American Gladiators

American Gladiators

While most game shows catered to the intellectually-advanced, there weren’t many opportunities for the jock types to parlay their physical talents into cash and prizes. American Gladiators gave them a few moments of televised glory. In this popular 90s show, it didn’t matter whether you knew the capital of Wisconsin, as long as you could outwhack your opponent with a giant Q-tip. Continue reading...

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Soul Train

Ever since its debut in 1952, fans of American pop music could tune in weekly to American Bandstand and keep themselves current on all of the latest artists and trends. But it would be almost two decades later before fans of rhythm and blues were given their own weekly outlet. They would forever owe their thanks to a Chicago DJ named Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train, for letting their voices be heard. Soul Train showcased all of the up-and-coming artists of the genre, put a spotlight on all the current dance moves, and, very quickly, became an enduring hit. Continue reading...

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The Twilight Zone

Television took a turn towards the surreal in 1959, with the debut of a new anthology series called The Twilight Zone. Each 30-minute episode might delve into the areas of science fiction, drama, comedy, horror, or political commentary, but the only thing one could truly expect from each episode was the unexpected. Famous for its last minute twists, the success of the show is attributed to the genius of its creator, writer and host, Rod Serling, who imagined some of the most engaging stories to ever hit the airwaves. Today, just about everyone can cite a favorite episode of this classic series, over 50 years after its debut. Continue reading...

You Can't Do That On Television

You Can’t Do That On Television

One of the first big hits to emerge on the up-and-coming Nickelodeon cable channel, You Can't Do That On Television (YCDTOTV) quickly endeared itself to young viewers with its bathroom-humor-laced sketch comedy performed by kids. But the show will always be best remembered for introducing the young populace to green slime, a substance that is now a trademark for the Nickelodeon brand, thanks to this long-running series that was required daily viewing for many an 80s kid. Continue reading...

Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine

Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine

The best and quirkiest shows often start small and cheap, but what they lack in viewership or budget, they more than make up for with imagination and improvisation. Producer Sanford Fisher used a treasure trove of educational and entertaining film clips to capture the minds and hearts of a young 70s audience, via Marlo and the Magical Movie Machine. Continue reading...

The New Zoo Revue

The New Zoo Revue

From 1972-1977, children across America were greeted each morning to a shy hippopotamus named Henrietta, a wise owl named Charlie, and fun-loving frog named Freddy. Throw in a pair of human hosts, Doug and Emmy Jo, and you have the syndicated kid’s show, The New Zoo Revue. Continue reading...

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein

If you were a child of the 70s, with a hankering for horror creatures and comedy sketches (and lucky enough to live in just the right part of the country), there was a special treat for you on syndicated television - The Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Created by and starring Billy Van, this Canadian-produced, low-budget horror spoof offered 60-minute episodes that were equal parts Gothic horror, comedic hi jinks, and even a little education programming. Continue reading...

Hee Haw

Hee Haw

Long before Jeff Foxworthy made a career out of his rural brand of “you might be a redneck…” humor, there was Hee Haw - a mixture of music, comedy sketches, and a whole lot of country charm. For just under a quarter of a century, adoring viewers all across the nation tuned in each week to both laugh at it’s particular brand of down-home humor, and get an earful of some of the best artists in country music. Continue reading...