“The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God. ” – President Ronald Reagan
The Space Shuttle Disaster occurred on this day, 33 years ago (January 28, 1986)
We lost another iconic character of the ’80s. Harry Anderson, who was mainly known for playing Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, died in his home in Asheville, North Carolina yesterday.
Anderson, a fellow native Rhode Islander, got a huge break, with his recurring guest role, the hilarious con man Harry “The Hat” Gittes, on Cheers. That role led to him playing Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, from 1984-1992. Harry was just as zany and eccentric as the crazies who passed through his courtroom. And just like his character, Anderson was a magician at heart. And thanks to both Anderson, and his Night Court character, we all discovered the jazz great Mel Tormé. Anderson was nominated for three consecutive Emmys, from 1985 to 1987. In 1990, Harry played the adult Richie Tozier in the 1990 miniseries It, based on the Stephen King novel.
After Night Court’s run ended, Anderson went right back at it, playing Dave Barry on “Dave’s World,” which ran from 1993 to 1997. After that, he was not very active in the acting world anymore.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, and he had two children from a previous marriage.
If, for some reason, you have never seen Night Court, I cannot recommend it enough. I have seen some episodes recently, and it is just as funny now, as it was back then.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be “Sir”. Do you maggots understand that?
Recruits: [In unison in a normal speaking tone] Sir, yes Sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Bullshit I can’t hear you. Sound off like you got a pair!
Recruits: [In unison, much louder] SIR, YES SIR!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that day you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless. And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps. Do you maggots understand that?
R.I.P. R. Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018)
If you’d like to buy or rent this movie from Amazon, you can click on the movie poster below:
Over the past couple of years, we have lost several ’80s icons. But, this one hits a lot more closer to home to me – literally. Benny’s, a Rhode Island institution, is closing its doors for good, by the end of the year, at all 31 of it’s locations. Today, the East Providence store is closing for the last time.
Benny’s sold everything from car parts, to electronics, to yardwork items, to sporting goods, and so much more. With 31 stores around the “Biggest Little State in the Union”, Benny’s was very convenient if you needed something in a pinch. If a garage told me that I needed new windshield wipers, and that they could install them for the price of a second mortgage, and the blood of your first born, I was happy to tell them to go take a hike. Then I would head over to Benny’s, buy my own windshield wipers for a decent price, and install them myself.
The family owned business is closing for a couple of reasons – the family’s desire to retire, and the direction that the retail business is headed.
My love of Benny’s began in the late ’70s/early ’80s. I would go there every year, just before baseball season, to go and pick out a new baseball glove. It brought me great joy, and for me, it was way better than buying clothes at the beginning of every school year.
There was also this memorable commercial from the ’80s:
To this day, whenever I go into a store and need help, and there is no one in sight, I say “Helllllooooo.” just like the guy in that commercial.
Also, in the ’80s, Rhode Island began an ad campaign called the “Biggest Little State in the Union”, which I referenced earlier. It had a very catchy song that sticks in your head. Recently, Benny’s brought that campaign back:
Benny’s you will be missed. Now, when you’re in Rhode Island, if you stop and ask for directions (I’m assuming your GPS is broken), we can say, go down this street, and take a left at the corner where Benny’s used to be.
If you’re from Southern New England, what are your memories of this store. If you are outside the area, do you have any iconic local stores that have closed?
It’s time for another 80s League event! This month, the 80s League, which consists of 80s Reboot Overdrive, Rediscover the ’80s, Weegiemidget, and Killer Kitsch. As part of this crossover event, Return to the ’80s is dedicating a full episode on the topic instead of only a segment. Joining Robert and Paul is Marissa, a true lover of the greatest decade ever!
Not only do we talk about our celebrity crushes, but we talk about our real life crushes. We also have our regular segments of Play This, Not That, Remember That Song, and ’80s Trivia.
Also, I should mention that as I am fairly new at podcasting, I am still working out some of the technical kinks. So I apologize for some of the minor sound issues that occur this episode. Future episodes should be much better. I hope it’s not distracting. We had a lot of fun recording this, and I think you will have fun listening. And feel free to join in on the conversation by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us about your 80s crushes, or love story.
– Welcome Marissa to the show
– New Def Leppard DVD/CD called And There Will Be a Next Time (unless it’s in Providence, apparently)
– New Night Ranger album – March 24 – Don’t Let Up
– Two Super Bowl Commercials with ‘80s music ties:
Wendy’s – “Cold as Ice”
Kia – Holding Out for a Hero
– Mary Tyler Moore
– John Wetton
– Richard Hatch
– Sorry Al Jarreau. First, Paul didn’t know he died. Then our tribute to him somehow turns into a retrospective look at the career of Curtis “Booger” Armstrong.
Play This, Not That – Air Supply
Instead of playing “Lost in Love”
Play “I Can Wait Forever”
Remember That Song
You play tricks on my mind, you’re everywhere, but you’re so hard to find
You’re not warm, you’re sentimental
“Urgent” by Foreigner
New Song: I know what you’re thinking / Cause I’ve been there myself / I’ve been kicked so many times / I don’t know nothing else / Still I noticed your urgency / I recognized the flair / That you got from chasing all those East coast dares
What screen siren appeared in Stripes, Blade Runner, No Way Out and Wall Street?
Answer: Sean Young
Winner: Jim Vilk
New Question: What brokerage firm’s name, when mentioned in TV ads, silenced entire rooms of people?
– Listener Feedback
– Personal Stories
Marissa’s numerous crushes and obsession with swimmers
Robert meets his future wife in high school on a bus to a football game
Paul tells the story of his high school girlfriend and their serendipitous meeting 28 years later
– The gang talk about their celebrity crushes
Rick Springfield (Marissa)
Olivia Newton-John (Robert)
Catherine Bach (Paul)
John Taylor (Marissa)
Elisabeth Shue (Robert)
Erin Gray (Paul)
Richard Gere (Marissa)
Susanna Hoffs (Robert)
Alyssa Milano (Paul)
Mickey Rourke (Marissa)
Christie Brinkley (Robert)
Debbie Gibson (Paul)