Best Eighties Television Shows

Published on

Late Night With David Letterman

Original Run: 1982 93 Creator: David Letterman Stars: Chris Elliott, David Letterman, Paul Shaffer Network: NBC Late night in the ’80s was exciting. When David Letterman debuted in 1982, there was a sense that some canonized rule-book of talk shows had been 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 wearing a Velcro fit) to absurdist (allowing an audience member host while he looked for a missing tooth), but the jokes were always smarter than-expected, from his opening monologues to his Best 10 Lists. And no one appreciates the drummer like Letterman.


Original Run: 198589 Creator: Glenn Gordon Caron Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley Network: ABC Because the Blue Moon Detective Agency stopped investigating crimes, David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) have become a cautionary tale in the will-they-or-won’t-they television trope. But like Willis and Shepherd, no Television couple did sexual pressure during the heyday of Moonlighting. When they ultimately decided to consummate their relationship, they literally burned down the house. While the series had plenty of behind-the-scenes strife (you start with with all the fact that Shepherd and burgeoning superstar Willis didn’t go along), it consistently entertained, pioneered the dramedy genre that's so popular today, and frequently broke the fourth wall in revolutionary ways.

Night Court

Original Run: 198492 Creator: Reinhold Weege Stars: Harry Anderson, John Larroquette Karen Austin, Richard Moll, Selma Diamond, Ellen Foley, Charles Robinson Marsha Warfield Network: NBC This lively, ludicrous comedy based on a Manhatten courtroom’s graveyard change was a success on NBC’s comedy lineup for nine seasons. The show’s odd ball cast of characters and risqué humor thrust them in a myriad of tongue-in-check antics revolving around the trite, non-violent and petty crimes brought before the bench in each episode. The ensemble cast centered around the kooky Judge (and amateur magician) Harry Stone, played by Harry Anderson, and the raunchy, somewhat corrupt prosecutor Dan Felding (John Laroquette). Other notable and recognizable characeters were Nostradomus “Bull“Shannon, the towering yet doltish court bailiff (Richard Moll) as well as the gruff and witty female bailiffs, Selma, Florence and Roz, who were played by a succession of actresses over the show’s length. This ensemble forged of bailiffs, lawyers, plaintiffs and criminals blended sexy and funny with a dash of slapstick humor, entertaining with gusto for the show’s nine-yr operate. Because while Night Court’s jokes were frequently uncouth and absurd, you couldn’t aid but laugh.

TV Series Boxed Sets Of DVDs

Family Ties

Original Run: 1982-89 Creator: Gary David Goldberg Stars: Meredith Baxter-Birney, Michael Gross, Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman and Tina Yothers Network: NBC One of the finest family sit-coms Family Ties, of our time gave us the Keatons; they were our family. Liberal operating parents Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse (Meredith Baxter) raised their three children—smart and conservative older brother Alex (Michael J. Fox), flighty and stylish center kid Mallory (Justine Bateman) and sarcastic younger sister Jennifer (Tina Yothers)—with love, compassion and limits. Fox, whose career was launched with all the collection, created Alex’s Republicanism humorous however not cliched. The sequence is still remembered because of its very special episode, “A my name is Alex,“ where Alex struggled to take the sudden death of his buddy. Today family comedies continue to try to to recapture the magic that was Family Ties

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

Original Run: 1986 90 Creator: Paul Reubens Stars: Paul Reubens Lynne Marie Stewart Network: CBS There are two kinds of people within my life: Those who like Pee Wee Herman and enemies. Years ago, I was gifted the complete selection of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse DVDs. On the years, I’d made a point to watch Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Big Top Pee-Wee whenever the feeling was right. Just as much as I loved this show as a child, I only expected to get a great kick from an episode here and there, but I found myself inhaling these DVDs. Pee-Wee’s Play-House is joyous morning viewing (over a plate of of Mr. T cereal, of course) or a a great way to way to unwind at evening (I’d recommend taking a drink from a good beer whenever someone says the “secret word“ only if your day was extremely difficult). For a display that had a supporting cast of genies, cowboys, puppet couches, pterodactyls, clocks and breakfast plates, I believe Play-House nonetheless makes sense in 2014. It’s a fully realized vision of Pee-Wee’s whimsical, wacky world—puppet strings and all—and the sequence is just pithy enough to pull in adults that are ready to go on the ride, too. Paul Reubens is a comedy icon and grasp of timing, and it’s unusual that a properly-put Pee-Wee gurgle or squeal doesn’t get a chuckle out of me. If you can’t find any delight in every one of that, we’ve got to re Consider our friendship.


Original Run: 1982-90 Creator: Barry Kemp Stars: William Sanderson, Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Jennifer Holmes Tom Post-On Network: CBS You might always rely on on the writers on Bob Newhart’s 2nd effective sit com to be playful. In the pre-meta-popculture period, they’d invite Russell Johnson (the professor on Gilligan’s Island) to appear as a Beaver Lodge member observing Gilligan’s Island. But it was the original characters who really made the show. Larry and his two brothers that are silent, Daryl and Daryl. Handyman George Utley. Spoiled maid Stephanie. As well as the best straight man, Bob Newhart. Too negative it was all just a dream.

At the Movies

Original Run: 1982 2010 Creator: Roget Ebert, Gene Siskel Stars: Roget Ebert, Gene Siskel Network: Syndicated Essentially two different exhibits, both titled At The The Films from manufacturing organizations that were different, the blend of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel entirely revolutionized the notion of movie criticism. Greatly admired for his or her ability to succinctly sum up the latest films together with their honesty and integrity in sparring with each other when opinions differed, the pair were also criticized by many for degrading the integrity of film criticism by decreasing it to arbitrary “thumbs up“or “thumbs down“gestures. Such was the legacy of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert as well as the duality of the show. They were among the only movie critics whose thoughts an “average American“could often be predicted to respect and did much for legitimizing the idea of film criticism outside of a classroom setting. Some may still criticize the idea of a two-outcome score system, but it was the approachable eloquence of the hosts that made the format work.


Original Run: 197883 Creators: James L. Brooks David Davis, Ed. Weinberger Stars: Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Conway Network: ABC/NBC Let’s just pause for a moment and remember that somebody once convinced a network to set Andy Kaufman around the air. I wish it had been live Television. Like M*A*S*H, Taxi often tackled serious social issues like drug and gambling habit, but did it with an incredibly odd cast of characters from the alien-like Latka Graves (Kaufman) to drugged-out hippie Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) to misanthrope Louie De Palma (Danny DeVito).

The Cosby Show

Original Run: 1984-1992 Creators: Bill Cosby. Weinberger and Michael Leeson Stars: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rash? d Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Sabrina Le Beauf, Geoffrey Owens, Joseph C. Phillips Network: NBC George Jefferson might happen to be moving on up, but The Cosby Show gave the nation a mo-Re relatable glimpse of the expanding middleclass among African-Americans , dealing with race, but much more often, dealing with the trials that all of US faced. Inspired by Cosby’s own family experiences which had been a staple of his stand-up routine, the present dominated the 2nd half of the ’80s, topping the Neilsen ratings from 1985 90 and averaging mo Re than 3-0 million viewers in the ’86-87 period. Cosby’s legacy might currently be in shambles, but the show was bigger than the man.

To be informed of the latest articles, subscribe:

Comment on this post