The Honeymooners and Twilight Zone Marathons, Binge Watching, and Streaming in 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy and The Honeymooners marathon on WPIX-11 have become annual fixtures on New Year's Eve in my household.  What better way to close out the year than watching some classic television on a quiet evening at home?  If you throw in some Chinese food, my wife and I can't think of a better way to celebrate the end of one year and the new beginnings of the next!

We'll comb through the schedule and set the DVR to record our favorites and then watch as many as we can.  The binge-watching gets pushed aside momentarily for about 5 minutes when the ball drops in Times Square, but then it's immediately back to the Honeymooners until we fall asleep.  We'll spend the next few days combing through the DVR to watch the episodes we love before our annual viewings of Breaking Bad and The Sopranos begin.  Hey, we're creatures of habit.  


For many, these annual marathons have become a yearly tradition.  Why are these kinds of marathons so beloved?  

I for sure enjoy a good marathon, but why do so many of us feel nostalgic about them?  Why do so many of us still go out of our way to watch all or parts of them?

The WPIX Yule Log

Friday, December 24, 2021

No story, article, or memory today.


Just click play and enjoy! 

Merry Christmas to you all!


Christmas on Roseanne

Monday, December 20, 2021

Now that I have a family of my own, the notion of community, tradition, faith, and the holidays mean so much more to me.  "Roseanne" was never a show my family watched when I was growing up, and I didn't get into watching the reruns until I was in college, but the series does an excellent job representing all of those things.  The time period "Roseanne" was set in and the everyday family it portrays really struck a chord with me as it reminded me of my formative years.  It's been a real treat for me to go back and watch and review each season for this "Holidays on Roseanne" series.

The show and the fictional Conner family took the holiday season seriously.  As we found out reviewing the Halloween episodes (CLICK HERE) or Thanksgiving (CLICK HERE), not every season had a dedicated episode to the given holiday.  The same goes for Christmas, and to be honest, I was surprised at the lack of Christmas episodes during its nine-year run.  Even more surprising, it took "Roseanne" four seasons into the series to have their first Christmas-themed episode.  Of the nine seasons in the show's initial run, only 4 episodes involve Christmas.  


Thank you for indulging me these past few months as I review one of my favorite television series from the past.  It has been a lot of fun and has brought back many great memories of hanging around my college dorm watching reruns late at night.  

So without further ado, let's look at how Roseanne, Dan, and the family spent their Christmas holidays with family, food, decorations, and (of course) arguments with "Christmas on Roseanne!"  

A Brief History of "A Christmas Story" and the TBS/TNT 24 hour marathon

Friday, December 17, 2021

This is sort of a "Retro RePost" from last year but has been modified and edited for 2021.  

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.  That was remedied in 2020, and this year, for 2021, 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!

Five Classic Christmas Commercials!

Monday, December 13, 2021

We're well on our way to Christmas and almost halfway through December!  Boy, how time flies!  What better way to keep the momentum going than watching some old television commercials from when we were young and full of Christmas wonder?  


Nostalgia geeks like me often spend many hours watching "found footage" on Youtube dubbed from someone's home videotapes.  Great folks on the internet will edit and clean up the footage to compile old commercials into hours of great footage. 

Some kind soul will spend their free time reviewing old VHS tapes, convert them to digital, and then upload them to the internet.  That one long-lost memory will be given a "forever space" on the internet, just waiting to be enjoyed by the people who've spent years looking for it.  Bless these people.  

These days, if you're like me, you fast forward through as many commercials as you can.  This Thanksgiving, my family watched network television for the first time in over a year as we tuned in to WPIX (Channel 11 in New York) for our traditional viewing of Laurel and Hardy's "March of the Wooden Soldiers." We left it on to play in the background but quickly noticed that every three commercial spots were filled by the same Public Service Announcement for a medical procedure or medicine or what have you.  No wonder everyone is so crazed if that's all they hear every 5 minutes all day!   I digress...

You probably aren't a fan of commercials now, but I guarantee that you can remember (and probably even sing) at least 3 jingles from ads from your childhood.  I have a whole series of commercials I fondly remember, which you can head over to the "Collections" page and check out.  But that was back when companies invested significant money in advertising and had things like jingles or gimmicks to catch your attention.   One of the nice things about commercials from years gone by is that they remind me of a different time or specific memory.  

The commercials back then all had a holiday flair to them and kept the festive Christmas spirit going between a Christmas special or themed sitcom episode breaks.  Heck, even the car commercials got into the act!  Remember the "Lexus Christmas Sales Event" commercials as the shiny new car would wind its way through snow-covered woods to arrive in time for Christmas morning, complete with a giant bow on the car once its intended recipient woke up in the morning?  

Or who could forget the so-annoyingly-awful-they're-great Hyundai commercials from 2010 (11 years ago already!) featuring the singing duo Pomplamoose?  (CLICK HERE TO BE REMINDED!)

Now that Pomplamoose is stuck in your head, click below to see Five Classic Christmas Commercials!

Retro RePost: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation 30th Anniversary

Friday, December 10, 2021

On December 1st, my favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, turned 32!  

32 may not exactly be a celebration-worthy anniversary, but if you go back to 2019, I wrote an article for The Retro Network celebrating the big 30th!  


Over the past several years, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation has ascended to cult following status.  It's arguably most people's favorite movies, and the merchandise machines have been pushing out new items every year to celebrate the several decades-old film.  

A Cartoon Christmas - "A Flintstone Christmas" (1977)

Monday, December 6, 2021

I really enjoy Christmas television specials, especially the older ones I remember from times gone by.  Many of my favorites were some of the older cartoons, and every year here on YesterYear, I try to highlight one of the Christmas cartoons I remember fondly from years gone by.    

Like any kid, I liked cartoons, especially if they had to do with Christmas!  These days, the Hannah Barbera cartoons get a bad rap by cartoon "purists" on the internet these days, but I don't understand their complaints.  I enjoy the simple animation and the now-iconic voice acting.  Growing up, I remember watching The Flintstones on TBS in early morning reruns before school.  During the early 90s, the reruns were paired with The Jetsons, and I remember eating cereal and getting ready for school while they were on.  I remember The Flintstones being on in the afternoon as well, where I could catch them before dinner.

The Flintstones is just good, clean, family fun.  Which is what a Christmas special should be all about, right?  "A Flintstone Christmas" is just that.  


Featuring a familiar storyline amongst many holiday specials, we find Santa Claus needing some help this year to save Christmas!  The 1977 Flintstone's special borrows the same storyline (and several re-used animation scenes) from a previous 1964 episode of the Flintstones titled "A Christmas Flintstone."  

The special we'll look at today, "A Flinstone Christmas," debuted on December 7, 1977.

Retro RePost: I Love Lucy Meets Santa Claus!

Friday, December 3, 2021

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.  It appeared both here and on "The Retro Network," so you know I'm very proud of it.  If you read it already, give it another whirl, if you missed it, I think you'll really like it!  

Retro RePost: What Parade Was That In Christmas Vacation?!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

As we get past that post-Thanksgiving food coma and run full speed into the holiday spirit, here at home, I'm getting busy preparing for my annual simulator training for work.  That requires focus and takes up nearly all of my free time heading into the 3-day event, thrown in with the extra holiday flight schedule, my free time is limited.   

So, forgive another RePost here, but this one's a good one from 2019 featuring my favorite Christmas movie, "Christmas Vacation!"

I often wondered about this tiny, somewhat throw-away scene in the movie.  Matter of fact, it's what's happening in the background of this short scene that caught my interest.

The original intention of this site was dedicated to getting the nostalgia nonsense off my brain and onto paper (so to speak), so what better way to do some research and finally figure out the answer to a nagging question? 

Retro RePost: Top Toys Of 80s and 90s Black Friday

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The day after Thanksgiving is widely known as "Black Friday."  This annual shopping day earned its colorful nickname because it represents the time of year when most retailers turn a profit and the accounting books move from "the red" to "the black."  


When I was growing up, I can remember that Black Friday was a big event for some of our family friends.  They'd get up and go out shopping at 3 or 4 in the morning to get the biggest deals.  My family did that because my parents would always say they were crazy for going out at that time of day just to save a few bucks, but it always seemed like a fun kind of thing to do.  I never did get up early to go out shopping on Black Friday, so I don't really know what it was really like.  On the other hand, some of those videos of people crushing through store doors and running over other people didn't seem like a good time.

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2021

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving is here, and as the turkey cooks in the oven, we turn toward our annual Christmas television specials! You've had the nonstop Hallmark movies for over a month now, but it's time for the yearly classics that get us all in the festive Christmas spirit!


Here is a list of what I consider the best of the best of the holiday season.  Bookmark this page so you can come back time and time again to make sure your DVR is up to date!  If you don't bookmark it, you can find it on the right side of desktop browsers and below the articles on mobile.


Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here is:


The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2021!


Items Of Note

 

After all of the hubbub last year that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was not on ABC for the first time in decades (it was available via Apple TV), this year, you can find the classic special on PBS on Sunday December 19, at 7:30PM ET.  


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


"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 25 at 7:45PM and Nov 26 at 12:00PM.


"It's a Wonderful Life" airs on December 4 on NBC at 8PM and again on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8PM.


"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 at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

Retro RePost: When Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Doesn't Go As Planned!

Monday, November 22, 2021

This was one of my first articles to appear on The Retro Network back in 2019.  This was a fun little piece to put together and one of the ways I'm able to get some of this seemingly useless trivia out of my brain and onto paper (electronically, of course) so that it's documented somewhere.  


As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, it's a time we all reflect back on our memories.  Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade was never that big of a deal in my family, but like all kids, watching the balloons float through the streets of New York City was pretty darn exciting.  Especially when they were my favorite cartoon characters!  

Thanksgiving on Roseanne

Friday, November 19, 2021

The holiday season was often a significant event on the classic sitcom "Roseanne."  Roseanne is probably best known for their annual Halloween celebration, but Thanksgiving was highlighted in most seasons since family and togetherness are very important to the real-life Roseanne.  Most years, the Conner family celebrated Thanksgiving in a big way with a large family dinner complete with all the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and some family squabbles, too!   


When we looked back at Halloween on Roseanne last month, we discovered that the holiday was emphasized more than others in some years.  Thanksgiving is no different during the 9 season run of the series, but as we found with Halloween, the first season of "Roseanne" didn't cover Thanksgiving at all as the series was only 4 episodes old at that point.  Interestingly, "Roseanne" was on an every-other-season schedule celebrating Thanksgiving until season 6, when each of the remaining seasons enjoyed using the holiday as a backdrop to an episode.    


Watching the Thanksgiving episodes over for this article, I noticed some fun trends, routines, or traditions that seemed like something that would happen in any family in America.  Jackie would always be the one to bring the groceries over early in the morning while Roseanne would cook.  Dan and the men watched football after playing in their own annual football game.  Each year, new faces would be around the table, while as the kids grew, some familiar faces began to disappear into their own families and traditions.  Roseanne's mother got on her last nerve every year while using the holiday as a way to "spill the beans" about something from her past.  


In continuing my "Holidays on Roseanne" series, we'll take a look back and see how they touched on Thanksgiving each season.  So, get ready for some dysfunctional yet loving family fun as we look back on "Thanksgiving on Roseanne!"   

Really Retro Review: North by Northwest (1959)

Monday, November 15, 2021

"North by Northwest" is not only one of Alfred Hitchcock's best films, but it's a movie that I'd consider to be one of the greatest of all time.  This movie strikes my wanderlust fancy and provides a thrilling, suspenseful mystery.  It also doesn't hurt that most of the film is set in my favorite place on the entire planet: the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Surrounded by the majesty of Mount Rushmore and garnished with the glamour of old-school train travel, Hitchcock paints a masterpiece that could captivate anyone.  With his mastery of suspense, thrills, a little romance, and of course, the signature Hitchcock camera angles, this movie is easily a certifiable classic.  

