Having grown up in the 1970s, I often find that my reference points and television memories are older than many of my colleagues here at Major Spoilers.  Older than Zach, with fewer friends and distractions than Stephen and a better memory than that Rob kid, I often find myself referring to things that nobody else remembers, to the point where I’m sometimes accused of making up pop culture out of whole cloth.  Sure, a lot of people remember that Captain Marvel/SHAZAM had a Saturday morning TV show back in the day, and fewer remember the companion show featuring The Mighty Isis.  But even my wife doesn’t recall ‘Ark II’, a live-action Filmation show set after the apocalypse with a roving storehouse of scientific knowledge, a talkin’ monkey and a main character that main brain insists on thinking of as Grizzly Addams with a jetpack (admittedly a great concept.)  This, in turn, begs today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) should act as a cautionary tale that the sharp memory is a mixed blessing, at best, but it’s great for winning bar bets, asking: What is your favorite bit of pop culture that nobody else seems to remember?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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40 Comments

  1. Paul
    March 10, 2014 at 11:35 am — Reply

    I think my struggles with 80s pop culture are based in the fact that a lot of it blurs into a single melange of characters. Jamie and His Magic Torch is, I’m certain, only 50% the show I remember and the rest is something else entirely.

    Two things, that a British 30-something would remember but that are likely to be utterly alien to you are Button Moon and something I had to google to remember the name; Cockleshell Bay. I remember loving it as a kid but I suspect it’ll be dreadful on return viewing.

    Something else from my childhood that I’ve since found again is a Flash Gordon audiobook that I had on cassette (can someone show Zach a cassette tape please?); Flash Gordon and the Lion Men of Mongo. I have an unreasonable attachment to it and still listen to it now.

  2. GeorgeDubya
    March 10, 2014 at 11:43 am — Reply

    A Muppet Family Christmas – A glorious TV Movie that combined The Muppets, the residents of Sesame Street, and the denizens of Fraggle Rock all thrown together with good music, meaningful lessons, and Jim Henson himself.

    I first saw it when I was 3 and it first aired. i was lucky enough to have taped it while it was on, but I watched it so many times over the years that the tape wore through long ago.

    • March 10, 2014 at 11:54 am — Reply

      I wish they would re-air that and “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” around the holidays. Those were two of my favorite Christmas specials growing up.

    • March 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm — Reply

      I watched that special every time it aired back in the day. “Watch out for the icy patch” has been in my family’s list of common phrases ever since.

  3. March 10, 2014 at 11:51 am — Reply

    Other than people online, nobody I meet seems to remember “Forever Knight”. It remains one of my all-time favorite TV series, but finding people who remember it is next to impossible. Thankfully, having all three seasons on DVD (although I don’t have the original TV movie) lets me fix this problem with some people.

    Similarly, only people online seem to remember “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller” and “Dog City”.

    • March 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm — Reply

      The Storyteller was so good though!

  4. Matty
    March 10, 2014 at 11:57 am — Reply

    For me it was the Space 1999 episode Dragon’s Domain with the hideous tentacle monster that eats humans and immediately poops out skeletons. Folks seem to remember the show as a whole because the Eagles are really striking spacecraft, but few seem to remember this monster.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tbXhu09m5s

    Also, any time I mention the 6 Million Dollar Man episode with Bigfoot, no I still get odd looks.

  5. BigPapaRama
    March 10, 2014 at 11:58 am — Reply

    WOW! I was just thinking about that show the other day. There was some trippy television back in the day.

  6. March 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm — Reply

    I feel like 90% of the cartoons I watched in the 80s and 90s just leave people starring blankly at me.

  7. March 10, 2014 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    A lot of my “fuzzy memories” come from shows I watched in the ’90s that nobody else seems to recall. Every geek under the sun knows X-Files, but mention Strange Luck, VR.5, or Nightman to them and you get a blank stare back. Granted, I wish I could forget having watched Nightman…

  8. March 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    Just yesterday I was talking about one of mine. Its so obscure that I have only found references to its existence twice online. Even though it looks like someone may have also turned it into a stage play! It was a record that I listened to weekly until it got shattered in a move “Wanda the Littlest Wizard”.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it inspired Terry Pratchett’s “Equal Rites” if anyone had heard of it outside of Canada! It certainly made that book very accessible to me at a young age. Actually I am going to try finding it again…

    • Kristen
      March 24, 2016 at 1:23 am — Reply

      Hi I have a vinyl copy of Wanda that I recorded to MP3 if you are interested I would email it to you

      • January 12, 2017 at 2:53 am — Reply

        Hi Kristen! I found this thread by searching for Wanda the Littlest wizard. The last time I searched must have been years ago and there was nothing. I am very interested in a digital copy of the tape! I listened to it on repeat as a child. It’s so obscure I never thought I would come across a source. If you get can see this reply you can reach me via swampgoddess@gmail.com

  9. comicfan1974
    March 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    Shadow Chasers from the 80s…yet to meet anyone who remembers watching all 7 (or so) episodes of it.

  10. Ingrid
    March 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    I also grew up in the 70’s. I have very fond, if rather blurry, memories of a show called Space Giants. It was a live action show featuring giant monsters of the rubber suit variety. The hero was a kid called Miko, I believe. And he could call upon Goldar, who was a giant robot type of guy, Silvar (female, not a giant robot), and someone else whom I simply don’t recall. My husband is the only other person I’ve ever met who has also seen it. I’ve loved giant monster slug-a-thons ever since.

    • Ron
      March 14, 2014 at 1:09 am — Reply

      Don’t forget the “mastermind, Rodak!”

  11. Ed
    March 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    The TV show “Tales of the Gold Monkey.”

    • March 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm — Reply

      Ooh! I remember that one. My dad and I watched every episode of it back in ’82/83. I still miss that show.

  12. March 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    Mighty Orbots was one that I really enjoyed that needs more attention. It had a bit of a Metal Men kinda vibe that I really enjoyed.

    I remember Ark II and saw every episode, I always wondered how much inspiration Damnation Alley took from the look of the Ark II or if it was all just coincidence.

    I also watched Shazam, Secrets of Isis, Space Academy, Jason of Star Command… It is sad that our kids no longer have the concept of looking forward to Saturday morning.

    • Bill ;the Seeker
      March 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm — Reply

      I belive it was the same vehicle wasn’t it? I thought they had built one and then used it a few times for different shows. There was a game called “The Morrow Project” that used it as the basis for their science research ‘truck’.

      • Bill ;the Seeker
        March 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm — Reply

        My bad. I did some research and according to the internets they are different vehicles.

        • March 10, 2014 at 10:46 pm — Reply

          However, the nose of the Ark II eventually become the Seeker shuttle from Space Academy/Jason Of Star Command…

  13. Kirby
    March 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm — Reply

    Clone High, Undergrads, Mission Hill, Duckman. For the first two MTV of all channels actually had some really funny animated stuff, though how “only I seem to remember” is depending on my company. We should still have Mission Hill on the air today, because listening to the DVD commentaries with their plans for future stories is just depressing now. Duckman always just made me laugh in a dark, occasionally disgusting way.

    • March 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm — Reply

      I liked Mission Hill, but because I didn’t have the channel it originally aired on, I didn’t see it until Adult Swim aired it. I was just thinking about it the other day and wondering why it only lasted as long as it did, or why some other channel didn’t try picking it up for new episodes.

    • March 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm — Reply

      Duckman was the business. I was way too young to understand a lot of the jokes at the time, which makes me really want to revisit that series.

  14. Randy
    March 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm — Reply

    The very short lived, summer filler show, Quark. Was a Star Trek Parody with Richard Benjamin as captain of space garbage truck. Used to be in love with the Betty’s

  15. March 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm — Reply

    “Unico and the Island of Magic” traumatized quite a few of my friends back in the day, but none of us could remember anything about it other than fragmentary images of horror and fear. My buddy eventually tracked down the name and a VHS in college, and we rewatched it and it still scared the daylights out of us, but our friends we lost contact with shall never know a name for their nightmare.

    It’s a kid’s anime about a magic unicorn and a wizard.

  16. March 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm — Reply

    I remember Ark II. It was one of my favorite saturday morning cartoons. Didn’t it share a line up with Shazam and Isis?

  17. Ian
    March 10, 2014 at 6:32 pm — Reply

    Tomorrow People, Highwayman, Automan

    • March 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm — Reply

      THE HIGHWAYMAN!!! Featuring Jacko as Jetto!

      Man, awful. :)

      • Ian
        March 11, 2014 at 6:04 pm — Reply

        Oi!!!

  18. John
    March 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm — Reply

    Reading these reminded me of wrestling cartoon back in the 80s. It had Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and others from that time.

  19. March 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm — Reply

    Seconded for Mighty Orbots…that was an awesome show!

    How about The Real Ghostbusters episode “The Collect Call of Cthulhu”?

    Does anyone remember Galtar and the Golden Lance or The Mysterious Cities of Gold?

  20. Oldcomicfan
    March 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm — Reply

    There’s two I can think of. There was a 2-season TV show called “Werewolf” where Chuck Connors played the heavy of the series, but due to his health problems and the healthy price tag he demanded he was quickly written out of the series and replaced with a body double you only saw from the back or at a distance. After watching him playing the good guy throughout the 60s, it was chilling to see him as a villain. I believe he passed away during the second season of the show. The other was the Tintin Cartoons that were broadcast here in the early sixties. Nobody else seems to remember them, and it took a lot of research to discover that they actually had existed, but like the early Doctor Who episodes, the original video tapes were erased and the film the tapes were made from evidently no longer exists.
    A partial third: In the original version of Return of the Jedi, when R2D2 is swallowed by the swamp monster and spit back out, and Luke helps R2 back to his feet, Luke said “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good.” But when Lucas went back to do the special edition the film had deteriorated to the point where that entire scene was lost and he had to spice in a discarded version where Luke said “You’re lucky you got out of there” which was nowhere near as funny. Nobody else seems to remember the original version, and also, given that Lucas was able to go back and add special effects all over the place, I was always disappointed that he didn’t go back and restore the original dialog. Surely they could have had Mark Hammil re-record the line and then auto-tune it so it matched the original?

  21. Ed
    March 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm — Reply

    The show “Space giants” and the old version of the Tomorrow People

  22. Bill ;the Seeker
    March 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm — Reply

    I’m a little older than you, Matthew, and I get almost all your non Super Sentai references including the 70’s saturday morning faire you talk about. but what no one seems to have heard of that was, to me, as mistreated and stillborn as Firefly is a show called UFO. It was actually the predecessor to Space 1999. And as fun as Space 1999 I think that UFO had more consistent and better writing. It’s dated now but still one of the few quality, mature, Sci Fi shows before Star Wars came out.

  23. March 11, 2014 at 5:03 am — Reply

    Most of mine, as I wrote them, turned out to be Dinosaur themed cartoons. Dino-riders, Dino-saucers, Denver the Last Dinosaur. I loved M.A.S.K. as I kid after seeing two episodes at a friends house, but then that friend moved away and NOBODY KNEW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT.

    Also, the two-hour-power block on Sunday mornings that I never got to watch ’cause/church. Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Thunderbirds, and Phantom 2040. I remember the Phantom show was super trippy for a 10 year old, and inspired my love of the Phantom. And to a 10 year old, the Phantom movie is pretty sweet. Still one of my favorites, and a great example of the cheesy optimism of the 90s, and also an obejectively terrible film. I’m sure there’s a question of the day for the horrible thing you love that everyone else hates.

    • March 11, 2014 at 9:42 am — Reply

      I liked those dino themed series too. Dino-Riders I even had toys from (from the parents of one of my friends from the hospital who knew I HATED getting “girly” presents for birthday and holidays as a kid).

      But most of those series didn’t air on any channels we got in the town I lived in, and I only got to see them during my hospital stays or when I stayed at my dad’s house, so most of the kids in my town had no idea what they were.

  24. Gehrigan
    March 11, 2014 at 7:47 am — Reply

    Lancelot Link : Secret Chimp – with his lady love Mata Hairy

    A chimp version of man from Uncle with Lancelot working for C.H.I.M.P. against the machinations of A.P.E.

  25. Frank
    March 11, 2014 at 8:43 am — Reply

    I remember most of those shows.
    Two I have fond memories of are:
    “Wait till your father gets home” – The 70s version of the Simpson’s.
    UFO – Britain gets invaded by UFOs.

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