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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, March 31

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Charlie / January 24, 2005 10:50 AM

Hands down... WKRP. The one classic show that you'll never see on DVD.

Andrew / January 24, 2005 11:07 AM

Ah, WKRP. One of my loves as well.
I loved Barney Miller's theme song, although the show is just OK. M*A*S*H rocks, and so does the Dick Van Dyke Show.

One show that didn't age well: Night Court.

Veronica / January 24, 2005 11:10 AM

Bewitched. I remember watching that with my mom. I think she liked it when she was younger and she just passed that down to me.

Naz / January 24, 2005 11:13 AM

I was quite fond of The A-Team as a young 'un. Though I'm not sure if it'd stand the test of time.

I was also quite fond of those souped up vehicle shows: Knight Rider, Air Wolf (Blue Thunder was sort of cool too) and Street Hawk (a motorcycle thing which I think barely anyone saw).

Naz / January 24, 2005 11:14 AM

On another note, from the early 90's, did anyone see a sitcome called Sibs? It starred Marsha Mason, Margaret Colin, Jami Gertz (!) and Dan Castellenata (!!, Homer!). It lasted one season, but was pretty damn good.

Ann-Marie / January 24, 2005 11:20 AM

Whenever the kids are home from school we always watch Mr. Rogers. It is the best "old" tv show ever!

Steve / January 24, 2005 11:25 AM

Square Pegs. New wave man, totally different head. Totally.

And Dragnet, for the impassioned line readings. It was like a radio drama minus the action, but plus lots of men in suits.

anne / January 24, 2005 11:29 AM

Does The Muppet Show count as old? I miss that like crazy. I hear it's out on DVD now though, but I haven't looked for it lately.

Kelly / January 24, 2005 11:32 AM

I LOVED "Kate & Allie" when I was younger; something about living with your best friend and having all those kids around seemed so much fun. Not so sure how I great it would be in reality.

Heather S. / January 24, 2005 11:36 AM

The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.

His afro, his use of titanium white, and the happy little trees. Old school PBS.

Thurston / January 24, 2005 11:40 AM

It's not that old yet, but I found News Radio to be pretty hilarious and underappreciated in its hey day, when the cast included Phil Hartman, Andy Dick, Dave Foley, Joe Rogan and Stephen Root (AKA Milton from Office Space). Then Phil Hartman's crazy-ass wife blew him away, which brought on the show's decline as well as the loss of many good Simpsons characters as well.

Maggie / January 24, 2005 11:57 AM

Not from my lifetime - but thank you Nick at Nite: All in the Family. I don't think any show has stood the test of time qute as well.

From my lifetime: the Cobsy Show. I still bring up situations that happened on that show.

Sidenote: Thurston, you are so right about News Radio. It featured each actor in their prime and in a really well-written character.

matt / January 24, 2005 12:02 PM

I have one tv show I dearly miss and one question for everyone. Okay, first I will tackle the show. “Welcome Back Kotter”. I LOVED that show. One of John Travolta’s first appearances and not only that but the characters were just so funny, how could you not like it. Not to mention, it felt like it was the late seventies. I just got the feeling of the dust on the chalkboard, the feeling of the wooden desks, the dumb arguments that people would get into on the show, which of course were adult situations instead of high school ones because god forbid if we should know the trials and tribulations of high schools of the 70’s during prime time. Lastly, the theme song. That was the best.

Now for my question. As I was on my morning commute on the red line this morning (after waiting 30 mins for the stupid train to show up, which it was completely full of course), I randomly thought about the show, “Facts of Life”. Due to the inclimate weather we have been having, it made me think of a particular episode. Does anyone else remember the episode that Jo leaves late at night on her motorbike and bites it big time on the ice and the other girls have to visit her at the hospital? Just wondering.

Oh and one last note worthy show – “HEAD OF THE CLASS” baby!!!

matt / January 24, 2005 12:03 PM

Airwolf, Nightrider, Adams Family and My 3 Sons

matt / January 24, 2005 12:04 PM

MAggie, I retrack my statement. Cosby was THE greatest show. I wish they would come out with them on DVD, I would buy them in a minute.

Although, my best friend would argue with you all and say that Wonder Years was the best.

