The year was 1983. Donkey Kong and The Mario Bros. were gobbling up our quarters
in the video arcades, Stephen King’s Cujo and Christine were
giving movie goers a scare and TV mini-series were ruling the airwaves…
Lionel Richie was singing about partying “All Night Long” while The Stray Cats were teaching us how to strut. Speaking of ‘strutting’, 1983 was the year John Travolta returned with Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever. Not to be outdone by some Goombah from Brooklyn, Barbara Streisand had all eyes on her in her cross-dressing-Torah-studying film Yentl. Also lighting up the silver screen were Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd in the comedy classic Trading Places.
But don’t fret couch potatoes, if going to the movies wasn’t your thing, you could always just stay home and watch some TV. The still-heterosexual Richard Chamberlain was getting ladies hearts a flutter as a priest who’s fallen in love with a (significantly) younger woman in the epic mini-series The Thorn Birds. Meanwhile NBC was giving us a taste of what an alien invasion might be like with a mini-series of their own: V. If that wasn’t scary enough for you, perhaps a little nuclear war would do? The Day After had people standing around the office water coolers discussing what would really happen if those good-for-nothing Russians decided to drop some nuclear missiles on America the Beautiful.
During the commercial breaks people were being asked “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” (Well, what WOULD you do?) And trying to figure out just what the heck a Snausage was. (That would be a snack sausage for dogs, duh.)
And while we’re on the subject of food, who can forget Taco’s big hit “Puttin’ on the Ritz”? If, like most of America during the 80’s, you’d been helping yourself to a few too many tacos, don’t worry. Richard Simmons was leading an all out assault on fat across the country with his work out videos and therapy sessions. (“Did you know when you break the word diet in half, the first part is DIE?”)
For a little levity we tuned into Fraggle Rock, (if you were lucky enough to have HBO) which starred the newest breed of Muppets, the Fraggles. We were also introduced to A Christmas Story, the now classic holiday film about a boy and his dream to own a gun.
Last but not least, who could forget Risky Business? A fresh faced Tom Cruise, dancing around in his Ray Bans and underwear, taught us all to say “What the f**k!”
Take a trip in the “way back” machine…… all the way to 1983! We may have only been 3 years deep into the 80’s at this point, but it was already becoming a decade to remember.