Category Archives: Family Ties

Return to the ’80s Trivia – 1/6/22

rtt80s trivia

Question: What Ghostbuster said the following line in “Ghostbusters”: “It’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.”?

Last Question: In what popular 80s TV series did Tom Hanks play the role of Ned Donnelly?

Answer: Family Ties



Tom Hanks played the role of Elyse’s younger brother, Ned Donnelly in three episodes of Family Ties between 1983 and 1984. He appeared in the first season’s episodes, “The Fugitive: Part 1” (Season 1 Episode 14) and “The Fugitive: Part 2” (Season 1 Episode 15). He also appeared in season two’s episode, “Say Uncle”(Season 2 Episode 14).

Happy Father’s Day! ’80s Sitcom Fathers

In honor of Father’s Day, here is a tribute to ’80s sitcom Fathers. These are listed in no particular order:

Howard Cunninghan – Happy Days

“Mr. C” had a lot to deal with. Not only did own a hardware store (Cunningham Hardware), but he had to deal with his bickering kids (Richie and Joanie), and his sometimes spacey wife, Marion. He also had to put up with Richie’s goofy friends, Potsie and Ralph Mouth, and he was also a father figure to Fonzie. Then later on, he had to deal with Fonzie’s nephew, Chachi, chasing after his daughter.
At least he got to let off steam at the Leopard Lodge or bowling for a team called the Ten Pins.

Edward Stratton III – Silver Spoons

Sure Edward Stratton may have been a bit of a man-child. But who would complain about a dad that has a train that runs through the house. And at the time, how many of us were jealous that Ricky had a full size arcade game in the house?!

Jason Seaver – Growing Pains

Dr. Jason Seaver was a psychiatrist who also taught lessons to his own kids. And how cool was he to score Springsteen tickets for his son, Mike?! Too bad Jason embarrased him on th on-street TV interview after the concert. Well, nobody’s perfect.

Steven Keaton – Family Ties

Steven was a public TV manager, and a proud former hippie, who raised four children – one of whom was a conservative free marketeer. The soft-spoken father was able to guide his family through som “very special episodes” and came through with flying colors.

Al Bundy – Married With Children

albundy2Al Bundy was the heart and soul of the Bundy family. He was cursed selling women’s shoes, and came home to a family that constantly mocked him. But he still enjoyed the simple things in life, such as sitting in front of the TV, and sticking his hand in his pants.

So who are some of your favorite sitcom dads? Mr. Drummond? The dads from My Two Dads? Tony from Who’s the Boss?

Give a shout out to your favorite dads, and Happy Father’s Day!

Daily Trivia – 6/30/11

Question: In Top Gun, what does Maverick say to Goose in the bar to let him know it was time to sing to someone?

Last Question: On Family Ties, what character formed an all girl rock band called “The Permanent Waves”?

Answer: Jennifer

The episode was titled “Band on the Run”. Alex was the chairman of the entertainment committee for his college, and had to find a band for a reunion. Jennifer was in an all-girl band, and convinced Alex to let her band audition. After hearing them, Alex was impressed. So he convinced them to sign him as manager.

Of course in typical Alex fashion, he got out of control. He renamed the band from The Permanent Waves to The Swinging Corporate Raiders (or maybe it was The $winging Corporate Raiders), and had them singing Andrews Sisters style tunes. At the reunion, while playing one of those crap songs, Jennifer has a meltdown, and runs off stage. Her and Alex hash things out. Then Jennifer says that the band can manage themselves, and if they make it big, Alex can be their accountant. Then Alex says, that if he hits it big, they can play at his inauguration.

There are a couple of guest stars to note. Christina Applegate was one of the band members, just shortly before she rose to fame on Married… with Children. Also, Rain Phoenix, sister of River, Joaquin, Summer, and Liberty, played another band member.

Here is the episode:

Return the Artist – 6/10/11

Return the artist for this song:

Just got paid, Friday night
Party huntin’, feelin’ right
Body shakin’, all around (Body shakin’ all around)
No one thinks when I’m gettin’ down

Yesterday’s: “Theme from Family Ties” (or “Without Us” by Deniece Williams and Johnny Mathis)

I bet we been together for a million years,
And I bet we’ll Be Together For a Million More

Daily Trivia – 6/9/11

Question: In 1988, Richard Simmons began promoting what line of fitness tapes that combined exercise with music from the 1950s?

Last Question: At the end of the Family Ties series, where did Alex go to start his career?

Answer: New York

After graduating from Leland University, Alex took a job on Wall Street.

Here is the final episode:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Daily Trivia – 3/18/11

Question: What artist had a #1 hit with the theme from the movie Ghostbusters?


Last Question: On Family Ties, who guest starred as Elyse Keaton’s alcoholic brother Ned?


Answer: Tom Hanks

In this “very special episode” of Family Ties (aired on January 26, 1984), Tom Hanks played Ned Donnelly, Elyse Keaton’s brother, who became an alcoholic. This was after Hanks’ Bosom Buddies years, but just before he made his “splash” in Splash and Bachelor Party later that year.

Alex (Michael J. Fox) idolized Ned. But his image came crashing down when at 2:00 AM, Alex did not want to make a beer run and Uncle Ned chugged a bottle of vanilla extract:

The episode started funny when Ned made his grand entrance carrying the Keaton’s trash bags claiming some guys in a truck were trying to take them away. But, but towards the end of the episode, there was a dark turn, peaking when Uncle Ned “pimp slapped” poor Alex across the room.

After realizing what he did, Ned finally admitted that he needed help. Tom Hanks’ career then took off, and we never heard from Uncle Ned again.

p.s. This will be my last post for a while. So feel free to look back at some of my other articles in the meantime. As “Ahnuld” said in The Terminator, “Ahhl be back”.

Television Flashback: Family Ties – “At This Moment”

Throughout the ’80s, there were several iconic television moments. Some were from real life events, and others were from our favorite television shows.
This “moment” is from Family Ties. When somebody mentions Family Ties, this scene is usually one of the first that comes to mind – Alex and Ellen (Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, who would eventually get married in real life) dancing to Billy Vera & the Beaters’ “At This Moment”. The song was actually released in 1981 to moderate success. Then on October 3, 1985, the Family Ties episode “The Real Thing” aired. This renewed great interest in the song, so it was re-released, and eventually reached #1.

In this episode, Ellen Reed opened herself to Alex several times hoping to get him to admit how strongly he felt about her. But he couldn’t do it. Then this led to this dance seen in this clip:

Here is the episode, available on Amazon:

Trivia Tuesday – 9/28/10

Question: What Pro-Wrestler was turned into a G.I. Joe character?

Last Week’s Question: Who was Mallory Keaton’s fiance?

Answer: Nick Moore

Nick, Mallory’s dim-witted fiance on Family Ties, was played by Scott Valentine. In 1986, He actually starred in a spin-off called The Art of Being Nick. The show also starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But only the pilot episode was aired. Nick was then a recurring character on Family Ties again. Here is The Art of Being Nick:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Scott Valentine did not have many other major roles after Family Ties. Here is a recent photo of him: