When I was a kid in the early 1980s, HBO repeated the same five movies over and over again and Savannah Smiles was one of them. The film introduced us to the most adorable little blond child, Bridgette Andersen as the precocious Savannah who runs away from her overly occupied, rich parents and stumbles on two idiotic petty criminals.
The precocious Savannah.
I'm sure NOBODY remembers this flick, but I do and I loved it. Here's a sweet scene from Savannah Smiles I never quite understood, but thought was cute. Hey, I was like 11, what do you expect. I'm sad to discover that the young actress Bridgette Andersen (who also appeared in many TV shows including Golden Girls) died of a drug overdose.
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live characters back in the day was Martin Short as the nerdy, super spirited Pat Sajak fan known as Ed Grimley. Ed was known for his greased cowlick hairdo, orange plaid shirt and famous catch phrases like, "I must say, ya know" and "Give me a break!"
I remember lovin' Martin Short as Ed Grimley in 1985. My BFF Serena and I would impersonate him all of the time running around flailing our hands exclaiming, "I MUST SAY!" I MUST SAY!" Good times, good times.
Anyone remember the Ed Grimley skits on Saturday Night Live?
Wash that gray right out of your hair with Clairol Loving Care!
Back in the 1970s and 1980s there were many commercials with jingles and slogans you just never forget. Oh-so-many, right? Who could forget the Clairol Loving Care ads and TV commercials that took the South Pacific song, "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair" and switched it up to, "I'm gonna wash that GRAY right out of my hair!"
Funny how we '80s girls were so young back then -- we never imagined ever having to color our hair to hide gray. Only old ladies go gray. Wah!!!
Watch this 1980s commercial for Clairol Loving Care and wash that gray right out of your hair!
If you live on the East Coast, you've surely heard about the frightening threat of Hurricane Irene. Store shelves are already sold out of water, candles and batteries and even gas stations are said to be running out of gas. I'm seriously worried for my friends and family back home on Long Island and in New Jersey.
However, something '80s-related has come to my attention and I find it rather disturbing. Folks on Facebook and Twitter are posting an '80s song lyric that simply isn't incorrect... Someone needs to set them straight!
You may recall this #1 hit song by British pop band Dexys Midnight Runners back in 1982. However you may not remember the woman's name is EILEEN, not IRENE! The actual song title and song lyric is, "COME ON EILEEN!" -- the song won BEST BRITISH SINGLE in 1983 at the BRIT AWARDS.
Cool to note that the actress portraying Eileen in the video and on the album cover is Máire Fahey, sister of Siobhan Fahey, former singer of Bananarama and Shakespear's Sister.
As back to school is approaches or has already approached, depending on which state you reside ... retro school supplies always come to mind. There was something about the four color ink pen I loved so very much as a kid. I am so surprised to see you can still purchase this assorted ink pen from Bic. I remember the pen being thick, white and having red ink, blue ink, green ink and black ink. You would click on the color to activate which color ink you wanted to use.
I thought this was the coolest pen ever! My mom used them because she was a teacher and it helped her grade papers and do her work all at the same time, without switching pens. There's just something so genius about having an all in one colored ink pen... Anyone remember or still use these?
Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson were solid as a rock!
Today we say goodbye to Nickolas Ashford of the Motown duo Ashford & Simpson. This husband and wife team were popular in the '80s. Now, I won't lie, I wasn't a hardcore fan or anything, but I truly LOVED their hit song "SOLID."
It's amazing that this couple truly were SOLID AS A ROCK and had been an item since 1964. I remember in 1984, when this song was super popular - my crush, Alfred would insert perverted lyrics. He'd make all of us Catholic school girls cringe, no matter I still loved the song.
RIP Nickolas Ashford, my thoughts go out to Valerie Simpson.
The other night we were sitting in our local taco joint and suddenly heard Tracey Ullman singing, "They don't know about us, and they've never heard of love..." I went into a daze. I hadn't heard the song in so long and completely forgot about it. It was a true favorite of mine as a kid!
Originally written and performed by Kristy MacColl back in 1979, "They Don't Know" was very popular in the UK. However, it was Tracey Ullman's 1983 version of "They Don't' Know" I loved best, possibly because I was too young to appreciate it in 1979 or maybe it never really was a hit in the US.
This video was released before the Tracey Ullman Show comedy series on FOX -- famously known for launching The Simpsons. I remember MTV gave Tracey Ullman and her "They Don't Know" video lots of airtime way back in 1983. I truly loved the retro feel even way back then! I was just a kid, yet still appreciated the vintage factor.
