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A tumblr about 1980s and 1990s history, and I use the term "history" very loosely.

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132. Christmas in July: Night Court (December 17, 1987)


Do stores even celebrate Christmas in July anymore? The last time I heard of a Christmas in July sale was nearly 10 years ago, and that was when the Casey car dealership in Newport News would decorate the lot in Christmas decorations in July. Christmas in July is such an antiquated term to me. 

Okay, I’m going to do Christmas in July for one night, because I love this episode of Night Court too much to wait until December. I loved Night Court growing up, I’m obsessed with it as an adult, I have hundreds of episodes on my DVR because Encore (yes, strangely enough the movie channel) shows it every night. 


The episode starts with one of the rare times Harry actually uses his Mac in his office. Mac (the court clerk, not the computer) mentions how nasty the weather is getting outside, and Christine comes in wearing that same cotton ball Santa beard from the old 7up commercials



Of course, Christine’s handmade present for Harry is phallic shaped! ‘Cuz she wants Harry, but of course she’s totally in denial that she wants Harry, but come on that knitted gavel cozy looks more like a Harry cozy. 


Oh. That’s why Harry had his Mac out. It was a way to shut up Art the incompetent handyman. WHY IS IT SO COLD IN THE BUILDING? Art goes downstairs to “be gentle” to Bertha the furnace. 

image(Bull mistakes Christine’s ornament as a cookie)

Bull’s excited that his mom is flying in from whatever planetary garbage boat she comes from. From what I read on Amazon reviews of the Season 8 DVD, we don’t see his mom until then. So right now, we have to imagine her looking something like the lady Ren & Stimpy saved from that burning building that one time:


Bull’s mom

Harry: Your mom hauls … refuse?

Bull: I know it sounds glamourous, sir, but success hasn’t changed mom one bit! She still puts her pants on one leg at a time! … The good one first, then the peg. 

In the courtroom, its too hot now…Art played with Berta too much. 


It’s Mac and Quan Le’s daughter’s first Christmas. Mac pulled all the stops at and shopped at Bloomingdales for her. He even bought her a train set. 

Mac: Quan Le! She’ll hear you! Stop saying t-r-a-i-n!

Bull: You bought her a trombone?

Quan Le: Don’t you think she’s a little young to appreciate one of those?


Mac & Quan Le are my One True Pairing. 

imageRoz is going to Atlantic City to see men beat each other up and hear that noses go squish for her Christmas break. 


"You enjoying that gavel cozy, sir?"

"As much as one human being possibly could!"


Dan’s decided to go to the wonderful isle of Jamaica with some Floozy, and he’s decided to talk like the 7up Guy too. Ah-ha-ha. She sounds like this mean chick who lived on my hall junior year. 


Dan’s so stupid though, he tells her to go to the airport with their tickets and luggage. Dan cozy


There’s this really stupid plot line where Santa and Robert Pastorelli (aka, Eldin from Murphy Brown) are up in court because Santa wanted to pick up a hooker during his lunch break, and Santa and the pimp got in an altercation. I just like seeing Robert. Proceeding on. It’s really convenient that they have to sit around because Mac can’t pull up their records on the computer due to the winter storm outside. Bull can’t call the airport either to look for his peg leg mommy. 

Suddenly, Mac tells Harry the snow plow packed 10 ft of snow outside of the court’s doors. Wait. This happened back in the second season back in 1984 …. yeah because Bull braved the blizzard to try and get food. This time Bull is braving the blizzard to find his mom at the airport. As much as I like Night Court, sometimes they were really guilty of repeating story lines. 

Christine: Wait, even though its 150 degrees right now, we stand a good chance of losing our precious limbs to frostbite?image

See, Harry knew all along it was a Harry cozy.  “Not me!”


So, the heat also gives out in the court building, but yet Art has some oil drums sitting around. Ha, Roz throws away Christine’s Christmas card. 


"Mac, do you think the baby’s warm enough?"




