not the company that made it. I do it all the time. “Dear Twinkie, Are you and Chocodiles friends?”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nostalgic Christmas lights

We're not the only nostalgia freaks out there: Retro Christmas lights are in, baby!

Rob and I have the giant bulbs outlining the peak of our house, and I love 'em.

Farewell to a Sesame Street resident

I have to admit, I don't remember Olivia--Gordon's sister--on "Sesame Street," but she sounds like an awesome lady who took her role on the Street very seriously.

Please note that she was also married to the 7-foot-2-inch guy who played Harry in "Harry and the Hendersons." That just struck me as really cool.

Mother Nature's revenge

Who else remembers those wonderful killer animal movies of the 1970s and 1980s? Bunnies! Ants! Ticks! Bees! Grasshoppers! They all came after humans and at last took their sweet revenge on us for inventing Raid, or something.

Best were the ones with William Shatner or Joan Collins, and the money shot was always when the camera showed us the ants massing in the sink drain, or the worms crawling through the showerhead, and the oblivious characters just cheerfully whistled and saw nothing, until they were eaten alive.

This one, simply called "ANTS!", with Suzanne Somers, is my favorite. I like to blame the ants-in-the-drain scene for the fact that I still don't like to wash dishes.

Share your favorite killer-animal movie memories in the comments.

Classic Clip Monday: Farrah Fawcett shampoo

Man, Farrah Fawcett had it going on. Few women were as gorgeous as she. It's hard to believe she had such a sad end-of-life.

I never bought, or even saw, her shampoo, but this commercial reminds me what a star she was.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best Christmas commercials of the 1970s and 1980s

Are you following JenX67 via her blog or on Twitter? You really should be!

Check out her list of 10 Christmas commercials from the '70s and '80s. The classic remains the Folgers ad where big brother Peter comes home for Christmas, but there are other greats, too. (Underoos! Christmas Crunch Berries! McDonald's gift certificates!)

In the Peter ad, I notice that 1982 was still the era where they didn't cast blonde babes of approximately 26 years of age to play moms of college students--the mom is frumpy and momlike. I miss those more realistic casting choices.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Funky Food Friday: Orbitz soda

OK, this isn't a '70s and '80s product...ORBITZ soda, with the little balls in it, came out in the '90s.

But it's been gone so long I feel a little nostalgic for it anyway. Kind of a predecessor to bubble tea. I mean, bubble tea might have been around first, but weird gummy little snacks in beverages? Orbitz trained us to like bubble tea. Which I don't, actually. But I like the concept of bubble tea, so...halfway there.

Don't Google Orbitz now and expect the beverage, by the way. The name has been seized by the travel site.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who will mourn the cassette tape and the card catalog?

We generally focus on the 1970s and 1980s and things that went extinct then, but NY Magazine has a slideshow of (mostly officey) things that were essentially killed off in the 2000s, from answering machines to cassette tapes to fax machines.

Hey, as far as I'm concerned, phone books have been a fairly useless species for some time now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

10 worst lunchboxes of all time

Are these the 10 worst metal lunchboxes of all time?

I myself had a shabby copycat version of the more-coveted Holly Hobbie (Polly Pal!), so I don't really think HH herself should be on this list. Oh, look, I could buy Polly Pal on eBay. Which I will not do.
Cannot argue with The Metric System or Laugh-In making the list, though.

(Lunchbox Labs, the somewhat famous burger joint near my house in Seattle, has a display of lunchboxes that includes either this metric system one or another one, which leads to the scary possibility that there could be more than one metric system lunchbox. Horrors!)

Also, I am not quite sure what parent would think it fitting for a kid who's little enough to carry a lunchbox to have one from a movie as bloody as "Rambo."
The Campus Queen lunchbox on this list is actually quite coveted, I believe.

Also, disco! On a lunchbox!
What was on yours?

This means they're healthy now, right? Right?

Less sodium for Spaghettios! Miss Kelly has yet to try this taste treat, but apparently I lived on them till I was like six, so I'm sure she'll appreciate the fine bouquet just as mom did.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yeah, he's holding her in his arms, late, late at night

Rick Springfield is coming out with a memoir, with its title taken from the lyrics of "Jessie's Girl": "Late, Late at Night."
Apparently the singer has battled depression for years, and his book will examine those struggles.

