TaxiOriginal Run: 1978 83 Creators: James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis. Weinberger Stars: Carol Kane, Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Conway Network: ABC/NBC Let’s just pause for a minute and remember that somebody once convinced a network to place Andy Kaufman to the air. I wish it had been live TV. Like M*A*S*H, Taxi frequently tackled significant social issues like drug and gambling habit, but did it with an incredibly unusual cast of characters in the alien-like Latka Graves (Kaufman) to drugged-out hippie Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) to misanthrope Louie De Palma (Danny DeVito).
Late Night With David LettermanOriginal Run: 1982 93 Creator: David Letterman Stars: Chris Elliott, David Letterman, Paul Shaffer Network: NBC Late evening in the ’80s was fascinating. When David Letterman debuted in 1982, there was a feeling that some canonized rule-book of talk shows were tossed out the fake window of his 3 Rock studio (to the sound of breaking glass, of course). His unique brand of comedy swung from zany (launching into a Velcro wall while sporting a Velcro suit) to absurdist (permitting an audience member host while he searched for a missing tooth), but the jokes were always smarter than expected, from his opening monologues to his Top 10 Lists. And no one appreciates the drummer like Letterman.
Sesame StreetOriginal Run: 1969- Creator: Joan Ganz Cooney Stars: Frank Oz (Bert, Grover), Jim Henson (Ernie, Kermit, Guy Smiley), Caroll Spinney (Big Fowl, Oscar the Grouch), Jerry Nelson (Depend von Count, numerous), Kevin Clash (Elmo), Bob McGrath, Loretta Long, Roscoe Orman, Will Lee, Sonia Manzano, Emilio Delgado, Northern Calloway Network: PBS The ritual for millions of children in the 1980s was to wake up, start it and hear “Sunny Day/Sweepin’the clouds awayâ¦“before getting ready for school. This was back before anybody but Snuffleupagus could be seen by Large Fowl, actually. The residents of Sesame Street never skimped in the name of entertainment on entertainment in the title of education or education. With characters like Oscar the Grouch, Burt, Ernie, Count Von Depend and—my favorites—the Yip Yips, we never minded that we were actually understanding something along the way.
Magnum, P.I.Original Run: 198088 Creator: Donald P. Glen A, Bellisario. Larson Stars: Tom Selleck, John Hillerman. Mosley, Larry Manetti Network: CBS When every other adolescent male of the ’80s and I grew up, we needed the life of Tom Magnum, performed by Tom Selleck and his mustache: living in an opulent Hawaii beach house as a guest of a never-present millionaire novelist and driving his Ferrari 308 GTS; wracking up a never-to-be-paid tab a T the country club run by one war-vet buddy and bumming helicopter rides from still another; and occasionally fixing mysteries utilizing a combination of smarts, toughness and mostly chutzpah. I never did figure out the best way to walk that particular job path, but it was fun to dream.
Family TiesOriginal Run: 1982-89 Creator: Gary David Goldberg Stars: Meredith Baxter-Birney, Michael Gross, Michael J. Fox, Tina Yothers and Justine Bateman Network: NBC One of the finest family sitcoms of our time gave us the Keatons; these were were our family. Liberal functioning parents Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse (Meredith Baxter) raised their three children—smart and conservative older brother Alex (Michael J. Fox), flighty and fashionable middle child Mallory (Justine Bateman) and sarcastic younger sister Jennifer (Tina Yothers)—with love, compassion and limits. Fox, whose job was launched with the collection, made Alex’s Republicanism funny yet not cliched. The collection continues to be remembered because of its very specific episode, “A my name is Alex,“ where Alex struggled to accept the unexpected death of his buddy. Today family comedies continue to try to capture the magic that was Family Ties
St. ElsewhereOriginal Run: 198288 Creator: Joshua Brand Stars: William Daniels, Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd Network: NBC The seminal hospital drama of the 1980s, St. Else Where was never resoundingly productive in the rankings, but it racked in Emmys over the years for its practical, frequently-dark tone and moments of humor. Its big, ensemble forged had a number of cross overs with the Hill Street Blues that are similar and carried on several extended - type, storylines that are serialized, leading to great character advancement within the span of the series. Of course, it’s today often remembered to get a different reason: For having perhaps the single-most WTF finale minute in Television background. By the end of the ultimate St. Else Where episode, the figures are uncovered as having all been the creation of the autistic Tommy Westphall, who owns a snowglobe wherein the imaginary St. Eligius hospital exists. Moreoever, because s O several other shows and figures overlapped with St. Elsewhere, some followers posit this means that everything from Hill Avenue Blues and Homicide: Existence on the Street to The X-Files all take place in the “Tommy Westphall Universe“by extension.
Night CourtOriginal Run: 198492 Creator: Reinhold Weege Stars: Marsha Warfield, Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Paula Kelly, Karen Austin, Richard Moll, Selma Diamond, Ellen Foley, Charles Robinson, Markie Post Network: NBC This lively, ludicrous comedy centered on a Manhatten courtroom’s graveyard change was profitable on NBC’s comedy line-up for nine seasons. The show’s odd ball cast of characters and risquÃ© humor thrust them into a myriad of tongue-in check antics revolving around the trite, non-violent and petty crimes brought ahead of the bench in every episode. The ensemble cast centered around the kooky Judge (and amateur magician) Harry Stone, played by Harry Anderson, as well as the raunchy, slightly corrupt prosecutor Dan Felding (John Laroquette). Other notable and recognizable characeters were Nostradomus “Bull“Shannon, the towering however doltish courtroom bailiff (Richard Moll) along with the gruff and witty feminine bailiffs, Selma, Florence and Roz, who were played by a succession of actresses over the show’s duration. This ensemble cast of bailiffs, attorneys, plaintiffs and criminals blended sexy and amusing with a dash of slap stick humor, entertaining with gusto for the show’s nine-year operate. Because while Night Court’s jokes were frequently uncouth and absurd, you couldn’t help but laugh.
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