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!