Retro Repost - My Top 5 Favorite The Honeymooner's Episodes

Thursday, December 31, 2020

 Let's finish the year off strong with another Retro Repost! 
 
Last year I wrote about my Top 5 favorite "The Honeymooner's" episodes, and as we approach the WPIX New Year's Eve "The Honeymooner's" marathon, I'd like to share this with those that may have missed it last year or would like to read it again to get in the mood!  

If you get WPIX, or can find it online, check out this year's marathon starting at 11:00PM Eastern on December 31st!  

My Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes NYE Marathon

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Every year on New Year's Eve, Lauren and I look forward to a nice quiet evening together.  We don't go out (anymore), and we don't have a bash at the house.  It's just the two of us, enjoying each other's company, some Chinese food, and television.  The past few years, we've gone to bed shortly after midnight, and honestly, I think the latest I've ever stayed up on New Year's was about 2am.
  
One of our many "rules" and traditions that we have is that we binge-watch as much as we can during the vacation week between Christmas and New Year's.  Now that we have a baby, it's a bit difficult, but... that will fix itself in the coming years as she grows up.  We often try to squeeze in Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, and this year (2020), we've already started on Breaking Bad.  Of course, on New Year's Eve, there's also "The Honeymooner's" marathon on WPIX here in New York that starts at midnight.  


However, one of the things I look forward to the most is SyFy's "The Twilight Zone" Marathon.  Every year I scour the guide and look for my favorite episodes to record, and so I've decided to put together a "Top 10" list of my favorite episodes, plus a few extras, which I hope you'll enjoy.  I'll even include the times these episodes will air this year if you're so inclined to check them out.

Just know, off the bat, this list will not include the episodes "Five Characters in Search of an Exit," "The Bewitchin' Pool," or "The Masks."  I cannot change the channel fast enough when I see these episodes.  I just wanted to document it here that I absolutely HATE these three episodes.  "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" is up there, too.

This year, the marathon begins on SyFy at 6:00AM (Eastern) on Thursday, December 31st, and will end at 5:30AM on Saturday, January 2nd. So, in honor of this great holiday marathon, I present to you my Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes list.  

My ABCs of Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Well, everyone, we made it to Christmas!  What a fun month it's been building the excitement up for the big day!  Much like Halloween, I've decided to do a fun little ABC's of Christmas, with the help of my lovely wife, Lauren!  You can read that Halloween feature HERE, by the way.


Without further ado, our Christmas ABC list for 2020:

Christmas on Home Improvement

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Recently, I've gotten back into watching some of the shows I loved growing up.  "Home Improvement" was one of those shows my entire family enjoyed, and we made it a weekly staple to gather around the TV together to watch the latest episode.  It has been a real treat for me to go back and watch and review each season for this Holidays on Home Improvement series.

The show, and the fictional Taylor family, took the winter holiday season seriously.  Christmas was clearly the most significant holiday event for the Taylor family each year.  As we found out reviewing the Halloween episodes, which you can find by clicking HERE, not every season of "Home Improvement" contained a dedicated episode to the spooky holiday.  The same goes for Thanksgiving, which you can also find by clicking HERE.  Christmas, however, is served up every year with heartfelt storylines, laughter, and more.  Growing up in my house was similar to the show in that regard.

Halloween wasn't that big of an event for us.  We'd wear costumes and trick-or-treat, but that was about it.  For Thanksgiving, we'd have some extended family or our elderly neighbors over for the afternoon but everyone would be on their way home by 7 or 8 o'clock.

Christmas, however, was a different story.  We had lots of family stay for several days in our house and my Grandparents' next door.  Everyone pitched in to decorate the houses the day after Thanksgiving, my Grandmother would spend weeks baking batch after batch of Christmas cookies, and my parents would have an annual argument over putting up a real or fake tree.  On Christmas Eve, we'd attend a candlelight service, drive around looking for the best Christmas lights, and then open up one present before bed.  Christmas day was a full-day affair with several rounds of presents, meals, and much more that seemed to roll into New Year's Eve a week later. 

Thank you for indulging me these past few months as I review one of my favorite television series from my childhood.  It has been a lot of fun and has brought back so many great memories.  I can still remember watching most of these episodes live for the first time, and that's what YesterYear Retro is all about.

So without further ado, let's look at how Tim Taylor and his family spent 8 seasons with elves, gifts, family, and even roof-top decorations that affect air traffic on "Christmas on Home Improvement!"

