All posts by Paul Stroessner

“Cake Boss” goes ‘Back to the 80s’

cake-boss-80s-cakejpg-ba717b1c1c83def1_large I enjoy the show The Cake Boss on TLC, and actually have it on a Season Pass. I watched Monday’s episode, “Key to the City and a Key-tar Cake”, yesterday, and much to my surprise, it was an ’80s theme!
The episode opens with a girl named Cherie, who asks for “the totally awesome Buddy.” It turns out she is in an ’80s tribute band called Back to the ’80s. They are doing their 80th show so they’d like a 1980s-inspired cake to help celebrate.

After doing some research, I found that the group is not called Back to the ’80s. It is actually called Rubix Kube.

Buddy’s cake is going to be huge dance floor with a boom box on top with four tiers of cake on top of that. It’s going to have strawberry shortcake filling, “because it’s timeless.”

Then Buddy’s sisters (who also work in the bakery) decided to make everyone wear ’80s attire. Then they had a contest on who has the best outfit.

The episode also featured Buddy getting a key to the city for the town he grew up in, called Little Ferry. He also made a cake for that event.

The episode closed with Buddy and his crew bringing the awesome cake to the concert. The band loved it. Then they brought Buddy on stage while they performed a song. It was pretty cool.

The episode will be aired again on TLC on the following dates and times:

Aug 02, 11:30 pm

Aug 10, 8:00 pm

Aug 10, 11:00 pm

It is fun episode, so I would recommend watching it.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

Trivia Tuesday – 7/27/10

Question: What rock band agreed to bleach their hair blonde in order to do a chewing gum commercial? (Hint: The band was a trio)


Last Week’s Question: What brother and sister both appeared (before either was famous) in bit parts in 1984’s Sixteen Candles?

Answer: John and Joan Cusack

Before Better Off Dead, and Say Anything…, John Cusak played the nerd Bryce in Sixteen Candles. He must really have had no self esteem if Anthony Michael Hall’s “The Geek” was his leader.
And Joan was hilarious as an even bigger geek with a neck brace:

Dead or Alive: George Gaynes

Although George Gaynes was alive at the time of this original posting 6 years ago, sadly, he passed away at his home in North Bend, Washington on February 15, 2016. He was 98.


6392-15044 George Gaines, best known for playing the eccentric Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy series and Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster is…ALIVE.

George Gaynes was born in in Helsinki, Finland on May 16, 1917. He played Commandant Eric Lassard, who was in charge of the police academy. He travelled by golfcart, and tended to destroy things while golfing in his office.

He also played John Van Horn in the movie Tootsie, in which he was a horny old soap star, who tried to put the moves on “Dorothy Michaels,” not knowing that Dorothy was really a man.

He was more well known to television viewers for playing the lovable curmudgeon Henry Warnimont, who took in Punky Brewster.

I never watched General Hospital, but Gaines played a mob boss called Frank Smith, who was brought down by Luke Spencer. Maybe fans of that soap could give us more information.

George Gaines has been married to actress and dancer Allyn Ann McLerie since December 20, 1953, and they have two children – Matthew and Iya. George and Allyn live in Calabasas, California.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’returntothe80s’ show_count=’yes’ text_color=’00ccff’]

July 23, 1984: Vanessa Williams resigns as Miss America

The following is from the History Channel:

On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant’s history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams’ tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, to music teacher parents. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In 1982, while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. Kisco, New York, photographer Thomas Chiapel took the nude pictures of Williams, telling her they’d be shot in silhouette and that she wouldn’t be recognizable. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge. Williams later dropped lawsuits against the magazine and photographer after it was learned that she had signed a model release form at the time the photos were taken.

The Miss America pageant, which prides itself on projecting a wholesome, positive image of women, began in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a stunt developed by local businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In 1945, the Miss America Organization handed out its first scholarship. Today, it provides over $45 million each year in cash and tuition assistance to contestants on the national, state and local levels. In 1954, the competition was broadcast live for the first time. Beginning in the 1980s, contestants were required to have a social platform, such as drunk-driving prevention or AIDS awareness, and Miss America winners now travel an estimated 20,000 miles a month for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2006, following a decline in TV ratings, the pageant moved from Atlantic City for the first time in its history and took place in Las Vegas, where a new Miss America was crowned in January instead of September.

Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.


I don’t know about anybody else, but Vanessa Williams is the only Miss America that I can remember. It reminds me of the line from the Styx hit “Miss America”:

In your cage at the human zoo, they all stop to look at you
Next year, what will you do when you have been forgotten

But despite the scandal, Williams went on to a successful career. In 1988, she had success with the album and the song “The Right Stuff”:

As far as her music goes, her biggest success came in 1992 with the number 1 smash hit, “Save the Best for Last”:

I had actually bought that one on cassette single. Remember those? And more recently Williams had success on the hit show Ugly Betty, which just finished its last season.

Bob Ueker recovers from heart surgery and returns to broadcast booth

On April 30 this year, Bob Ueker underwent heart surgery. 3 months later, the 75 year old will return to the Milwaukee Brewers broadcast booth. ’80s fans remember Ueker from his famous call in the movie Major League: “Juuuuust a bit outside”. He is also known for playing George Owens on the television show Mr. Belvedere, which ran from 1985-1990. He is also known for apearing in some hilarious Miller Lite commercials: “I must be in the front row!”

