Retro TV Shows - A Thirtysomething's Nostalgia

TV Shows From My Youth

Being an adult sucks sometimes. Recently I have been longing for the simpler days of my childhood; a time where I could do and say silly things and nobody would think me nuts.

So I am led to writing this hub; the first in a series of hubs that bring me back to the good ol' days. A simpler time where my deepest worries were that I have the latest G.I. Joe comic book or dodging those imaginary bullets while playing war with my best friends -- friends I thought I would have for a lifetime.

Boy, those were the days man.

Working the Crystal Matrix
Working the Crystal Matrix
I hate Cha-Ka
I hate Cha-Ka
Grumpy
Grumpy

Land of the Lost

The Marshalls (Rick - father, Will & Holly - son & daughter) get themselves caught in "the greatest earthquake ever known" while whitewater rafting. Somehow, this causes them to transport to a strange world of dinosaurs and alien beings.

The Marshalls begrudgingly make themselves at home in this alien world, all the while trying to figure out a way to get back home. During their stay they meet friendly beings like the Pakuni named Cha-Ka (whom I hate) and the baby brontosaurus Dopey (whom I love). They also come across less than friendly beings like the T-Rex Grumpy and the bi-pedal lizard/humanoid Sleestaks.

Land of the Lost brought a much more complex story-line to the usually simple animated shows of the Saturday morning line-up. I haven't seen it in years but would like to sit down and watch it again.

Watch for the Land of the Lost movie, starring Will Ferrell coming to theaters in the summer of 2009.

Dopey
Dopey
Sleestaks
Sleestaks
Alice Cooper on The Muppet Show
Alice Cooper on The Muppet Show

The Muppet Show

The Muppet Show was a half-hour variety show with Jim Henson's muppets as cast members. Each week a celebrity would guest star on the show.

Some notable guests were:

  • John Denver
  • Alice Cooper
  • Steve Martin
  • Elton John
  • Harvey Korman
  • Vincent Price
  • Don Knotts
  • Peter Sellers
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Debbie Harry
  • Johnny Cash

 

Scooby-Doo

The adventures of mystery solvers Scooby-Doo, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, Fred Jones, Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley brought me hours and hours of entertaining boob tube time.

The "meddling kids" and their dog drive from place to place in the Mystery Machine, eventually solving the mystery and capturing the no-good villain.

Some notable villains:

  • The Black Knight
  • The Miner 49er
  • The Snow Ghost
  • The Headless Spectre
  • The Phantom Racer
  • The Tar Monster

 

You Can't Do That On Television

When I was a kid, watching Nickelodeon's You Can't Do That On Television was such a highlight of my week. I would fantasize about being one of the actors on the show. My number one goal: saying the words "I don't know" and getting a bucket of green slime dumped on my head.

Alas, my dreams were never realized but I did go to Nickelodeon Studio one time and saw the set of YCDTOTV.

The late, great Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak
The late, great Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak

Kolchak: The Night Stalker

The basic premise of this classic revolves around a newspaper reporter, by the name of Carl Kolchak, who reports on the more strange things that happen in his city.

If you have never had the pleasure of watching this show, picture it like the The X-Files but with a reporter rather than an FBI agent investigating the paranormal. As a matter of fact, Chris Carter used The Night Stalker as a template for The X-Files.

This show started out as two movies: The Night Stalker (1972), set in Las Vegas and The Night Strangler (1973), set in Seattle. The Night Killers was the third movie planned but ABC decided on a television series instead.

The Night Stalker series had Kolchak investigating the strange and paranormal in Chicago. The series run was all too short with only 20 episodes filmed.

A new Night Stalker series aired for one season back in 2006 but I never watched it. I prefer to stick with the original.

Although short lived, Kolchak: The Night Stalker is very memorable to me and I plan on buying the complete series on DVD soon. I suggest you also own this series. I just so happen to have an Amazon link to the DVD set right here on this hub. How convenient!

Ray Park (Darth Maul fame) as Snake Eyes (my favorite character)
Ray Park (Darth Maul fame) as Snake Eyes (my favorite character)

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

"G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly-trained, Special Mission force. Its purpose: To defend human freedom against COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world."

This animated series originally started out as a 5-part mini-series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. The popularity of this brought about a second 5-part mini-series called G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra and then the main series.

I was a G.I. Joe freak! I watched the show faithfully, bought and played with the toys and read the comic books. I still have the comics in my nightstand drawer. I wonder how much they are worth?

Look for the new live action G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in theaters summer of 2009!

The Six Million Dollar Man

"Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."

Another show that started out as a series of television movies.  After Steve Austin crashes his Northrop M2-F2 lifting body rocket, his mangled body is repaired with bionic parts.  He then goes to work as a secret agent for the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence). 

Apparently, the OSI has something against Bigfoot because in a couple of episodes Steve Austin battles the hairy Sasquatch.

Fraggle Rock

Fraggle Rock was a great show that aired on HBO. The Jim Henson show had great stories, characters and music.

I love this show! I even dedicated another hub soley on Fraggle Rock. Check it out here.

The Greatest American Hero

Ralph Hinkley (special-ed teacher) and Bill Maxwell (FBI agent) meet each other in the desert due to a near miss accident.  There they are contacted by aliens who give them a black suitcase equipped with a special suit and instruction manual. 

The suit gives the wearer superhuman powers.  This suit only works for Ralph but unfortunately he loses the instruction manual.  Hilarity ensues as he tries to figure out all the powers the suit has and how to use them.