Retro Scans: Coca Cola Collectors Cards Series 2 Foil Pack

Sunday, December 20, 2020

I've been looking for a Christmas themed item to add to my "Retro Scan" section when I came across these "Coca-Cola Series 2 Collector's Trading Cards" on eBay.  

What goes better with Christmas than a nice cold Coca-Cola and vintage Christmas advertising, I asked myself?  Not to mention, Coca-Cola's vintage advertising is responsible for the modern image of Santa Claus, aren't they?

Unfortunately, once I opened the pack there was very little Christmas inside it.  There was the famous Coke polar bear campaign from the 90s, but sadly, that's about it for Christmas.  Unless you consider an old-time advertisement that is reminiscent of years gone by and then connect it to Christmas.  You can make that mile-wide leap if twist your face up and squint while leaning your head one way (like my dogs do when I speak to them.)  Even the scans didn't come out right, but, to be fair, I was traveling at the time I took these photos and I scanned them (and took some photos too) and I may as well post it for you to enjoy.

So, with that glowing introduction, here are some "Retro Scans" of Series 2 Coca-Cola Collectors Cards of Coke advertisements from years gone by and two of the Pog style bottle caps included.

A Brief History of the "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" Marathon on TBS and TNT

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

This is sort of a "Retro RePost" from last year but has been modified and edited for 2020.  

Growing up, there was not a Christmas movie I enjoyed more than "A Christmas Story."  I'll admit, I had never even heard of the film before TBS began its annual 24-hour marathon in 1997.  It just wasn't something on my radar.  Having accidentally come across the film that first 24-hour marathon, I was sucked in by the excitement of the marathon itself and the quest to watch the movie as much as I could in an entire 24-hour period.  Then something amazing happened.  It turned out the movie was really good, too!


"A Christmas Story" was originally a small independent film made in 1983 that had very little fanfare for several years until it earned a "cult-classic" status and rabid fan following in the early 1990s.  Turner Broadcasting had maintained ownership of the film's broadcasting rights and, starting in 1991, began airing the film increasingly on its networks TBS, TNT, and TCM.  In 1995, it was aired over the 3 different channels a combined 6 times from December 24th to 26th.

Those 6 viewings were so successful that in 1996 Turner increased it to 8 separate broadcasts.

However, in 1997, due to the movie's ever-increasing popularity (and rising merchandise sales), TNT began airing a 24-hour marathon, officially titled "24 Hours of A Christmas Story."  The marathon would begin either at 8pm Eastern on Christmas Eve and run for a total of 12 airings.  

In 2004, when TNT switch to a predominantly drama television format, TBS took over the marathon.  

It was estimated that in 2002 that 38.4 million people tuned in at one point or another.    In 2008 that estimate increased to 54.4 million.

The film was so popular that in 2014 and 2015, Turner decided to broadcast the marathons on BOTH TBS and TNT!  They staggered the showings one hour apart so that you wouldn't have the same exact scene on both channels and could pick up at any point on either network.  This was also done so that both channels were not in the commercial break at the same time.  

For whatever reason, the dual marathon was not run on both channels in 2016 and only aired on TBS.  It returned to TNT in 2017 and has been on both channels since.


After widespread internet rumors in 2018 claiming TBS canceled the marathon, Turner (and TBS/TNT) issued statements assuring fans that the marathon indeed lived on.  You could understand, then, when TBS was very slow to publish the schedule for 2019, "A Christmas Story" fans were worried once again.  This year, for 2020, the two networks published the marathon schedule in early November, assuring fans that the annual tradition would live on once again.

One of my favorite activities around Christmas growing up was this marathon.  After the first few years of trying to watch EVERY SINGLE showing, I was older, and life had gotten quite a bit busier for all of us.  My family adapted, and our goal switched from watching the full marathon to catching the entire movie once... but not in a full sitting.  It's a fun little game we still play, where we piece together a complete movie over the 24 hours by tuning in at different times.  It doesn't even need to be in order, as long as we don't miss anything.

You can catch 24 straight hours of this beloved Christmas movie starting 8:00 PM Eastern on December 24th on TBS.  The marathon runs through Christmas Day, and the final airing of "A Christmas Story" is 6:00PM Eastern on the 25th.  The marathon will start on TNT at 9:00 PM on December 24th, running through the final showing at 7pm on Christmas Day.


Be careful, or you'll shoot your eye out!

