All posts by Paul Stroessner

19 Somethin’ – Stretch Armstrong

maxresdefaultThe 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the previous articles, you can get caught up here.

Here is the next line in the song:

and I’ve seen the stuff they put inside Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong was gel-filled action figure by Kenner, and first appeared in 1976. You could stretch out his arms and legs, and then they would go back into place.
And then in 1978, an arch enemy came out – Stretch Monster. It was a green reptilian monster. Here is the commercial:

Now, Stretch Armstrong is making a comeback. Taylor Lautner will be starring in a 3D Stretch Armstrong movie that is scheduled to be released in March 2012. Here is a news report on it:

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

’80s Emmy Award Winners – Television Shows

Here is the list of winners of Best Comedy and Best Drama throughout the ’80s:


Best Comedy Best Drama
Taxi (ABC)
Lou Grant (CBS)


Best Comedy Best Drama
Taxi (ABC)
Hill Street Blues (NBC)


Best Comedy Best Drama
Barney Miller (ABC)
Hill Street Blues (NBC)


Best Comedy Best Drama
Cheers (NBC)
Hill Street Blues (NBC)


Best Comedy Best Drama
Cheers (NBC)
Hill Street Blues (NBC)


Best Comedy Best Drama
The Cosby Show (NBC)
Cagney & Lacey (CBS)


Best Comedy Best Drama
The Golden Girls (NBC)
Cagney & Lacey (CBS)


Best Comedy Best Drama
The Golden Girls (NBC)
L.A. Law (NBC)


Best Comedy Best Drama
The Wonder Years (ABC)
thirtysomething (ABC)


Best Comedy Best Drama
Cheers (NBC)
L.A. Law (NBC)

’80s Emmy Award Winners – Actors and Actresses: 1985-1989

Here are the rest of the Best Actors and Actresses: 1985-1989. It is pretty cool to look back to see who the winners were. Some of these people are still around, but have slowed down a little. However, we still have found memories of them.


Lead Comedy Actor Lead Drama Actor

Robert Guillaume (Benson DuBois) from Benson

William Daniels (Dr. Mark Craig) from St. Elsewhere
Lead Comedy Actress Lead Drama Actress

Jane Curtin (Allie Lowell) from Kate & Allie – 2nd in a row.

Tyne Daly (Det. Mary Beth Lacey) from Cagney & Lacey – 3rd in a row.


Lead Comedy Actor Lead Drama Actor

Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton) from Family Ties

William Daniels (Dr. Mark Craig) from St. Elsewhere – 2nd in a row.
Lead Comedy Actress Lead Drama Actress

Betty White (Rose Nylund) from The Golden Girls

Sharon Gless (Christine Cagney) from Cagney & Lacey


Lead Comedy Actor Lead Drama Actor

Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton) from Family Ties – 2nd in a row

Bruce Willis (David Addison) from Moonlighting

Lead Comedy Actress Lead Drama Actress

Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux) from The Golden Girls

Sharon Gless (Christine Cagney) from Cagney & Lacey – 2nd in a row.


Lead Comedy Actor Lead Drama Actor

Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton) from Family Ties – 3rd in a row!

Richard Kiley (Joe Gardner) from A Year in the Life
Lead Comedy Actress Lead Drama Actress

Bea Arthur (Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak) from The Golden Girls

Tyne Daly (Det. Mary Beth Lacey) from Cagney & Lacey


Lead Comedy Actor Lead Drama Actor

Richard Mulligan (Harry Weston) from Empty Nest

Carroll O’Connor (Chief William O. ‘Bill’ Gillespie) from In the Heat of the Night
Lead Comedy Actress Lead Drama Actress

Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) from Murphy Brown

Dana Delany (Nurse Colleen McMurphy) from China Beach – 2nd in a row.

Sacha Baron Cohen set for Freddie Mercury biopic

I don’t know what to think about this. Queen is one of my all time favorite bands, and Freddie Mercury is my favorite singer. Now Borat is going to be playing him in a movie.
Here is the article from the Associated Press:

LONDON – “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen has been signed up to star in a movie about flamboyant rock star Freddie Mercury, producers said Friday.

Peter Morgan, who wrote “The Queen,” is working on a screenplay about the frontman of the band Queen, who died of AIDS-related causes in 1991.

The as-yet-untitled film will climax with Queen’s barnstorming appearance at the 1985 Live Aid concert in London.

The announcement was made by GK Films, which is producing with Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films.

Production is due to begin next year, and a director has yet to be chosen.

Founded in 1971 by Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, Queen scored hits with songs including “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

May told the BBC that the band supports the project, and May and Taylor will oversee the music for the film. There was no word on whether Baron Cohen will try to imitate Mercury’s grandiose singing style, but the comedian has appeared in several musicals, including Tim Burton’s film version of “Sweeney Todd.”

He said the choice of Baron Cohen, creator of wannabe rapper Ali G, Kazakh journalist Borat and Austrian fashionista Bruno, “will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he’s been talking with us for a long time.”

