A Cartoon Christmas - "A Jetson Christmas Carol" (1985)

Monday, December 5, 2022

I enjoyed writing "A Cartoon Christmas" last year, and reviewing "A Flintstone Christmas" from 1977 so much (CLICK HERE) that I decided to continue the series again this year.  What better to pair our first two entries into the series than the Flintstones and Jetsons!  

Technically, this is the third entry in the series.  In 2019, I made a short list of my Top Five Favorite Cartoons, which you can find HERE.  

The Hanna-Barbera cartoons get a bad rap these days, but I love the simple animation and old-time, clean, family fun.  The Jetsons (and The Flintstones) were from before my time, but when I was younger, both shows would air on TBS in morning reruns before school.  I remember many times during elementary school that I would have my bowl of cereal or Granny's English muffin sandwiches and dread the closing credits because that meant the bus was coming any minute to take me to school.

As I get older, I get more enjoyment from Christmas television specials, especially the older ones from long ago when things were so different it seems like we all lived in a different universe.  These older ones just seem like charming, innocent family fun.  Isn't that what Christmas (and the TV specials) should be all about?

This animated show features a slightly different take on the familiar storyline of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol."  In it, we find the Jetson family and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Yet-To-Be, and Present, teaching the Scrooge-like Mr. Spacely the true meaning of Christmas.  

Originally airing in syndication on December 13, 1985, this 22-minute cartoon was later released in 1996 on VHS.  The 1996 VHS tape incorrectly calls this episode "The Jetson's Christmas Carol."  

By the way, before we start, based on the show's history, George Jetson was born earlier this year, on July 31, 2022.  It's kind of depressing that in this episode, he's approximately 40 and living in such a futuristic world just 40 years from where we currently sit.  

Oh well, maybe there are significant advances in technology made very quickly right around the bend!  It's Christmas, and I don't mean to be a downer, so positive thoughts!

Please click "Keep Reading" to check out "A Jetson Christmas Carol!"  

Retro RePost: Was that the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in Christmas Vacation?

Friday, December 2, 2022

As we get past that post-Thanksgiving food coma and run full speed into the holiday spirit, here at home, I'm busy decorating, relaxing, and preparing for my annual simulator training for work.  Throw in the extra-busy holiday flight schedule, and 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.  As a 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? 

The question I kept asking myself was, "Is that the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in "Christmas Vacation?"  Did that mean the Grandparents spent the last week of November and all of December with Clark and Ellen?  Or was it something else?

I couldn't have been the only one wondering this because this article is the 5th most popular article on YesterYear Retro!  Many of you must have wondered the same thing!  So, check it out, won't you?

This Month in YesterYear History - December

Monday, November 28, 2022

I can't believe it's time for December already!  Let's get on with another edition of  "This Month in YesterYear History!" 
In this series, we take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of popular culture from the past 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives during those days.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from that time.  

That's why I post to this site, after all!

So, let's get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back to Twenty, Twenty Five, and Thirty years ago!

Classic Christmas TV Guide For 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thanksgiving is arriving soon, and as we prepare the turkey, we turn our attention toward our annual Christmas and holiday television specials!  

You've had the nonstop Hallmark movies for what seems like forever already, but it's time for the yearly classics that get us all in that festive Christmas spirit!  

I wanted to get this posted before Thanksgiving to give you a heads up for some of those classics like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for turkey day... or the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz or March of the Wooden Soldiers on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a list of what I consider the best of the holiday season.  I'm adding the list here as a regular post, but from now on you'll find it on the right side of the page as well (or below the weekly articles if your using a mobile browser!) Or feel free to bookmark this page and keep checking back!   

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

Here is The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Guide for 2022!

Items Of Note:
Charlie Brown's Christmas will not air on network TV again this year.  It will only be available on Apple TV+ but will be made available free to non-subscribers from Dec 22 to December 25.

FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!  Between Halloween and Christmas, Freeform easily has some of my favorite marathons!

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 24 at 6:00PM and Nov 25 at 5:45PM.

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs as a marathon on E! on Friday, Nov 25th and 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.

I've highlighted the first showings of movies in RED that are what I consider "must-watch at least once" films this season.  Some are repeated so much that the whole list would be red, so I highlighted them only on their first showing, but of course watch when you can!  If you feel something should be red that I didn't consider, please leave a comment below!  I'd love to hear about your annual required viewing.  

I also BOLDED some of the more "can't miss" items, such as the once-a-year airings of Wizard of Oz or It's a Wonderful Life. 

All times listed are Eastern. 

Thanksgiving on Frasier

Monday, November 21, 2022

As we discovered in the "Halloween on Frasier" feature, the series didn't focus much on holidays.  That should come as no surprise, as Frasier wasn't your everyday sitcom that featured an "average working-class American family" like Full House or Home Improvement.  