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Comments 47 comments

goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

you're old. and I guess I am now too.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Thanks GT...I guess. ;-)


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Awesome hub! I love Scooby-do. What ever happened to William Katt? I'll have to look him up. I look forward to the rest of your series.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

and snake-eyes is a badass.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

According to some hub I read earlier.....aren't you like 32, Goldentoad?


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

turned 33 almost a month ago.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Thanks KCC!  I will look him up also.

GT: You're damn right!!!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

How old are you KCC?


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

So, it was an old hub.....anyways......you're BARELY in the 30-something club...so shush.   I'm 46....yikes!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I'm right smack-dab in the middle of thirtysomething. I'm 35.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

you're 35 going on 18.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

film Gamers (2006), The Man from Earth (2007) and Alien vs Hunter (2008).

Stuff Katt's been in lately.

Yeah, you and GT are younguns.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I'm more like 35 going on 8!

Thanks KCC!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I'm curious...any favorite shows from my list from you guys?


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Scooby-do........I was a bit too old for Fraggle Rock, the Muppets. I do remember watching Chaka on Land of the Lost...not a big fan. The rest on your list were more boy oriented.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I liked GI Joe of course but I liked the Greatest American Hero. Actually met him a few years ago and felt bad for him. he was auditioning and I was thinking, he'll never get the part, he's forever that role. you could tell he was so humbled trying out.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

I read on Wikipedia that Katt actually auditioned for Luke Skywalker.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Where did you meet Katt at?


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

KCC: I saw footage of his Star Wars audition on some show.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I met him at a movie/television studio I worked at. I was just a office clerk, a kid, but I got to meet alot of people and producers, and I knew everything that was going on in hollywood but it wasn't my scene. I used to see some pretty big stars auditioning and felt bad for them. I knew the casting agents and got the inside dish on who was going to be cast.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

I wonder how different his life would be had he gotten that role? Anyway...I'm heading to bed...I have to be to work in less than 7 hrs.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

GT.....can't you turn any of that experience into a hub? C'mon man, work with us here!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Good idea KCC!


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Dude! I watched these when I was like five years old!


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I don't know, I don't think that history of my life wasn't much, maybe I'm a bit warped from living in LA. It was cool though for my age. I did learn some good lessons and it made me see the light of hollywood, sort of.


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I hope you enjoyed them Writer Rider.


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Back then, definitely did! She-ra was more my thing, though. I have to say being as old as I am with thirty some years to digest technology, they look so pathetically fake, especially "Land of the Lost."


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Gotta keep in mind that they didn't have CGI back in the 70s.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I'm the youngest in the family so back then I did not have control of the dial (no remote yet! LOL) so I ended up watching a more "adult" programming - remington steele, three's company etc., knight rder. But i remember Land of the Lost and Buck Rogers. Sure is a long time ago! Thanks for the nostalgia :D


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

But I did get the time of day during the afternoons when they're still in school! My absolute favourites were the Japane anime/cartoon series dubbed in English! Have you heard of Voltes V, Mazinger Z and Daimos etc? :D


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Cris: Have you seen "Johnny Sokko and his Giant Robot"?


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

No I don't think so. Is it like the animated series i mentioned above? or a live 30-minute feature/series like the Star Rangers? This is fun! LOL


The Old Firm profile image

The Old Firm 7 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

For what it's worth, the Night Stalker series sounds as if it was based on a 50s' radio (should I have said "wireless"?) serial called Night Beat, with Randy Stone. If you want to dredge into some real old nostalgia, here's the link. http://www.archive.org/details/NightBeat

Me, I'm a Muppet fan.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Imadork, you'll be happy to know that Netflix has the three seasons of Land of the Lost on DVD. I used to watch that show also when I could. I also whatched The muppet show, six million dollar man, scooby doo, and the greatest american hero. I still love the theme song from Greatest American Hero. I had to attend sabbath school on Saturday mornings so I was always upset that I had to miss out on cartoons, and we didn't have cable either so when I got to babysit at someones house who had cable I would always watch You can't do that on television. I loved that show.

I might have to check and see if Netflix has some of these other shows on DVD. I have recently been watching the Soap series, I used to love that show, and Love American style, they were great! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

I love the Greatest American Hero! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Cris: Here is a full episode of Johnny Sokko.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/7428/johnny-sokko-and-hi...

Also, do you like Voltron?  I loved it!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

TOF: I did not know that.  Thanks for the info and link.

gwendymom: Soap was a great show.  I like the theme song from GAH too.  Thanks for your comments.

Tom: Thanks for reading and sharing!


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

This certainly brought back some memories!! I loved You Can't Do That On Television, Fraggle Rock & The Muppet Show when I was a kid!!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Thanks Anna. Love your hubs!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Now you're talking! I know Voltron, it was shown here along with Thundercats and He-Man! :D


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

Thundercats...LOL!! I almost forgot about that show!!!


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

I used to watch He-Man but never watched Thundercats.


LyrialZander profile image

LyrialZander 7 years ago

OMG flashbacks!

Fantastic hub, I loved most of those shows as a kid.

*}Peace{*


imadork profile image

imadork 7 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

LZ: Thanks for the compliment. 

Flashbacks!  Are you feeling the body-flush and see the tracers?


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

This is great.:)


imadork profile image

imadork 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO Author

Thank you trusouldj. Glad you enjoyed the nostalgic look back.


M. Beck profile image

M. Beck 2 years ago from Parts Unknown

Ahh... thanks for the memories, imadork!

I think the only one I never saw or heard of was Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I never really watched Fraggle Rock either, but remember all the others... I wish Greatest American Hero would come to Netflix. I'd like to see how well that holds up (or doesn't).

Great hub!

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