“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 email@example.com, 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)
This podcast episode should be more upbeat than the last episode. But, it doesn’t start that way. We recorded this podcast the same night we recorded the Alan Thicke/George Michael/Carrie Fisher tribute. Immediately after we finished recording the tribute, we got the news that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mother, had just died. But, I think we recovered nicely. Since 2016 was such a crappy year for most of us, Robert and I decided to go back to happier times, and take a look back at the year 1980. We count down the top 10 songs from that year. And in between, we take a look at the top movies, television shows, toys, and news items.
So, if you want to escape for a little while, sit back, relax, and Return to 1980.
– R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds
Play This, Not That
Instead of This (“Missing You”)
Play That (“Change”)
Remember That Song
Last Song: “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour – Neon lights, a Nobel Prize / When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies / You don’t have to follow me / Only you can set me free
Great job Kurt Torster!!!
Question: What colors were on the original Rubik’s cube?
Top 10 movies of 1980
10. The Blues Brothers
9. The Blue Lagoon
8. Smokey and the Bandit II
7. Coal Miner’s Daughter
6. Private Benjamin
5. Any Which Way You Can
4. Airplane! Paramount
3. Stir Crazy
2. 9 to 5
1. The Empire Strikes Back
William Golding, Rites of Passage
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
Pittsburgh d. La Rams (31-19)
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City (4-2)
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)
NY Islanders d. Philadelphia (4-2)
Women: Evonne Cawley d. C. Evert Lloyd (6-1 7-6)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. J. McEnroe (1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6)
Events of 1980
Miracle on Ice – (February 22) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYscemhnf88
Mount St. Helens (May 18)
Release of Pac-Man arcade game
CNN becomes the first 24hrs News Station
U.S. Boycotts Moscow Summer Olympics
Ronald Reagan elected president (11/4)
Who Shot JR?
John Lennon killed by Mark David Chapman (12/8)
2016 was a notoriously brutal year as we have lost several entertainment icons of the ’80s. Unfortunately, the year ended with a flurry. Alan Thicke suddenly passed away on December 13. We were planning on doing a segment on him for the next podcast. The day before our planned recording, we received the news that George Michael died. So, we decided to do an episode on both stars. Then the following day, Carrie Fisher died. Now, what we have here is a tribute to 3 awesome entertainers. I should also note that moments after we finished recording this, we received news that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mother, had died. So, let’s Return to the ’80s and relive some happier times and memories. And please send us your thoughts about these stars in the comments below or you can email us at Returnto80s@gmail.com.
The day following George Michael’s death, this special tribute was made at a soccer match:
George Michael also had a great sense of humor. Here he is on the first ever, Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon:
Carrie Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)
Of course we know Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from the Star Wars movies. She also starred as Meg Ryan’s best friend in When Harry Met Sally and played Tom Hanks’ wife in The ‘Burbs.
She was also a successful writer, publishing Postcards from the Edge in 1987, and just recently published The Princess Diarist.
There are a couple of interviews with Carrie Fisher on Late Night with David Letterman. The first part is from May 30, 1983, promoting Return of the Jedi. The second is from August 27, 1987, promoting her new book Postcards from the Edge.