Uecker is in his 40th season broadcasting Brewers games. The Brewers have not said if Uecker will travel for the team’s road games upon his return, but Uecker had indicated previously he would not.

Reference: ESPN

Music Video of the Week – 7/21/10

This week’s selection is “In a Big Country” by Big Country:

“In a Big Country” was released as a single in 1983 and was featured on the band’s first studio album, The Crossing.
The band is often described as a “one-hit wonder” for the popularity of “In a Big Country” in the United States. However, they continued to have success in Europe and were a great road band more famous for their live shows more than their studio albums. Frontman Stuart Adamson once remarked about the song in an interview, part of which was shown on a VH1 special celebrating “one-hit-wonders” that,
“ If we’re known for nothing more than just that one song, I’d be pretty happy with that. ”

Trivia Tuesday – 7/20/10

Question: What brother and sister both appeared (before either was famous) in bit parts in 1984’s Sixteen Candles?


Last Week’s Question: What 80s pop star got her start on Star Search, but did not win, but came in second?


Answer: Tiffany

The ’80s pop star lost to Melissa Moultrie on Star Search in 1985. But, she did pretty well for herself with the smash hit remake “I Think We’re Alone Now”.
Here are the show’s performances:

Summer Movies of the ’80s

Yesterday was the list of top 5 songs about summer. Now, here is the top 5 summer movies of the ’80s.

5. Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing was released in 1987, and starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. It takes place in 1963, and Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is vacationing with her family at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. Baby develops a crush on the resort’s dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), who is from the wrong side of the tracks. This is a coming of age story for Baby, who learns to loosen up and be true to herself. And Johnny learns that he really is worth something. And Baby’s father (Law & Order’s Jerry Orbach) learns that nobody puts Baby in a corner.

4. Summer School
This movie was released in 1987, and starred Mark Harmon. The movie begins with the last day of school before summer vacation. The gym teacher, Mr. Freddy Shoop, is a slacker, and is ready to go on vacation to Hawaii with his young girlfriend. However, Shoop is forced to teach summer school remedial English when the original teacher wins the lottery and immediately quits teaching. The students included easily distracted Pam (Courtney Thorne-Smith), ‘nocturnal’ Larry, who happens to be a male stripper, football jock Kevin, pregnant Rhonda , geeky Alan, dyslexic Denise (and two horror-film-obsessed underachievers, Dave and Francis, a.k.a. ‘Chainsaw’.
Shoop’s girlfriend goes to Hawaii without him. He then meets, and falls for Robin Bishop (Kirstie Alley), who is teaching next door to his class.
Shoop is forced to learn responsibility when he finds out that he will be fired unless his students pass the end of the term test.
Not all of the students passed, but the parents came to Shoop’s defense because of the great improvement the students made. Happy ending all around.

3. The Great Outdoors

This was a 1988 movie starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. Chester “Chet” Ripley (John Candy), his wife Connie, and their two sons go on vacation at a lake resort in Wisconsin.
They are all ready to enjoy themselves when Connie’s sister Kate, Kate’s snobby know-it-all investment broker husband Roman Craig, and their creepy twin daughters crash the family vacation.
Roman constantly got on Chet’s nerves really bad. It turns out that the reason why Roman, Kate, and the twins crashed the vacation is because the Craigs are broke because of a bad investment, and Roman was planning to hit Chet up for $25,000.
This was a great family comedy. And who could forget John Candy’s crazy water skiing, and the bald headed grizzly?

2. Meatballs

This movie was released in 1979, but I’ll grandfather it in. This was Bill Murray’s first starring role. Murray plays head counsellor Tripper Harrison and also follows the counsellors-in-training (CITs) at Camp North Star. The main plot involves Rudy Gerner, a lonely kid who is sent to summer camp by his father. Noticing Rudy is unable to fit in, Tripper takes him under his wing and each morning they go jogging and bond as friends. Tripper helps Rudy gain confidence while Rudy encourages Tripper to start a romance with Roxanne (Kate Lynch), the female head counsellor.
Camp North Star has a rivalry with Camp Mohawk, a wealthier camp located across the lake. Every year they have an olympic type of competition, which Mohawk carries a 12-0 record against North Star. Camp Mowhawk cheats a lot to win their competitions, but Camp North Star starts winning some competitions of their own. Then it comes down to a 4 mile race,where Rudy’s jogs with Tripper pay off.
Here is Murray’s great “It just doesn’t matter” speech:

1. Vacation

This was Chevy Chase at his best. National Lampoon’s Vacation came out in 1983. Chase played Clark Griswold, and Beverly D’Angelo played his wife Ellen, and their two kids, Rusty and Audrey were played by Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron. Clark, wanting to spend more time with his family, decides to lead the family on a cross-country expedition from the suburbs of Chicago to “Wally World” — billed as “America’s Favorite Family Fun Park” — in Los Angeles. Hi-jinks ensue all the way through.
And here is the incredible end of the movie:

And I love Lyndsay Buckingham’s theme song – “Holiday Road

So what are some of your favorite summer movies?