Friday, September 29, 2006

How To Waste Time on a Thursday Night

Warning: Some of the videos linked here are poor quality, because they were taped in the 80s on VHS, and then transferred to digital.

Another warning: Clicking through all of these links will waste a lot of time, regardless of the quality. It’s hard to resist the pull of nostalgia.

Andrea was on the phone with her sister last night, and I don’t know what they were talking about, but for some reason the song “Mack the Knife” was mentioned. Andrea didn’t remember the song, so, since I was sitting beside her on the couch, I started humming it, so that she’d remember it. And then her sister and I, trying to jog her memory, both mentioned the McDonalds commercial with the moon-faced guy, who used to sing “Mac Tonight”. But she didn’t remember that, either.

So when she got off the phone, I pulled out the laptop, and went to find a version of “Mack the Knife” for her to listen to, because I was sure she knew it—she just didn’t remember. After a few minutes trying unsuccessfully to find an MP3 of “Mack the Knife”—especially the Bobby Darin version, which is considered nowadays to be the canonical version—I finally had a thought: Why not try my new best friend, YouTube? So I found a video of him singing it, from 1959. It was sort of vaguely familiar to Andrea, so I went looking for the McDonalds commercial. I found this version, which didn’t seem quite right, and then I found the perfect version, which she definitely remembered. (“Come on make it Mac tonight!”)

But this just whet our appetites. So we went looking for 80s commercials, and watched a few. (Including ads for the Commodore 64, Chips Ahoy, and Zelda for the NES. We started to watch a Transformers clip, before we realized that it was 10 minutes long, and we didn’t feel like spending so long on it.)

Now, since we were in an 80s kind of mood, we decided to start watching the opening credits/themes from various 80s TV shows. I don’t remember the order we ended up watching these in, but some of the shows we saw were: Jem; The Facts of Life (1st season, 6th season, 7th season); Head of the Class—which led to a commercial from the time period; Kids Incorporated, which led to a clip of Fergi, when she was on the show; Today’s Special; The Great Space Coaster, which also led to a clip of Linea Italian Man, and a Family Guy clip; BJ and the Bear; Macguyver, which led to this and this; The Fall Guy; the A-Team; Punky Brewster; Webster; Thundercats; Voltron; Tiny Toons; and Animaniacs, just to name a few.

Also, for some bizarre reason, we watched a few videos of people playing old NES games. We saw a few “Megaman” clips, and a long clip—we didn’t watch the whole thing—of a game I used to love, called “Master Blaster”. Also, at some point, possibly earlier on, when we were still in the 80s frame of mind, we watched “Asteroids”.

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