Tag Archives: Too Close for Comfort

Episode 23: 1981 Year in Review

On this episode of Return to the ’80s, Robert and Paul welcome Ty Ray, from the Beats and Eats podcast, to the show. The guys Return to 1981, and count down the year’s top songs, movies, and television shows. Also, find out what the biggest selling toys were in 1981, and reminisce on the big news stories of the year.

As this current decade comes to a close, come join us to Return to the greatest decade ever, and check out the awesome year of 1981!

10. “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon

9. “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton

Top 10 Movies of 1981

10. Time Bandits

9. The Four Seasons

8. For Your Eyes Only

7. Chariots of Fire

6. The Cannonball Run

5. Stripes

4. Arthur

3. Superman II

2. On Golden Pond

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark

8. “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbit

7. “Kiss On My List” by Hall & Oates

Hall & Oates March Madness

Top 10 Television Shows of 1981

10. One Day At a Time
9. M*A*S*H
8. ABC Monday Night Movie
7/6 tie Too Close for Comfort and The Dukes of Hazzard
5. Alice
4. Three’s Company
3. The Jeffersons
2. 60 Minutes
1. Dallas

6. “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang

5. “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield


Barbie Perfume Maker
Star Wars figures
Rubik’s Cube








4. “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon


3. “Lady” by Kenny Rogers


Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 – January 25, 1981 at the Louisiana Superdome


Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets 4-2

New York Islanders defeat the Minnesota North Stars 4-1

LA Dodgers beat the New York Yankees 4-1

News Events

January 20 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed

March 6 Walter Cronkite signs off of CBS Evening News

March 30 Reagan Assassination attempt

April 18 The Longest Game – Pawtucket Red Sox tie Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings (game resumed 23rd June)

May 11 Cats premieres in London

May 13 Assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II

Jun 2 Barbara Walters asks Katharine Hepburn what kind of tree she would be

Jun 5 AIDS Epidemic officially begins when US Centers for Disease Control reports on pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles

Jun 12 Baseball players begin a 50 day strike, their 3rd strike

July 29 Royal Wedding

Aug 1 MTV premieres at 12:01 AM

Aug 3 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike; US President Ronald Reagan offers an ultimatum to workers: ‘if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated’

Sep 12 “The Smurfs” animated cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera first broadcasts in North America

Sep 25 Sandra Day O’Connor sworn in as 1st female supreme court justice

Dec 11 Muhammad Ali’s 61st & last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick

Dec 28 1st American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr is born in Norfolk, Virginia

Dec 31 CNN Headline News debuts

2. “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

1. “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes


Ty Ray
Twitter – @BeatnEats

Check out Ty Ray and Nick Gelso’s awesome Beats and Eats podcast on:

iTunes (aka Apple Podcasts)


Return to the ’80s

Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter: @returntothe80s and Robert can be contacted at @mishouenglish
Email: returntothe80s@gmail.com

Also, you can subscribe to the Return to the ’80s podcast on

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Daily Trivia: 7/12/12

Question: What popular game show originally featured Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford as host and hostess?

Last Question: On Too Close for Comfort, what was the name of JM J. Bullock’s character?

Answer: Monroe

After playing our favorite snobby, golf-playing judge in Caddyshack, Ted Knight starred in the television show Too Close for Comfort, which ran from November 11, 1980 to September 27, 1986. Knight and Nancy Dussault played Henry and Muriel Rush, owners of a two-family house in San Francisco. They had two grown daughters, Jackie (Deborah Van Valkenburgh) and Sara (Lydia Cornell), who lived downstairs from them. At the end of the second season, Muriel gave birth to a son named Andrew.

James J. Bullock (who was credited as Jm J. Bullock in the show) played Sara’s dim-witted friend Monroe Ficus. He was Henry’s main (if unintended) foil.

There were changes made in the show’s last season. The name of the show became The Ted Knight Show.
Neither Jackie nor Sara appeared in this season. Henry, Muriel and Andrew move to a house in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The revamped show continued to be successful and was scheduled to resume production for another season. However Ted Knight, who had been battling colon cancer since 1985, died on August 26, 1986 at age 62, and the series was not continued.

Bullock would go on to be a regular on the updated Hollywood Squares, which was hosted by John Davidson. Bullock would even substitute as host at times.
Here is part of an episode of The Hollywood Squares:

And here is the Too Close for Comfort theme song:

Is it just me, or do these theme songs make you long for the ’80s sitcoms?