Retro RePost: Santa Claus, Christmas, and I Love Lucy

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Here's another rerun to help you better enjoy the Christmas season!  I'm feeling very nostalgic this year, so why not go waaaay back to the 1950s when Santa Claus appeared on I Love Lucy?  

Since I Love Lucy is one of my top 5 favorite shows of all time, I really enjoyed writing this article last year.  It appeared both here and on "The Retro Network" so you know I'm very proud of it and think you'll enjoy it too if you missed it last year!


Click above to enjoy some retro goodness and get yourself even deeper into the Christmas spirit!

Enjoy!

Retro RePost: Christmas Collides With Pro Wrestling

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Life has been busy so far this December, with work and studying for my annual training, so I haven’t been able to finish the content I’ve been trying to produce for Christmas.  Here it is, already December 10th, and I’ve yet to post anything this month celebrating the Holiday season...

It’s time to remedy that, so I’ve decided to air a rerun so to speak... A Retro RePost, if you wheeeel (Dusty Rhodes voice) in one of my favorite posts from last Christmas:


Click the above link if you missed this last year or want to relive some good old days or wrestling gone by!  

Home Alone's Fake Gangster Movie

Monday, November 30, 2020

For many years, I never really considered "Home Alone" a Christmas movie.  Of course, it takes place on Christmas and has nearly everything to do with the spirit of Christmas, but for whatever reason, my family never really watched it around the holidays like we would some other movies.  

I can very clearly remember seeing "Home Alone" in theaters when it came out, but after that, we watched it on VHS a few times, and that was about it.  Knowing how strict my parents were in the early 90s, they probably didn't like the movie and didn't want myself and my older brother to try to replicate Kevin's burglar traps on each other.  

These days?  It's found itself on my house's "must watch" list around Christmas.  It's not even a *great* movie, in my opinion, but I really enjoy it for the nostalgia it evokes for the 90s.  Not just the clothing, cars, or hairstyles, it's more so the simpleness of it all: no cell phones, no internet, no constant connection. 

Even more important than all that, it's the child-like excitement Kevin gets from Christmas and the absolute pure joy of it all.  Every year my wife and I say that we plan to take it slow during the Christmas season and really enjoy it, but of course, life gets in the way, and we blink, and it's already halfway through January.  


Kevin's youthful joy is such unadulterated fun, especially the fun he has when he first discovered he's been left home alone.  I think we can all go back and think of the first time Mom and Dad left us alone and the list of things we did just because nobody was home to stop us.  For me, I remember racing to the television to turn on pro wrestling when my parents went out to dinner since it wasn't allowed when they were home.

After Kevin grows comfortable with the idea of being alone, he does what any kid would do.  He gets into things he's not allowed to, like his brother's skin magazines and his Beebee gun.  Kevin eventually finds his way downstairs and makes himself a massive bowl of ice cream and puts in a movie he probably was told he was too young to watch.  Feeding "Angels with Dirty Souls" into the VCR, he sits back in his Father's easy chair (a no-no in most households) and watches a scene out of an old 40s gangster noir film.  

Thanksgiving on Home Improvement

Friday, November 20, 2020

The holiday season was often an important event on "Home Improvement." Halloween and Christmas were the most significant holidays on the show. However, Tim Taylor made sure Thanksgiving was a giant feast and time to connect with friends and family. Tim and the Taylor family and their friends celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, often in a big way, every year. 


When we looked back at Halloween on Home Improvement last month, we discovered that they emphasized the holiday some years more than others. Thanksgiving is no different during the 8 season run of the series. Some years, like Season Seven, Thanksgiving was the central focus of the episode. Others, like Season Eight, there was barely a passing mention and served only as a backdrop to the story.  



In continuing my "Holidays on Home Improvement" series, we'll take a look back and see how they touched on Thanksgiving each season.


Get ready to deep fry that turkey because here comes "Thanksgiving on Home Improvement!"

SBTB: Where did Kelly and Jessie go?

Saturday, November 14, 2020

On November 25th, a new version of "Saved by the Bell" debuts on the NBC streaming service Peacock. In this new version, California Governor Zack Morris poorly plans the state budget and is forced to close many low-income high schools. The state begins relocating those students to the highest-performing schools in the state, including Bayside High. Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Lark Voorhies have signed on to reprise their previous roles. To coincide with the new streaming version's release, a new podcast titled "Zack to the Future," with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, debuted.  With the new show's impending debut, one can feel an overall renewed sense of enthusiasm for the original.