Funny how, when all we know is the person's public facade--fame and money and talent--we can't imagine how anything at all could be wrong with their lives. "Richard Cory," anyone?

Johnny Bravo meets Johnny Law

According to TMZ, Barry "Greg Brady" Williams is having some legal trouble with his girlfriend.

Their lede: "Barry Williams, the actor who played Greg Brady on "The Brady Bunch," claims his ex-girlfriend threatened to kill herself and him after losing a beauty contest ... and he's obtained a restraining order to keep her far away."

Yikes. Things were so much easier when Carol and Mike were laying down the law about how he couldn't read the back of a record album while driving, or how he had to take Bobby on his date to the drive-in movie.
(Reposted from PCJM)

A Merry Movie Christmas

This Christmas, we're going to forgo the yule log and instead bask in the glow of Encore's "Big '80s Weekend," featuring just about every beloved movie made when Reagan was president. The merry marathon kicks off on Dec. 25 with The Breakfast Club, and bobs and weaves its way through more than two dozen classic '80s flicks -- Lost in America! The Goonies! Fletch! Weird Science! -- wrapping up with Purple Rain on the 27th. (Hey, Apollonia? That ain't Lake Minnetonka.)

Girls Just Want to Have Fun is also part of the deal, but that's likely because Cyndi Lauper hosts the whole shebang. (Encore hasn't offered an explanation about why Weekend at Bernie's made the list.) Far as we can see, the only real glaring omission is the Rodney Dangerfield/William Zabka classic Back to School.

The weekend also includes the world premiere of a new documentary, Don't You Forget About Me, about a group of young filmmakers' quest to track down director John Hughes, and starring everybody from Ally Sheedy and Andrew McCarthy to Alan Ruck and Kelly LeBrock.

Check out the whole lineup here, and let us know what else Encore forgot to include.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Werewolves of TV

I'm sorry, but there is no "Teen Wolf" but Michael J. Step off with your remake, MTV.

Luxury kitchens: A generational thing?

This article claims that folks raised on Food Network (not to mention "Real World," and their massive kitchens that served only as places to get drunk and cry at your roomies) are still interested in luxe appliances, despite hard times.

Classic Clip Monday: Let's go record shopping!

Via the awesome Retroland: Hey everyone, let's go buy records at Woolworth's back in 1971! $1.57 for Canned Heat, and just 87 cents for the "Sesame Street" cast album.

This is truly an awesome ad.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Give a hoot, don't pollute

One of the creators of Woodsy Owl has died.

Do we even teach kids about not polluting anymore? Or not littering? It seems like recycling is everywhere, but those simple things are forgotten.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Funky Food Friday: Mmm...paper...

Ever try cramming a cheeseburger into a Christmas stocking, or sending a shake through the mail? Us neither. We did, however, salivate over giving and receiving something just as delicious, and a whole lot less messy: McDonald's Gift Certificates. Back in the day, a 50-cent single gift certificate was plenty to buy a burger, and get change back. And if you were lucky enough to score an entire 10-pack, you could keep the whole neighborhood in french fries and hot apple pies until well after New Year's.

Check out this McDonald's commercial from 1975. Most important, it reminds us that there was once a time when Corey Feldman was adorable.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

25 Best Gen X books ever?

Are these the 25 Best Generation X books ever? By "Gen X" I assume that Details means the authors are of our generation, not the topic.

I agree with Donna Tartt's "Secret History" and love a couple of the other choices, but seriously, "American Psycho"? That's not even Bret Easton Ellis' best book.

I would lead this list with "Retro Hell." Just saying. And somewhere on there would be "Microserfs," Ariel Schrag's high-school saga (perhaps she's a Millennial?), Melanie Thernstrom's "The Dead Girl," Steve Almond's "Candyfreak," the achingly touching "Somehow Form a Family," and a few others.
What books would make your list, either written by authors born in our generation (be generous, call it 1960s to 1980s) or about it?

We made love in my Chevy van

1970s custom vans make me think of two things: "That 70s Show" and Ted Bundy. I know, not fair to all the good vans out there that half of that list is a serial killer, but what can I say?

(Via Ultimate Insult)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I met him in a swamp down in Dagobah...

I-Mockery found the awesomest geek gift: A "Star Wars" Dagobah frog habitat.

I kind of thought they were making this up, but it appears REAL. You can buy it at Amazon!

'80s holiday gifts

Retrofaze has a fun list, with art, of the 20 best toys a kid could have gotten for Christmas in the 1980s.

Not all of these are on my personal list, but this is still awesome and fun to read through.

We totally need Sit N Spins and Big Wheels for adults, don't you think? Also, I had no idea there was a Daisy Duke-themed Big Wheel. Sweet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Someday my prints will come

Who doesn't remember a Fotomat in their past? Whenever I drive through the Lunds grocery store parking lot in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul, I think of the little hut that used to be there. Back then, we had no idea that film and smelly developing companies and waiting for pictures would all be a thing of the past.

And fans of "That '70s Show" remember that Tommy Chong's character worked at a Fotomat, although it wasn't allowed to use that brand name, apparently.

Metafilter had a wonderful discussion of the long-gone Fotomats.

I just love this photo, such a bright and sunny look at our more innocent days.

And don't miss this slideshow. Looks like many of the Fotomats tried to make it as other ventures -- coffee shops, snowcone stands, etc. -- and many of those new businesses didn't make it, either.
Tell us about your Fotomat memories, and what happened to the specific little shack that you knew best, in the comments.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh, little Andy Keaton

We were JUST talking about you, steel-fanged Brian Bonsall from "Family Ties." Thanks for getting into a bar brawl so our news was up-to-date!

Excerpt: "Bonsall claims he was so drunk he doesn't remember a thing." Yikes. Here's hoping he can get his life together.

Classic Clip Monday: I can bring home the bacon! Fry it up in a pan!

Time for another Classic Clip Monday!

OK, raise your frying pan if you remember this infamous Enjoli commercial from the 1970s. She can bring home the bacon! Fry it up in a pan! And never never never let you forget YOU'RE A MAAAAAN...'cause she's a WOOOOO-MAN!

Sounds like a heck of a lot of work for her, seriously. What's HE doing while she's working, cooking, and making him happy?

Apparently, Enjoli is still around, and this ad kind of makes me want to find a bottle (Walgreen's?) and take a whiff, just for old time's sake.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Funky Food Friday: Funny Face drink mix

Oh, Funny Face drink mix, you were so much more fun than Kool-Aid! Even though two of your original characters were canned for being racist (Chinese Cherry and Injun Orange became Choo-Choo Cherry and Jolly Olly Orange), you were awesome, and your plastic cups live on in every thrift store I've ever visited.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Through the eyyyyyyes of a reeeeemake

Holy cow, they remade "Ice Castles"? With a Vancouver Olympics tie-in?

That's so cheesily brilliant I am left speechless. Left speechless, and left looking throoooough the eyyyyyyes of looooooove.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Drink up!

Didn't you think we solved the accidental consumption of pop-can tabs issue back when they replaced the pull-offs with the bend-backs?

Apparently not.

Family Ties cast as they look today

Meredith Baxter's coming out is in the news, and here's a slideshow from Gael's employer,, showing how the entire "Family Ties" cast looks today.

Tina Yothers has come through her awkward stage and looks fine now, but oh, Justine Bateman. Mallory was such a fashion plate in the '80s, and now?

Also, I am still waiting for someone to explain to me the steel fangs that the troubled Brian Bonsall is sporting.

Patrick Duffy and the Crab

To millions of people, Patrick Duffy is best remembered as Bobby Ewing from "Dallas" or the dad from "Step by Step." To others of us, though, he'll always be The Man from Atlantis, which is why the fact that he lives with a crab in this awesome Web short is especially hilarious.

Who plays the deadpan crab? (Best line: "Omigod.") None other than David Leisure, who shot to fame in the '80s on "Empty Nest," but more notably as pathological-liar pitchman Joe Isuzu. You have my word on it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Magical musical Trapper Keeper

We were discussing Trapper Keepers here and on our Facebook GenXtinct fan page, and my niece April mentioned that she had a Trapper Keeper with a built-in radio.

What what, you say? That's what I said, until I found this video of one on YouTube. AWESOME!

Trapper Keeper time

Let's talk Trapper Keepers!

Mine had a baby harp seal on a background of icy blue snow. Beautiful and adorable, and as girly as all get-out.

What was on yours? Smurfs, unicorns, Mr T, New Kids on the Block? Fess up in the comments.