Where Did You Go? Part…4?

I think I am going to keep up with my inquiry into obscure actors and actresses that mean a lot to me. It’s fun to poke around the internet and find out that the co-star of a long lost great sitcom now owns a chain of TCBY’s around Delaware. Then again the same search can reveal the actor died from an asphyxiation fetish while jerking off in a Motel 6 off International Blv. in Orlando. Regardless it makes for interesting reading.

Tom Atkins has always been the symbol of masculinity for mid range budget 70’s and 80’s horror movies like The Fog, The Creepshow, Night Of The Creeps and of course the cinematic equivalent to a dump in a jar, Halloween III. He wears a tough exterior as the hero who is never far from the vices that bind him. I don’t think i have seen him in a movie without a drink in one hand and a cowboy killer in the other. If there is ever a reason to drop everything I have worked for in life, grow a mustache, move to Hollywood and pursue a career in acting it’s because of Tom Atkins. It’s Miller time!

Tom is still pretty busy these days. He has a list of movies that are still in post and pre production and has made quite a few TV appearances to include Walker Texas Ranger, The Fall Guy and Xena: Warrior Princess. He still resides in his home state of Pennsylvania and I really hope he’ll make an appearance at Screamfest 2008 in Florida because the chance of meeting him is the only real reason I am going.

This has always puzzled me. What did Jennifer ever see in Cousin Larry? She was way out of his league, don’t you think? Well, regardless the actress who played Jennifer is Melanie Wilson and she cranked my tractor, even when I was only eight. She had a long ride with the show “Perfect Strangers” and was also in a couple of other great shows from the eighties like “Simon And Simon”, “The A-Team” and the spin off “Family Matters”. I think she has been behind the scenes in a few other Hollywood projects but nothing after 2001. Little known fact, she is the daughter of the late “Mr. Whipple” from the old Charmin toilet paper commercials. Sorry for your recent loss, Melanie. Mr. Wilson was one of the greats.

Alice Drummond will always have a place close to my heart from that fateful scene in the beginning of Ghostbusters when she was the New York librarian who encountered that full torso, free floating, non vaporous apparition that made me shit my pants as a child. I still love her interview with Bill Murray which gave us the famous line, “Back off man. I’m a scientist.” She has been in many films and TV shows in her career and is still cranking them out today. It’s kind of funny that she is of grandmother age and shot an episode of “Boston Legal” called Ass Fat Jungle. Oh to be on set when the grip tells her, “scene 4, Boston Legal, Ass Fat Jungle take 2…..action!”

I feel a little bad about this, but until recently I have always known Alex Karras as Webster’s father, George Papadopolis and the dumb guy that punched out a horse in Blazing Saddles. It turns out he was also an All American college football great, an NFL legend for the Detroit Lions, a Monday Night NFL commentator and a professional wrestle. Hrm, who knew? I bet over half the population of America knows Karras as the NFL great and not George. That’s why I write this stuff!

On another point, don’t you find the character names strange in the show “Webster”? George Papadopolis, Katherine Calder-Young Papadopolis, Webster Long, and poor Heather O’Rourke didn’t even have a last name. Just Melanie. I am curious how those names came to be.

This was a pretty lame post, but I couldn’t leave the site on such a sad sack note.

TV Show Intro’s

They say smell is the closest sense to memory we have. To me I think my memories align with TV sitcom theme songs. I guess it was how I was raised as an only child but when certain shows from the 80’s come on I feel the need to get on the floor, face the screen less than a foot away, sit on my knees and drift into TV heaven where every episode had a moral lesson and every crisis lasted only 30 minutes. It is weird to think that Nell Carter’s voice can bring up memories of Fun Fruits.

These songs were really catchy too. I swear that if they came on the radio I would crank up the volume, singing every word without a care who was in the car. Even if I was carjacked the dude would have to shoot me before I changed Webster’s theme song.

Small Wonder wasn’t a huge show by any standard but to a third grader in the 80’s it was my world. God, I had such a crush on the girl who played the robot, V.I.C.K.I.. It’s kind of strange that I thought she was hot but in real life at school I truly thought girls were more or less bio-hazards. I guess they ranked about the same as Harriet. Oh goodness I hated her. I had fantasies that Vicki would punch the freckles right off her face. No such luck.

What would we do, baby? I never was too into Family Ties because, well, I never identified with the family. That song does bring up a little nausea, though. We were sitting in the family room watching Family Ties when I honked on my lap due to many many Samoa Girl Scout cookies consumed earlier in the day. To this day I can’t stand coconut, cookies with holes in the middle, the color purple, merit badges, or the Family Ties cowbell. Go figure?

One Day At A Time was on when I was still shitting myself and while I don’t have any real memories of this show I do remember my Mom playing this on the piano. Everyone confused her for Mackensie Phillips so she learned the theme song and sang it all the time. I guess she felt flattered by the comparison. Regardless I can taste Gerber peaches and smell the old ’71 Beetle when I hear this.

I still remember that this came on at 8 am on PBS. It’s not like I was down with reading or the fabulous book reporting the kids did or even the blind guy from StarTrek but this song means summertime. I have turned on this show many times in my bathing suit getting ready for a productive day of running through the sprinkler. Plus that synthesizer is just too cool. I still find myself imitating it even today. “beepee bop booo beeee pee bop pooo” I went a little too far, haven’t I?

Is there anyone in the world that doesn’t sing along with that? You can actually walk through the mall whistling “Charles In Charge’ and with in seconds some person with harmonize “….and our rights/nights.” Try it. I promise it will happen. If it doesn’t I will mail you a pink hat that says “Alamo” on it. I’m good for it.

This was mainly an after school show that involved me not studying Algebra and ultimately led me to a C. I never did thank Scott Baio for that. So, thanks Scott and after seeing your new show on VH1 I was right, you are a douchebag.

I loved this show when I was little. He was a pretty cute little kid and if George and Ma’am wanted to adopt a little bear cub that could talk this was as close to it as one could get. But I have a bone to pick with this show. My last name is Webster and most of the eighties and early nineties I was subjected to the same gay joke, “are you an adopted black midget?”. So, I owe the creators a thank you too. Thanks assholes.

Is there anything more one can say about ALF? Great show, good cast, funny puppet, and I was right at the appropriate age to really get into ALF. There was no shame in having Alf PJ’s or an Alf doll as a kid. In fact it was greeted with a tip of the hat and thumbs up among the peers. But recently I was watching an old episode and I had this uncomfortable sensation that I was in trouble. Then it hit me. Back when this show was popular I was a bit of a Hell raiser and about 8:10 on a Monday night, 1989, my teacher called to inform the folks that I was sent to the principals’ office for fighting. Can you believe a thirty year old guy’s heart jumps when the phone rings during Alf?

Nell Carter really wails, huh? I loved this show and I am not too proud to admit that if this was on a Karaoke list i would be all over it like Nell on a biscuit. OOOOOOH, I went there.

No real sensory driven memories about Gimme A Break but I just wanted to let everyone know I appreciated it. And I guess that will be all for now. I know there are a lot more like Growing Pains, Golden Girls, Empty Nest, C.H.I.P.S., Magnum PI, and….

Fuck me, I almost forgot Airwolf. This was the show I waited on all week. Even today when I am in a plane this song is on replay in my head. There is nothing cooler than this theme song and if anyone cares to argue you will be met with me plugging my ears, chanting”…I want to kill everyone, Satan is good, Satan is our pal..”

Ok, seriously. That is it.

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