“He’s been in on this project since we started talking about it seriously with Peter Morgan a couple of years ago.” May said.

Baron Cohen’s latest film is Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret.”

The one saving grace is that Brian May and Roger Taylor approve, and they will be overseeing the music.

What are your thoughts?

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

Bon Jovi Greatest Hits Track List Released

Here is the track listing of Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits, which will be released on November 9th. There will be a Greatest Hits version, which is 1 disc, and there is The Ultimate Collection, which is 2 discs. You can pre-order at the record company, Island Def Jam’s, web site.

DISC 1 (Ultimate & Standard)

1. Livin’ On A Prayer
2. You Give Love a Bad Name
3. It’s My Life
4. Have a Nice Day
5. Wanted Dead or Alive
6. Bad Medicine
7. We Weren’t Born to Follow
8. I’ll Be There For You
9. Born to Be My Baby
10. Blaze of Glory
11. Who Says You Can’t Go Home (duet featuring Jennifer Nettles)
12. Lay Your Hands On Me
13. Always
14. Runaway
15. What Do You Got? * New Song
16. No Apologies * New Song

DISC 2 (Ultimate Collection Only)

1. In These Arms
2. Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night
3. Lost Highway
4. Keep The Faith
5. When We Were Beautiful
6. Bed of Roses
7. This Ain’t a Love Song
8. These Days
9. (You Want to) Make a Memory
10. Blood on Blood
11. This is Love This is Life * New Song
12. The More Things Change * New Song

19 Somethin’ – Pac Man

The 19 Somethin’ series continues. If you missed the first article, you can get caught up here. Here is the next line in the song:

Had the Pac Man pattern memorized

Before home video games, you used to have to go to the arcade to play video games. And it would cost a quarter a game. So, in order to spend less money, and more time on the game, you learned the patterns to the games pretty quickly. Most, if not all, video games had a pattern. And you either spent a lot of quarters learning them, or you watched your friends spend a lot of their quarters on the game, and learn the patterns that way.

Here is the full article about Pac-man that was posted on May 25, 2010 in case you missed it:

Pac-Man, the most successful coin-operated video game in history, was released in Japan on May 22,1980. Pac-Man is an icon of ’80s pop culture. Not only did it boost the popularity of video games, it generated spin-off games, merchandise, a television show, and even a cereal!

When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders and Asteroids.

Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., (along with Pong and Dragon’s Lair).

The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning ‘chomp.’ But in America, arcade operators were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, ‘Pac’ was suggested as an alternate name.

To play the game, you would insert your quarter, then use the joystick to move Pac-Man through a maze and eat dots, and avoid the four ghosts – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the monsters. The monsters turn deep blue, reverse direction, and usually move more slowly. When a monster is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the monster box where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue monsters flash white before they become dangerous again How many of you would become greedy and try to get all the ghosts? But then just when you try to get one of the last ghosts, they would flash white, and they would get you before you could get them.

In addition to dots and power pellets, bonus items, usually referred to as fruits (though not all items are fruit) appear near the center of the maze. These items score extra bonus points when eaten. The items change and bonus values increase throughout the game. Also, a series of intermissions play after certain levels toward the beginning of the game, showing a humorous set of interactions (the first being after level 2) between Pac-Man and Blinky.

In 1982, Pac-Man was released for Atari. For people how had Intellivision instead of Atari, you had to settle for Lock & Chase.

Pac-Man spawned numerous sequels, the most significant of which is Ms. Pac-Man, released in the United States in 1981. The game features several changes from the original Pac-Man, including faster gameplay, more mazes, new intermissions, and moving bonus items. Some consider Ms. Pac-Man to be superior to the original, and even the best in the entire series.

In 1982, Milton Bradley released a board game based on Pac-Man.

An animated TV series was produced by Hanna–Barbera and aired on ABC from 1982 to 1984:

The song “Pac-Man Fever,” by Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, reached No. 9 on the Billboard pop chart in early 1982:

And you know you’ve made it when “Weird Al” Yankovic does a parody song about you. Here is “Weird Al”‘s Pac-Man song, done to the music of The Beatles’ “Taxman”:

If it wasn’t for Pac-Man (the game, not those songs!), there may never have been a Mario, Lara Croft, or Call of Duty video games.

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

19 Somethin’

1200px-star_wars_logo-svgIn 2002, country music singer Mark Wills released a song called 19 Somethin’. It was written by David Lee and Chris DuBois, and it is basically a “We Didn’t Start the Fire” type of song that makes pop culture references from our generation (late ’70s early ’80s). It spent six weeks at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in early 2003, and was the #2 country song of the Decade on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart.

This song happened to come up on my iPod this week. I have somewhere around 7,000 songs on my iPod, so I had forgotten about this one.

So, in this series, I will write about each line of the song. At the end of this article, you can watch the video of the song.

As you can tell from the logo, you can see what the first line is about:

I Saw Star Wars at least eight times

To say that this movie had an impact on my life, (and on most kid’s lives) when this was released, would be an understatement. I’m not going to bother going through a summary of the movie.

This was the first movie that I can remember seeing in the theater. And at this point, I have seen this a tad more than eight times. I haven’t listened to most of the songs I love as many times as I have seen Star Wars.

To this day, if I hear the 20th Century Fox theme, and it is not followed by the Lucasfilm Ltd logo, then:

then I am very disappointed!

Star Wars changed movie making as it changed special effects forever. It also spawned off many space/science fiction movies, such as Battlestar Galactica, The Black Hole, and it got the Star Trek franchise going again.

It also changed the toy industry. I don’t think there were small action figures before this. I had a big G.I. Joe figure, and a Six Million Dollar Man figure (where you could look through a spot in the back of his head, and see out his eye for bionic vision, and you could roll the skin on his arm back to see the bionics there).
But now there were small action figures of everybody in the movie – even the characters that were in the movie for 2 seconds (R5-D4 or Hammerhead anyone?). And of course there were figures of the main characters:

I think I had almost all of them from the original movie. And there were the ships. There was the X-Wing fighter where you push down on R2-D2’s head, and the wings opened up:

And then there were the sequels. Some (including me) would even argue that the second movie – The Empire Strikes Back – was the best of the franchise.

And then the prequels were released from 1999-2004. A lot of people from my generation complained about them, but I liked them a lot. And it introduced a brand new generation to the movies we loved. And now there is the Clone Wars series on the Cartoon Network. So now there is an even newer generation being introduced to Star Wars.
And weren’t we curious about the Clone Wars ever since Obi-Wan mentioned them quickly in the original movie?

There have also been Star Wars books, comic books and video games. Basically, Star Wars will live forever. And most of us have been there from the very beginning.

Now, enjoy the song 19 Somethin’ by Mark Wills:

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

Music Video of the Week – 9/15/10

Today’s selection, in honor of drummer/singer Kelly Keagy’s 58th birthday, is “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger:

Night Ranger is one of my favorite bands, and in my opinion is one of the most underrated. “Sister Christian” is their most successful song as it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single came off of the album Midnight Madness, and was released in 1984. The song was written and sung by Kelly Keagy. The song is about Keagy’s little sister, Christy. He wrote the song after visiting his hometown, and seeing how fast his teenaged sister, 10 years younger than he, was growing up. The original title was “Sister Christy,” but the rest of the band thought Keagy was singing “Sister Christian,” so that became the title.
There was controversy about the lyric “You’re motoring. What’s your price for flight? In finding Mr. Right?”. in a VH-1 Behind the Music interview, the band said that the term “motoring” was synonymous with the term “cruising.” Cruising can be meant as driving around slowly, socializing with friends, or it can mean driving around looking for people to pick up for casual sex. When Keagy visited his family he heard second hand about his sister cruising for a man to casually sleep with. After verifying this with her he was shocked about how fast she was growing up, so he wrote the song.

George Michael gets 8 weeks jail for driving uncer the influence of drugs

According to the Associated Press, George Michael was sentenced to eight weeks in jail and lost his license for five years today for driving under the influence of drugs when he crashed his car into a London photo shop. Michael pleaded guilty last month to driving under the influence and possession of cannabis following a July 4 collision between his Range Rover and a Snappy Snaps store in north London. Judge John Perkins told the singer he had taken a “dangerous and unpredictable mix” of prescription drugs and marijuana.

“It does not appear that you took proper steps to deal with what is clearly an addiction to cannabis,” the judge said. “That’s a mistake which puts you and, on this occasion, the public at risk.”

The judge said Michael would have to serve four weeks of the sentence in prison and the rest on parole.

According to police, Michael appeared “spaced out” when they found him sitting in the car, whose engine was still running, in the wee hours of July 4. He acknowledged smoking marijuana and taking a prescription sedative, prosecutors said.

It was the latest in a string of automotive and drug-related mishaps for the 47-year-old star, who has often spoken of his fondness for marijuana.

In February 2006, he was found slumped at the wheel of his car at London’s busy Hyde Park Corner. That April, he hit three parked cars while trying to maneuver out of a parking space, and admitted being “a terrible driver.”

In October 2006, he was found slumped over the wheel of his car as it blocked an intersection. He pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs and was sentenced to community service.

Michael’s lawyer, Mukul Chawla, said the singer felt “profound shame and horror” at his actions.

“It is no exaggeration to describe him as a very kind, considerate and loyal man, constantly concerned for the plight of others,” Chawla said. “The prospect he could have put anyone else in danger is an appalling prospect to him.”

The judge said he was sending Michael to jail “with regret,” and had taken into account his guilty plea and the fact that after the crash he had checked into a clinic to seek help for anxiety, depression and insomnia.

But he said Michael’s previous conviction made a prison sentence inevitable.

Michael sighed as sentence was passed. His long-term partner Kenny Goss buried his head in his hands.

For some reason, this song popped into my head. I forgot that I liked this song: