~ Pop Culture ~

Experts by: Alyssa Gonzales and Abigail Lirio

The 1980's :

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Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" commercial aired on January 10, 1984. This commercial advertised their square beef patties because other fast food vendors mainly focused their food advertisements on the HUGE bun.

Here are a few various commercials in the 80s...

The latest commercials for televisions and videocassette recorders or (vcr)

The Big Red Gum commercial "Kiss a little longer."

The Bartles and James Wine Cooler Commercial

Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Juice ad from 1986

Variety of 80's commercials that aired on NBC on March 25th, 1987.
1. Mounds and Almond Joy (The bars are bigger!)
2. Diet 7up (With John Goodman!)
3. McDonald's (With Happy Meal Stencils! "'Scuse me Daddy!")
4. Promo for "Stone Fox" (Starring Buddy Ebsen)
5. Pampers (Baby Racing: America's greatest sport!)
6. Promo for the "Build A Perfect Cheeseburger" contest (Sponsored by the California Beef and Dairy boards naturally)
7. Diet 7up (Guy reminds me of Larry from "Perfect Strangers")
8. Kraft Rancher's Choice Creamy Salad Dressing
9. Promo for "Roomies" (With Corey Haim!) and "Amazing Stories" (Daddy?)
10. Pepsi (This is probably my favorite commercial ever)
11. 7-Eleven (These low prices make me sad)
12. Teddy Ruxpin (And his pal Grubby)
13. Luvs (What's with all of the diaper advertising?)
14. Pizza Hut Flintstones Kids Glasses (Watch out for the Ginger Kid!)
15. New Coke (With Max Headroom!)
16. Sure Deodorant
17. Pepto Bismol
18. TV Spot for "Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol" (Another 80's comedy classic from Steve Gutenberg)
19. Promo for "Night Court", "The Tortelli's" and "The Bronx Zoo" ("The days of the little red brick schoolhouse are over!" You tell 'em Asner!)

Television Shows
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The show "Family Ties" first aired on September 22, 1982.
It was an American sitcom that reflected the move in the United States from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the conservatism of the 1980s. This was particularly expressed through the relationship between young Republican Alex P. Keaton(Michael J. Fox) and his former-hippie parents, Elyse and Steven Keaton (Meredith Baxter-Britney and Michael Gross. -wikipedia

A variety of television shows from 1980 to 1984:

"That's Incredible!" (March 3, 1980–April 30, 1984; Reality)—John Davidson, Fran Tarkenton, Cathy Lee Crosby

"Cosmos" (September 28, 1980–December 21, 1980; Science Miniseries)—Carl Sagan

"Too Close for Comfort" (November 11, 1980–February 2, 1986; Situation Comedy)—Ted Knight, Nancy Dussault

"Bosom Buddies" (November 27, 1980–March 25, 1982; Situation Comedy)—Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Donna Dixon

"Magnum, P.I." (December 11, 1980–May 1, 1988; Detective Drama)—Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

"Shogun" (September 15, 1980–September 19, 1980; Drama Miniseries)—Richard Chamberlain, Toshiro Mifune, Yoko Shimada, John Rhys-Davies


"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (January 5, 1981–February 9, 1981; Comedy Miniseries)—Simon Jones, David Dixon, Mark Wing-Davey, Sandra Dickinson [broadcast in the U.S. in October–November 1982]

"Dynasty" (January 12, 1981–May 11, 1989; Drama)—John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins

"Hill Street Blues" (January 15, 1981–May 12, 1987; Police Drama)—Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Conrad, Veronica Hamel, Betty Thomas, Dennis Franz

"The Fall Guy" (October 28, 1981–May 2, 1986; Action Adventure)—Lee Majors, Heather Thomas, Douglas Barr

"Brideshead Revisited" (October 12, 1981–Month Day, Year; Drama Miniseries)—Anthony Andrews, Jeremy Irons, Sir Laurence Olivier, Jane Asher [broadcast in the U.S. in January–February 1982]

"Gimme a Break!" (October 29, 1981–May 12, 1987; Situation Comedy)—Nell Carter, Dolph Sweet

"Simon & Simon" (November 24, 1981–December 31, 1988; Detective Drama)—Gerald McRaney, Jameson Parker