So Art also had a Bull sized oil drum? Good thing Santa knows how to heat water up because he used to blow safes. 

Homeless Lady: How long has his brain been without oxygen?

Roz: I’d say since the early sixties.


"Bull, are you okay?"

"How much is all of this gonna cost me?"

The firemen rescue the crew, and think the group is trying to make Bull Soup. 


"God bless us all!" 


"…what do you mean the tickets were cashed in by a Mrs. Fielding?"


Bull’s mommy had to rescue a ship in the Persian Gulf, but she sent Bull some live bait to cheer him up—but then he spilled it in his pot. (Also, who is that other bailiff behind bull? He’s been in nearly every episode, but so far I’ve watched every episode from seasons 1-4 and I haven’t heard him speak yet.)


Ohhh snap, Harry and Christine kiss at the end. 

111. Absolutely bizarre “Accident or Mistake?” gymnastics segment (1987)

This was a segment shown on TV during the 1987 World Gymnastics Competition. Accident or Mistake? 

(I love this one comment: “that’s like asking would you like some oxygen or air”)

107. Christmas newspaper clippings part 1

image 1

The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

She looks like the inspiration for Charlene Matlock, either pilot Charlene Matlock, or Linda Purl Charlene Matlock, choose one:



The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

Everything for your yuppie kitchen. 


The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980


The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980

Aw, nobody likes this candy. Not even in 1980. Also, dead mall, Northridge Mall. 


image 6

image 7



I am so bothered by the Bone Fone, its the definition of ridiculousness. I think this was right before the Walkman hit it big, so these were probably mildly popular for about 2 months. 

The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 4, 1980


That is not a Care Bear. 

Lodi News-Sentinel - Dec 19, 1987
I don’t know too many people who buy their gifts at the auto part store, especially at 11:45 at night on December 23rd. 

Schenectady Gazette - Dec 12, 1987

EVERY discount store had their own bear back in the 1980s and 1990s. I had one from Kmart that had a little sweater dress from 1990. The reason why I knew it was from 1990 was because it said so on her sweater. 

image 12

Schenectady Gazette - Dec 12, 1987

I didn’t know that people still bought Atari’s in 1987. 

103. “Pardners no more” (Schenectady Gazette, November 20, 1987)

This was on the front page of the Schenectady Gazette. Front page! It wasn’t even a local story! 

"Pardners no more." Schenectady Gazette, November 20, 1987.,4975939 (accessed November 20, 2013).

72. How newspapers handled Budd Dwyer blowing his brains out on live tv (January 22, 1987)

Harsh title, but that’s what he did!

It seems like everybody that has been on the internet long enough knows about Budd Dwyer, the man who shot himself to death during a televised speech in which he was resigning his post as State Treasurer of Pennsylvania. Those who dare have seen the gory video, or those who are squeamish have at least seen the countless press photos of him waving his gun around at the meeting, or just watched the animated .gif of his death (even if its just a gif and shows no blood, I guess it could shock some people, so warning). 

Dwyer was resigning because he was caught taking bribes from a California company that was trying to gain a contract to compensate state workers who overpaid federal taxes. Dwyer claimed that he was framed, but nevertheless he was convicted and forced to step down as treasurer. 

The day before his sentencing, he scheduled a news conference in which the local media came. After a long speech that some described as “rambling”, Dwyer handed envelopes to his closest co workers, and then took out one final envelope. A gun filled envelope. We all know the rest, how he lay in a puddle of his own blood, it gushing out of his nose, looking more like a bloodied, disheveled, David Crosby than the man who was speaking just seconds earlier. 

I wanted to know how the newspapers across America handled the coverage of Dwyer’s action. What pictures did they decide to publish, if any? Did their local news that evening show the entire video of him shooting himself? 

Reading Eagle, Reading, Pennsylvania: 



image 2

image 3

image 4

The Dispatch, Lexington, North Carolina: 

image  5

This is the photo most newspapers on Google Newspapers went with. 