Thanksgiving is a time when most sitcoms highlight family and togetherness.  Where most families celebrate with a large family dinner complete with all of the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and family squabbles, the idea of that is almost the antithesis of Frasier.  As a series, Frasier focused more on the absurdity of life's finer things while still portraying the differences among family members.  While Frasier (the character), living with his father and being best friends with his brother, certainly loved his family, the show Frasier often focused on the affluent urban life of parties, dinners, and private clubs.  Compared to shows like Roseanne that featured the "everyday" aspects of a typical suburban middle-America family, a sitcom show like Frasier is often not considered in the same category.  

This was always sort of funny to me.  While Frasier may have been a bit "elitist," at its heart, the entire family was, deep down, all blue-collar folk attempting to fit in as best they could with the upper class of Seattle.  Martin was as down to earth as you can get, being a retired policeman who would rather spend his time at Duke's, his favorite dive bar.  Pair that with Frasier and Niles trying to weasel their way into elite social circles while still acting like buffoons puts them in everyday familiar sitcom family territory, in my opinion.  

Frasier may not have gone all out for Thanksgiving like Roseanne did every season, but they touched on the holiday twice during eleven seasons.  Like Halloween, Thanksgiving served as more of a backdrop for each episode than the central focus.  It also took the series four years to mention the holiday and another three before mentioning it again. 

Continuing the "Holidays on Frasier" series, we'll look back and see how they briefly touched on the Thanksgiving season.  I must admit that, much like Halloween, one episode stood out to me even before considering Frasier for this year's series.  I strongly remember watching one of the two Thanksgiving episodes with my parents when it first aired.  I'm not exactly sure why; perhaps it was one of the first times I remember seeing Lilith, Frasier's ex-wife, or maybe it was another "travel" episode as the cast left Seattle and headed east for Boston.  I also can remember the roaring laughter from my entire family as Niles attempts to prepare the Thanksgiving meal.  For whatever reason, this episode is so memorable that I can still picture where I was seated in my parent's living room as we watched this episode, and I'm happy to cover it here.  

Get ready for some eloquent, upper-crust, loving family dysfunction as we look back at "Thanksgiving on Frasier!"

Retro RePost: John Madden and Turducken

Friday, November 18, 2022

Piggybacking on my last post on the NFL on Thanksgiving Day, I figured another football-related post was in order.  I spent a lot of time trying to tie piggybacking to pig skin, but I couldn't come up with one, so if you think of one, leave it in the comments below.

One of the things I frequently remember from turkey-day games of the past was big John Madden and his favorite dish, the "Turducken."  

I've always wanted to try one, and I promise someday I will.  

No idea what Turducken is?  Well, you're not alone.  I wrote a short piece about the fried fowl a few years back, so click below to read all about it!

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

Monday, November 14, 2022

Growing up, I was always playing sports.  My Brother and I were frequently outside playing street hockey with the neighbor, Wiffle ball, or other made-up games we used to create to entertain ourselves with a tennis ball.  Ice hockey was always my favorite, though.  

I was never an avid football fan, but I always liked turning it on on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I remember Dad would usually turn on the New York Giants game in the afternoon after Church with his feet up in the easy chair.  

As a kid in the second grade, I remember having to pretend that I was a big football fan to fit in with my friends as they excitedly talked about "the big game" on Thanksgiving Day.  Honestly, I doubt we even had it on in our house that year, but I played along as best I could when we returned to school after the holiday break.  

I'm sure they knew I didn't watch any of it, but they were nice enough not to call me out on pretending to be a football fan... like they did when Starter jackets were trendy; my Mom bought me a Cincinnati Bengals jacket.  Everyone else had the Rangers, Giants, or Yankees (the local teams), and I didn't even know they were a team or even what sport they played, but I loved the bright orange and black colors.

I didn't even know what a Bengal was until much later in life.  Oh well.  It was a cool-looking coat, and eventually, I got my Rangers Starter Jacket years later.

While I've never been that big of a football fan, my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were good for New York.  I didn't play, of course, but during my Senior Year, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play most of the season.  It made me get into football for a few months, along with the "Raider Pride" school spirit.

One of the most memorable times that year was when my Dad and I drove upstate a few hours to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended, but I'm pretty sure it was a losing effort that finished the season on a low point.  

But, the memory of my Dad and I driving home together down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I think about while I look up at the stars at night when I'm driving or flying. 

I don't follow pro football very closely, but many people I work with do.  So, I follow along by reading headlines and final scores to know enough to keep the conversations going.  

A few years ago, I wondered why football is even played on Thanksgiving anyway?  And why does it always seem like the same handful of teams play every year?

By the way, this year (2022), you can watch the Buffalo Bills take on the Detroit Lions on CBS at 12:30PM Eastern.  The New York Giants play rival Dallas Cowboys on FOX at 4:30PM, and at 8:20PM, the New England Patriots will face off with the Minnesota Vikings on NBC. 

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

Friday, November 11, 2022

As a kid, I loved the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Every Thanksgiving morning would start with the excitement a holiday typically does.  I'd entertain myself by playing with my action figures and then sit down to watch the parade while the house started to fill with the smells of Thanksgiving dinner.  Or, more likely, I would wander back and forth from our house to Granny and Gramp's and watch the parade from both homes because it was surely on television in both places, and, as a curious (nosey) kid, I wanted to see what everyone was up to.  