North by Northwest first came into my world after discovering another Hitchcock masterpiece, Rear Window.  My Dad had shown my brother and I Psycho and The Birds when I was young, around 7 or 8 years old.  The Birds scared me so much I was afraid to go open the basement door where the garbage can was located for days just in case birds were about to fly out and attack me. 
 

Around that time, Dad either found the VHS of Rear Window or recorded it off the TV for me.  Rear Window quickly became my favorite movie of all time, and I began searching out more Hitchcock films as I grew up.  Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, and many others soon occupied my free time.  Then, I found North by Northwest.

Retro RePost: How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Friday, November 12, 2021

The leaves are falling, the temperature has dropped, and we've already set our clocks back an hour.  It's definitely Autumn.  This time of year brings certain things to mind for all of us.  For myself, I'm reminded of the times I spent outdoors in cooler weather and family visiting for Thanksgiving.  I'm also reminded of my high school hockey team and how it had gotten into full swing by this time of year.  Of course, Thanksgiving also reminds me of football.  

I've never been that big of a football fan, but my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were pretty darn good for New York.  I didn't play, but during my Senior Year of high school, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play a few times.  One of the most memorable times during that year was when my Dad and I drove a few hours upstate to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended up, but if I had to guess it was a losing effort.  But, the memory of my Dad and I driving down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I often think about while driving or flying at night as I look up at the stars.

5 Videos I Rented Over and Over As a 90s Kid

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

I've written a few times about the great little video rental store where I grew up called "Dollar Video."  I spent a lot of time in that store, and it was one of the things I most looked forward to during the week.  On most Saturday mornings, Mom would take us down the road to Dollar Video, and we'd each pick out a video or a video game for us to watch or play that weekend.   

More often than not, we'd also hit up the town's library and rent movies for free.  They had these great big black binders with little circle-shaped stickers to indicate what age group the movies were appropriate for.  I remember green, orange, and red, but I may be mistaken.  The binders were full of page after page of photocopies of the VHS box art, and I loved taking my time thumbing through them. 

Like many of us, when I look back, I've found that I would often select the same movie repeatedly.  I was thinking the other day about the 90s and how some of those movies I loved never got their just due.  While many of the films of that era are readily available on DVD or streaming, some of them have never been released on an upgraded medium like DVD or BluRay.  Some were released when the DVDs first hit the market in such limited quantities they are hard to find these days.  

I like to have a physical copy of movies and have a growing DVD collection.  Streaming is terrific, and my wife and I have memberships to several platforms, but it's always nice to know that we don't have to worry about the constant shuffle of inventory on streaming platforms.  We can just pop in the disc and watch what we want to watch when we want to watch it.  Also, they can't edit or censor the DVD like some of the streaming platforms have done with some movies or older TV shows.  

Thinking about all of this, I've compiled a list below of Five of the VHS tapes I rented most frequently growing up, in no particular order.  Leave me a comment below or drop me a note (sidebar for desktop, below on mobile) with some of the VHS tapes you wore out from frequent renting!  

Thanksgiving 2021 Streaming Guide

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Before you know it, the holidays will be here! We've been using these cute cartoon turkey paper plates and napkins we found at Walmart, and our Thanksgiving decorations have been scattered about the house for a week now.  With the temperatures in New York dipping into the 40s, it's starting to feel like Thanksgiving!  

That means it's also time to watch some of our favorite Thanksgiving movies!  While most Turkey Day movies are often pushed aside by the Christmas set of films, there are still plenty of enjoyable movies for those of us who wait until after Thanksgiving to move on to Christmas.  


Like many holiday movies, most of the Thanksgiving movies you'll find have just one scene set at the Thanksgiving dinner table or just barely mention the holiday.  What my wife and I consider to be the true Thanksgiving films requires the plot to be based around Thanksgiving or at the very least focus on people traveling home to their family for Thanksgiving.  

So, if you're ready for some turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy along with the fellowship of friends and family, be thankful for these films to help you get into the mood for the Thanksgiving holiday!  

Click ahead for the list!

Halloween 2021 May Be Over But It’s Time For More Holiday Fun!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Halloween has come and gone.  

In some ways, it seemed like we blinked, and it was over.  In other ways, it seemed like most of America had moved on by October 15th.  

I guess you'd have to expect some seasonal burnout, right?  Halloween items appear in stores by August, and the television networks begin airing specials in September.  Even our beloved Disney World  (and its slew of YouTubers) start the nightly Halloween party while it's still technically summer.  

Heck, the Home Depot by me had tossed the Halloween decorations into the "clearance" section and put the Christmas trees on display on October 1st!  

Now that The Hallmark Channel has begun their Christmas movie marathon (before Halloween, btw), it'll be a struggle to not watch our favorites until after Thanksgiving, so we don't feel like we're rushing the next season.    

To me, it's time we all slowed down a bit.  October is for Halloween.  November is for Thanksgiving.  December is for Christmas. 

Anyway, enough "old man yells at clouds" complaining from me.   

How Elvira Helped Coors Light Become The "Official Beer of Halloween"

Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Wall Street Journal proclaimed in 1986, "Halloween, once a romp for kids clad as pirates and princesses, now rivals Saint Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve as party time for adults.  Blame it on Elvira!"

I've never been much of a beer drinker, but in college, my friends all enjoyed "The Silver Bullet."  I'm sure during our poor college student days, it had a lot more to do with price point than any ad campaign, but they sure did like their Coors Light!

Growing up in a teetotaler family as a child, my view of alcohol and beer was that it was "bad stuff for bad people." Mainly because the Church we went to, my Grandparents, and Parents would often remind me it was the cause of a lot of problems in the world (arguably true) and the first step down a road to a life of evil and wrong-doing.  Think Edie McClurg's character Chastity Pariah in "Mistress of the Dark."  

That said, I can clearly remember times at the grocery store (Grand Union) with Grandma or Mom, or at Lane's Deli with Gramps, or at the gas station with Dad, and seeing one advertisement that piqued my interest in the seemingly "naughty" adult world of mass-market beers.  It was Elvira, the Queen of Halloween, promoting Coors Light.  


Those life-sized standees (cardboard cutouts) of Elvira posing with a cartoon wolf or beach-bum monsters really caught my attention.  I've started a small collection over the years, and just this year, I finally attained my 'holy grail.'  I finally own the BeerWolf and Elvira poster where she claims she loves a man with a hairy chest (see above).  If I could only find an affordable "Mali-Boo Beach" cardboard standee in good condition, I'd consider my collection to be complete.

So how did Elvira, real name Cassandra Peterson, go from being a West Coast late-night horror movie hostess to a nationwide household name shilling for a light beer company?  Let's take a look!

Retro Scans: 1989 McDonald's Roger Rabbit Halloween Coupons

Thursday, October 28, 2021

One of the things I looked forward to getting as a gift when I was a kid would be McDonald's Gift Coupon booklets.  These "McDonald's bucks" (as my brother and I called them) would often appear in my Christmas stocking and still smell like the salt and grease of the french fries they sat next to in the bag of food. If you would, please check out my article from a few years back about getting these fantastic old-school versions of gift cards  BY CLICKING HERE.


Rather than run a Happy Meal promotion that targeted children, McDonald's decided to run a special "super-size" promotion for Disney's 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."  The move was designed to appeal to teens and young adults, whom the movie was also targeting.  

I recently acquired this Roger Rabbit "Happy Halloween Certificates" on eBay.  There's a lot of these out there, and they are very affordable, but I thought it would be a great addition to this site as we wrap up our Halloween celebration.  

The booklet contained several coupons for 3 different items.  A free ice cream cone, free cookies, or free fruit pie.  At the back of the booklet is a coupon for a free Roger Rabbit car window plush with a purchase of the movie on videocassette.  The seller on eBay included a puffy sticker with my item, so I've included that here for you to enjoy too!

Click on for the photos!

Retro RePost: 1994's Fox's Halloween Bash

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

For me, Halloween and television go hand in hand.  The classic sitcoms of my youth, like Home Improvement (CLICK HERE) or Roseanne (CLICK HERE), always enjoyed Halloween the way I felt everyone should.  The 80s and 90s were home to several specials, like Garfield or the campy variety shows we still enjoy rewatching today.  

Coming home from Trick-Or-Treating, I'd dump out my candy on the living room floor and turn on the TV.  My brother and I would enjoy what was left of the new Halloween programs and watch some old favorites.


One of the great programming blocks of the 1990s was "The Fox Halloween Bash."  Watching this annual (back then, anyway) programming while doing homework earlier in the week or counting my candy haul were some of my favorite memories of the Halloween holiday.

Retro RePost: Coca-Cola's Monsters of the Grid Iron

Monday, October 25, 2021

This is one of the first articles I ever wrote, and it's still very important to me.  It first appeared on The Retro Network before showing up here, and I'm happy to repost it again for this year's Halloween.

I spent YEARS researching online to find information about this sales promotion.  I turned up empty-handed every time and began to wonder if I hallucinated the whole thing.  Every once in a while during college or when I was bored in a hotel room at work, I'd spend time Google-ing but never could come up with anything remotely resembling what I was looking for.  


Please click on for more!

Halloween on Roseanne

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

1990's Sitcom television's version of Halloween depicts how I feel Halloween should have been in real life.  Dressed up in cool costumes, the characters on the show attended heavily decorated Halloween house parties and were just so filled with Halloween spirit.  Cobwebs, pumpkins, skeletons, witches, and black cats were more than just a backdrop on our favorite sitcoms.  Halloween was *special* on those shows.  

Last year, I chronicled the holiday episodes of my family's favorite sitcom when I was growing up, "Home Improvement."  Please CLICK HERE to go back and read last year's "Halloween on Home Improvement" feature.

This year, let's cover the self-described (apologies to Elvira) "Queen of Halloween" and star of the sitcom that arguably had the most Halloween spirit, Roseanne Barr, and her show "Roseanne."


I didn't start watching "Roseanne" until I was much older, but there's no arguing that she and her show's writers took Halloween and the end-of-year holidays seriously.  

"Roseanne" was a family-oriented, yet adult-skewing, comedy that ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997 for a total of 222 episodes.  In 2016, the show was briefly revived with 9 new episodes before being canceled.  It was reborn "The Conners," without the star of the show, Roseanne.

For the uninitiated, the "Roseanne" series focused on a fictional blue-collar, working-class family in the fictional suburban town of Langford, Illinois.  The show, and its namesake star Roseanne, were heavily praised for their realistic portrayal of a working-class family in early 90s America.  Roseanne, both the series and the human being, also received immense praise and adulation for being progressive, groundbreaking, and for not being afraid to push the boundaries of social norms.

"Roseanne" was so popular it became number one in the Neilsen ratings only a few episodes into the second season.  In 2002, "Roseanne" was ranked number 35 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list, and a decade later, in 2013, TV Guide ranked it 32. 

Like what we found with "Home Improvement" last year, the Halloween-themed episode tradition didn't begin until Season 2.  The focus on the holiday was stronger some years rather than others, but millions of viewers tuned in each October to see how the Conner family celebrated the spooky holiday!  Each year was filled with incredible costumes, great decorations, elaborate pranks, and the occasional classic horror film homage.

Here's a look back at the Roseanne Halloween episodes in chronological order.  Fair warning, even though it's been nearly 30 years, there are spoilers below:

Halloween YouTube Videos

Monday, October 18, 2021

Normally, I pop in some of these YouTube videos into the "Video Drive-In."  If you didn't know, you can click a link at the top of the page, or if you're on mobile, you can click the 3 horizontal lines in the top left of the page and select "Video Drive-In" from there to see a selection of free youTube videos that go along with the topics covered here on the main page.