The original "Saved by The Bell" itself was a retooled version of a Disney Channel show "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." The initial run of "Saved by the Bell" was from August of 1989 to May of 1993, where we followed a cast of teenagers living in Pacific Palisades, California, who attended Bayside High School. The show was a lighthearted look at their life, relationships, teenage angst and occasionally touch on serious social issues as the sitcoms of its time were known to do. Drug use, drunk driving, homelessness, divorce and remarriage, death, women's rights, and more were often lightly touched upon to teach the viewing audience right from wrong.
 

When the show went off the air in 1993, it created two spin-offs: "The College Years" (93-94) and "The New Class." (93-00) During the tenure of the original show, they created a 'Made for TV' movie "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style" in 1992, and another in 1994 to cap off "The College Years" with the television movie "Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas."
 
Like most kids of the 80s and 90s, I was a huge "Saved by the Bell" fan. I can also clearly say that like most red-blooded American males that age, my first crush was Kelly Kapowski. "Saved by the Bell" was always on channels like TBS in the mornings and after school, but as I've come to find out, many people are surprised to learn it was a Saturday morning kid's show on NBC.

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Haul out the holly! Put out the tree before my spirit falls again... it's time for Christmas television! Of course, you have the Hallmark and Lifetime channels with nonstop 24/7 Christmas... but what about the other Christmas classics?  


Well, here is a list of what I consider the best of the best. Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here it is!


The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020!


Items Of Note

 

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" will NOT air on television this year but will be FREE on Apple TV from November 25th through November 27th. The same goes for "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which will be available FREE on Apple TV from December 11th through December 13th.


FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!


"A White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and Danny Faye will air late at night at 2:30 AM on AMC on the night of December 3rd or the morning of December 4th, depending on how you look at it. The actual date is December 4th at 2:30 AM.


"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Sunday, November 22nd, at 8 PM and 10 PM.


"It's a Wonderful Life" airs on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8 PM.


"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air on Ch4at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

CBS Releases 2020 Christmas Movie Schedule

In 2020, CBS will continue its Christmas tradition of broadcasting beloved holiday classics such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman."  Also airing are the animated specials "Frosty Returns," "The Story of Santa Claus," and "Robbie the Reindeer."  

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2020 - ON CBS

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (8:00PM, ET/PT)

FROSTY RETURNS (8:30 PM, ET/PT)


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2020 - 

ROBBIE THE REINDEER: HOOVES OF FIRE (8:00PM, ET/PT)

ROBBIE THE REINDEER: LEGEND OF THE LOST TRIBE (8:30PM, ET/PT)

THE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS (9:00PM, ET/PT)


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2020

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (8:00 PM, ET/PT)


If you're not familiar with "Robbie the Reindeer", like me, it was a  3 episode Christmas series produced by BBC between 1999 and 2007.  Celebrities such as Britney Spears, James Woods, and Jerry Stiller voiced some of the characters.  Betty White and Tim Curry are the featured voice actors in "The Story of Santa Claus."


That's all that's available for now with regards to network Christmas specials.  Of course, Hallmark has 24 hour round-the-clock Christmas movies on both The Hallmark Channel and Hallmark's Movies and Mysteries Channel.  As we all know, the Charlie Brown Christmas will not air on ABC this year, and will air instead on Apple TV.  As these classics of YesterYear come in, I'll be sure to let you all know.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Pop culture website "Thrillest" posted the following map on Twitter yesterday, showing what they've discovered to be the most popular side dishes for Thanksgiving dinners around the country.


At first glance, I noticed Alaska knows what's good. Hashbrown casserole. Oh yes, pass that my way, please.

  

Maine is an outlier, the only one on the map that prefers a "side salad." Honestly, I'd be ok with it compared to the sweet potato casserole of Florida or the Green Bean casserole in several other states. 


I also cannot believe that Arkansas considers "white gravy" a side dish and not a condiment... 


Here in New York, the preferred dish is stuffing. Yes, we certainly haves stuffing for our meal every year. I noticed down south they have "dressing," which is what most of what my family calls stuffing.  


So, I looked up the difference. It's mostly a regional difference, but technically, there is a difference. Stuffing is literally cooked while "stuffed" inside the turkey, and the dressing is cooked up all alone in its own dish. Who knew?  


Personally, I'd have to say Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, and West Virginia are right. The Kings Hawaiian rolls we have for dinner every year are my favorite.  


What say you?


1987 U.S. of ALF Super Sticker Cards

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The TV show ALF ran from 1986 to 1990 on NBC.  Right at the height of its merchandise popularity, came these 1987 U.S. of ALF "Super Stickers."  On Election Day 2020, enjoy these celebrations (and caricatures) of these fine United States of America.

Halloween is Dead. Long Live Christmas!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Alright, alright... Halloween isn't dead.  It's just in hibernation until next year.  Now, for the holiday season!  Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and then Christmas and New Year's will be upon us!  Such an exciting time of year for all, and while 2020 has been good to me, most people can't wait for the (virtual) ball to drop on New Year's Eve.  

I have some fun things coming up for the holidays I hope you enjoy!  I plan to continue my "Home Improvement" series with a Thanksgiving and Christmas edition and many more goodies.  I also have some non-holiday related posts headed your way!  I'll give you a hint, one big one I'm excited to finish has to do with the return of Saved By The Bell!

But for now, as a Halloween palate cleanser and to celebrate Election Day, tomorrow I'll be posting another "Retro Scan" of the 1987 ALF Across America collectible trading cards!  

Turn on Hallmark, everyone; Christmas is here!

My ABC's of Halloween

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Well, folks... we finally made it.  Halloween!  It's been a long month, and for whatever reason, it feels like Halloween was LAST weekend.  It has to be the Hallmark Christmas movies starting last week that push us forward, never letting us live in the moment...  Or maybe the election is heating up... who knows.  

But we'll dive back to the Halloween season for one more day!  One last post for the 2020 Halloween season, I thought, what better way to wrap up the holiday with my ABC's of Halloween.  Leave a comment below with what you think or if you have ones you think are better!  

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Click on for the list!

1984 Gremlins Wax Pack

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Gremlins is not really a Halloween movie.  It may fall into that category of "horror-comedy" and some even call it a Christmas movie.  I guess it takes place around Christmas, but to me, the theme must be ABOUT Christmas to qualify... but I digress.  It's just a few days away from Halloween!

As part of Freeform's 31 Days of Halloween (which my wife and I have really been enjoying, I must say) we caught Gremlins for the first time in many, many years, and remembered what a blast this movie is.

Anyway, I dug through my box of old retro stuff and dug up a wax pack from 1984 for you to enjoy.  I even included the 36-year-old piece of gum for you... consider it like knocking on my door while Trick-Or-Treating... sorta.  Enjoy, everyone!


























Daffy Duck's Quackbusters

Monday, October 26, 2020

We didn't have a Blockbuster in my town until I was in high school, and until then, there were only two other ways to get a movie that you didn't buy at the mall. You could visit the tiny rental store called Dollar Video (which surprisingly survived until 2010) or check out the town's library. 

My mother would walk us (it was just down the road and around the corner) to Dollar Video every Saturday morning and let us each get one movie or video game. I can still smell the bubble gum and plastic video cases that hit you in the face when you walked through the door.  Even though I spent many, many dollars at Dollar Video, they never had the one video I must have watched 100 times as a kid. I'd find that one at the library. 

One day, knowing I was a big Ghostbusters fan, my Mom brought home a movie from the library. When I had to take it back three days later, I immediately checked it out again. And again. And probably again. I must have taken that one home more than any other movie from either place in town. It was "Daffy Duck's Quackbusters."


"Daffy Duck's Quackbusters" is a 1988 Looney Tunes compilation movie starring Daffy Duck and other classic Looney Tunes characters. In the 80s, Warner Bros. was combining newly-animated footage and linking them with classic Warner Bros. cartoon to make one longer movie, such as "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie" and "Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island."  "Daffy Duck's Quackbuster's" was the last in the compilation series and the final theatrical release until "Space Jam" almost a decade later. It was also Mel Blanc's next-to-last performance in a Looney Tunes project before his passing.

Retro Scans: 1994s Monsters of the Grid Iron Trading Cards

Friday, October 23, 2020

For last Halloween, I wrote an article for The Retro Network (that also appears here in the archives) about my experience with Coca-Cola's Monsters of the Grid Iron.  Check out that article HERE.

So, for this year's Halloween, I thought I'd do a "Retro Scans" post and open a 1994 Foil pack of the NFL/Coca-Cola Monsters of the GridIron cards!  Enjoy!