80's Playground 80's Playground

An 80s Sitcom Christmas

  1. 2 years ago

    AC Slater

    21 Nov 2014 Administrator
    Edited 2 years ago by AC Slater

    The holidays are coming up, and I've been wanting to draft up a marathon of 80s (and some early 90s) Christmas/Holiday shows, so I'll be putting together a list here. Feel free to add your favorites here. Most holiday shows are strange, so the more bizarre the better :(

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    Full House: Our Very First Christmas Show (1988)

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    The highlight of this show is one of the worst holiday speeches I have seen on a show given by uncle Jessy while the family is stranded in an airport overnight. It might be one of the worst TV scenes of all time.

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    Full House: Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1994)

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    Mickey Rooney plays a cranky ass, while holding Michelle and Uncle Jessie prisoner in his shop. Everything ends well with a touching ending by the Mickster.

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    Christmas at Pee Wee's Playhouse (1988)

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    Have not seen it yet, but this one sounds like a must watch based on the guest star list: Frankie Avalon, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Charo, Del Rubio Triplets, Annette Funicello, Magic Johnson, Dinah Shore, Grace Jones, Oprah Winfrey, k.d. lang, Little Richard, Zsa Zsa Gabor.

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    Step by Step: Christmas Story (1993)

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    Wow, this show really didn't hold-up over time (or ever?). Frank and Carol are arrested by a know-it-all, Barney Fife-type deputy on Christmas eve when they are accused of being burglars. ...Yikes!

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    Family Matters: Have Yourself a Very Winslow Christmas (1990)

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    Steve Urkel still believes in Santa Claus and the Winslows are stuck with him in a "Home Alone" type scenario with snorting instead of yelling.

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    'Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas (1986)

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    Blanche discovers Santa's got two bulges in his pants, but to her horror, the extra bulge is from a gun.

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    Small Wonder: Thanksgiving Story (1986)

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    To get on a community-sponsored Thanksgiving ski trip for disadvantaged kids, Jamie convinces the sponsors that his parents are separated.

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    Small Wonder: Oooga Mooga (1987)

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    A Christmas show wherein Joan borrows a life-sized animated "doll" from a store for a charity show -- until Brandon gets his hands on it.

    (To be Continued....)

  2. I like the Golden Girls Christmas episode where they're stuck in a diner and can't get to their families... only to realise they are a family. Every Christmas episode should send you into a diabetic coma.

  3. AC Slater

    21 Nov 2014 Administrator

    That's a good one, I'll add it to the list :(

  4. andyandy

    21 Nov 2014 Moderator

    Don't forget the Star Wars Holiday TV Special. It's from 1978 but you can't celebrate the Holidays without it.

    Jefferson Starship.
    Beatrice Arthur.
    Carrie Fisher singing.
    Chewbacca's Father.
    And much more...

    Preview here.

    I have a VCD of it that I probably should rip. Is the 80s videochannel up yet?

  5. AC Slater

    21 Nov 2014 Administrator

    @andyandy I have a VCD of it that I probably should rip. Is the 80s videochannel up yet?

    Yeah, that'd be awesome. I just sent you a mgr link. :(

    Channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/user/1980sPlayground

  6. Edited 6 months ago by tangerine

    Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (1989)
    The Simpsons debuted its first full-length episode back in ’89 with this soon-to-be Christmas classic. Also, the introduction of their dog, Santa's Little Helper. Bart needs his tattoo removed, you know, the usual Christmas stuff. ;)

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  7. AC Slater

    24 Nov 2014 Administrator

    @keithout I like the Golden Girls Christmas episode where they're stuck in a diner and can't get to their families... only to realise they are a family. Every Christmas episode should send you into a diabetic coma.

    We've been watching GG and this one just came up in the queue... It's the same one I posted in the OP :( We had some cheesecake too this time, lol. I want to do a mini recap, Sofia had a great one-liner in it.

  8. Dodge, nice descriptions for the list. I didn't read them last time I looked, "snorting instead of yelling". :D
    I think this was an unaired episode of Mr. Belvedere when it was on its way to being canceled, but now is available online. The Owens Family recreates A Christmas Carol and the acting is so hard to sit through. Here's a image from the episode, arg. George's face says it all.
    Episode titled:"A Happy Guy's Christmas"
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  9. Edited last year by AC Slater

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    I couldn't help but think about TFOL and completely stole this synapses.

    Season 5 Episode 12

    The holidays bring joy to the girls when they all plan on going home for Christmas but when Jo's mother temporarily moves to Miami, Jo is stuck in Peekskill. The other girls all plan on going home except Blair who plans on going on a ski trip. Meanwhile, Natalie becomes obsessed with getting a stereo from her mother as a gift.

    Where did Mrs. Garret go home to I wonder?

  10. Edited 2 years ago by Ilovethe80s

    Who can forget the Married with Children christmas episodes.

    remember Darcy's office party! check out the old couple chasing each other

    my favorite scene depics Al Bundy and Al Kinnison chatting it up at Al's front door.

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  11. AC Slater

    14 Dec 2014 Administrator

    @Liquidfox I couldn't help but think about TFOL and completely stole this synapses.

    Man, this post got me into a rabbit hole of TFOL. Tangerine and I thought we'd give it a shot since I had seen it before on the shelf at the library and it was available. It's actually been fairly watchable and kind of interesting since it is very early 80's. Tons of very special episodes though.

  12. Not a sitcom, but a special with He Man and She Ra can't be missed. Don't forget Skeletor.

  13. AC and I have been watching the first season of Growing Pains. We just saw the Christmas episode. There is just something odd about sitcom Christmas episodes and this one wasn't any different. Here's the episode in a nutshell:

    1. Jason Sever's psych patient comes to the house b/c he thinks the kids at the orphanage will hate him as Santa b/c everyone hates him.
    2. They do hate him, so he comes back to dive head first down the Sever's chimney (still dressed as Santa). The episode just got so messed up.
    3. Lots of trying to talk him down, reverse psychology, but doesn't come off the roof until Ben (the 9 year old) gives the dude his new puppy. Say what?!! -image-

    4)Through the magic of Christmas, another puppy shows up for Ben, seriously, where did that 2nd dog come from? Do we ever see the dog again?
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  14. AC Slater

    17 Jun 2015 Administrator

    The Growing Pains episode is an essential addition to the list. I found it very surprising they were able to cast and portray a character even less appealing than Mike Seaver (Kirk Cameron). The show tries hard to push that Mike is the cool kid, but within the show they really cannot commit to the concept and we easily see through the madness.

    The episode confirmed my initial thought during the pilot that it is not a good idea to treat your patients at home if you are a psychiatrist, and Dr. Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke) is bad at his profession. It was brutal that not only did the patient totally ruin some orphans' Christmas by not giving them the raw meat and Tupperware gifts he selected for the kids, (he threw them down the chimney) he took a puppy from a family and then stuck around the whole rest of the evening with the family.

  15. last year

    I've griped before how I'm not a fan of sitcom holidays shows because the episodes often have an odd feel to them. I may have found one that passes as good. Family Matters: It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas.

    In this episode, Steve's clumsiness results in breaking a crystal vase that Laura bought for her mother for Christmas. She gets more steamed when he says, "Did I do that?" I would feel the same way, I mean, c'mon! A little Christmas magic from T.K Carter (SBtB fans know him as Milo from Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes) and Laura experiences what it's like to be Steve.

    She ends by realizing how horrible he feels when she rejects him all the time and they get to reenact the vase breaking scene. She doesn't bite his head off this time and is like, oh well, I don't need a gift for my mother anyways. :( The ending kind of lost me, but I thought Kellie Shanygne Williams did an awesome version of Steve and we get a preview of Stefan Urquelle.

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  16. andyandy

    16 Nov 2015 Moderator

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    Alf's Special Christmas is incredibly difficult to watch. Nothing gets people more into the holiday spirit than a tale about suicide and terminally ill children starring a 200 year old alien that likes to eat cats. There should have been a warning for kids not to watch it since it's pretty heavy and may spoil their Christmas spirit.

    Go check out the full episode on hulu and prepare to get bummed.

    Best not to watch it during the holidays. Alf was a really strange show.

  17. AC Slater

    17 Nov 2015 Administrator
    Edited last year by AC Slater

    @andyandy Best not to watch it during the holidays. Alf was a really strange show.

    Yeah, we tried watching it as we do other series intending to watch the whole thing in order, but we did not get very far. Alf is one of those things from the 80's that is a known likable entity in pop culture, but I don't think anyone remembers how bad the show really was. The Alf Christmas special sounds a lot like the Growing Pains one @tangerine mentioned earlier.

  18. andyandy

    19 Nov 2015 Moderator
    Edited last year by andyandy

    Yeah, Alf is pretty bad. The very last episode in the series is really bad where the Tanners leave Alf out and the government finds him. Real uplifting for kids to watch; couldn't they have just let Alf go back home?

    Small Wonder is another that hasn't held up well either.

    The Small Wonder Christmas episode.

    Wouldn't know it was a Christmas episode except most of the cast wore these dumb reindeer antler hats.

  19. AC Slater

    21 Nov 2015 Administrator
    Edited 6 months ago by AC Slater

    @andyandy Yeah, Alf is pretty bad. The very last episode in the series is really bad where the Tanners leave Alf out and the government finds him. Real uplifting for kids to watch; couldn't they have just let Alf go back home?

    Haha, wow, almost makes me want to see the ending, that's incredible they ended it that way.

    @andyandy Small Wonder is another that hasn't held up well either.

    Yeah, we got a little further on that series... Somewhere around season 2 there was this bizarre episode with a homeless guy and we kind of stopped watching around that time. I still want to revisit it and see some of the ones where VICI gets older since it seems odd she would age and there is an episode I saw a clip of where she gets drugs on a playground. My theory on the show is they got a bunch of crew members from Leave it to Beaver out of retirement to work on it since it has such outdated views of tech for the time and such simple production values.

  20. 6 months ago

    It's that time of year again! I can't believe I didn't think to post A Very Brady Christmas before. This 1988 TV movie was such an oddball special. The family is back together with the grown up kids and their families. With the Bradys it can't just be a reunion, something has to go a stray, much like their doomed trips to the amusement park, the Grand Canyon, the ghost town, and Hawaii. Bad luck with this crew!
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    All the Bradys are having issues in their personal lives/careers, but the most disturbing update we found out was that Sam left Alice for another woman, say what?

    Mike goes to a construction site of one of his projects to help two security guards who get trapped from the building collapsing and ends of getting trapped himself. How will it all turn out!!!?
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