You need to read this blog post in your best old lady voice.
Back in my day….
watching the TV (or the idiot box as we called it back then) was a very different experience to what it is now. There were no DVD box sets (because the DVD had not yet been invented) and there was certainly no binge watching your favorite series. In fact in the 1970s our lives were pretty much dictated by the networks. Whole populations sat down to watch the same thing at the same time and tolerated the ads. Some even joked that the ads were more entertaining than the main programs – a sentiment rarely expressed nowadays.
People who wished to avoid commercials were forced to stand up and physically turn a nob on the the TV set in order to switch over to the ABC. Note there was no SBS and therefore no nudity. At the time the ABC was distinctly uncool – with the exceptions of Countdown and Kenny Everett. I was not permitted view either because of their corrupting influence. Its a small wonder that I became chaste teetotaler who has never so much as cast a lustful glance at a man let alone entertained impure thoughts.
Anyhow – every night before the National Nine News with Brian Henderson – the news you could trust, we watched Happy Days – a program that accurately portrayed the 1950s as a wholesome utopia. No wonder Tony Abbott wants to go back. Here are the life lessons imparted.
1) The gentlemen’s convenience at your local diner can double as office space. When the Fonz required a man to man discussion with any of the gang they were invited into his “office” ie the bog. I am sure that unscrupulous real estate agents have since tried to push this concept.
2) The red headed valedictorian is the most marriageable member of any high school clique. This lesson sank in and I married an over achieving red head. In keeping with the theme, if Dadabulous is Richie Cunningham (in an alternative universe where Richie is a gun software developer instead of a journalist) my brother in law is Ralph Malph.*
3) Any malfunctioning electronic device can be fixed by thumping it with just the right amount of pressure.
4) Success must always be denoted by a heartfelt “Aaaaaaye” and a thumbs up gesture. Two thumbs up is the ultimate mark of respect.
5) Jenny Piccolo (Joanie’s BFF) was boy crazy. “Aaaaaaaye” and a double thumbs up.
6) Double thumbs up also to Pinky Tuscadero, a motorbike riding bad ass in hawt pants. What a feminist role model.
7) Ditto for Pinky’s guitar playing younger sister Leather. Chix rocked decades before the Spice Girls. (Which is a moot point because the Spice Girls don’t exactly rock).
8) The leather clad bad boy is really a marshmallow on the inside.
9) The average middle class American housewife aspired to do the housework in heels and full makeup. Thank heavens the bra burners came along when they did. Double thumbs up Germaine Greer.
10) In an episode that went to air on September 20 1977, the Fonz attempted to jump over a shark on water skis. The stunt was regarded as a desperate attempt to reignite floundering ratings. The expression “Jump the shark” was coined. When a TV program or movie franchise goes to increasingly silly lengths to keep viewer interest it is said to have “jumped the shark.”
11) Richie Cunningham found his thrill on blueberry hill.
12) I recently read that the actors who played Pottsy Weber and Ralph Malph are still besties who get together regularly. It made me smile to think that Ralph and Pottsy are still hanging out. Nowadays they are probably discussing grand children and super funds rather than chicks and the Fonz’ general awesomeness.
What shows marked your youth? Did they give you valuable life lessons? How hawt is Rollo? I know I keep banging on about it but seriously how hawt is he?
* Because my BIL is known for his sense of humor.