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Where Oh Where Did My Classic TV Shows Go?

Updated on July 11, 2015
Andy of Mayberry
Andy of Mayberry | Source
Let's a take a trip down to the fishing hole
Let's a take a trip down to the fishing hole
Kerosene cucumbers anyone?
Kerosene cucumbers anyone?
The courthouse is closed on Sunday for church.
The courthouse is closed on Sunday for church.

Mayberry, Sweet Mayberry ... RFD even

80 degrees. Emmett washing his car with the garden hose. Barney patroling the school crosswalk. Floyd doing more talking than hair cutting. Is Gomer ever going to get out of the marines? Who knew that Goober had more talent when it came to fixing cars? And on and on and on ...

Watching those black and white episodes of The Andy Griffith Show , you get the feeling that this is a place that you have to visit; a place that you need to visit. Just like the guy who subscribed to the town paper and got to know folks so well, he convinced himself that he was from the town himself.

And why wouldn't you want to go to Mayberry? Pies cooling on the windowsill, pickle and flower contests at the fair. And do you know that Aunt Bee makes some fried chicken that's as scrumptious as can be?

And what better a place to find a wife and settle down. There are plenty of fine looking women helping out on the farm until their prince comes, or working at the drugstore selling old ladies sugar pills for a dime.

And Christmastime in Mayberry? I hear of a special holiday party going on down at the jail. But its by invitation only. Though if you go around to the alley, you can hear the music and laughter coming through the bars. It'll make you go to Weaver's Dept store, buy a sack of toys and start handing them out to random children ... Mayberry just has that effect on people.

Wally's Filling Station
Wally's Filling Station
The Honeymooners
The Honeymooners | Source
Ultraman | Source
Spectra Man
Spectra Man | Source

The Good Ol' Days of Television

Leave It To Beaver. My Three Sons. I Love Lucy. The Honeymooners. The Brady Bunch. The Partridge Family. The Monkees ...

I came home from a hard day of Nursery School in September 1974. I turned on the old telly and there they were -- Mickey, Peter, Davy and Mike aka The Monkees. But there was also these little goofy Brady kids who always seeme to be in competition with one another for some reason.

In 4th and 5th grade ... Buckingham Branch Elementary School. I had Mrs. Johnson for both grades. A tall, hulking woman who was like a caramel covered version of Dorothy from the Golden Girls.

She kind of came off as mean and a little scary to us little bitty kids. But she did one thing that endeared her to us for the rest of our lives. She would bring in one of the televisions on the tall rolling cart. I think it was a 27inch. So whether you ate school lunch or brought a peanut butter jelly or bologna sandwich like Durrell Tyson or a thermos full of tomato soup like Isaiah Tutwyler, it didn't matter. Whether you had your lunch in a paper sack like me or a Superfriends lunchbox like Nicole Hogan --- or was it Wonder Woman? Anyway, it didn't matter. Because we were all the same when that tv came rolling in.

WFLD TV 32 ... Underdog with Tennessee Tuxedo and Go Go Gophers shorts. Followed by The Great Space Coaster. Then if were lucky, we'd get to see BILL BIXBY & BRANDON CRUZ in The Courtship of Eddie's Father. And if Mrs. Johnson's cigarettes really got good to her in the teacher's lounge ... Or maybe the gossip with Miss Chism, Miss Smith and Mrs. Waddlington got flowing really well, we'd get a little bit of The Lucy Show at 1:30 before she came back.

That's how I discovered classic tv. That and holidays off from school with The Beverly Hillbillies and The Little Rascals and Green Acres and The Three Stooges.

Some of my friends preferred Ultraman, Spectraman and The Outer Limits on WSNS Channel 44 . Or maybe I Dream of Jeannie on WGN 9.

How about the confusion of first run shows having their titles changed in syndication supposedly to prevent confusion between the reruns and and new episodes. No, I saw older episodes of Happy Days, now titled Happy Days Again and figured it was a different show somehow. Or Laverne & Shirley & Company or Three's Company Too ... How lame.