Then, it'd be time for Laurel and Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers right before the meal.  Occasionally my Dad would put on football after, but I honestly don't remember much turkey-day football in our house. 

Every year, I tell my wife that I will get back into watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It never happens, though.  Inevitably, something comes along, and I get sidetracked.  Before I can get back to it, the parade is over, and we're all on to the next thing. 

I have never enjoyed the big song and dance numbers that they intersperse between watching the giant balloons, so I also tend to lose interest quickly, especially now that I'm old enough to not have a clue who 90% of the musical acts are.  

Last year, however, I successfully sat and watched at least an hour of the parade, and maybe this year, I'll get to watch more than an hour!  I look forward to sharing some of the excitement of the balloons and other holiday festivities with our daughter as she grows.  Hopefully, she gets as big of a kick out of the balloons as I did as a kid.

Sometimes, just like my hope of watching the big event, the parade doesn't always go as planned.  One of the last times I remember watching the parade in full was that fateful year, 1997, when there were enough disasters (and injuries!) that the whole shebang changed.  

In today's Retro RePost, I'd like to provide the opportunity to go back and read my 2019 feature titled When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Doesn't Go As Planned by clicking HERE!

You may even learn some history of the parade that began in 1924, like when a balloon almost took down a small plane.  Go ahead and read it for more!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Month in YesterYear History - November

Monday, November 7, 2022

Halloween quickly came and went, and as we enter the post-holiday doldrums, I'll be taking most of the month off.  We have a big family vacation coming up to see Uncle Mickey and Aunt Minnie, so most of the month will be Retro RePosts of some fun Thanksgiving content.  I promise a new "Thanksgiving On..." classic sitcom article this year, though.  Be on the lookout for that, and if you would, please come back and check out the RePosts, too!

Let's review the Novembers of our past with another edition of "This Month in YesterYear History!"  

Please CLICK HERE to read last month's feature if you missed it!

In this series, we take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of popular culture from the past 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives during those days.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from that time period.  

That's why I post to this site, after all!

So, let's get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back to Twenty, Twenty Five, and Thirty years ago!

Halloween is Over, Thanksgiving Is Coming, and Christmas Will Soon Be Here!

Friday, November 4, 2022

Halloween 2022 has come and gone.  

In some ways, it seemed like we blinked, and the season was quickly over.  In other ways, I felt most of America had turned to Christmas by the 15th.  Here at the homestead, we enjoyed our first time trick-or-treating in our new home.  We even participated in the town's "trunk-or-treat," and it was a lot more fun than we expected!  

Halloween items appear in stores in early August while we're all still in summer mode, and the television networks begin airing Halloween specials in September when we're just settling into Fall.  Even Home Depot had tossed the Halloween decorations into the "Clearance" section by early October and replaced them with Christmas trees.  

Now that The Hallmark Channel and Great American Family have begun airing their Christmas Movie Marathons (all before Halloween, by the way), it'll be a struggle to not watch our Christmas favorites until after Thanksgiving.  We purposely do that in my household, so it doesn't feel like we rush through the next season and burn out before Christmas arrives.

Honestly, it's why I spend so much time concentrating on Halloween on this site.  To me, October is for Halloween.  November is for Thanksgiving.  December is for Christmas. 

While I know some of us nostalgia nerds may be sad that Halloween is over, I think we can say 2022 was a pretty darn good one.  We had some great new stuff, ranging from a vast array of limited edition cereals and candies to the return of the Mcdonald's Halloween pails!  We enjoyed searching the stores for those special items, and while it may seem that we have to wait a whole year for that sort of fun again, in actuality, we're just kicking off the 2022 holiday season! 

I know that I'll be on the lookout for the special turkey plates, napkins, and other special Thanksgiving items I like to hunt for.  I eagerly await Thanksgiving night when my wife and I will pop in the DVD for our first of many viewings of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you.  I attribute an influx of new readers, comments, and emails to the Halloween season content.  For the new readers, I hope you like what you read and stick around.  For the long-time readers, I appreciate and thank you for continuing to return to see what's next.  

I genuinely enjoy the research I do for my articles, and I most definitely enjoy reflecting on the past while writing.  I hope you get as much enjoyment as I do from everything here at YesterYear and hopefully learn something new or remember something you once knew but long forgot! 

If you haven't already, please sign up for the newsletter.  You can find that link on the right sidebar for desktops or below the articles on mobile devices.  Don't hesitate to leave a comment or share a post you like, too!

So, what's coming up at YesterYear now that Halloween is over?  

We're taking a little trip down to see Uncle Mickey and Aunt Minnie in Orlando, so I'll be away from the site for a while, taking a much-needed break.  

I'll have a batch of Retro RePosts to fill any downtime you might have and help build the Thanksgiving mood during November, so please stick around for those.  Other things are also on the schedule, like a Month in History and Thanksgiving on Frasier!  