"Falcon Crest" (December 4, 1981–May 17, 1990; Drama)—Jane Wyman, Susan Sullivan, David Selby, Lorenzo Lamas


"Fame" (January 7, 1982–May 18, 1987; Drama)—Debbie Allen, Erica Gimpel, Lori Singer, Carlo Imperato

"Police Squad!" (March 4, 1982–July 8, 1982; Comedy)—Leslie Nielsen, Alan North, Peter Lupus, Ed Williams

"Cagney & Lacey" (March 25, 1982–May 16, 1988; Police Drama)—Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly

"Family Ties" (September 22, 1982–May 14, 1989; Situation Comedy)—Michael J. Fox, Meredith Baxter-Birney, Michael Gross, Justine Bateman

"Knight Rider" (September 26, 1982–August 8, 1986; Action Adventure)—David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Patricia McPherson, voice of William Daniels

"Square Pegs" (September 27, 1982–March 7, 1983; Situation Comedy)—Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Linker, Tracy Nelson, Jami Gertz

"Cheers" (September 30, 1982–May 20, 1993; Situation Comedy)—Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson

"Remington Steele" (October 1, 1982–February 17, 1987; Detective/Romantic Comedy)—Pierce Brosnan, Stephanie Zimbalist

"Newhart" (October 25, 1982–May 21, 1990; Situation Comedy)—Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

"St. Elsewhere" (October 26, 1982–May 25, 1988; Medical Drama)—William Daniels, Denzel Washington, Ed Begley Jr., Howie Mandel


"The A-Team" (January 23, 1983–March 8, 1987; Action Adventure)—George Peppard, Mr. T, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz

"The Thorn Birds" (March 27, 1983–March 30, 1983; Drama Miniseries)—Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown

"Webster" (September 16, 1983–March 24, 1989; Situation Comedy)—Emmanuel Lewis, Alex Karras, Susan Clark

"Hardcastle and McCormick" (September 18, 1983–May 5, 1986; Action Adventure)—Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly

"Hotel" (September 21, 1983–May 5, 1988; Drama)—James Brolin, Connie Sellecca, Anne Baxter, Shari Belafonte

"Scarecrow and Mrs. King" (October 3, 1983–May 28, 1987; Action Adventure)—Kate Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner, Beverly Garland

"The Day After" (November 20, 1983; Disaster Miniseries)—Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Amy Madigan, John Lithgow, Steve Guttenberg


"Night Court" (January 4, 1984–May 31, 1992; Situation Comedy)—Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll

"Kate and Allie" (March 19, 1984–May 22, 1989; Situation Comedy)—Jane Curtin, Susan Saint James

"Punky Brewster" (September 16, 1984–May 27, 1988; Situation Comedy)—Soleil Moon Frye, George Gaynes

"Highway to Heaven" (September 19, 1984–August 4, 1989; Drama)—Michael Landon, Victor French

"The Cosby Show" (September 20, 1984–April 30, 1992; Situation Comedy)—Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Bonet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner

"Who's the Boss?" (September 20, 1984–April 25, 1992; Situation Comedy)—Tony Danza, Judith Light, Katherine Helmond, Alyssa Milano

"Miami Vice" (September 28, 1984–January 25, 1990; Detective)—Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Edward James Olmos

"Murder, She Wrote" (September 30, 1984–May 19, 1996; Mystery)—Angela Lansbury, Tom Bosley

Disney's Wuzzles is an American animated television series created for Saturday morning television.
Broadcasted on September 14, 1985 on CBS.

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The Brick is the first commercially available mobile phone in the U.S., the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, is introduced.

A monster 80s boom box was the mannerist nature of 80s ghetto blasters that could not be more different from today’s minimalist trends in consumer audio gear, lead by Sony and Apple.

Track headphones modeled on old walkmans
walkman is a Sony brand tradename originally used for portable audio cassette, and now used to market Sony's portable audio and video players as well as a line of Sony Ericsson mobile phones. The original Walkman introduced a change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones.

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Peter Pan Peanut Butter was the first brand to sell in plastic jars.

Jolt Cola was created in 1985 by C. J. Rapp as a highly caffeinated cola. It is targeted towards students and young professionals (yuppies), stressing its use as a stimulant in a similar manner as energy drinks.

