"The Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising" Talkback

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Shawn Hopkins

TZ Member of the Year 2013
Re: Time Bomb Vs. Alien

Based on that picture I would probably still choose Time Bomb, even knowing what I know.

In fact, if I had a time machine, I wouldn't use it to go kill Hitler or see the dinosaurs or anything lame like that. I would use it to travel back to 1980 and use my unfair knowledge of market and entertainment trends to become a fabulously wealthy and handsome Hollywood executive, entrenching myself and maneuvering and picking projects and making connections with one goal. Sex with Morgan Fairchild in 1984.

Zorak Masaki

Well-Known Member
If you think the porcelain mcdonalds kid was bad, than you never saw the porcelain "baby stone cold/baby rock" dolls they sold back in 1999/2000. Because im sure old ladies are going to want dolls featuring chibi versions of pro wrestlers. Im actually surprised they havent tried the same thing with MMA/UFC fighters (then again, unlike the wwe, the heads of UFC arent obsessed with putting their name on every imaginable product).

J. B. Warner

Increasing my wordiness
Who's "Stankey Kubrick"?

I really want to watch "Daria" - and "Beavis and Butt-Head", for that matter - but both shows are marred on their DVD releases by music rights issues. It always bugs me knowing that what I'm watching isn't complete, especially when it's the music that got cut; the use of the right song can make or break a scene.

I don't know why everyone in the '90s thought Jim Carrey was kid-friendly. I guess because he did The Mask, which had all those wild cartoon gags. Of course, it was also filled with raunchy sex jokes and a lot of profanity, but the trailers didn't show you those.

Oh lordy, that PBS ad is preachy. And it unlocked a childhood memory - I remember when I was in middle school, I was assigned to write a paper that argued in favor of censorship on children's television (this was right around the time the TV ratings system was introduced), and I found it very very hard to write about something that was the complete opposite of what I believed. But that's the American public school system for ya.


This space for rent
I don't know why everyone in the '90s thought Jim Carrey was kid-friendly.
I'm pretty sure that Sesame Street guest stars are chosen not for kid-friendliness, but for fame and to appeal to the adults so that they will watch the show with them. This season (their 40th), for example, one episode featured a sketch teaching the word "big" featuring Sarah Jessica Parker waiting for Big...Bird. Unless, of course, there are a lot of 3-year-olds out there watching "Sex and the City" who would get that pun.


I am a DuMont production.
I never did watch Lost, but your comment at the end, was the whole series just a novel someone was writing?

The Nameless

Demoted Regular
Oh no! Cartoon characters hitting each other with clubs! No wonder kids these days are so screwed up, they were raised on this horrible dreck (that all was sarcasm).

I do not like the way those MTV ads look. Of course, this was 1997, when distressed type and anything "uneven" was associated with the rebellious youth they wanted to watch MTV.

Also, I never watched Promised Land, but if it's supposed to be/CBS marketed it as "uplifting", going by your description it isn't.


Role Model
Waynehead, is that what that cartoon was? I remember that character being featured in the Kids WB ad that was on the Space Jam VHS, but since I didn't have The WB at that point, and when we finally did get it that show wasn't on anymore, I always wondered what cartoon he came from.

The Nameless

Demoted Regular
What part of the country did you live in? (In Denver, the WB station was KWGN, who was with the network for its entire run)


Role Model
Boise. When we did get The WB, it was a cable-only affiliate, call letters KWOB, first on channel 65, and then later moved to channel 13.

Peter Paltridge

Ay Carumba
Staff member
I never did watch Lost, but your comment at the end, was the whole series just a novel someone was writing?
Roseanne was, or at the least the final season was.

The Lost finale was fine with me....although too New-Agey for my tastes, but if anyone seriously thought they'd be getting any answers by THAT point, they're really stupid. How long does it take for someone to catch on? It was never that kind of show. The Prisoner was the same way, and if they'd given all the answers away, the show wouldn't be nearly as famous as it is. How angry must people have been when THAT show ended?

The Prisoner lives on for its mystery and Lost will do the same. In ten years people will have forgotten what they were so angry about.


The Moltar-Snork
Has anyone else noticed SyFy really likes to play The Stand, Rose Red, and even sometimes It; The Shining mini-series: not so much.

J. B. Warner

Increasing my wordiness
Like so many other cultural events of the 1990s, the only reason I know about the Taster's Choice saga is because of "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Joel, Crow, and Servo apparently thought it was stupid too.

I have such a hard time watching the old episodes of "America's Funniest Home Videos". Bob Saget is constantly in a state of humiliation, as if his every facial expression is subtly saying "This is my life? Really?" At least Tom Bergeron has fun with the fact that the show is basically pure fluff.

It's amazing to see just how much the networks misinterpreted the success of "The Simpsons". It didn't succeed just because it was a cartoon in prime time, it succeeded because it was written and produced by some of the funniest people in the world. I believe Brad Bird mentions on one of the Simpsons DVD commentaries that all 13 episodes of "Family Dog" were written by the same person, which is in stark contrast to the large writing room that "The Simpsons" had. One person can't recapture that same spirit of jokes flying every-which-where from nine or ten different people.
Later on they tried this, Hanna-Barbera's second and last prime-time series (the other was The Flintstones).
The Jetsons was in primetime. Jonny Quest, too. Capitol Critters was also a HB production.
You do know that Hanna-Barbera made other prime-time animated series than the Flintstones, Fish Police and Capital Critters? What about Top Cat, the original run of the Jetsons or Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home?

The Nameless

Demoted Regular
What sorts of things were on America's Funniest People?

Also for some reason the fact that ABC and CBS greenlit Saturday morning cartoons for primetime amuses me.


I have a nemesis!
Funny you should mention Taster's Choice soap ads and Married with Children in the same article: MWC did an entire episode making fun of it... four years later, but still.

Also, it's hysterical that those ads seem to make a big deal of Indiana Jones, whereas it flopped badly. I always assumed YIJ was brushed off from the start, now I can see its failure is far more embarrassing.

And then there's Scorch, which doing some investigative research was from Ronn Lucas, who's show at the Rio our family constantly went to see way back when I was a kid. I always thought he was a mediocre ventriloquist (everyone else saw brilliance)... yes, worse than Jeff Dunham. If I had known about this bomb beforehand, I would've felt more sorry for him. (and doing more research, he's not good enough for even VEGAS anymore, rather doing cheap family cruises)

And I believe everyone has hit on the stupidity of Capital Critters and Fish Police.

Always look forward to these articles, it's an awesome time machine through television marketing.

Zorak Masaki

Well-Known Member
What sorts of things were on America's Funniest People?
It was mainly people who were seemingly picked at random to do "comedy" routines, and comedy sketches sent in by home viewers. I kind of liked it as a kid, but i havent seen it since 1994, so i dont know if it holds up at all. It should also be known that Arleen Sorkin was later replaced with Tawny Kiaten.

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