Stay tuned because here comes the Holiday Season for 2022!  

Halloween On Frasier

Monday, October 31, 2022

Suppose you were to watch a sitcom from the 90s that depicted a holiday, especially Halloween.  In that case, you'd likely see great, elaborate costumes on the characters as they attend heavily decorated house parties filled with Halloween spirit.  The houses would be filled with cobwebs, pumpkins, skeletons, witches, black cats, and more.  Halloween was considered a special event on those shows, and it's how I feel that Halloween should have been in real life.

Given how much we all watched television as kids, many of us collectively feel that's how it really happened anyway.  

Honestly, though, we all had homemade costumes cobbled together at nearly the last minute or the very rare store-bought outfit.  We’d collect a small amount of candy and call it a night after hitting the 15 houses on our block before returning home to watch those Halloween specials we now all cherish.  

Don’t get me wrong, I had many fun Halloweens on which I look back fondly.  Especially that one year my parents got the itch and had a Halloween party with all of the kids from school.  My Mom came up with games and activities, and Dad made this elaborate haunted house in the garage that everyone loved.  They never did that again, and in a way, that makes that one time even more special.

Sitcoms in the 80s and 90s got the holidays right, and that's why for the past two years, I've covered classic sitcoms and their special holiday episodes.  You can find the series on Home Improvement and Roseanne in the Collections Section whenever you want, or click HERE for HOME IMPROVEMENT or HERE for ROSEANNE

This year, I've selected another classic sitcom of the 90s that my family always enjoyed watching together:  Frasier!  

Now, I know when you think of Frasier, Halloween doesn't immediately come to mind, especially when compared to Roseanne or Home Improvement.  However, there were a handful of memorable episodes that celebrated the season and even one that is often described as "iconic" or "classic" that makes many people's "Top 5" episode lists.

With the recent news of the Frasier "reboot" sequel series being greenlit on Paramount Plus, I thought the original series would be an excellent choice for our focus this year in the "Holidays On..." series.

Frasier was created as a spin-off of the classic sitcom Cheers, continuing the story of psychiatrist Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer.  He returns to his hometown of Seattle as a talk radio host, where he reconnects with his father (John Mahoney) and his younger brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce).  Jane Leeves appeared as Daphne Moon, Martin's live-in caregiver, and Peri Gilpin played Frasier's friend and producer, Roz Doyle. 

Frasier aired on NBC between September 1993 to May 1994.  Originally airing after Seinfeld on Thursdays at 9:30 PM, the network showed its faith in the series by moving the show to Tuesdays to go head-to-head with rating juggernaut Roseanne.  In 1998, the show was moved back to Thursdays, taking over the timeslot at 9 PM long held by the recently concluded Seinfeld. 

The show produced 264 episodes over eleven seasons, receiving critical acclaim for its writing and humor.  The series amassed 318 nominations for a variety of industry awards, including 108 Emmy awards (with 37 wins), 24 Golden Globe Awards (with two wins), 26 Screen Actors Guild Awards (with 2 wins), 11 TCA Awards (with five wins), 9 Writers Guild of America awards (with six wins), and 9 Directors Guild of America awards (with two wins).

My Mom and Dad were big fans of Frasier, and I frequently watched along with them.  I didn't understand most of the humor as a younger kid, but I enjoyed laughing with my parents.  One episode, in particular, involved Niles pre-dialing "9-1-1" into his cellphone and was just waiting to hit send while he, Frasier, and Martin sat in their car in a sketchy neighborhood.  We were practically rolling at that scene, and it was one of several times Granny could hear us from next door.

I didn't start watching Frasier seriously until much later in life.  When The Hallmark Channel began airing Frasier later at right, for some time, it was all my wife and I watched as we headed to bed.

Frasier is often called "high brow" because its titular character frequently discusses things like wine and the opera.  Still, one just has to watch a handful of episodes to see that it contains slapstick and plenty of childish "low-brow" humor.  Much like its predecessor, Cheers, Frasier often used tongue-in-cheek humor filled with double entendres that appealed to high and low-brow audiences.  

Like in our previous look-backs at other sitcoms, not every episode at the end of October covered, or even mentioned, Halloween.  As a matter of fact, only three episodes in the eleven-season series centered around the Halloween holiday.  

Get ready because here's a quick look at those three Frasier Halloween episodes.  

Fair warning, even though it's been nearly 30 years, there are spoilers below:

Halloween Retro RePost: 5 Halloween YouTube Videos

Friday, October 28, 2022

For this Friday's Halloween Retro RePost, I thought I'd pop in a quick link to some Halloween content.  With Halloween coming up in just a few days, we're well into the home stretch, and I'll admit, with McDonald's releasing the Halloween pails, I feel like we've been given a much needed Halloween vibe injection.  If you're looking for something to get you in the mood this weekend, check out these 5 videos available for free on YouTube to get you in the spirit!  

Typically, these kinds of videos would be found in the Drive-In section, but admittedly, I'm a little lax in posting over there, so last year, I concentrated five of them into a single post.

