Silver Spoons: Where Are They Now?

Here we are, face to face
A couple of Silver Spoons.
Hopin’ to find, we’re two of a kind
Making a go, making it grow.

Together, we’re going to find our way.
Together, taking the time each day.
To learn all about those things you just can’t buy.

Two Silver spoons together.
You and I together (We’re going to find our way)
You and I together (We’re going to find our way)
You and I together.

Silver Spoons aired on NBC from September 25, 1982 to May 11, 1986 and in first-run syndication from September 15, 1986 to March 4, 1987.

In the first episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrived at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, move in and get to know him better. Edward Stratton III (played by Joel Higgins) was an “overgrown child,” that never took responsibility for anything, including his toy business named Eddie Toys. Edward thinks that his son is too uptight and needs to get out and have fun while he’s still young.

They live in an awesome mansion that has arcade games and a train that ran throughout the house. While Edward was childish and playful, his gorgeous personal assistant, Kate Summers (played by Erin Gray), was often the voice of reason. And she kind of gave him incentive to act a little more mature. Edward and Kate had a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship which led to the two dating and later becoming married in the third season.

And like, Diff’rent Strokes, and other family sitcoms of the ’80s, Silver Spoons had it’s share of “Very Special” Episodes:

* In the Season 1 episode “Mr. T and Me”, the issue of school bullies was touched upon when Ricky is being picked on by a bully and Edward decides to hire a bodyguard for Ricky (played by Mr. T).

* In the Season 1 episode “The Best Christmas Ever”, homelessness was addressed when Ricky discovered a family living in a cave on his father’s estate, featuring future Gimme A Break and Blossom star Joey Lawrence.

* In the Season 2 episode “Spare the Rod,” Ricky discovers that his friend Toby (Meeno Peluce of Voyagers!) is being beaten by his father. The end of the episode reveals that the father is also a child abuse victim.

* In the Season 3 episode “The Babysitters”, Ricky suspects that a girl he’s babysitting was kidnapped by her father. Many missing children cases have involved children being kidnapped by one of their parents or relatives.

* In the two-part Season 4 episode “One for the Road”, Ricky attends a party and is pressured into drinking by his friend. He later finds out that his friend has a drinking problem and tries to get him help.

* In the Season 4 episode “Daddy Rick”, the subject of teen pregnancy is addressed when Ricky is paired with a girl in a mock marriage project at school and finds out his partner is pregnant, both in the mock marriage project and in real life.

Overall, this was a very good show. And who didn’t want to live in that mansion?!?

So, where have all the stars of the show been?

Ricky Stratton – Ricky Schroder

Ricky Schroder came into prominence when he won a Golden Globe for Best New Male Star of 1979 when he starred in The Champ with Jon Voight and Faye Dunaway.
Schroder then starred in Silver Spoons. After his run on that show, he decided to go for more mature roles. In 1988, he starred in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries, Lonesome Dove, based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. He also appeared in the sequel, Return to Lonesome Dove. And then most of us were surprised when he starred in the television show NYPD Blue, replacing Jimmy Smits. He played Danny Sorenson for 2 1/2 years, and did an outstanding job. He left after the 2000-2001 season citing a need to spend more time with his family and time-management issues. In 2003, he returned to comedy, playing Nurse Paul Flowers in Scrubs. In 2004, Schroder directed and starred in the great Brad Paisley video, “Whiskey Lullaby”. In 2007, Schroder went back to action/drama, playing Mike Doyle on 24 for 1 season. Schroder is set to guest-star in an upcoming January episode of ABC’s No Ordinary Family.

Schroder married Andrea Bernard on September 26, 1992. Together, they have four children: sons Holden (born 1992) and Luke (born 1993) and daughters Cambrie (born 1997) and Faith Anne (born 2001). Andrea Bernard-Schroder is an interior designer and was a contestant on Season Two of Top Design on Bravo.

For the latest news and updates on Rick Schroder, you can visit his Official Site.


Edward Stratton III – Joel Higgins

Before Silver Spoons, Joel Higgins played Bruce Carson in the CBS soap opera Search For Tomorrow from 1975-1978. In 1979, Higgins starred in the short-lived television series Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith. Then in 1981, he starred as U.S. Marshal Sam Best in the show Best of the West.

After Silver Spoons, he appeared in 2 television movies: Laura Lansing Slept Here (1988) and Rich Men, Single Women (1990). He was also in the short-lived 1989 sitcom, Have Faith where he played the role of Monsignor Joseph “Mac” MacKenzie.

He has mainly been working in theater over the years.

Joel Higgins is married to a woman named Stacy, they’ve been together for over 20 years and have a son named Graham.


Kate Summers Stratton – Erin Gray

Before Silver Spoons, Erin Gray was known for her role as Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Then in 1982, she played the role of Lilah in the summer movie Six Pack as a love interest opposite Kenny Rogers.

In 1993, she had a featured role in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series. In 2005, she appeared in the film, Siren. In 2010, she appeared in the web series Buck Rogers, playing the mother of Lucas ‘Buck’ Rogers. She is also active as a casting agent through her agency, Heroes for Hire, which specializes in booking sci-fi and fantasy stars for appearances.

The Official Erin Gray Home Page


Dexter Stuffins – Franklyn Seales (July 15, 1952 – May 14, 1990)

Seales was mainly known for “stuffy” Dexter Stuffins, Edward’s attorney, and uncle to Ricky’s best friend Alfonso. After Silver Spoons, Seales had guest spots on the shows Wiseguy, Growing Pains, and Amen. Sadly, Seales died of complications from AIDS at his family’s home in New York City on May 14, 1990. He was 37.


Alfonso Spears – Alfonso Ribeiro

While Alfonso Ribeiro became well known from his role in Silver Spoons, he became an even bigger star as Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

He is currently hosting his first game show, GSN’s Catch-21, which premiered July 21, 2008 and directing Tyler Perry’s sitcom Meet the Browns.


Derek Taylor – Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman played one of Ricky’s friends, Derek Taylor from 1982-1984. Before Silver Spoons, Bateman played James Cooper Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. After Silver Spoons, Bateman starred in the show Valerie’s Family, which was then named The Hogan Family after Valerie Harper left the show. After that show ended, Bateman disappeared for almost a decade. Then he had a career resurgence when he starred in the show Arrested Devlopment as Michael Bluth. Bateman won several awards for his work on the series, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. He was also nominated in 2005 for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.
This resurgence then brought him to movies. In 2004, Bateman appeared in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story as ESPN 8 (“The Ocho”) commentator Pepper Brooks, and in Starsky & Hutch as Kevin, Vince Vaughn’s business partner.

Bateman reunited with Vaughn in 2006’s The Break-Up. In 2007, he played former lawyer Rupert “Rip” Reed alongside Ben Affleck in Smokin’ Aces, and also starred in The Kingdom, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and Juno. In 2008, he co-starred with Will Smith and Charlize Theron in the superhero film Hancock.

Bateman’s 2009 films included Extract, written and directed by Mike Judge, and Couples Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort (Kristen Bell played his wife).

Since 2001, Bateman has been married to actress Amanda Anka, daughter of singer and actor Paul Anka. Their first child, Francesca Nora Bateman, was born October 28, 2006.


Freddy Lippincottleman – Corky Pigeon

After Silver Spoons, Corky went on to plays drums and make countless records in various bands, tour with bands like MXPX and Reel Big Fish. Corky married his girlfriend of ten years, Bobbie Starr Pigeon aka Bobbie Starr. They live in The Valley in Los Angeles.


Grandfather Edward Stratton II – John Houseman (September 22, 1902 – October 31, 1988)

In addition for being known as Edward Stratton II, Houseman won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his role as Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 movie The Paper Chase. He reprised his role in the television series of the same name from 1978–1986, receiving two Golden Globe nominations for “Best Actor in a TV Series — Drama”. And of course, we fondly remember Houseman for his Smith Barney commercial, with the catchphrase: “They make money the old fashioned way…they EHRN (earn) it.”

Here is the commercial. The actual commercial starts 22 seconds into the video:

Houseman died of spinal cancer in 1988 at his home in Malibu, California at age 86. In 1988, he appeared in his last two roles—cameos in the movies The Naked Gun playing a hilarious driving instructor, and Scrooged playing himself. Both films were released after his death.


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:

Music Video of the Week – 11/17/10

This week’s selection, in honor of Ronnie DeVoe’s 43rd birthday, is “Cool it Now” by New Edition:

“Cool It Now” was released in 1984 as the first single off of New Edition’s second album, New Edition. The song was the group’s first top 10 pop single, peaking at number four on the pop chart, and their second number one R&B hit. The original members included Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell. Bobby Brown left the group in 1985 to go on to a successful solo career. New Edition continued on with four members for a while, until Johnny Gill joined them in 1988. In 1990, the group when on hiatus while the went on to their own projects. Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant had solo projects, and the remaining members formed Bell Biv Devoe, who were successful with the song and album Poison.
New Edition has reunited in 1996 for a short time, and again in 2004. There are rumors that they will reunite once again.

On December 20, 2009, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill joined New Kids on the Block onstage at a House Of Blues benefit show for Toys For Tots in Boston, performing Full Service and This One’s For The Children.

Johnny Gill confirms that New Edition will reunite once again and will sign with manager Irving Azoff. They are currently signed with Geffen Records and Interscope Records.

Trivia Tuesday – 11/16/10

Question: What was the second music video that aired on MTV?


Last Week’s Question: What television show featured a time traveler whose job it was to travel throughout Earth’s past, present, and future fixing “mistakes” in time. (It’s not Doctor Who or Quantum Leap)

Answer: Voyagers!

Voyagers! aired on NBC for the 1982-1983 season on Sunday nights, and starred Jon-Erik Hexum as Phineas Bogg and Meeno Peluce as Jeffrey Jones. Bogg used a hand-held device called an Omni (which looked much like a large pocket watch) to travel in time and ensured that history unfolded as we know it. When the Omni was red, they knew something wasn’t right and needed to fix it. Once it was green, they were good to go.
Here is the opening:

Bogg and Jeffrey first met when Bogg’s Omni malfunctioned and took him to 1982, landing him in the apartment of Jeffrey’s aunt and uncle, who were caring for him after his parents’ death. Jeffrey accidentally fell out of a window, and Bogg jumped out to rescue him by activating the Omni. Bogg’s Guidebook, which contained a detailed description of how history should unfold, had been grabbed by Jeffrey’s dog Ralph so Bogg had to rely on Jeffrey (whose father was a history professor) to help him.

Over the closing credits of each episode, Meeno Peluce (Jeffrey) said in voice over: “If you want to learn more about {historical element from the episode}, take a voyage down to your public library. It’s all in books!”

Voyagers! was successful, but it did not get picked up for a second season because NBC thought they could challenge CBS’s 60 Minutes with another news program, called Monitor. Apparently that didn’t work out too well because I forgot about Monitor, and I still remember loving Voyagers!

Jon-Erik Hexum went on to star in another show called Cover Up. On On October 12, 1984, while on the set, Hexum was fooling around and played Russian roulette with a handgun that still had blanks in it. The force of the wadding from the blanks hit him in his temple with enough force to hatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain, causing massive hemorrhaging. He underwent five hours of surgery. But on six days later, on October 18, Hexum was declared brain dead. His mother gave permission to pull him off of life support. Several of his organs were donated to ailing people.

Meeno Peluce was devastated by the death of his Voyagers co-star and close friend. In 1998, Peluce spoke about the accidental shooting on Mysteries and Scandals: The Death Of Jon-Erik Hexum.
Peluce is married and has two children. He has also worked as a writer and director. He is half brother to Punky Brewster‘s Soleil Moon Frye. Their father is actor Virgil Frye.
Peluce is a photographer, and showcases his photographs, along with writings, at his website.

Steve Perry Wants to Reunite With Journey?

“Don’t Stop Believin'” Steve Perry and Journey fans. The rumor mill is starting up once again. According to Pollstar, London’s Daily Star an a short piece saying Perry had asked to rejoin the band after seeing “Don’t Stop Believing” performed by cast members on the hit TV show “Glee.” Or maybe he got re-energized after this performance at a Giants playoff game in San Francisco a few weeks ago:

But Journey founder/guitarist Neal Schon said, “He seems to be enjoying the spotlight a little too much. The fact is he’s no longer the lead singer. He walked out.”

Also, Journey already has a new singer, Arnel Pineda, and the band has an album scheduled to be released in 2011, and they plan on a world tour.

Nintendo: “It’s On Like Donkey Kong”

Nintendo, creator of the classic arcade/video game, has filed a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to trademark the pop-culture phrase, “It’s on like ‘Donkey Kong.’ ”

According to CNN, Nintendo claims that the catchphrase “is an old, popular Nintendo phrase that has a number of possible interpretations depending on how it’s used.”

“In addition to Nintendo’s use, it has been used in popular music, television and film over the years, pointing to Donkey Kong’s status as an enduring pop-culture icon and video game superstar,” they said Wednesday in a written release.

According to the Urban Dictionary, rapper Ice Cube first popularized the phrase in 1992 with the song “Now I Gotta Wet’cha.” Since then , the phrase has been heard in many television shows and movies.

Could this be a publicity stunt? On November 21 this year, the newest Donkey Kong game – “Donkey Kong Country Returns” – is going to be released.

Donkey Kong burst onto the Arcade scene in 1981, and was one of the most populat games of the ’80s. It was the first appearance of the iconic Mario. In the original game, Donkey Kong captured Pauline, and you control Mario to climb up the girders to rescue her. In the meantime, Donkey Kong would throw barrels at you, and fling hammers up in the air. You would have to time the barrels and jump over them. When you reach Donkey Kong, he grabs Pauline, and goes to the next screen. The original Mario was actually named Jumpman (similar to “Pac-Man” and “Walkman”), and he was a carpenter instead of a plumber.

This should bring back memories:

Donkey Kong spawned the sequels Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3, as well as the spin-off Mario Bros.
In 1982, Coleco liscesed Donkey Kong, and included it in the pack-in cartridge for all the ColecoVision consoles. The game was very similar to the actual arcade game, so it sold well. There was even a hand-held Donkey Kong game.
In 2007, a popular documentary called The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was released. It follows Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from reigning champion Billy Mitchell.
Over the years, Donkey Kong has transitioned very well with all the newer video game systems. As I mentioned earlier, there are still new games coming out, as “Donkey Kong Country Returns” is coming out on November 21.

New Michael Jackson Single to be Released and Album Track Listing Announced

MichaelJackson.com has announced that the first official single from the upcoming Michael album will be released this coming Monday, November 15th at 12:01am EST. The song is called “Hold My Hand”. It will appear on http://www.michaeljackson.com and will then go on sale digitally. The song, a duet with Akon, was recorded in 2007. Jackson had a handwritten note indicating that he wanted this song to be the first single to be released on his next project. The unfinished version of the song was leaked in 2008.Akon recently completed the new and final production of “Hold My Hand.”

Akon comments, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come; now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols.”

The new album, Michael, will be released on December 14. Here is the track listing:

1. Hold My Hand (Duet with Akon)
2. Hollywood Tonight
3. Keep Your Head Up
4. (I Like) The Way You Love Me
5. Monster (Featuring 50 Cent)
6. Best Of Joy
7. Breaking News
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)
9. Behind The Mask
10. Much Too Soon

Music Video of the Week – 11/10/10

Since tonight is the Country Music Awards show, this week’s selection is “Is There Life Out There” by Reba. Even if you’re not a Country Music fan, you can still get an ’80s fix as Huey Lewis has a big part in the video:


“Is There Life Out There” was released off of Reba McEntire’s 1991 album For My Broken Heart. The song debuted at #64 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and peaked at #1 for the week of December 21, 1991, and it stayed at #1 for two consecutive weeks. This video is one of the first country music videos to include significant amounts of dialogue that portray the song’s storyline. According to Entertainment Weekly, Reba and her label (MCA Records) received complaints from the television network CMT over the video that she was “putting message ahead of music”, and it was almost banned from the network. Maybe they never heard of Thriller? The video then won Video of the Year at the 1992 Academy of Country Music awards.
Reba starred in a 1994 television movie on CBS, also titled Is There Life Out There?, which was based on the song’s storyline. Instead of co-starring with Huey Lewis, Keith Carradine starred along with Reba.

New Bon Jovi Greatest Hits (with 4 new songs) Released Today

“Raise Your Hands” if you are going to buy, or have already bought the new Bon Jovi Greatest Hits. No, that song isn’t on there, but if you get the Ultimate Collection version of this album, there is a very good combination of Bon Jovi’s classics, and their more recent hit songs. You can see the list of songs here.

The down side of this collection (for those of us who download legally) is that you need to purchase the whole album in order to get the new songs. That is probably a good idea business-wise, but not cool for fans like myself who already own everything else they ever came out with! If you just download the “1 disc” version, you only get 2 new songs. But I coughed up $15.99 of my iTunes credits to get the Ultimate Collection, which contains 4 new songs, and I do have to say that I’m not disappointed!

“What Do You Got?”

The first new song (Track 15 on disc 1) is a very good slower tempo song. This is also the first song released off of the album as a single. The video is part of the package of the “Ultimate” collection. It is a typical timeless Bon Jovi song, and worthy of being part of this collection.

“No Apologies”

The second new song (Track 16 on disc 1) is a great fist pumping rocker. It is kind of similar to “We Weren’t Born to Follow” from their last album The Circle. It is about standing by what you believe in. It is a very anthemic song.

“This is Love This is Life”

Track 11 on the second disc is a very good up-tempo song. There is some throwback vocoder in it. It kind of has a “Born to Be My Baby”, “Livin’ On a Prayer” feel to it.

“The More Things Change”

And they saved the best for last. It is kind of autobiographical, and also suits us ’80s fans. With lyrics like this:

If you hang in long enough they say you’re comin’ back
Just take a look, we’re living proof and baby that’s a fact

this was a perfect song to end the album with.

So, I would say that if you are a Bon Jovi fan, this is a great album to add to your collection. It is better that their last Greatest Hits compilation – Cross Road, and is not as overwhelming as the box set, 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.
This is also a great album for any younger music fans who are beginning to get into Bon Jovi.

80's Pop Culture and News

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