I haven't been using the Drive-In as much lately, so I figured I'd make a regular post about some of the can't miss "Halloween classics" from YesterYear.  

Long-time readers know I love Elvira, so don't be surprised to see her here twice! 

I promise to get back into posting regularly on the Drive-In page.  After watching all of this great Halloween content below, check out the video archives in the Drive-In!  

Retro Scans: 1993's Tales From The Crypt Trading Cards

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Tales from the Crypt was a series that ran on HBO from June of 1989 to July of 1996 for 93 episodes.  Based loosely on the 1950s comic book series of the same name, the show was hosted by The Cryptkeeper, a wisecracking corpse puppet. The puppet was operated and voiced by John Kassir.

Thanks to the premium cable subscription service that is HBO, "Tales From the Crypt" was free from censorship from the FCC and the network's standards and practices department. HBO allowed the series to include content like graphic violence, profanity, and nudity.  

Most of us, myself included, first learned of the series in 1994 when edited reruns began to air on the FOX Network on basic cable.  If you want to read a little about Fox's Halloween Bash, CLICK HERE NOW!


Each episode would begin with the Cryptkeeper's famous "Hello, Boils and Ghouls" or "Hello, Kiddies." Each episode was self-contained and bookended by an outro sequence featuring The Cryptkeeper's antics.  

In 1993, a Saturday morning cartoon called "Tales from the Cryptykeeper" was spun off the HBO series. The violence and gore were toned down and, at times, entirely omitted due to the target audience. Child psychologists were hired to review the scripts to make sure they were suitable for young audiences. The Cryptkeeper was animated as they felt the puppet would be too frightening for children. The cartoon lasted for two seasons on ABC with a total of 26 episodes.

In 1995 and 1996, two films were spun off the popular TV series. "Demon Knight," the first was a commercial success, but "Bordello of Blood" was a box office bomb panned by critics and fans alike. The lack of success for the second film caused the third in the trilogy to be shelved for good.  

As I write this, due to licensing issues, Tales from the Crypt is not a\vilable on any of the HBO or Fox-owned streaming services. 

5 Songs To Get You In The Mood For Halloween

Friday, October 8, 2021

Every good party, event, or holiday needs a great soundtrack to go along with it.  Admittedly, my knowledge of music doesn't go that deep, but I do know a good tune when I hear one.  

Halloween music is pretty subjective.  Spooky-sounding lyrics (Fresh Prince's A Nightmare on my Street) or a devilish theme (AC/DC's Hells Bells) are good enough for some people, while others insist it must include Halloween in the song.  Perhaps it's just a song featured in a Halloween movie or played at a party we've attended that makes us think of the holiday.

Let's take a look at (and listen to) 5 songs that I would recommend to help get you in the mood for the rapidly approaching Halloween season!  

Retro Scans: Topps 1988 Fright Flicks Wax Pack

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Let's keep the Halloween celebration going by taking a look at a Retro Scan of the 1988 Topps trading card series "Fright Flicks."  These things are pretty bountiful on eBay, making this series probably one of the most overlooked yet fondly remembered wax packs of the 1980s.  

Fright Flicks mixes gore and comedy in a way that can entertain you but still make you cringe.  The set doesn't hold back the blood and guts but balances it all with campy groan-worthy one-liners and stories.  One of the reasons this set was so popular was that kids could get their hands (and eyes) on some scenes from popular R-rated movies that they would otherwise be too young to see.

The other interesting thing about this series is that it draws images from 15 different major horror franchises.  Licensing so many major film series into one spot will likely never be replicated again, especially in today's world where content ownership is king.  

The 90-card series has cards from film classics such as Ghostbusters, Poltergeist, Predator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and even The Fly!  Admittedly, due to its immense popularity in the late 80s, the set is heavy on Freddy Krueger and Nightmare on Elm Street.  


On the reverse side of the card is the film's title that the image was taken from (if you couldn't tell) and a hauntingly weird little urban legend under the "Did It Ever Happen?" tagline.

Of course, there is a 33-year-old piece of bubblegum still intact that, as is tradition here at YesterYear, I've included in the scan for your viewing pleasure.  

Fair warning for the squeamish:  Some of the photos below are pretty graphic and heavy on the gore compared to the stuff I normally post here at YesterYear.

Peacock-Tober Streaming Lineup

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A few days late, I know, but what's the old saying something about late and never?   

We're only a few days into October now, and with the power of on-demand streaming, you can catch up whenever you have time!

This year, the NBC/Universal owned "Peacock" is celebrating Halloween!  Officially, the platform is calling itself Peacocktober for the entire month.  Along with the cute theming comes thousands of hours of Halloween movies and TV shows!

Peacocktober has something for everyone. From big name horror films like "A Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday the 13th," classic Universal Monster films like "Dracula" or "Mummy," and even Halloween themed sitcoms from yesteryear.  

Check out the movies and TV shows below and enjoy some Halloween classics from Peacock!

AMC's FearFest 2021 Schedule

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

AMC is home to some of the best holiday movies, and this year's FearFest is sure to be a set of Halloween's cinema classics!  

Check back here frequently to make sure you don't miss any of your favorite movies.  Also, please use the links on the right side of the home page to find other marathons and Halloween programming blocks!

Remember, the schedule is subject to change.  AMC is known for changing its schedule frequently from the original postings so double check your DVR.  

Times are Eastern.

Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween FULL SCHEDULE

Long-time readers of this site know that I love a good television marathon or themed programming block.  FreeForm is quickly becoming the holiday destination for themed programming and with their annual Halloween-themed block of programming, the "31 Nights of Halloween," this year is no exception!

This year's lineup has some great Halloween themed movies, although I'll admit I'm not sure why Mrs. Doubtfire is even on the list, let alone so many times.  A few of the movies are a bit of a stretch, but I suppose the mutants in X-Men are "monsters"...

Last year, one of my favorite Halloween movies, Beetlejuice was a staple of this marathon but this year you can find it on CMT and several streaming services.  I'll try to add a list of other Halloween staples found elsewhere in another post but no promises.

Check out the schedule below and use the link I've added on the right side of the home page to keep checking back during the month of October.  
Schedule subject to change, of course.

Streaming Service Halloween Movie Lists

Here's a list of movies I've found that are available to stream "On Demand" on several of the most popular streaming services.    

As a disclaimer, it's all subject to change, of course.  Also, most of these are paid streaming services but I'm sure with some creativity you could find them online.  Not that I'd ever suggest doing that.

Kicking Off Halloween with Elvira, Universal Monsters, and Monster Mash Retro Cereal!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Let's get this Halloween party started!  If you are deep into this nostalgia culture of ours, you'll know probably only second to the Christmas season, Halloween is pretty important.  The remembrances of old decorations, candy, TV specials, and yes... even cereal!  We'll get to the cereal later...

I've got some fun stuff in store this year for Halloween that I hope you'll enjoy.  Like last year's "The Holidays on Home Improvement" series, I'll be kicking off this year's series with "Halloween on ROSEANNE!"  Besides "Home Improvement," there was nobody who did holidays quite like Roseanne during the 90s, and Halloween was no exception.  If you missed last year's "Home Improvement" series, please click HERE to go read it.

Ten Sitcom Characters That Just Disappeared

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Growing up during the (late) 80s and 90s, I was a big sitcom fan.  

Back then, the theme song would hit, and we'd all sing along as we knew that good, albeit predictable, laughs, stories, and life lessons would be coming our way.  A safe, family-friendly half-hour of entertainment made for the comfort food of television as we grew up.  

I'll admit, these days, I don't really watch sitcoms.  I find today's offerings to be bland and boring.  Maybe I'm older and a little more cynical now, or network television has become too... safe?  You certainly can't imagine a show like "All in the Family" or even "Seinfeld" being produced today. 

One of the biggest differences I find in today's sitcoms is you'd be hard-pressed to find one today that in 20 or 30 years would be considered a classic.  Take sitcoms of the 80s and 90s with shows like "The Golden Girls," "Seinfeld," or "Friends."  Today's shows can't hold a candle to them in terms of longevity or rewatchability. If you go back even further, there is an endless stream of classics like "I Love Lucy," "Taxi," or "Newhart" that established the genre and set the bar quite high.  These shows were groundbreaking in their day and still have very active fan bases, in some cases 60 years later.

As a real youngster, my Dad got me hooked on Nick-at-Nite.  You can read about that HERE.  As I got older, programming blocks like ABC's "TGIF," NBC's "Must See TV," and ABC's programming like Home Improvement or Roseanne became mainstays on my television.

Over the years, I began to notice characters that came and went.  Sometimes, the characters have disappeared without a trace. 

Here are ten of the most memorable instances of sitcom characters that just disappeared. Did you miss any of these characters when they left? Did you even notice? 

Here's a list of ten, in no particular order.

Trivia Tuesday #3

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

 Another week, another round of Trivia!  Here we go:

1)  Who claimed to have "built this city on rock and roll"?

2)  In the 90s, what was commonly attached to a wallet?

3)  Who played Bobby Ewing on "Dallas"?

4)  What city does "The Simpsons" take place?


Answers after the jump!

Commercials of YesterYear: Motel 6 "We'll Leave the Light on For You"

Friday, September 10, 2021

Here's a fun little one for you as we make yet another entry into the "Commercials of YesterYear" series.

"I'm Tom Bodett, and we'll leave the light on for you."  

I'm sure you've heard that before, especially those of us born before the Y2K "virus" was going to ruin every computer on the planet.  Even people who don't travel often can likely say they know that the aforementioned slogan is from a series of very popular commercials during the 80s and 90s for Motel 6.  The campaign was so popular that in 1996 it won a CLIO Award, the advertising industry's highest honor.

Just the phrase "we'll leave the light on for you" creates an image of safety and comfort.  It creates a nostalgic tie to when we were younger, and our parents or loved ones left the front porch light on for us when we came home late at night.  Perhaps it reminds you of a long hard day of traveling, and when you finally reach home, the lights are on welcoming you back.  

In this case, you weren't home.  You're at a roadside motel that has probably seen better days.

I can't honestly say if I've ever stayed in a Motel 6 before or not.  Perhaps I did once when I was very young at a cousin's wedding in Syracuse, New York.  I remember only snippets of it, and I must have been 4 or 5.  The only thing I really remember about the hotel was the stories family would tell in the morning about a disruption in the middle of the night that was similar to a shooting, stabbing, or one that involved the police anyway, at the very least.  I slept through the whole thing, as I did with most things as a kid.  These days, trying to sleep through any noise is a different story.

Not exactly the comforting image of home leaving the lights on for you, but I digress... 


In my line of work, we stay in hotels quite a lot.  I don't spend as many nights away from home as I used to, but I did the math and figured that I spent an average of 18 nights a month in a hotel for over a decade.  That's somewhere around 215 nights per year!  For many years, I used to sleep better in a hotel bed than my own, but now that I'm out of practice, I often sleep terribly in a bed, not at home.

These days, I'm lucky if I only have to spend 2 or 3 nights away from home per month.  I'm no expert, but I'd say that I'm still an aficionado about knowing what works (and what doesn't) in a hotel.

Every time I stand in the lobby waiting on my coworkers to check in with the company sign-in sheet, I often have the soft happy little tones of the Motel 6 theme song going through my head.  The soothing voice of Tom Bodett appears in my head as I walk towards my room, and as the door closes behind me,  I'll often say to myself, "We'll leave the light on for you!"

Join me as we take a deep dive into YesterYear as we look back at Motel 6 and its iconic advertising campaign!

Trivia Tuesday #2

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

A) What British politician was known as "The Iron Lady"?

B) Captain Lou Albano played Cyndi Lauper's father in the music video for what famous tune?

C) What movie takes place on February 2nd again and again (and again...)?

D) What 90s basketball player, pro wrestler, and provocateur was known as "The Worm"?

Answers, after the jump!

Summer is Over. Get Ready for Fall and Halloween!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

I hope everyone had a happy Labor Day Weekend!  We made it!
 
It's been a fun, long summer, and it's hard to believe it's already over!  

The days are getting dark by 8 PM again and, around here, the kids are headed back to school.  Even some of the leaves have already begun to change color, and it's starting to get nice and chilly for the early morning rides into work.

It's about this time each year I begin to relax, with the busy season at work finally over, and I often have some vacation time in September or October for a nice little vacation with Mrs. YesterYear.  As Labor Day is the unofficial "end" of summer, it's time to take a reset after pumping out summer-related content all summer long.  

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for sticking with me this summer!  I hope you enjoyed the summer-themed stuff, whether it was articles, memories, or Retro Scans!  

Here at home, we'll be going on vacation sometime this month to go see Uncle Mickey and Aunt Minnie!  I hope to have some good stories out of that trip for you as well.  

It's not all rest and relaxation away from this blog, though!  I have some fun posts already in the works for September, like another entry into the "Commercials of YesterYear" series and perhaps some Ghostbusters content to get us excited about the new movie coming this fall!

So y'all come back now, ya hear?


Retro Scans: 1992 Marvel "The Uncanny X-Men" Trading Cards

Thursday, September 2, 2021

For our final Retro Scan of the summer, I found this neat little pack of 1992 Marvel's "The Uncanny X-Men" trading cards!  


In the early 90s, the X-Men saw a bit of a resurgence in popularity, fueled mainly by the animated series on Fox Kids appropriately called "X-Men:  The Animated Series."

The series debuted on October 31, 1992, and ran for 5 seasons with 76 episodes.  The cartoon featured X-Men similar in appearance to the early 1990s X-Men comic books drawn by Jim Lee.  The team was composed of characters like Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Professor X, and an original character made for the show called Morph. 

You may be wondering by now what any of this has to do with summer and summertime memories...

Well, I specifically remember one summer morning, likely 1993, that my parents were at work, and I was spending the morning at Granny and Gramps' house next door.  That year in school, I had scored a "Where's Waldo" type book featuring the X-Men at one of the Scholastic Book Fairs.  Do they even still do those at schools?

That morning, I clearly remember laying upside down on their couch (as kids tend to do), searching the pages to find hidden X-Men.  I also remember running in circles in the living room as I imagined myself running through the different scenes in that book, all the while singing the iconic theme song to that cartoon at the top of my lungs.  


My favorite card here is the final image.  This hologram of Gambit was hard to scan properly while still showing the original image, but I think it came out well enough.  Gambit was always one of my favorites from the animated series.

While I'll admit, this set really isn't from the animated series, it is from the same era of early 90's Jim Lee drawn "X-Men."  Either way, these colorful cards remind some of a rainy summer day at Grandma and Grandpa's house. 

Enjoy!


New! Tuesday Trivia!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Trying something new here, so please humor me.  Last year during the first time we all tried "15 days to stop the spread," I purchased this trivia game so that my wife and I had something to do besides watch television all day.  The "Most Excellent 80's and 90's Trivia Game" is all that and a bag of chips.  It says so right on the box!  


Kidding aside, we played a few times, and it went right into the basement storage closet, where I found the game just the other day.  I had an idea how I could use this game and create more fun reasons for you, dear reader, to keep returning to YesterYear, especially when I don't have a new article or story for you to read.  

Trivia!

Five Movie Theater Memories Summer of 2004

Friday, August 27, 2021

In the summer of 2004, I didn't have much to do besides "work" a 5-hour shift about three days a week.  I had gotten a job for the summer at a hand-made gift and craft shop, and two weeks into the full-time job, they announced the store was closing, so all employees were cut down to part-time.  What was going to be a summer full of employment suddenly found itself with a lot of free time.  

On a good day, I'd ring up maybe three customers and stock some shelves.  Most days, however, I just spent my time running out the clock.  I'd spend my shift walking up and down the aisles, running the vacuum, trying to memorize the number of steps up and down each row, counting the ceiling tiles... I was bored.  A lot of it was spent singing along with the only music the manager allowed us to play (Frank Sinatra) and thinking about working out.   

I had gotten into the best shape of my life at school the previous year, and I had worked my way up to running 5 to 7 miles per day and lifting weights like a fiend.  I wanted to be in the best shape of my life during my final semester at college, and what would likely (and did) wind up being my last season playing organized ice hockey.  

That summer, most of my copious amounts of free time at home involved drinking 2 gallons of water, eating grilled chicken, running, lifting weights, and sleeping.

I was also excited because for the first time ever, I had a television in my bedroom.  I brought home my TV from school and begged Dad to run a cable line up to the 2nd floor.  Around that time period, the cable networks all began to move towards digital cable, away from the old analog signal, and required a digital cable box on each television set.  Before then, you could run one line into the house from the street.  Using a splitter, you could then have several off-shoot lines to different television sets.  When we first hooked up my TV, I must have had 50 channels, but it slowly dwindled down to just The Food Network and USA Network.  My parents wouldn't pay for a cable box for the few months I was home, and I really didn't have any money to pay for it myself, so after I got down to just the bare minimum, I spent a lot of time watching DVDs and mastering "Vice City" on Play Station.  

When I wasn't doing any of that, I was going to the movie theater with my best friend from high school.  

If you didn't read my article about 2003 movie memories (CLICK HERE TO DO SO), my best friend from high school was a bit of a loner like myself and didn't have much going on either.  He preferred to stay in his room at his parent's house and watch his enormous DVD collection or play PlayStation until all hours of the night too.  He'd tell me stories of spending hours on internet message boards at 3 in the morning reading about all things Avril Lavigne or new comic book movies.  

Looking back, we did quite a bit together that summer, between playing roller hockey at the park with some guys from the old team, to a game we invented that combined tennis and racketball called "Rackis."  

Most of all, though, we made sure to go to the movie theater at least once a week.    

In fact, on Wednesdays, our parents jokingly called it our "date night" because it was understood we were going to the movies that night and we'd be out late.  Being out late was unusual for the two of us because we were both the kinds of kids who would rather be home on AOL Instant Messenger than out partying every night like some kids.  Our parents rarely had to wonder if we were out dead in a ditch somewhere.  

We must have easily seen over 50 films that summer!  Some of them were terrible, some of them we should have never paid to see (I'm looking at you, "Chasing Liberty,") but most of them were enjoyable.  

Good or bad, though, some of them were pretty memorable experiences.  

Retro Scan: 1996 Olympic Games Pog Set

Monday, August 23, 2021

I remember the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games being a huge deal.  Maybe it was just because I lived here in the US, where the games were held, and the full propaganda machine was pushing out every merchandise and advertising agreement they could, but I easily remember what seemed like the whole country was focused on those games.  

I certainly remember spending most of the summer of 1996 staying up late watching several events with my brother, especially the gymnastics and wrestling events.  

This year's Olympics?  Unfortunately, I don't think anyone really cares.  The games have been so politicized, and with COVID, nobody seems to be even talking about the games unless an athlete is making headlines for quitting or what have you.  Nobody I know has any clue what is going on in Tokyo this year.  Admittedly, it could be because, in 1996, we had very little to fill our free time with, and in 2021 we have 50 different streaming platforms and devices to fill every waking moment.  The time difference from Japan to the United States doesn't help much, either.

In 1996 though, it seemed like everyone was on top of the games and knew the top athletes in most events.  

What was everyone in my age group doing in 1996, also?  Playing with POGS, of course!

POGS (or "Milk Caps") is played with flat circular cardboard milk jug caps. Players make a stack of these caps and take turns to drop a heavier "slammer," causing the caps to be disrupted.  Each player keeps the face-up caps and restacks the face-down ones, repeating the process until there is a winner.  

The name POGS comes from the original brand of juice, "POG," where the game was created in Hawaii.  The drink was a mixture of Passionfruit, Orange, and Guava juice.

Upon opening this pack of milk caps, I sort of felt short-changed, even 25 years later.  They promise 5 caps per pack, but 2 of the 5 I received were the same ones!  Oh, well!

Enjoy this collection of nostalgia fun from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia... 25 years ago!

25 Years Ago: WWF's Summer Slam 1996!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

When I began 9th grade in the fall of 1998, I was more than just nervous about starting high school.  I was extremely jealous of two of my friends.

If you read my recent feature about "Summer Wrestling Memories" (if you haven't yet, please CLICK HERE to do so), you'd have read about my time doing some backyard wrestling with my two good friends.  My parents didn't really like that I was into wrestling and wouldn't encourage it by buying shirts, posters, or tickets to live events. But these two?  They had it all.  

Everything, including tickets to SummerSlam 1998, with the main attraction featuring the two hottest acts in pro wrestling:  Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker.  

I was definitely a WCW fan, but I definitely wanted to be there to see it with a headline act like that.  To make matters worse, it was at The Garden!  Madison Square Garden was our "home" arena just 30 minutes down the Palisades Parkway and was the mecca of pro wrestling! 

I never even bothered to ask my parents for tickets because I knew the answer would be a resounding NO.  Come to think of it, Joe and Andrew never asked me if I wanted to go with them either because I'm sure they knew I wouldn't. 

So, I was definitely jealous when they both were wearing the t-shirts from the show on the first day of school.  They both had several great stories of their trip into the city, and I was green with envy.


That's how SummerSlam 1998 went for me, but for today let's take a look two years earlier in 1996 to make it a nice even 25 years ago.  Just as the Monday Night Wars were starting to heat up, WWF SummerSlam took place in Cleveland, Ohio, as Shawn Michaels took on Vader!  

If you'd like to read about WCW's summer tent pole event from that year, Bash at the Beach, CLICK HERE to read about the night Hulk Hogan changed wrestling and pop culture history in one night.

Join me on a road trip down memory lane into the summers of yesteryear as we look back on the 1996 WWF SummerSlam! 

How The Wonder Years Shaped My Ideal Summer Evening

Thursday, August 12, 2021

When you're a kid, you likely have a perfect vision of what "adulting" is.  That one item or thing that you'd be able to point to when you grew up and say, "THIS is what being an adult is."

For me?  I found my ideal "adult" scenario in a theme song to a movie made 30 years before I was born and in a rerun of "The Wonder Years" when I was about 12 years old.

"The Wonder Years" means a lot to me.  Speaking of "The Wonder Years," did you realize that "The Wonder Years" was made in the 1980s depicting the 1960s, and we are further away today in 2021 from the 80s when the show was from the 60s?  Wow, we're all old.  

For me, when growing up, the perfect "adult evening" could best be described with a backyard summer barbeque.  

Picture it, Sicily 1945... no wait, wrong sitcom.

Picture it, beautiful Americana, 1960.  The sun has set, and it's now late into the evening, and the party is just getting going.  Which is funny because in real life, whenever it gets dark out, I tend to get all "let's wrap it up quickly and go home."  Paper lanterns hang from a string over large crowds of friends, family, and coworkers, all chatting, dancing, and laughing.  Children laugh and scream in delight as they splash about in the pool or run through the legs of adults.  

I'm busy standing behind the grill, flipping burgers as I chomp on a cigar while my friends and I share a laugh.  

I picture Tony Soprano meets Jack Arnold, Sopranos meets Wonder Years.  

Either way, picture every piece of tacky Tiki party decoration from a place like Party City plastered around the patio.  Flamingos, hula skirts, coconuts, palms, lanterns, and tiki torch overload.  

I'd be in heaven.  
  
Of course, the music in the background must be "Theme from A Summer Place" by Percy Sledge.  What other song could play as we all share laugh after laugh without a care in the world?


Where did all of this silliness come from?  

Episode 23 of "The Wonder Years" titled "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation."