Category Archives: R.I.P

R.I.P. Harry Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018)

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.

Quote of the Day: Full Metal Jacket


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:

Quote of the Day: Say Anything…

Jim Court: You’re not a permanent part of her life. You’re a distraction.

Lloyd Dobler: I’m the distraction that’s going with her to England, sir.

R.I.P. John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018)

If you’d like to watch, buy, or rent this movie on Amazon, click on the movie poster below:

R.I.P. Benny’s (1924-2017)

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?

Quotes of the Day: Weird Science and Rain Man

Weird Science

Lisa: This is a nuclear missile!

Chet: I didn’t think it was a whale’s dick, honey!


Rain Man

images

[Raymond blows their ruse to get into a farmhouse to watch The People’s Court]

Charlie: That’s it. You blew it. You don’t get to see your program. Finished.

Raymond: One minute to Wapner.

Charlie: Yes, one minute to Wapner. I had you in there, Ray! You were in there! The defendant, the plaintiff, you had it all. They are in there making legal history. *Legal history!*

 

R.I.P. Bill Paxton and Judge Wapner

 

Episode 10: ’80s Crushes

80s-crushes

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 returnto80s@gmail.com, and tell us about your 80s crushes, or love story.

Opening

– 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

R.I.P.

– 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

Last 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

Winner: Peter

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

80s Trivia

Last Question:
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?

Main Topic – ’80s Crushes

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– Crossover Event, featuring the following blogs/podcasts
80s Reboot Overdrive
Rediscover the ’80s
Weegiemidget
Killer Kitsch

– 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)

Episode 8: Year in Review – 1980

year-in-review-cover

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.



Opening

– R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds

Play This, Not That

John Waite
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!!!

’80s Trivia

Question: What colors were on the original Rubik’s cube?

Main Topic – 1980

10. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

9. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel

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

 

8. “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.
7. “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney

Top 10 Television Shows
10 Little House on the Prairie
8. Three’s Company
House Calls
7. Alice
6. The Jeffersons
5. The Love Boat
4. M*A*S*H
3. 60 Minutes
2. The Dukes of Hazzard
1. Dallas

Long Distance Dedication from Realweegiemidge at https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/

6. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
5. “Do That To Me One More Time” by Captain and Tennille

Popular Toys in 1980
2XL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnAhaZ5vlg8
Big Trak – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6V-tuOf3dE
Tuneyville Choo Choo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvKbokD99Do
Candi Color ‘n’ Curl – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYDSuxRSlwA
The Empire Strikes Back collection – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Z9b_UN9ds

Long Distance Dedication II from Rob ‘The Snyderman’ Snyder

4. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson
3. “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John

Books released
William Golding, Rites of Passage
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Sports
Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. La Rams (31-19)

World Series
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City (4-2)

NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)

Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Philadelphia (4-2)

Wimbledon
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)

2. “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd
1. “Call Me” by Blondie


Come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

Episode 7: Remembering Alan Thicke, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher

memorial-cover

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.


Alan Thicke (3/1/47-12/13/16)

Of course we know Alan Thicke as Jason Seaver on Growing Pains. However, he was also a songwriter for many shows, including Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

The multi-talented Thicke also hosted the game show Animal Crack-Ups, and also wrote and performed the theme song. Here is an opening segment of that show:


George Michael (6/25/63-12/25/16)

George Michael had a very successful career as both a member of Wham! and as a solo artist. Some of his highlights we cover are”

Wake me up Before You Go-Go
Careless Whisper
Last Christmas
One More Try

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.


Come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

We’ll Be Right Back – Clips of Alan Thicke, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher

Hi Everybody, After all the devastating news over the past week, Robert and I have been preparing a special podcast episode. The regular Remember That Song and Quote of the Day segments will be back in 2017. In the meantime, here are a few videos of a happier time. Enjoy.

Although he was mainly known as Jason Seaver in Growing Pains, Alan Thicke also starred in this show, Animal Crack-Ups, which aired while he was still on Growing Pains. Not only did Thicke host this show, he wrote and sang the theme song. Here is the opening segment of an episode:


I’m sure all of you have been listening to a lot of Wham! and George Michael songs lately. Here is something a little different. James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke is enormously popular these days. As it so happens, George Michael appeared in the very first Carpool Karaoke. This is from Comic Relief in the U.K. in 2011. At the time, James Corden was best known as Smithy from Gavin and Stacey.
This scene begins with “Smithy” receiving a call from Lenny Henry at Comic Relief who asks him to head to BBC Television Centre to help record a charity single. For U.S. readers who may not know, Lenny Henry is a legendary comic in the U.K. Of course Corden is hilarious. But, this clip really shows George Michael’s sense of humor. ’80s fans may possibly recognize the songs that get played here…


Last but not least, here are a couple of appearances by Carrie Fisher on Late Night. These interviews are from:

May 30, 1983: promoting “Return of the Jedi”
August 27, 1987: promoting her new book “Postcards from the Edge”

Her interviews are always funny and honest (to say the least).

R.I.P. Alan Thicke (March 1, 1947 – December 13, 2016)

2016 has been absolutely brutal! I know that every year major celebrities, we grew up with, die. But, it seems like there have been an excessive amount of huge names that we lost this year. Alan Thicke is now the latest. Sadly, he passed away yesterday. What makes this even worse is that he suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19 year old son Carter, and died at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 69.

Obviously, we all know Alan Thicke from his role as Jason Seaver in the awesome family sitcom, Growing Pains. He was an awesome dad. He was funny and cool, but could still be strict. He was a great role model, and Alan Thicke really made this character shine. My earliest memory of him was in the second episode of the series when he went to a Bruce Springsteen concert with his son Mike (Kirk Cameron). Coming out of the concert, they were stopped by a television reporter who asked if they were father and son, and Jason embarrassed Mike by giving him a noogie on live TV.

Starring in Growing Pains was not his only television credit at the time. The multi-talented Thicke was also a TV theme song composer, along with his then-wife Gloria Loring. The songs he composed were iconic. He composed the themes for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

He also composed game show theme songs, such as The Wizard of Odds (on which he also sang) The Joker’s Wild, the original theme to Wheel of Fortune, and several others.

He also wrote the song and appeared in the television show, Animal Crack-Ups from 1987-1989.

Thicke co-hosted the Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade (now the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade) with Joan Lunden from 1983 to 1990, when he was succeeded by Regis Philbin.

Over the years he has guested on several shows. Most recently, he had a guest spot on the new smash hit show, This Is Us.

Alan Thicke seemed like a class act, and all-around good guy.He will be sorely missed.