Gordon / January 24, 2005 12:06 PM

Most of you kids' definition of "old" leaves alot to be desired.

Mr. Ed and the Donna Reed Show were great. Shelley Fabares and Donna Reed -- hoo, now that's a mother/daughter pair I wouldn't mind ... uh ... never mind.

Pete / January 24, 2005 12:07 PM

The Honeymooners, starring not one but two true comic geniuses, Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.

jenny / January 24, 2005 12:09 PM

M*A*S*H. Sometimes "Murder She Wrote," not because it's good but because it took place in my homestate (I think they must have killed off half of Maine during its extended run).

peggy / January 24, 2005 12:12 PM

The Mary Tyler Moore Show - a show that captured the era and was pretty funny, too.

Mrs. Notifbutwhen / January 24, 2005 12:20 PM

I'll spare you the repeats and add some fresh flavor to the mix:

Bosom Buddies
Greatests American Hero
3s Company

Naz / January 24, 2005 12:20 PM

Damn, The Cosby Show is THE SHOW. Forgot about that one. My favourite episode was when Theo thought he was all grown up and could get a job and move out and such and he went out for something. Upon returning, mom and dad had turned the place inside out and gave him Monopoly money or some fake money so he had to buy his stuff back and so on. That was a good one.

Gordon - 'old' is all relative. I grew up in London and Kuala Lumpur, two places that showed American sitcomes and shows at different times, mostly not when they were actually being shown Stateside. I remember what I remember when I was a kid and what I liked then. I didn't grow up with Mr. Ed or Mr. Rogers and everything else was beyond my time. You can't really flak on everyone -- you don't even know how old some people are. You're making assumptions to your "standard" whatever that is and no one ever put a timeline on what "old" meant.

Naz / January 24, 2005 12:21 PM

And I keep spelling sitcom with a an "e" on the end. Why, why?

monkey / January 24, 2005 12:24 PM

Does everybody else get MeTV? Starsky & Hutch, Sanford & Son, Taxi, Underdog...
truly a godsend. Now if they could only get Battle Of The Planets,Starblazers, and Robotech in the morning, I would never leave the house.

robin.. / January 24, 2005 12:25 PM

"the many loves of dobie gillis," and all the dobie gillis shows (i believe they had different names?). i love me some maynard g. krebs!

also: the muppet show!

e_five / January 24, 2005 12:29 PM

The Bob Newhart Show was sometimes very funny-- I particularly liked Mr. Hurd, the shy and insecure door-to-door salesman.

The exteriors of his Chicago apartment were shot at 5901 N. Sheridan, right around the corner from where I live now.

waleeta / January 24, 2005 12:29 PM

No contest. Golden Girls.

Chairy / January 24, 2005 12:42 PM

Pee-Wee's Playhouse!

Fil / January 24, 2005 12:48 PM

I agree with Naz, it's all about the Cosby Show!! Classic.
I also like The Young Ones!

steven / January 24, 2005 1:01 PM

1 word: The Dukes Of Hazzard. That and Knight Rider were quite the one-two punch for a kid on Friday nights.

Also, The Three Stooges. Classic comedy.

WKRP rocked too.

Mike / January 24, 2005 1:05 PM

The Prisoner, Dobie Gillis, Donna Reed and Green Acres are all tied.

daruma / January 24, 2005 1:10 PM

The greatest television show of all-time: TWIN PEAKS.

margot / January 24, 2005 1:13 PM

I watched many a tv-marathon of Family Ties. Great show, albeit a bit too wholesome :) Golden Girls is another on DVD!

Minnie / January 24, 2005 1:17 PM

I agree with Waleeta: I absolutely LOVE the Golden Girls. It reruns now at 5 and 5:30pm on Lifetime and it is still soooo funny! There's a real sort of soft-feminism going on in that show; the sisters doin' it for themselves and all that.

Also, I agree with all about the Cosby show. The Huxtables still remain the one fictional family I wish I could be a part of. Like, "Oh, hey kids. Look who's here: Uncle Tito Puente." Or, "Oh, what a coincidence, our cool neighnor Dizzie Gillespie is here to chat about music."

And, not to start a big argument, but there's something to be said for Cosby's more recent remarks about African-American entertainers giving positive role models for younger generations. The Cosby Show was all about that. They totally celebrated the amazing cultural contributions of African-Americans, as well as presenting a positive role model of a contemporary family.

(And, yes, I know there's some weird sexual allegations against Cosby right now, but let's leave that out of it!)

Tracey / January 24, 2005 1:27 PM

Golden Girls. The geriatric sex and the city.
Also loved Bob Newhart.

tracey / January 24, 2005 1:28 PM

How could I have forgotten.....My So Called Life.....I thought my so called life was over when this dream was cancelled.

tracey / January 24, 2005 1:32 PM

I promise, last one.....Quantum Leap. Very guilty pleasure.

karen / January 24, 2005 1:33 PM

ok, so mine arent super old, but they're 1980's goodies that noone seems to remember:

small wonder (remember vickie the robot??)
out of this world
the wonder years

i would do anything for a dvd of small wonder & out of this world.

ellie / January 24, 2005 1:41 PM

Leave it to Beaver
Brady Bunch
I Love Lucy

jen / January 24, 2005 1:47 PM

oh, "charles in charge" where have you gone? i never understood how in the middle of the series, though, the families suddenly switched. yet charles and buddy remained intact.

salty / January 24, 2005 1:58 PM

Late Night with David Letterman
- '86-'87 are the years I was really watching it. The show shaped my sense of humor at an impressionable age.

Alive From Off Center
- The PBS show was hosted by Laurie Anderson and a computer-generated "clone," and it showed independent shorts and a lot of contemporary dance. It was the first place I saw the Quay Brothers animation "Street of Crocodiles." It also fed my obsession with New York in the '80s.

Max Headroom
- I don't know if the show has aged well... but it was cool back then!

Naz / January 24, 2005 2:10 PM

Holy crap - Quantum Leap! That was MY sci-fi show. Never got into Trek really but Quantum Leap was such a good show. It was so odd when Scott Bakula ended up doing a Trekkie show though.

Did anyone ever see The Highwayman? It was Sam "I was in Flash Gordon" Jones driving around a truck with a helicopter on the back and he had a shotgun and looked like the Terminator.

salty / January 24, 2005 2:22 PM

Gigglesnort Hotel
- a kid's show from the late '70s -- I have vague memories of it, but I used to wake up at 5:55 a.m. on Sundays to watch it (I had my alarm set) so it must've been good! I found out they have episodes in the Museum of Broadcast Communications archives, so I have to check it out!

Benjy / January 24, 2005 2:23 PM

1. Dukes of Hazzard
2. CHiPs
3. Brady Bunch

Brenda / January 24, 2005 2:31 PM

Twilight Zone!

le / January 24, 2005 2:56 PM

When I was a kid my sister and I would fight over the TV--she wanted to watch Brady Bunch and I wanted to watch Nick at Night shows. I was a sucker for anything black and white. Lassie, Donna Reed, My Two Sons... I loved it all.

My favorite night of TV growing up was the original NBC great Thursday night line up. I would quit playing on a summer night to go in and watch Cosby, Family Ties, Cheers.

Then it was bath time, but I loved that night of TV.

MC High Life / January 24, 2005 3:11 PM

Does Cheers count?

Due to the shape of the North American elk's esophagus, even if it could speak, it could not pronounce the word "lasagna". - Cliff Clavin

Joe Lowry / January 24, 2005 3:27 PM


"Squad 51... this is Rampart!"

Nuxrs / January 24, 2005 3:51 PM

Does anyone remember Ghostbusters? Not the cartoon based on the show, but the one with the two guys and the Gorilla? I think he wore a fisherman's cap....the more i talk about it, the more it sounds like i'm making it up....

Eamon / January 24, 2005 4:10 PM

I have too many favorites to list, but I would like to mention a show that had-- hands-down-- the riskiest, craziest story arc twist ever in the history of television.

That show? War of the Worlds. Aliens are revived, take human hosts, spunky scientists fight back, rah rah rah! Except in the second season, the aliens win. I mean, they beat the crap out of Earth. Only pockets of humanity survive! How can they keep from dying out entirely? Tune in next week!

No one did, of course, because the show suddenly became mind-searingly bleak and depressing as the heores died or just plain gave in, not to mention the fact that it only aired at one in the morning on WPWR-TV Aurora. Still, a pretty gutsy move for a show, and it will always have a place in my heart because of it.

