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Lesser-Remembered ABC Afterschool Specials

August 1, 2011

Photo (prior to alteration): Mooganic (via Flickr)

O. J. Simpson: Hero for Keeps (1972)

My Mom’s Having a Breakdown (1973)

Roe vs. Wade vs. Charo (1974)

Pongie: The Kid Who Loved Pong (1975)

Macramé: The Silent Epidemic (1975)

Dear President Ford: Breaker, Breaker, What’s Your Twenty? (1976)

The Boy in the Knee-Length Gym Socks with Two Green Stripes (1977)

The Loneliest Osmond (1977)

Felt Up (1978)

They Divorced Because of You, Now Live with It (1979)

The Fabulous Misfits of Gay Cure Camp (1980)

Puberty Schmuberty (1981)

Hooked on a Feeling Classics Phonics Pac-Man Knitting Horse Tranquilizer (1982)

It’s Your Fault They’re Dead (1983)

The Computer Wore Leg Warmers (1984)

The Moussing (1985)

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. sonnypi67 permalink
    August 1, 2011 7:40 am

    I’ll see anything with Krity McNichol… or Norman Fell.

    • August 1, 2011 2:07 pm

      Ha! I know you’re a rabid Little Darlings fan. Personally, I think Norman Fell as the counselor would have added a new dimension that Armand Assante missed. I think my own first crush, at age 3, was Karen Valentine caught in the bus doors during the opening credits of Room 222.

      • sonnypi67 permalink
        August 1, 2011 2:13 pm

        Definitely. Norman Fell would have been dare I say dynamic.

  2. August 1, 2011 7:49 am

    I’ve watched The Boy in the Knee-Length Gym Socks with Two Green Stripes over and over. I always cry at the end when that “thing” happens. (I wouldn’t dare give away the ending.)

    • August 1, 2011 2:03 pm

      I know, I know! I’ll also never forget the unexpected development about half an hour in, and also the strange occurrence followed by the shocking revelation.

  3. August 1, 2011 9:32 am

    Oh, Charo… she’ll always have a ticket on the Love Boat of my memories.

    • August 1, 2011 2:01 pm

      Agreed. You know what’s wrong with TV nowadays? Too much coochie, not enough coochie. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

  4. August 1, 2011 3:34 pm

    I don’t remember your name on the imdb page for “Felt Up”, Japey…

    What was your role, again?

  5. August 1, 2011 3:48 pm

    I was Rusty, the robot who got felt up.

  6. August 1, 2011 5:26 pm

    And to think I stayed after school to volunteer in the library while good wholesome shows like this were being aired…I missed so much in my misguided youth.

    • August 1, 2011 10:22 pm

      I hope you weren’t reading those filthy Judy Blume books.

  7. August 1, 2011 8:15 pm

    Oh yes, the After-School Specials ~ where we were shown the perils of teenage sex, drugs and booze.

    Thank god I didn’t learn anything from them.

  8. August 1, 2011 10:29 pm

    Your comment brings to mind one of the best scenes in Mommie Dearest, when Joan Crawford picks Christina up from the boarding school after she’s been expelled for messing around with a boy:

    [JC, driving the car, is exasperated that her flask is empty]

    Christina: “There’s a liquor store to the right.”

    JC [angrily]: “I should’ve known you’d know where to find the boys–and the booze!”

  9. August 2, 2011 2:52 am

    Great post… it should be “Freshly Pressed” just on the image (and the rest of the titles meet the standard, too)!

    I missed that one… I bet Norman Fell was the “feeler”, wasn’t he?

  10. August 2, 2011 8:19 am

    Thanks. Actually he played himself in a cameo which included the message “Friends don’t feel up friends.” He was a hit with the over-50 felt-up set.

  11. August 27, 2011 10:14 am

    Have you been posting? I am subscribed, right (?)

    • August 30, 2011 12:53 am

      Hi, Carl. I appreciate your interest. If you’re subscribed, you’ll get the e-mail for each new post. My posting schedule isn’t so much a schedule as an “as life-allows” and a “when I feel like it.” I try to take a Mad Men kind of approach–sometimes you may have to wait a while between posts, but I hope it’s worth it. Some people do a great job of posting on a daily basis, and more power to them, but my own languid, stuck-in-a-previous-century sensibility goes hand-in-hand with the issue of quality vs. quantity; I like and respect my readers too much to squeeze out some daily “meh” for the sake of mere regularity (though I do my best to post twice a week or so, mostly, sometimes). If it’s no fun for me to work on, I’m pretty sure that will show through. My main self-editorial rule is that If I don’t laugh while I’m writing it, no one gets to see it. That’s no guarantee that you’ll like it, or that it’s any good; but it’s the most useful and practical standard I can think of. If I leave you wanting more, it makes me happy. Thanks.

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