Classic TV Friday: May 2009 Archives

Back in the mid-eighties, Trivial Pursuit was all the rage amongst baby boomers who wanted nothing more than to have some memories jogged from their 1960s era childhoods. Over 20 million of the board games were sold in the first year of production which made the game popular enough to be included in this 30-second advertisement for Miller Lite, featuring former Oriole Boog Powell, former Yankee Sparky Lyle, and six-time Stanley Cup champion for the Montreal Canadiens Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion:

Like Bob Uecker in the United States, Boom-Boom always played the butt of the jokes in Canadian Miller Lite ads. Sometimes even en Francais pour nos amis Quebecoises!

Too often, American pop culture recognizes its past stars at the worst time possible: immediately after they die. Admit it, you hadn't thought twice about Dom DeLuise's comedy oeuvre for years before he kicked the bucket a few weeks ago. Well, legendary comedian Jonathan Winters is still roaming this mortal coil, albeit not acting or performing standup anymore at age 84. In that case, let's celebrate this short television bit from 1964 in which Winters pokes fun at the body language of a major league pitcher:

Winters was huge in the 1960s and 70s with his comedy albums and appearances on the The Tonight Show. His best film work came as the bumbling truck driver in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, a movie whose name would have sounded ridiculous with three or five Mads.

Let's Go Mets Go - 1986

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So the Mets are in Boston this Classic TV Friday to take on the Red Sox. What better way to stare into the face of the moribund (for Sox fans) history between these two clubs by posting the theme song to the 1986 Champion New York Squad, "Let's Go Mets Go."

Dude's vocals are overwrought and seriously Pall Mall inflected. There are wacky player antics, Gary Carter looks like a tool, there are a bunch of Mets fans in half shirts and a Joe Piscopo sighting. Does it look horribly dated? Good. That should remind you how long it's been since the Mets won a title.

Pete Rose Welcomes You To The Baseball Family - 1985

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When some old guy tells you what a disgrace today's players are, what with their steroid use and at bat rap music, show em this video for me, will ya? In Today's Classic TV Friday Clip, Charlie Hustle thanks fans on behalf of "the baseball family." A family that "has had it's share of problems." Oh, it's also a family that would excommunicate him for life in a couple of years.

So here's Pete Rose (inveterate gambler), acknowledging that baseball has problems, then introducing Doc Gooden (cokehead) and Vince Coleman (accused rapist and firecracker thrower) as just the guys to turn it around. Whoops!

Don't let people tell you that baseball is worse off now than it ever was. It's always been the refuge of degenerates and Walkoff Walk is just proud to be part of the tradition.

Yogi Berra For Miller Lite - 1987

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You know we love our old beer commercials around here. Classic TV Friday pretty much lives for them and this week we got a real humdinger. It's the lovable Yogi Berra dropping his homespun wisdom all over this 30 second spot.

On a partially related note, I was listening to an old Berra interview on this awesome 2 CD set I just got of NPR's best baseball stories (pick one up if you can find it) and he talks about how he'd try to distract guys coming up to the plate by chatting it up with them. He'd always ask noted fisherman Ted Williams if he'd caught any big ones lately to which Williams would invariably respond "You dumb dago, I'm up here to hit not talking about fishing." I need to find some good Ted Williams stuff for next week. Anyway, please to enjoy Yogi. I know I do.