This is a great little collection of videos, including the infamous Paul Lynde Halloween Special!  You'll also find TWO different Elvira videos, like her unaired pilot episode of a sitcom that never got off the ground.

You'll also be able to watch (or rewatch) Garfield's Halloween Adventure, which we discussed in detail on Monday's feature!  

Creepy Cartoons: Garfield's Halloween Adventure

Monday, October 24, 2022

Every holiday season, I like to look back at a classic cartoon of yesteryear.  Some part of me feels like it's not really the holiday season until I watch a particular movie or cartoon special, and nothing makes me feel like I've gone back to my childhood more than watching a classic cartoon special.  Each year, I write about a holiday television special in a series that I call "A Cartoon Christmas."  

Last year, I covered "A Flintstones Christmas" from 1977, which you can check out HERE

I thought I'd expand that series this year into "Creepy Cartoons" for the Halloween season.  The toons aren't that creepy, but it goes with the Halloween theme, and I like alliteration.  Besides, it's my website, so I make the rules.  

Since I covered Garfield's Thanksgiving a few years back (click HERE for that), perhaps I'll start a "Cartoon Cornucopia" for Thanksgiving?  Well, we'll see.

Back to the holiday currently at hand, there are many incredible Halloween cartoons from the past to choose from.  This year, I've selected one that scared the pants off of me as a little kid when I first saw it, likely at 4 or 5 in 1988 or '89.  

Garfield's Halloween Adventure! 

I've discovered I wasn't alone in being scared silly.  AVClub.com has a long article about how the special, specifically the final scenes, was terrifying for most children.  

Originally titled Garfield in Disguise when it debuted on television in 1985, the special was renamed to Garfield's Halloween Adventure the following year.  The Garfield in Disguise title was still used for the book adaptation released simultaneously, although, in later reprints, the name was switched to match the animated special.  

I had several of those books as a kid and always kept the stack of them on the bookshelf built into my bed's headboard because I liked to read all the holiday ones repeatedly.  If you're interested in reading about any other Garfield television specials, you can read the brief synopsis I wrote about my 5 Favorite Specials HERE.  

We're here to talk specifically about Garfield's Halloween Adventure today, so let's get started!

Halloween Retro RePost: Daffy Duck's Quackbusters

Friday, October 21, 2022

Growing up in the late 80s, I was a big fan of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  Even earlier than that, I was a giant fan of the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie to the point my parents (at my insistence) bought me a rubber carrot dog toy to play with, so I could be just like Bugs Bunny.  I was probably 4 or 5 at the time.

Knowing I was a big fan of both, one day, my Mom brought home a video from the town library that combined the two:  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. cartoons to make one longer movie, such as "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie" and "Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island."  Quackbusters 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.

As a fun stroll down memory lane for our Friday Halloween Repost, I thought you might enjoy reading about Daffy and the Quackbusters from 1988!  

Five Spooky Halloween TV Commercials

Monday, October 17, 2022

Commercials have this weird ability to take you back to a time and place from yesteryear.  There really isn't much more nostalgia than watching an old commercial.  You'll see stuff you loved or maybe stuff you forgot that you once loved.  Occasionally, you'll see something you didn't know existed until some random guy posted it to YouTube 30 years later, but now that you've seen it, you feel like you missed out on something important.  

It's not just the grainy low-resolution footage, compared to the crystal clear digital visuals of 2022, but the subject of the advertisement itself.  

You may find a toy you once had or food or snacks you used to enjoy in the cafeteria at school.  The television shows or movies you watched with friends or the stores in the mall that no longer exist.  All of it, just the way we remember it.  The way things used to be and, frankly, the way they still should be.  

When watching retro stuff on YouTube, one of my favorite things to do when I have a rare moment of free time is to watch a collection of commercials that some saint took the time to edit and put on the internet.  Watching this "found footage" on YouTube, dubbed from someone else's home videotapes, brings me right back to when I was a kid.  

Yes, advertising executives and marketing masters targeted my age group then, but I feel they certainly put more effort into things back in those days.  Now, both adult and children commercials, on the rare occasion I watch them, feel like, "Hey, here's our product, just buy it on Amazon."  

In the 90s, pizazz, a hook, catch or jingle, made these commercials memorable.  Go ahead, sing three jingles from an 80s or 90s commercial.  Now try to sing three from commercials made in the last 10 years.  I'll wait.

I've talked before about the importance of commercials to my generation, so feel free to check out my collections section and the "Commercials of YesterYear."  You'll find articles featuring things like "Beautiful" Mount Airy Lodge, Pace "New York City?!" Salsa, and "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" of auto racing!  

When I was a kid and we'd record something, often Dad would hit the pause button during commercials to save space on the tape.  Oh, the horrors we suffered under before the days of unlimited cloud storage.  Most of the remaining VHS tapes I have are missing the commercials, but occasionally when I pop one into the VCR, I'll come across a handful of old commercials.   

By the way, Dad hitting pause during the commercial breaks was similar to when he created his own edited version of Ghostbusters just for me.  He knew that as a 4 or 5 year old I was obsessed with The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and the Kenner action figures and desperately wanted to see the 1984 Ghostbusters film.  The movie, though, was a little too adult for a child that age.  

So, one night he watched the movie with pen, paper, and a stopwatch in hand and took notes of any profanity or scenes that were too scary for such a wee one.  He somehow got a hold of a second VCR, in 1988 or 1989 mind you, and dubbed the tape onto a blank VHS cassette.  He'd hit mute or he'd pause the recording during any scenes or moments on his list, producing his own version of an edited film.  I'd say I only got to watch about 45 minutes of the 105 minute movie, but in the end I was able to watch the film I so desired.  That's the dedication of a father right there.  

Thanks, Dad.

Holiday commercials seem to be even more nostalgic than some of the rest.  Maybe it's because of the increased amount of holiday television specials we all watched back then, but I have an easier time remembering the holiday ads.  Around Christmas, I always look forward to seeing the Hershey Kisses bells or the M&M "Santa Claus is real" ads.  

Halloween is no different and there are hundreds of memorable ones.  I don't have the time to write about that many, so I picked 5 of my favorite Halloween commercials of Yester Year.  I'm not sure just how "spooky" these are, but they definitely give off that great retro Halloween vibe.

I can't wait to dig into them, so let's start!

Halloween Retro RePost: Pepsi's Universal Monsters and Coca Cola's Monsters of the Grid Iron

Friday, October 14, 2022

Based on Monday's post about Elvira's relationship with Pepsi, I thought today would be a great opportunity to repost some Pepsi and Coke-related Halloween-themed trading cards!  

First, PLEASE CLICK HERE to take a look at the complete set of 1994's Pepsi's Universal Party Monsters trading cards!  

Second, PLEASE CLICK HERE to view a pack of 1994's Coca-Cola Monsters of the Grid-Iron trading cards!  

If you'd like to hear more about Monsters of the Grid Iron, and why it's so important to me, please click over TO THIS LINK and read the second article I ever wrote about this wonderful Halloween promotion.  

I've also added some fun Elvira and Pepsi Monster Match content to the Video Drive-In for this week, if you have a few spare minutes to watch some fun retro content!

Go Psycho with Elvira and Pepsi

Monday, October 10, 2022

It's finally time for my annual Elvira article!  

To be honest, I've been looking forward to this one all year.  I'm pretty proud of my Elvira coverage over the past few years on this here little website, and if you'd like, you can go back and read past articles about the Mistress of the Dark in my "Collections" section found at the top of the site.  

My previous articles have gone quite in-depth and I've written some lengthy, information-packed articles regarding Elvira, whether it be her exploits in the world of professional wrestling, movies, Coors Beer, or Fox's Halloween Bash.  

A small percentage of you are out there asking yourself, just who is this Elvira he's talking about?  Well, I'll tell you. 

Cassandra Peterson grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, and moved to Las Vegas at 17 to become a showgirl at The Dunes casino.  10 years later, in 1979, after spending time touring Europe, she moved to Los Angeles to join the famed improvisational comedy group, The Groundlings.  During her time with The Groundlings, she created and developed the "valley girl" character that would later morph into her most famous role, "The Mistress of the Dark," Elvira.

In 1981, Peterson answered a casting call to replace the long-time host Sinister Seymour (Larry Vincent) on a Los Angeles-based weekend horror movie television show called Fright Night.  Producers allowed her to create her own image for the role, and using the "valley girl" character from The Groundlings, she made the campy, sexy vampire character now known worldwide as Elvira.  

Fright Night would become Elvira's Movie Macabre and was practically an overnight success... at least locally.  Elvira the character would eventually evolve from a popular local figure to a lucrative worldwide brand.  She quickly sold Halloween costumes, comic books, action figures, trading cards, and more.  Her popularity peaked when, in the late 80s, she appeared as the spokesperson for the Coors beer company.  In 1988, she also wrote and starred in a full-length feature film Elvira:  Mistress of the Dark, cementing herself as a global name.

After several years of attempts to make a sequel to Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Cassandra and her manager (and then-husband Mark Pierson) decided to finance a second movie themselves.  In July 2002, Elvira's Haunted Hills officially premiered in Hollywood.  

In the years since, Elvira has revived her Movie Macabre tv show, created a cartoon, and performed as a spokesperson for various products.  

Just as Elvira's popularity surged due to the release of Mistress of the Dark, urban legends about satanic cults began sweeping the nation.  Suburban housewives and the ratings hungry news-media started spreading stories that cults were abducting and poisoning children at alarming rates in the woods surrounding suburban homes.  

The very religious Coors family worried their company would become a target of early cancel culture due to these cult rumors and their "Mistress of the Dark" spokeswoman.  Despite its unbelievable success, Coors killed the Elvira ad campaign right before Halloween in 1988.

It just so happened shortly thereafter that the soda giant Pepsi had recently launched two new brands of soft drinks and was looking for a celebrity to boost their market awareness.  Along with a partnership with Universal Studios that lasted several Halloweens, Pepsi turned to Elvira to launch their new campaign.   

With this brief partnership with Pepsi at the end of the 1980s, she created a pair of memorable commercial that combines soda, an iconic Alfred Hitchcock movie, and classic Halloween monsters.  

Let's take a deeper look, shall we?

Halloween Retro RePost: My ABC'S Of Halloween

Friday, October 7, 2022

Since Halloween is a big month for us retro nerds, I'll be posting some extra content on Friday mornings featuring some articles I wrote in years past.  

One that never got much attention, maybe because it's a relatively simple post, was my ABCs of Halloween.  Based on a little game that the fellas at The Retro Network would play from time to time, the "ABCs of (insert anything)" would generate conversation and memories as you had to associate a letter with an event, person, place, or thing.  

For a simplified example, for Halloween, W is for Witch.  Easy enough and a fun little exercise.  Can you come up with your own list?  Share it here or drop me a line; I'd love to know what you come up with!

Please check out my post from two years ago by CLICKING HERE TO READ MY ABCs OF HALLOWEEN.  

Five of McDonald's Best Halloween Promotions

Monday, October 3, 2022

It's no shock to longtime readers of this site, but it's something people don't often mention these days for fear of social ostracising.  So here goes my confession:  I am a huge fan of McDonald's.  

Sure, their food isn't healthy and yes the menu isn't nearly as good as many restaurants, but the Golden Arches will always hold a special place in my heart.  

My Mom would take me on occasional weekday afternoons or Saturday mornings while running errands and it was a special treat that always meant a lot to me.  When I was young, my family often ordered Chinese food on Fridays or special events like birthdays when we did take-out for dinner.  I didn't like Chinese food as a kid, so my parents would always take a special trip to the drive-thru at McDonald's for a cheeseburger and fries just for me.  

Thinking back on McDonald's reminds me of those trips with Mom when I was really young or those Christmas mornings looking forward to the gift certificate coupon booklets in my stocking, WHICH YOU CAN READ ABOUT HERE.

My wife reminded me a few weeks ago about another special memory of McDonald's that hadn't occurred to me in over a decade.  It turns out that when we both first learned to drive, the McDonald's drive-thru was one of the first places we headed to in order to feel more like "an adult."  We used our newfound independence by ordering our own meals from the driver's seat for the first time.

With the recent news that the McDonald's Halloween Happy Meal Pails are coming back, I thought it'd be a great time to open up our 2022 Halloween season by looking back at 5 of McDonald's classic Halloween promotions. 

So, without further ado, let's get into what I consider Five of McDonald's Best Halloween Promotions!

This Month In YesterYear History - October

Monday, September 26, 2022

October is finally upon us!  

Ok, I know I'm posting this at the end of September, but I need every available Monday and Friday for our Halloween 2022 content! On Monday, you'll find an original post or article, and on Friday, I'll be highlighting some past articles you may have missed, so please, check them out!  

By the way, if you use a desktop, you'll notice on the right side of the screen, I've added links to view this Halloween's T.V. Listings for AMC FrightFest, Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween, and a Streaming Sampler List. If you're using a phone or tablet, you'll have to scroll down to the bottom to find it.  

Let's review the Octobers of our past with another edition of "This Month in YesterYear History!"  

Please CLICK HERE to read last month's feature if you missed it!

In this series, we take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of popular culture from the past 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives during those days.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from that time period.  

That's why I post to this site, after all!

So, let's get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back Twenty, Twenty Five, and Thirty years ago!

WCW Saturday Night and Fall Brawl 1995 at Grandma's House

Monday, September 19, 2022

One Saturday evening at the end of August in 1995, my parents were watching my brother play hockey on the other side of town.  Or at least that's how I remember it.  August seems a bit early for hockey, but we pretty much played around the calendar, so... who knows.

In any event, wherever they were, I somehow managed to beg off and stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa.  They lived next door, and as a kid, I frequently wandered back and forth from our house to theirs several times a day.  

Longtime readers here will already know, but I've been a pro wrestling fan since I was 5 when I caught a glimpse of the National Wrestling Alliance on TBS in 1990.  I'm pretty sure it was a Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) match because I remember the blond hair and the brightly colored red and blue bandanas, but it may have been The Fabulous Freebirds for all I know.  Either way, it was classic Southern-style "rasslin" and set me on a lifelong fandom of NWA/WCW over the more flashy WWF presentation.

I drifted in and out of casual fandom during the next 5 years.  Mainly because it was forbidden in my house, for fear I may try a wrestling move on my brother or a friend at school.  In any event, I'd sneak some wrestling in when I thought nobody was watching.  Or, more often, I'd just walk next door and watch it at my Grandparent's house.  They didn't seem to mind and usually left me alone with a glass of Tang, a Snickers, and the TV in the kitchen.  

Eventually, my parents gave up policing the TV, and I began watching wrestling on a regular basis.

Years later, like The Simpsons, all it took was for my Dad to watch a few minutes and enjoy what he saw to get their final approval.  He just happened to sit down beside me one day during the infamous Ric Flair interview where he stripped down to his boxer shorts and handcuffed himself to the ring.  

What can I say?  Ric Flair is the best of all time, and wrestling in the 90s was amazingly fun.

Just days after this fateful August evening at my Grandparent's house, World Championship Wrestling launched a new show called Monday Nitro.  Nitro quickly became the focus of the promotion, causing WCW Saturday Night, what had long been the flag bearer for the promotion, to take a backseat to the new Monday show.  The pro wrestling Monday Night War of the 90s had begun, and the non-wrestling world was starting to take notice.  

But what I saw that night, while sitting at Grandma's kitchen table, turned my interest in pro wrestling into a lifelong love.

Retro Scans: TV Guide 1996 Fall TV Preview

Monday, September 12, 2022

Fall may not have officially started yet, but with Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer firmly in our rearview mirror, many of us are thinking of cooler weather and our favorite fall activities.

For the longest time, Fall, and specifically September, often meant a new slate of TV shows and an exciting amount of new programming.  

Growing up in the 90s, I can remember the excitement of the new crop of television programs and the immense amount of advertising these broadcasting companies put into them.  

For me, diving into a fresh Fall television lineup was akin to waiting to see who the New York Rangers would trade on Deadline Day or the excitement of the wheeling and dealing during Silly Season in NASCAR.  

As I poured over the TV listings, it was always exciting to ask myself questions like which of the new series would flop and get canceled.  Who would survive until the end of the season?  Will they get renewed?  Which new show will be the next big thing and launch the actors into megastardom?   

Today... not so much.  There is much less risk with new series and often networks will run the course with a sure thing or cancel it before production.  

That's not just for television, too.  Sports free agent markets have changed so much in recent years thanks to large contracts, corporate input, and salary caps.  Things don't just seem as much fun as they once were.

I can write paragraphs about how streaming services have diversified the viewing landscape.  I could also go on about the lack of "seasons" on television anymore, but that's an entirely different discussion for another time.

As we knew it back then, the fall schedule consisted of new television series paired with returning favorites packaged into a giant media frenzy and advertising campaign launched at the end of August.  The shows would begin their season in September and run through December, taking a hiatus during the holiday weeks when viewership declines.   A "midseason" premier would occur in January and historically run through mid to late May.

Recently, several networks have staggered the new and returning shows without necessarily following the standard fall and spring schedules.  In 2008, NBC was the first to make it official, claiming they'd follow the "52-week television season" with fewer episodes than the current standard.  

For comparison, back in the 1950s, I Love Lucy aired 35 episodes from September through May.  In the 90s, Seinfeld ran 24 episodes from September through May.  But in 2022, Better Call Saul ran only 7 episodes during April and May, followed by a two-month break, before finishing the season (and series) with only 6 more episodes. 

This reduced number of episodes leads to changes in presentation and storytelling, of course.  One would argue that the shows are much more like "mini-films" these days, and you'd be right to some extent.  Rising production costs, increased actor salaries, and reduced advertising budgets created by declining audiences have led to the need to shorten television seasons.  

The audience's desire to binge-watch a series on a streaming platform also reduces the number of episodes per season.  When I Love Lucy aired 35 episodes in a single season, they did so by producing them one week at a time.  When a series is placed on streaming platforms to be watched all at once, all episodes must be filmed all at once, requiring a more extended production schedule.  Many streaming platforms are now following Disney Plus' lead and are getting away from the Netflix style of "dropping an entire season at once" and returning to the standard weekly episodic model.  

You can also consider audience attention span and viewing fatigue as contributing factors.  Today's viewers need a constant "new-ness"; otherwise, a show will wear out quickly.  Today's audience has a more discerning palate, it seems.  

Speaking of advertising budgets, did you know the original reason that the Fall Premier season is a big deal is that it was created to help automobile manufacturers promote the new car lineup for the coming year?   

The more you know... (cue the shooting star). 

In the 90s, an old Seinfeld rerun could earn 20 million viewers.  Today, a "hit" streaming show on Netflix or Amazon may be considered a "massive success" with only a few hundred thousand views, as long as it gets social media buzz to drum up online ad sales.  

With limited time this week, and after working on my "Retro Museum" at home, I came across a copy of an old TV Guide from 1996 I had aquired many years ago that highlighted the new Fall Season.  

Some of the shows featured in the following pages I remember fondly.  Some I had long forgotten, and some I don't remember whatsoever.  I scanned some excerpts, along with a handful of fun advertisements that piqued my interest.  

Look through the scans below and enjoy your own stroll down memory lane.  Do you remember any of these shows?  Did you watch any of them faithfully, only to be disappointed when they were canceled?  

Let me know in the comments section, or drop me a line!  

You can find the "Drop Me a Line" box on the right side of your screen if you are using a laptop or desktop computer.  You can find it on a tablet or phone below the posts towards the bottom of the page.  

Or, you can always just click on the little envelope in the top right corner and send me an email!