Oh and who could forget the surprise ending with Paul McCartney and Tracey Ullman in that cool 1973 Reliant Regal car with her at the end. So cool!
I began loving The Smiths back in the '80s. MEAT IS MURDER stickers covered my school binder, yet I wasn't a vegetarian. I've always had a high level or respect for vegans and vegetarians. When I heard about Joanne Rose and her Vegan 101sketch comedy web series, I was curious to talk to her about her project, her choice to go vegan and working with Eric Roberts.
When did you first become a vegan? Are you vegan for health, humanitarian or both?
Joanne: I became a vegan in 1994 first and foremost because of my deep love for animals.
What or who inspired you to go vegan? Any bands or celebs? For example: Morrissey and The Smiths promoted vegetarianism in the ‘80s...
Joanne: River Phoenix was my greatest inspiration to going vegan. I learned a lot about the vegan lifestyle and the realities of the way animals are treated through interviews he'd done.
Doc Marten vegan boots.
Would you say it is much easier today to find vegan-friendly foods and fashions, than it was back in the ‘80s? I remember how it was so cool that Doc Marten made vegan Doc Marten shoes back in the days.
Joanne: Vegan products are largely available today than they were in the early '90s, making it more accessible. Back in the day, vegan food was limited to health stores compared to the supermarket chains we have today. There was also one brand of everything then, whereas now we see such much more variety. I reall having to make my own vegetable burgers back then. It is also wonderful to see so many vegan companies today providing a beautiful range of vegan fashions.
How did you come up with the cool idea of a sketch comedy?
Joanne: As a vegan you get used to hearing the same questions and comments from people unfamiliar with the lifestyle. Instead of being offended by it, I decided to have fun with it and created Vegan 101. The series launched online in mid 2009. The show consists of exaggerated parodies of veganism from all walks of life in various situations through stand alone sketches to combine both fun and vegan knowledge. The story lines will inspire others to see the comedy in aspects of their lives and may inspire you to go vegan.
What was it like working with Eric Roberts? How did that come about? Can you tell us your favorite Eric Roberts movie from back in the day? I loved him in Raggedy Man – Henry Thomas from ET starred alongside him in that one way back in ‘81.
Joanne: Eric Roberts is an absolute delight to work with. He is such an incredibly warm, friendly and funny person. He gives a side splitting performance as Dr. Eaton Wright and will have audiences in fits of laughter. He is an incredibly talented and versatile actor whose passion and dedication to the craft is evident in each role he takes on and his commitment to the vegan lifestyle and animal rights was the ultimate choice for Season 2. My favorite movie of his from back in the day would be Star 80.
As a young teen, my mom had two rules about hair removal and shaving.
1. Never shave above the knee. At around age 13, she walked into the bathroom and caught me with one leg up on the toilet, shaving my leg all the way toward my thigh. I didn't even have any hairs there! I just didn't know better.
2. Never trust a cream or ointment to remove hair from your legs. Mom always steered me away from products such as Nair. She insisted they cause allergic reactions. She swore there was something disturbing about burning the hair off of one's legs. Because the idea upset her so much, to this day, I avoided Nair.
The way Nair works isn't nearly as frightening as Mom made it sound. The depilatory basically just combines two chemicals breakdown the keratin which helps dissolve the hairs making them wipe away with a wet cloth.
Today Nair is still an extremely popular hair removal product. If you happen to be a male reader, don't fret, Nair has an entire line of male hair removal products for you as well.
Check out this retro '80s commercial for Nair. Oh, how we loved the "short, shorts" commercials!
PS Does anyone remember when Halloween pranksters would empty bottles of Nair into old socks and threaten to hit you on your head so you'd lose your hair? Wonder if this was just a Long Island thing.
I have a confession to make. I think I liked Menudo at some point in 1984 and 1985. Watching a Ricky Martin Behind The Music last night on VH1, it suddenly came back to me. Like this crazy flashback of me standing in front of my girlie white shabby chic dresser. Singing in the mirror with my Goody hairbrush.
Menudo songs and Menudo videos like "Cannonball" -- I could swear at some point the boys break into dreamy Spanish-English vocals, "como cannonball, como cannonball" -- and who could forget, "Hold Me."
Watching Ricky Martin's Behind The Music, gave me this sudden urge to hit up YouTube and tune into some good old fashioned Menudo tunes. It was then that I realized yes, I did indeed like these two Menudo songs. Please, don't hold this against me. This was before I fell in love with The Monkees in 1986 and then discovered new wave, punk, alternative and goth in late 1986.
My question is this, why do the women these boys are singing about, appear so much older than the group? I mean, the whole rule behind the Puerto Rican boy band was that each boy would be replaced once he turned 16. Doesn't Menudo mean small? The hot chicks in their videos looked way older than 16. Just saying. Check it out for yourself.
Menudo in their "Cannonball" video (before Ricky Martin) in 1984.
Menudo in their "Hold Me" video with Ricky Martin in 1985.
Today two awesome things happened. One Brice Beckhamfrom Mr. Belvedere followed me on Twitter (okay so I maybe asked him to) and I received one of the most amazing fan emails ever! Yeah, can you believe that? Someone out there thinks I'm cool.
I won't lie, I average about one fan email per month. If you're a fellow blogger, I'm sure you get way more than that ... So don't think I'm all up here bragging about it. It's just the best feeling in the world. I felt like I had to share that with you guys.
We bloggers who don't focus on giveaways, don't receive coupons and freebies as perks. We bloggers who don't have 5000000 followers, don't score ad dollars. We bloggers who aren't crafty enough to make and sell cute things on Etsy or eBay, can't use our blogs to generate sales. We're the bloggers who really just blog because we love to write. We blog because we love to reach out to people in some way and I guess today was a reminder of that.
Someone out there thanked me. Someone out there felt the way I felt as a kid. Someone remembered what it was like keeping a journal or diary. She could relate to that feeling you got as a kid, crushin' on a celeb and wishing they'd just write you back. She remembered what it was like wishing that cute boy in school would ask you to a movie or pass you a note, heck how about just a hello?
I want to take a minute to thank everyone for stopping by and for giving me a reason to keep FourthGradeNothing.com going. I love you guys. For reals.
Like most kids back in the late 1970s we loved watchingCHiPson NBC NY channel 4. Those LA crime-fightingCalifornia Highway Patrolguys in their snugly-fitting tan uniforms cruising around on motorcycles were super cool. Seriously, back then what young viewer didn't need their weekly dose of Officer Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox)andFrank "Ponch" Poncherello played by Erik Estrada?These guys made cops look cool and down-to-earth.
We loved the CHiPs TV show intro theme song! So catchy, so late '70s -- makes the perfect ring tone for retro TV fans!
My little brother was obviously more of aCHiPsfan than I was. Funny to imagine a preschooler would enjoy a show likeCHiPswhen today's kids are watching Nick Jr. I think what we enjoyed most aboutCHiPswas that the action wasn't too intense, it was kid-friendly and funny -- each episode guaranteed a laugh.
CHiPs episodes aired for a big chunk of my childhood. I was only five years old when the show began in September, 1977 and going on 11 when the series ended in July, 1983. Back in those days, TV was so awesome. Simplistic, but awesome.
Rappin' Rodney was a hit and Rodney's No Respect won a Grammy!
The other day I received a Facebook message from my hysterically funny bud, Gregg (go follow him on Twitter!) reminding me about Rappin' Rodney Dangerfield. How could I forget about Rappin' Rodney?!
In the 1980s, we enjoyed the silly, oftentimes R-Rated Rodney Dangerfield in Easy Money and of course Back to School. It's interesting to note, his No Respect album won a Grammy Award and Rappin' Rodney was one of the early MTV videos.
Five Fun Facts About Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield's real name is Jacob Cohen.
Like me, Rodney was from Long Island.
The Rappin' Rodney song was released and came out in 1983.
Rodney Dangerfield wrote his own lines for his role as the craptastic dad in Natural Born Killers.
Rodney was best known for his famous lines, "I don't get no respect" and "I get no respect, I tell ya!'
When we were kids, my mom bought us these awesome Tupperware toys. I believe these toys were released in 1979/1980. Did you have any of them? Above are the colorful animals you could mix and match middles, legs, heads, necks - kinda creepy if you think about it.
Vintage orange Pick 'Em Up Truck Tupperware pick-up truck for boys.
My brother owned this orange toy pick-up truck called the Pick 'Em Up Truck. Underneath the truck was a soft sponge-like material that allowed the truck to pick up little yellow toy blocks.
Vintage Tupperware party set plates, cups and small cake taker.
I think my cousins or friends had this vintage Tupperware party set. I love the earth tone colors - brown, yellow, avocado and orange. The kit included child size tiny cups, plates and even a cake taker. It was basically adult style Tupperware made smaller for us kids. So cool!
Vintage Tupperware Shape O Ball toy.
I know someone in my family had this vintage Tupperware Shape O Ball toy back in the 1980s. Maybe my cousin or my younger brother. It was a squared-off ball half red and half blue. The ball had cut-out shapes and yellow plastic blocks a child could pop into the cut-out. To remove the blocks, the ball would open in the center to release the yellow shapes.
I doubt anyone will remember this short-lived TV show, but here goes ...
Flo, a spin-off of the very popular TV show Alice, aired on CBS between 1980-1981. The 30-minute comedy centered around Polly Holliday as Florence Jean Castleberry who leaves Mel's Diner and ends up buying a rundown bar in her hometown of Cowtown, Texas. Flo--known for her kiss-my-grits sassy attitude--begins a new life in Texas as the owner of Flo's Yellow Rose with a whole new cast of characters.
Note, this '80s show wasn't a favorite of mine, probably because the show didn't feature a cute young male character. Just sayin'.
Check out the intro to Polly Holliday's TV show, Flo.
Well, this week is obviously '80s TV week here at FourthGradeNothing.com ... Today we're going back to 1987. Who could forget My Two Dads? This NBC favorite aired for three years and introduced us to Staci Keanan as Nicole Bradshaw. Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan were her Two Dads and teen hotties Chad Allen and Giovanni Ribisi were Nicole's two guy friends competing for her love.
The show was actually a spin-off of Night Court, another popular '80s NBC show. Nicole is reunited with her Two Dads thanks to the smoker-voiced Judge Margaret W. Wilbur (Florence Stanley). The judge also happened to own the New York City building where Nicole lived with her two dads.
Back in 1987Staci Keanan was so cute, as were her two dads and adorable boyfriends. I thought she was the coolest. She lived in this awesome Manhattan loft, dressed in the nicest clothes, had perfect hair and perfect skin. Fans followed her as she later starred in Step By Step in 1991.
Don't remember My Two Dads? Check out the intro here:
Five Fun Facts About My Two Dad's Staci Keanan
Staci Keanan spent her early years in Philadelphia PA, Staci moved to Manhattan and then to LA to pursue My Two Dads.
Her real name is Anastasia Sogorsky.
Like most actors, Staci got her start in commercials - her resume includes TV ads for My Little Pony and Burger King.
At one point Staci changed her name to Staci Love and in 1997 switched up the spelling to "Stacey."
These days Staci's doing stage and theater acting in California.
Check out what Staci Keenan looks like today. She's still lovely.
Ask any '80s girl about ABC's family sitcom Mr. Belvedere and they will most likely tell you they remember crushing on Kevin Owens or Rob Stone. Not me! I was watching Mr. Belvedere for Wesley portrayed by Brice Beckham. Yes, even back then I fancied younger guys.
The show ran from March 1985 to July 1990 and focused on The Owens and their fancy British butler, Mr. Belvedere (Christopher Hewett) living in the Pittsburg, PA area. The dad, Bob Uecker was a sports announcer and like most sitcoms from that time period, the story lines focused on various shenanigans involving the family.
View the intro and theme song to Mr. Belvedere:
I thought about Brice Beckham the other day and wondered where he is today. I stumbled upon his MySpace page and wished I could be his friend on Facebook -- he has warned fans that he only friends people he knows in real life. Bummer.
Today Brice Beckham is 35, lives in the LA area and is involved in theater acting -- he's a member of the Namaste theater group. He's appeared in VH1's short-lived comedy series I Hate My 30's.
Remember him? Here's what he looks like today. Still adorable.
Yesterday someone commented on the Fourth Grade Nothing Facebook page that they'd love to see reruns of NBC's Love, Sidney. Surprised someone else in the world even remembered this TV show starring Tony Randall -- I decided to revisit episodes on YouTube and feature Love, Sidney in today's post.
Love, Sidney was unique in that it was one of the first television sitcoms centered around a gay man. The show began with a two-hour pilot which first aired in October, 1981. Tony Randall portrays Sidney Shorr, an advertising industry illustrator from New York City.
Swoosie Kurtz as Laurie in Love, Sidney.
Sidney and his soap opera actress friend, Laurie (Swoosie Kurtz) lived together as friends in New York City. Laurie moves to California but after her marriage fails, returns to New York with her adorable young daughter Patti (Kaleena Kiff). The three live together and the show follows their trials and tribulations in typical '80s sitcom style.
Love, Sidney aired from 1981-1983 and was considered controversial because of the homosexual nature of the show. During the first year, producers kept Sidney's sexuality vague relying on hints and gay innuendos. However, by the final season, thanks to a new production team, story lines acknowledged Sidney's homosexuality giving viewers a closer look at the character's history and lost love, a man named Martin.
Tune in and watch the premier of Love, Sidney starring Tony Randall, Swoosie Kurtz and Kaleena Kiff.