Question: On Empty Nest, what ’70s child star played Officer Barbara Weston?
Last Question: What Michael Keaton film about the auto industry inspired a Scott Bakula sitcom?
Answer: Gung Ho
Gung Ho, the 1986 Ron Howard film starring Michael Keaton, spawned a television series of the same name.
The main character in the movie, Hunt Stevenson, was played by Michael Keaton in the movie, and by Scott Bakula in the television show. Most of the Japanese actors reprised their roles on the show.
The Gung Ho television show was short lived, as only 9 episodes aired from 1986-1987.
Here is the movie trailer. And for the record, I wrote and published yesterday’s “Remember That Song?” article, featuring The Vapors “Turning Japanese” before I watched this trailer:
Here is the TV theme song. There are so many great things about the ’80s. But one of the best things is the television theme songs! I this case, the show was a flop, but the song is pretty good:
Born in Tampico, Illinois and raised in Dixon, Ronald Reagan grew up a Chicago Cubs fan. Before he became an actor, Reagan was a radio sports broadcaster. In the 1930’s, he announced the University of Iowa’s home football games. Then he moved to WHO radio in Des Moines as an announcer for the Chicago Cubs, creating play-by-play accounts of games that the station received by wire. Then while traveling with the Cubs in California, Reagan took a screen test in 1937 that led to a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers studios. And the rest is history.
1988 was quite the historical year for Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs. It was the last Major League field to install lights. In August of 1988, the first night game was held at the field. On September 30, 1988, just a few months before President Reagan left office, he made his last stop at Wrigley Field. He threw out the first pitch, and spent some time in the broadcast booth alongside Harry Caray.
Question: What public figure helped announce a 1988 Cubs game saying: “In a few months I’m going to be out of work and I thought I might as well audition”?
Last Question: What apocalyptic 1983 TV movie aired its second half commercial-free, when sponsors declined to run ads after the nuclear war?
Answer: The Day After
Ah, how many of us remember getting “The Talk” in the ’80s? No! Not that “talk”! Not the one that you learned about in NOVA: The Miracle of Life! I mean the talk about nuclear war. In 1983, we were in the middle of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. There had been a huge fear of nuclear war for decades, and that fear was at a fever pitch in the ’80s. Remember these signs:
We constatly felt like World War III could break out at any minute, and did not know what would happen if it did. Then we found out the a television movie was going to show what nuclear war could look like.
So on November 20, 1983, over 100 million of us were glued to our television sets to watch The Day After.
The movie starred Jason Robards as well as newcomers JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, and John Lithgow. The story centered around citizens of Kansas City. The beginning of the movie introduced the characters and their backstories. Then the middle showed the nuclear disaster, and the rest of the movie showed the effects of the fallout.
According to Daily Press, President Reagan himself wrote in his diary that the film was “very effective and left me greatly depressed.” Historians have speculated that the film encouraged Reagan to redouble his push for a missile-defense program despite critics who derided the notion as “Star Wars.”
Here is the nuclear disaster part of the movie:
Luckily we never had to experience this in real life.
It feels like this has been a weekly segment lately! Sadly, Donna Summer died this morning after a battle with cancer. According to TMZ, she was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old.
She may be known as “The Queen of Disco”, with smash hits in the 70s such as “MacArthur Park“, “Hot Stuff“, and “Bad Girls“, but she continued to have success in our ’80s.
Here is a list of Donna Summer’s hits that reached the Top 10 in the U.S. in the ’80s:
“On the Radio”
Peaked at #5 in 1980:
Peaked at #3 in 1980:
“Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)”
Peaked at #10 in 1982:
“She Works Hard for the Money”
This is the one everybody knows. It peaked at #3 in 1983:
“This Time I Know It’s for Real”
This was her last top 10 hit, peaking at #7 in 1988: