I left my voice, in San Francisco…

No really. I did. By the time I got home last night I sounded like Froggy from the Little Rascals.

No one under the age of 70 is going to get that reference, unless you were one of the children of the 70’s that spent their weekday afternoons sitting in front of the TV watching UHF channels.

excuse me for a moment…

Yup, I found them on You Tube, clips from the original depression era Little Rascals. Is there anything that hasn’t been copied onto You Tube at this point?

You know, now that I think about it, it is kind of odd that we watched black and white movie shorts from the 30’s, during the 1970’s. Hell, half the cartoons we watched were from the 30’s and 40’s too. Growing up, I knew all the old Hollywood Movie stars like W.C. Fields, and Mae West, not from seeing them, but from seeing their caricatures on cartoons. I have consumed more media in my 43 years than entire African Nations.

But you know what’s even stranger? To kids today the 70’s are as much in the distant past as the 1930’s were for us. I guess Richard Nixon would be the equivalent of Herbert Hoover. Scooby Doo is their Bugs Bunny.

Oh. My. Lord.

That just made me feel incredibly old.

I’m digressing, and no I have totally forgotten what it was I was going to post about. Oh well, it was probably just more bitching about the weather and whining about my sore throat.

So lets do something different. Let’s recount all the ancient media we consumed as children. Why back in my day we only had 5 channels Sonny, and they had to scrape to come up with stuff to fill up the airwaves. That’s why they started digging into the vaults of old black and white movie shorts, and cartoons to fill in the afternoon hours between the Soap Opera’s and the evening news.

we had… the Little Rascals forming the He Man Woman Haters club!

we had… Harold Lloyd falling out of windows!

we had Laurel and Hardy!

These are the shows that rattle down in the depths of my memory like coins tossed into a mine. I would sit and watch them with my Granny, and have her explain the cultural references that flew over my head. Because if there is one thing in this world that I could not tolerate as a child, or as an adult, it’s missing a cultural reference. That is why Wikipedia is the greatest thing to happen to my world. It has made me an even more deadly Trivial Pursuit player. A veritable Cliff Claven-esque fount of useless information. Kids today with their interwebz, and their nintendos and their Gaga Ladies, just don’t know what they are missing.

So it’s Friday, and I’m sick, and sucking on a cough drop. Entertain me with your memories of the stuff you wasted your days watching in front of the sweet radioactive glow of the Zenith. The floor is yours…

20 thoughts on “I left my voice, in San Francisco…

  1. A curmudgeon point of view:
    Little Rascals? There are NO children in San Francisco. There are no schools. There are no play parks for young fathers and mothers to take their children to dig in sandboxes and slide down slides. The only elderly people are alcohol and drug addicted street people. It is populated by young hip professionals scurrying to their next IMPORTANT engagement. There are way too few real people. I truly HATE San Francisco. Really.

    • Whoa there Mr. Grumpypants!

      Every thing you say is true, but the same can be said about the urban core’s of a lot of cities. It’s an economic phenomena as much as a social one. The proverbial “nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there”.

  2. A fleeting second went by where I was tempted to recount our Sid & Marty Krofft watching childhoods but then I shuddered as H.R. P&S entered my brain matter so I shut him out again.
    Instead I will agree that The Little Rascals (it was on channel 5 at 4pm every day where I grew up) was the BEST show on the face of the earth. It still holds up when I watch it today.
    Also? I will cop to watching Laurel & Hardy and I even sought out the ones where they met the monsters (wolfman, dracula, the mummy)

  3. I loved it when the Mystery Machine gang used to meet up with real life people, like sonny and cher, the MOnkies or the 3 Stooges. There was something about them breaking through the fourth (fifth?) wall.

    You forgot about all the Sunday afternoon black and white movies….Tarzan and Jane or Allen Quatermane (great grand father to Indiana Jones!) seems to have been playing every time we visited my Great Grand Mother!

    • Yes, those ancient movies on Sunday afternoon’s! I had forgotten them. I think I saw every black and white Tarzan movie! I also LOVED the monster movies and hilariously bad 50’s Sci-Fi they used to show on Saturday’s.

      • Also, do you remember all the Italian “Sword and Sandal” flicks? Films like “Hercules vs. The Hydra”, with the poorly dubbed English. Or Sinbad the Sailor?

  4. Forget about what I used to watch and let me explain how we used to watch it. In the days before remote controls, my dad would station one of us kids sitting directly in front ot the tv to change the channels for him. And another kid would be stationed at the antenna to move it around until the picture became clear. And he would simply say, “Next!” and we would change the channel. WTF?

    • We used to have a motorized roof antenna. There was a little box next to the TV Console, and being the youngest by 7 years I was designated channel changer and antenna operator. I can remember that on really cold winter days the antenna would freeze up, and you’d have to turn the dial back and forth a few times to break it loose. I can still hear the motor churning away…rwrr-rwrr-rwrr-rwrr-rwrr. Stop. rwrr…rwrr…rwrr…rwrr

      I think my parents used to tell stories about growing up poor in the depression just to keep me from complaining about having to change the channel.

  5. Three Stooges;
    Stupid, campy, not at all scary Vincent Price movies on Saturday afternoons;
    The phenomenal Godzilla and other Japanese monster movies (although very modern compared to the shows referenced in the post). Remeber the one with Godzilla’s son who could shrink to human-size and speak English, remember?;

    • Do you mean this guy?

      Yes I remember. He could only blow smoke rings, not fire. One of the lamer movies of the Godzilla Canon. My favorite is still Godzilla vs. Mothra

  6. How about Star Trek, Creature Features, Night Gallery, and the Twilight Zone? Or Dean Martin, Sonny and Cher, or Laugh In? I Dream of Jeannie, maybe, or Bewitched? Also, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom followed by The Wonderful World of Disney? (<— maybe I spent too much time in front of the tube…)

    • After I watched Mutual Of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom I used to force my family to act out the episode with me as the fierce creature and them as Tom.(tv Tom not 20 prospect Tom)

      Bah da da da da
      Bah da da da da da da da da
      Bum bum.
      That’s my attempt at their heart swelling theme music.

      • It wasn’t a Sunday night without Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and the Wonderful World of Disney.

        Suddenly I feel like I have school in the morning.

  7. Pingback: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics « 20 Prospect

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