Observer-Reporter, Washington Monongahela, Pennsylvania:

image  6

The Junction City Daily Union, Geary County, Kansas: 


Lewiston Morning Tribune, Lewiston, Idaho/Clarkston, Washington: 

image 8

These two papers went with the final moment. 

Lodi News-Sentinel, Lodi, California: 

 image 9

The Miami News, Miami, Florida: 

image  10

Ocala Star-Banner, Ocala, Florida: 

image 11

The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 

image 12

The Mount Airy News, Mount Airy, North Carolina: 


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA 



image 15



This paper was the first paper I saw that actually showed a pic of Dwyer dead. The microfilm copy was in horrible shape though.

image 16

Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA: 

image 17

Sarasota News Herald, Sarasota, Florida:

image 18

This was the first paper I saw that showed the pic of him immediately after shooting himself, but before he hit the floor.

The Nashua Telegraph, Nashua, New Hampshire:


Out of all the 1980s newspapers in Google Newspapers, this was the only one I found with a clear picture of Dwyer dead. 

Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa:

image 20

Related Links:

Budd Dwyer at Encyclopedia Dramatica (NSFW!!) ED calls Dwyer “the greatest man to ever live”. 

"An Honest Man" Documentary about Dwyer. 

Filter’s “Hey Man NIce Shot” video - Filter’s song they wrote about Dwyer. 

///edit, June 7 2013//

Hustler covered it too, and used seldom seen color shots of the incident.

28. A blow by blow account of “A Muppet Family Christmas” (December 16,1987)

Wow, talk about the last minute. I haven’t been this last minute about something since my junior year of college several years ago. 

When I’d watch this as a kid, I thought how dangerous it was for all the muppets to ride in the back of Fozzie’s old, beat up truck. Where did Fozzie get a beat up truck from?

I honestly think there are some sad parts of “A Muppet Family Christmas.” One of them is Fozzie’s mom getting ready to go on vacation in Malibu so she won’t be alone on Christmas, and then having her vacation ruined by all the muppets barging in. 

We’ve never had HBO at my house, ever. So when I saw Doc from Fraggle Rock, and Sprocket, I thought Doc was this mean man who was a Doctor who had an adorable dog. This is also the scene with the panic inducing “icy spot” on the door. Every time I see a muppet slip, I think of the feeling one gets when they slip on ice, by the time the special is over, my heart has about had it. 
"Why am I here?"
"do that pouty thing!"
Robin totally brings the show down for me, I usually fast forward though any songs of his with Kermit. I just think he’s so self righteous, like a know it all. I miss tadpole Robin from Muppet Babies.
This is my favorite scene out of the whole special, when Sprocket meets Rowlf.
Sprocket: (barking)
Rowlf: Woof woof!
Sprocket: (barking)
Rowlf: Yeah! Bark Bark!
Emily Bear: There’s Rowlf when he was a wee puppy!
Rowlf: Not so wee! I was paper trained!
God, Animal’s retarded. I think Dwight Shrute has taken many cues from Animal. 
I just realized, Camilla is both Gonzo’s girlfriend and his stuffed animal when he was a baby. So, it was just a turn of fate that Gonzo’s girlfriend shared the same name of his stuffed baby chick?
When I was little, watching this for the first time, you don’t know how excited I was to see Bert & Ernie. 
"Where we come from, this is small talk."  Also, lol Doc needs hair spray. 
PUPPET PLAYING WITH PUPPETS. I also love how Kermit nods twice, like, “ok…”
This part always made me sad too. 
"The huge canary sleeps in the attic with the cookie eater…"
Grover as the mouse is my 2nd favorite scene. 
Bert: What’s the bowl for?
Grover: So you can see that I’m not stirring! NOTE! How the hand never touches the spoon!
I forgot about the reveal that Emily Bear is friends with Statler and Waldorf. I like to imagine she dates them both, and they talk smack about Fozzie’s act. 
Oh man, the scene where Big Bird gives the Swedish Chef chocoltae covered birdseed is a tear jerker. 
Swedish Chef decides to serve shredded wheat and cranberries. Funny, because I have a commercial break from the second time A Muppet Family Christmas was on the air, and in there is a Shredded Wheat commercial
"It’s cold enough to freeze your Winnebago!" — is that supposed to be a dirty joke?
Why does Gobo look homeless and sad?
Ha, Boober and Kermit have similar head shapes. 
The “uggh ugggh! Pass it on!” song is also in the episode of Fraggle Rock where Boober becomes OCD with this round rolly pebble and refuses to share it with anybody else. 
Miss Piggy gotta make an entrance, she even made Doc wear a costume. Did Doc take the taxi driver home before he took MIss Piggy to Emily Bear’s? Did the Taxi driver just stay there and freeze to death? 
"Love hanging! Love Hanging!"
I just realized Miss Piggy brought her doggy with her. 
I think of all the times that Doc missed out on seeing the Fraggles during almost the entire series of Fraggle Rock. It’s almost like when you don’t realize you have mold in your house. 
Fur is murder, Miss Piggy. 
Wow, Sprocket was the first to know about the Fraggles, and the first to know about the Muppet’s God. 
Final tally of Characters that fall in the icy spot:
  1. -Sprocket
  2. -Kermit
  3. -Bunsen
  4. -Beaker
  5. -Floyd Pepper
  6. -Swedish Chef
  7. -Rowlf
  8. -Fozzie
  9. -Kermit 
  10. -an unidentified Sesame Street muppet
  11. -Miss Piggy
Related Links:

A Muppet Family Christmas on the Muppet Wiki. 
Where you can watch the special at!
The commercials the aired the night of the original airing! 

8. 1980s Sitcom Predicted Gaddafi’s Death (1987)


The short-lived sitcom “Second Chance” predicted that Gaddafi would die on July 29, 2011.  

From Wikipedia (yeah, yeah i know, wikipedia on a “history” blog, but come on, its a short-lived sitcom):

Second Chance was a short-lived American television sitcom, which aired on Fox from September 26 to November 28, 1987. The series was then revamped under the new title Boys Will Be Boys, and ran in the new format from January to May 14, 1988. 

I’m going to go ahead and let everybody try to wrap their heads around the terrible premise of this show. I’ll wait. 

Related Links:

A Bad Sitcom Predicted Gaddafi’s Death in ‘87

3. That time Dan Rather walked off the set of the CBS Evening News (September 11, 1987)

This is something I did not witness (because I was four when it happened, and anyways, we watched Tom Brokaw at my house), but I’ve read a few accounts of it. 

From The New York Times:1

Dan Rather, angered because CBS decided to shorten the ”CBS Evening News” to broadcast the end of a tennis match on Friday, walked off the set and caused the network to ”go black” for six minutes.

Rather blamed walking off set because of being angry about women’s tennis “going on forever” that day, and he was worried about the ratings plummeting for his show, also he didn’t want a truncated edition of the news since they were on location in Miami for the Pope’s visit. He wanted to either cut off tennis at 6:30, or run tennis until 7, and the news start at 7. 2  CBS Sports cut to the news at 6:32, but by then Dan had his hissy fit, and walked off the set.

The New York Times on the six minutes of black screen:

Television stations around the country that carry Mr. Rather’s broadcast at 6:30 were dismayed. The Miami station finally broadcast several minutes of a game show to fill the time.

at 6:39, Rather came back to his seat, and the news began. 

In 1988, then presidential candidate Vice President George H.W. Bush brought up the incident during an interview when Rather was grilling him about Iran-Contra:

"Dan, how would you like it if I judged your entire career on the time you walked off the set?" 3

Ohhh, snap!

Unfortunately, (to my knowledge) there is no clip online of the six minutes of black screen from this day. I guess just because …. who wants to see six minutes of a black screen?

I’ve also searched and searched online to see if Rather was reprimanded for this, and he was not? I suspect if an anchor of any newscast did this in 2011, they would be so reprimanded. 


Dan Rather discusses the incident.