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Retro Scans: "Holiday Viewing Guide" from the December 1995 TV Guide

Every year, one of the most popular pages on YesterYear Retro is the annual Classic Christmas TV Guide.  If you're looking for this years, just CLICK HERE, or you can always find it on the right side of your screen until January.  

The Classic TV Guide takes quite a bit of time to put together, but it's always fun and gives me an early heads-up on what's coming!   Back in the day, though, there was no such thing as a search engine or tv listing websites.  We all had to go to one place to find the shows we wanted... TV Guide!  

Yes, even before televisions could have their own "Listings," we all flipped through a nearly pocket-sized book found at grocery store checkouts or your mailbox.  Of course, we can't forget the "TV Guide Channel," where we'd all sit for several minutes watching the listings scroll through a handful of channels simultaneously, but that came much later.  

You could also have them mailed to you, and I remember some neighbors getting them once a week.  We never had a subscription because our local newspaper included a free one in the Saturday or Sunday paper. Still, it never included any of the great photos, fun pictures, or "Fall Previews" (Like you can see HERE) that the real deal TV Guide did.  

The TV Guide was so popular that getting on the cover was considered gold in the television or film business.  When pro wrestling was red hot in the late 90s, you could hardly find the issues that had Hulk Hogan or Sting on the cover anywhere.

The collectibility of TV Guides was even the central focus of a 1993 episode of Seinfeld, "The Cigar Store Indian," in which Elaine's storyline revolves around the magazine.  Jerry suggests she take Frank Costanza's copy of TV Guide as reading material on a subway ride home from George's parents' house.  While on the subway, she is bothered by obsessive Ricky, who finds it unusual that a woman is reading TV Guide.  She leaves the magazine behind when she gets off the subway train to escape.  Later, Ricky tracks her back to the Costanza home by using the mailing address on the magazine.

During the 80s and 90s, the TV Guide became a thick publication filled with a nightly schedule and cool ads for new shows and movies.  As good as the weekly issue could be, the best issues of the year were always the Fall Preview and Holiday Viewing Guides.  

The Holiday Viewing Guide would highlight the holiday-themed offerings, upcoming movies, specials, and shows.  The magazine would also offer commentary, critiques, and preview new specials.  Consider it the Sears Wishbook for television!  

This special edition of TV Guide comes to us from the week of December 2-8, 1995.  Imagine, it was only 99 cents!  Of course, now that everything is digital, a simple google search turns up deals online where you can still get a paper copy for $0.38 a week, but I'd imagine it's a much thinner issue than back in the 90s since so much is available free online.

I'd also like to apologize for the quality of some of the scans.  The binding of this TV Guide was very brittle, making laying the book flat difficult during scanning, so some of the scans ended up a little wonky-donkey.  

Click on each photo to enlarge it if you want to view it in more detail.  

I also included some fun ads, like the VCR Plus system, which I had to look up.  The VCR Plus system was created before VCRs were able to display menus on the screen, so a code system was designed between the TV networks, VCR makers, and TV Guide where television listings would publish a code next to a show's title and you would enter that code into your VCR. It would somehow know when to start and how long to record your chosen show. It's interesting but sounds complicated.

I also included the advertisement for the 1995 made-for-TV film "The Adventures of Captain Zoom," starring Ron Perlman and Daniel Riordan.  It's a take on the old 1950's Captain Video character and could have been received better, but it was given an average of 2 of 5 stars.  You can view the trailer for the film HERE.  Seems wacky.  Have any of you ever seen it?  Leave a comment below!

I also included the crossword in case anyone enjoys doing those.  Just right-click and print!  

Lastly, I just had to include the Virginia Slims ad from the back cover because you'd never see a cigarette ad in 2022!  But hey, they wished us Happy Holidays!  

Click below to head back to 1995!