Soleil Moon Frye from Punky Brewster
Soleil Moon Frye from Punky Brewster | Source
Punky Brewster
Punky Brewster | Source
Punky Brewster's cartoon show, "It's Punky Brewster"
Punky Brewster's cartoon show, "It's Punky Brewster" | Source
Pocoyo | Source

The Death of Classic Tv Networks

I thought that classic networks were designed to preserve these shows. But instead they'll show The Cosby Show exhaustively for a year and then bury it on the weekends [Though in light of recent allegations towards Dr. Cosby, TVLand has dropped the show altogether. But that's a whole other hub]. Or a A Different World will be well hyped and then after a year or so it just totally disappears.

It's okay that you're showing newer "classics" like The George Lopez Show and Friends. But then I look again and realize that these two shows are all you seem to be showing. Multiple episodes of two 90s shows with a slice of Full House on the side. And don't get me started on how Disney Jr tried to kill their nightly shows that I used to put my son to sleep with; replacing them with so called "Mommy shows" for adults. Yeah, how'd that work for you D.J.? It's not the mommies that want to stay up all night long and watch television -- they're tired. It's the 6 year who sleeps with his Legos in the bed with him. The little kid who is only calmed down by the inane antics of the Upside Down Show and that little bright colored Pocoyo. That is until the ever wise "suits" chose to snatch those calming shows off of grave shift like an old band aid.

For classic fair, I find that I have to expose my kids to Diff'rent Strokes and Punky Brewster on my own. Thank you "tv shows on DVD". Its through DVDs that my 16 year fell in love with The Cosby Show, Gilmore Girls, The OC and Good Times.

It's through DVDs that my 11 and 6 year old fell in love with Woody Woodpecker and Fat Albert. Because they definitely can't find these two particular shows on television anywhere (that one of the Christian networks had taken on the task of Fat Albert in recent months). No, the so-called classic networks have taken to making new shows with once popular actors on it. But these shows don't always have the same wit and heart that the former shows did, do they?


A Word About Bill Cosby

As of November 20th 2014, several women have reportedly accused Dr. William H. Cosby Jr. of acts of sexual aggression. In July 2015, a federal judge chose to unseal records that indicate intention of foul play on the part of Dr. Cosby (circa 2005). A sad turn of events for those of us who have grown up loving and learning from him through his television vehicles and best selling books.

To many, Dr. Cosby is guilty; no ifs, ands or buts about it. Despite the seemingly damning evidence, will I chose to condemn Dr. Cosby, burn my DVDS or disallow my children to watch his groundbreaking television series ...? No.

I'll explain my reasoning with this example. In recent years, one of my favorite Urban Contemporary Christian artists came out as homosexual. Though I don't endorse or defend homosexuality in any form or fashion, I believe that the messages that he wrote in his music still hold up; encouraging me in my darker days. And that's how I feel about The Cosby Show.

The Cosby Show epitomized sitcom entertainment at its best. With his heartfelt stories and subtle displays of African American family pride through artwork on the wall and music in the background, the show transcended racial boundaries. It continues to be an important teaching tool for generations to come.

It should also be noted, that during this same era of ridicule of Dr. Cosby, actor STEPHEN COLLINS was allegedly discovered to have been engaged on more than one occasion of sexual touching with minor children. However his sins have quickly been swept under the rug, partly due -- in my opinion -- to the international public esteem once held for Dr. Cosby vs the actions of a once popular, not quite as famous -- or quite as outspoken about social ills -- actor. Which could lead one to believe that some levels of sexual violation are considered less damaging than others; that its fine to crucify one and give a pass to another.

While I do not endorse the alleged actions of Dr. Cosby, I also do not endorse or support the alleged sins perpetrated by hundreds of other esteemed celebrities over the course of the last 100 or so years; from FATTY ARBUCKLE to ELVIS to MICHAEL LANDON, R KELLY and so on ... Nuff said.

TruSoulDJ is a self proclaimed expert on all things trivial to the Mainstream. He is an avid classic comic book reader, non popular music lover and tv-show-on-dvd binge watcher who shops the clearance racks near and far to find the best deals. He would like to think he knows everything important within the realm of Pop culture. But in actuality, he only knows about 99.9 percent of what he thinks he knows.


Submit a Comment

  • trusouldj profile imageAUTHOR

    LaZeric Freeman 

    3 years ago from Hammond

    Thank you for reading Janshares. I appreciate you taking the time.

  • janshares profile image

    Janis Leslie Evans 

    3 years ago from Washington, DC

    I miss those old shows, too. There's no such thing as the classic anymore. I can't believe you have Ultraman in there! Thanks for the memory lane stroll.


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