Kris / January 24, 2005 4:14 PM

Dukes of Hazzard all the way. I planned my five-year-old life around that show. And I had the lunchbox. I'm seriously upset about this movie where Jessica Simpson is going to besmirch the good name of Catherine Bach.

paul / January 24, 2005 4:27 PM

Anything by Sid and Marty Croft. Also the Banana Splits, (theme music written by Barry White) was a favorite.

Mary Tyler Moore (only for Lou Grant and Murray), Dick van Dyke (only for Bud and Sally, the writers of the Alan Brady Show), and the Carol Burnett Show (only for Tim Conway).

I could go on with MacGyver and the like, but those aren't really 'old' yet.

jen / January 24, 2005 4:31 PM

how could i forget "V"? you gotta love lizards disguised as humans in red leather outfits who dine on mice. mmm mmm good!

andy / January 24, 2005 4:33 PM

In the 80's my brother and I use to stay up late on Sunday nights to watch "Dr. Who" starring Tom Baker.

BJT / January 24, 2005 4:45 PM

My top 5 List:

I Love Lucy
All in the Family
Golden Girls
Knight Rider (had the sheets and lunchbox)

Ray / January 24, 2005 6:04 PM

Six Million Dollar Man. I still think it has one of the coolest title sequences in the history of television.

Space 1999

And my favorite Doctor (as in Who) was Peter Davidson, who came after Tom Baker.

Gloria F. Green / January 24, 2005 6:55 PM

Dick Van Dyke,Mary Tyler Moore,
Dream On(HBO, and Love, American Style are my picks.

Leelah / January 24, 2005 7:12 PM

I am in shock. NOBODY even mentioned TAXI.

There is nothing better than old Taxi re-runs. I'm a big fan of Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and M*A*S*H, but the characters on Taxi are the best. I love Louie DePalma.

Also, the Thanksgiving Day episode of WKRP is brilliant. I almost crashed my car from the laughter and tears in my eyes when WXRT just played the audio from that the day before Thanskgiving.

tony / January 24, 2005 7:32 PM

Dr. Who. Loved Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor).

Also loved The Prisoner.

Moving into the "a little more recent" category, I'd have to say Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider. (And who knew that David Hasselhoff could SING!)

And I totally loved Square One TV growing up.

Mike-TS / January 24, 2005 7:56 PM

In the 80's, WTTW had a 70's Britcom called Dave Allen at Large. One of those shows that my father was into (like X-files and Cosby) that I eventually got the good sense to enjoy with him. Dave had a few skits with his troupe, but for the most part it was him in his leather chair/stool on a bare white stark stage, with his glass of sippin' whisky (I think), telling tales to the audience. As bare minimalist as I ever saw. That had to be the toughest environment to be funny in, ever. Your stand-up comedians can bounce, wander and pantomine their way through a routine, but with Dave, it was him, reclining in his high chair in his unflappable perma-cool that would make James Bond jealous. Perfect cadence and impeccable timing. Now I wonder whatever happened to him (retired, dead) and if there's any DVD's of his work out there.

"May your God go with you" - his traditional ending line. Same to you Dave, same to you.

amyc / January 24, 2005 8:19 PM


Monty Python's Flying Circus.

I can't believe nobody's mentioned that yet. What kind of nerds are you people? Jeez.

Leelah / January 24, 2005 8:29 PM

Oh yeah. I also forgot the Avengers. And Blackadder.

I concur. We are nerds for not remembering Monty Python!

amyc / January 24, 2005 8:35 PM

No, you're bad nerds for not remembering Monty Python. We don't want HQ to revoke our nerd cards!

emily / January 24, 2005 9:03 PM

also, the john cleese classic fawlty towers - i can watch each episode 80 times and still laugh my ass off as if i've never seen it before

Erik B. Lee / January 24, 2005 9:22 PM

Remember Night Flight on the USA network? I used to wait up all night hoping, PRAYING that they would show NEW WAVE THEATRE hosted by Peter Ivers (later bludgeoned to death in case you're curious). That little show made me shake as I watched the bands that changed my life.
Oh, and Hogan's Hero's. There's that too.

christian / January 24, 2005 10:37 PM

How about the farm report on WGN at 5:30 AM?

Oh, and Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Monty Python's Flying Circus. Nothing beats mid sixties political satire and British comedy before catching the bus to catholic school.

If only the nuns knew.

eightysix / January 24, 2005 10:59 PM

mmm... for me quality tv stopped happening in 1992, save west wing and buffy.

favorite sci-fi geekiness:
dr who, the avengers, get smart, superfriends (with xan and jena, not the wonder dorks), star trek: original flavor.

favorite 70s shows:
one day at a time, the match game, the carol burnett show, pretty much anything currently showing on MeTV.

golden girls, natch.

in retrospect, i'd like to know how my parents thought it was okay for a 9 year old to watch St. Elsewhere religiously.

Leelah / January 25, 2005 6:33 AM


I had completely forgotten about that!! I used to stay up all night praying for a glimpse of the Jesus and Mary Chain!

Steve / January 25, 2005 7:01 AM

I used to stay up all night praying for a glimpse of the Jesus and Mary Chain!

Because the brothers Reid were so visually arresting?

Night Flight was pretty awesome, *sigh* Got my first glimpse of The Smiths doing "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" (my themesong, dontcha know) there....

Alex / January 25, 2005 9:29 AM

This one is “new” old — I guess over 20 years would be old. “Moonlighting.” I will never stop mourning that show. It gave us such classics as Atomic Shakespeare, Big Man on Mulberry Street and the fabulous lines:

“I just want to scrape you off the bottom of my shoe.”

“You are navel lint.”

“These are x-ray specs — but you must be wearing a lead dress. I can’t see a thing.”

“Do bears bare? Do bees be?”

Miss Dipesto! Herbert Viola! Maddie! Dave! Where have you gone?

tim / January 25, 2005 9:42 AM

I don't think either of these two have been mentioned:
Get Smart and Mr. Ed.

Very underrated ;)

Naz / January 25, 2005 9:51 AM

A few shows I just remembered: Leelah mentioned Black Adder - oh so very good. Which then reminded me of Red Dwarf, ah, BBC.

Anyone ever watch The Man from UNKLE?

heather / January 25, 2005 9:52 AM

lost in space
land of the lost
great space coaster
laverne & shirley

Joe / January 25, 2005 11:35 AM

How about the Tales of the Gold Monkey? Complete Indiana Jones ripoff, but I never missed an episode.

and McGyver.

Shylo / January 25, 2005 1:48 PM

My Secret Identity - Jerry O'Connell as teen crime fighter who flew by holding cans of aerosol hair spray.

Out of the World - Half-alien, half-human Evie as a teen.

Saved By the Bell - But only the high school years, because the jr. high years had Haley Mills and the college years didn't have any of the good characters.

eep / January 25, 2005 2:18 PM

I'll second Pete on The Honeymooners. Freakin' brilliant classic TV. And as great as Gleason and Carney were, there's something so wonderful about Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph as well. That's my all-time favorite sitcom.

Eamon / January 25, 2005 2:54 PM

Doctor Marten's
Doctor Marten's
Doctor Marten's

amyc / January 25, 2005 8:03 PM

Eamon, they retail for only 19 pounds and 99p.

Give it another slam, Sir Michael!

Lonnee B / February 6, 2006 12:54 PM

"Mary Hartman", "Mary Hartman" this was sooo fun and a great shot drinking show with Martin Mull is Garth Gimble/Barth Gimble and Mary Kay Place as Loretta Haggers. When mary would do her tooth rub it's drink time. Then its' chaser program SOAP. I also miss "Star Blazers", Yeah its' a Cartoon but it did two seasons and had a great story and plot too.

Greg Casiglia / September 14, 2006 12:46 AM

I loved The Great Space Coaster. Especially Francine, the very pretty 16 year old brunette singer/guitar player on the show who used to tickle Puppet Goriddle Gorilla while wearing a gold ring on her ring finger. The role of 16 year old Frannie on TGSC was played by Singer/Actress Emily Bindiger.Her gold ring was called her tickling ring! The Great Space Coaster was a classic 1980's children's puppet t.v. show that ran syndicated 5 years from 1981 to 1986. Please sign the bring back the great space coaster online petition @ www. because it now has 2,232 signatures. There's also The Great Space Coaster Homepage @ www. great space

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