Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Am A Child of the 70s

I was born in 1976, grew up in the 80s, came of age in the 90s.

So why am I such a fan of 70s pop culture?

When it comes to entertainment, all the reviews you've seen so far on this blog have to do with 70s icons: The Carol Burnett Show, The Magic Garden, and Patti LuPone's nightclub act from 1980. (Yeah, I know, it's the first year of the 1980's, but it's one year off from the 70s, so that should count, n'est-ce pas?)

Now...I loathe shag carpeting, bellbottoms, and hot pants. But I do have a fondness for ABBA, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Carole King. I love disco and all of the 70s singer-songwriters who wrote their own material and played their own instruments. I remember when my mother had a fondness for Tab Cola and drove an orange Pinto hatchback. My father was floored when he heard I could pronounce "Ayatollah" at the age of 3. (I kid you not.)

I remember when the Muppets were cutting edge, and had biting, satirical humor wrapped in their shows, and weren't Disney-fied like they are now. I remember when reruns of I Dream of Jeannie, The Brady Bunch, and I Love Lucy ruled the airwaves, not the manufactured, over-produced, badly written crap that's written for today's kids. I remember trying to play fake sick so I could watch these shows, as well as The Price is Right. I remember when Bob Barker had dark hair, and was upset when he let it go grey. (Although I got used to the grey hair pretty quickly).

I remember when the USA Network had the Cartoon Express, with reruns of The Flintstones, Devlin, The Banana Splits, and all of those old Hanna-Barbera shows from the 70s that are almost completely forgotten now. I remember coming home from school, flipping on USA, and watching reruns of Tic Tac Dough, The Joker's Wild, and Press Your Luck (the favorite of me and my sister). I remember watching reruns of The Gong Show when I was in high school, and my mother yelling at me for those acts being too risque. (Although, in today's standards, most of those acts are pretty tame now).

I remember watching the old episodes of Zoom, when the kids wore those striped rugby shirts, and learning how to speak Ubbi-Dubbi with my friends on the playground. I remember when Mr. Snuffleupagus was imaginary to everyone on Sesame Street except for Big Bird. I remember watching The Electric Company, and was amazed that the same guy on Fat Albert was also on my favorite show.

I remember Fat Albert, and all of the Cosby Kids. That is, the Cosby Kids whose names weren't Saundra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy. I remember Bucky, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Rudy (not the little girl), Old Weird Harold, and Russell.

I remember the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players, and how they could put today's cast of SNL to shame.

I remember those old In the News segments on CBS, as well as Schoolhouse Rock on ABC, and how my Saturday mornings weren't complete without them. I remember being freaked out by those old production company logos: The Viacom V of Doom, and the ITC spinning diamond logo (the latter of which creeps me out to this very day).

I remember when WPIX was known as "11 Alive", and when Jim Jensen was the man to watch on TV news on WCBS. Well, he was the man to watch for local news. My dad always, always, always stopped whatever he was doing so he could watch "Uncle Walter" Cronkhite. That I remember especially.

I remember when Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig reruns greeted me in the morning before I went to school, and am saddened that few kids know who they are today.

I am a child of the 70s who grew up in the 80s and came of age in the 90s.

I still have fond memories of the 80s and 90s, though--but those are for later posts.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

A nice trip down memory lane. I've got more than ten years on you, so I can tell you that your Bicentennial birthdate caused you to miss just a little (then, don't we all?).

To me there are few things more evocative of my '70s childhood than some of the music --- especially the many one-hit-wonders -- that came out before the era of the superstar rock bands like the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac. Let me hear a few chords of "Spill the Wine" or George Harrison's "Give me Love" and I'm right back in 1972, and my mom is hanging wash out on the line on a summer day.

And if you can, look up some of the really funny, well-written adult TV shows from the decade. The Bob Newhart Show was one, although another classic, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, actually hasn't aged that well.

Back to real life! Nice to meet you. P.S., I've got a book review blog, too, called Vellum.