Celebrities/Political Figures
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Patrick Swayze was an American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter. He was best-known for his tough-guy roles, as romantic leading men in the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost and as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries. He was named by People magazine as its "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991. His film and TV career spanned 30 years. Unfortunately, he died from pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2009.
Here are movies and televisions in the 80s he starred or played-in

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired basketball player, coach, actor, and author. During his career with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar scored more points than any other player in league history, won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards . In college at UCLA, he played on three championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games. At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, and personal fouls. Standing at a height of 7 feet, 2 inches tall, Abdul-Jabbar has the distinction of being the tallest player inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
In early 1980, the 14-year-old Shields was the youngest fashion model ever to appear on the cover of the top fashion publication Vogue magazine and was in Blue Lagoon.
In early 1980, the 14-year-old Shields was the youngest fashion model ever to appear on the cover of the top fashion publication Vogue magazine and was in Blue Lagoon.

Brooke Shields in the early 1980s, was the youngest fashion model ever to appear on the cover of the top fashion publication Vogue magazine and in Blue Lagoon.
Later that same year, Shields appeared in controversial print and TV ads for Calvin Klein jeans. The TV ad included her saying the famous tagline, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing." Brooke Shields ads would help catapult Klein's career to super-designer status.
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Bill Cosby is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. He starred in the sitcom The Cosby Show.
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Candace Cameron played the role DJ Tanner on the show "FullHouse"
Ronald Reagan's Campaign and Assisination
Patrick Nagel from his contributions to Playboy to his dabblings with music industry icons, Nagel would create a style so uniquely his own that is work is still easily recognized today. Yet, his style was more than just his own; it would become associated with a specific era -- the 80s.

The Dodge Shelby Charger in 1983, automotive legend Carroll Shelby was recruited to put his name and subtle touches to the Charger. With the advent of the Shelby Charger, the horsepower jumped 107 in 1983 and finished up with a whopping 174 horsepower twin turbo version in 1987.The80s_cars_08_0810-lg.jpg
The Mercedes Benz 190E
The DeLorean DMC-12 is a sports car that was originally manufactured in Northern Ireland by John DeLorean's DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981–1982. It is most commonly known simply as the DeLorean, as it was the only model ever produced by the company. The DMC-12 featured gull-wing doors with a fiberglass "underbody", to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels were affixed. A modified version of the car became iconic for its appearance as a time machine in the Back to the Future film franchise.

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The Rubik's Cube is a 3-D mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor o architecture Erno Rubik. Originally called the "Magic Cube", the puzzle was licensed by Rubik to be sold by Ideal Toys in 1980 and won the German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle that year. As of January 2009, 350 million cubes have sold worldwide making it the world's top-selling puzzle game. It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy.

The Cabbage Patch Kids is a doll brand that went on to become one of the most popular toy fads of the 80s and one of the longest-running doll franchises in America.

The Care Bears appeared in their own television specials called The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings in 1983 and The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine in 1984.

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Pillow People are square stuffed toys that have faces on them done in decals . They were popular during the mid 1980s, and came out in 1986. They are a long pillow with flat hands and puffy feet which wear shiny fabric booties. The arms and legs are also stuffed, and dangle from the main pillow body. Besides the 'people' of the line, there are also pillow pets like cats and dogs and other things, such as bed sheets, which came out with the Pillow People characters on them.
Some of the original Pillow People characters included:
  • Mr. Sandman
  • Pillow Fighter
  • Punky Pillow
  • Mr. Thunderclap
  • Sweet Dreams
  • Rock-a-bye Baby
  • Big Footsteps
Scratch 'n Sniff Snickers are technology generally refers to things that have been treated with a microfragrance coating. When scratched, the coating releases an odor that is normally related to an image being displayed under the coating.

The MASH game is the fortune-telling game of pre-teen girls in the 80s and M.A.S.H. stands for mansion, apartment, shack(variations include street, shed, sewers, and shelter) or house
The cootie catcher is a fortune telling game that is shaped like origami. A player asks a question, and the fortune teller operator answers using an algorithm(is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function) to manipulate the fortune teller's shape. Questions, answers, colors or numbers may be written on the fortune teller. It was crazed in 1982.
Pac-Man was a very popular game played back in the 1980s.

Hair styles of the 80s are the most diverse and humorous characteristics of this decade. In early 80s, the New Romantic fashion styles kicked off the decade with great hair experimentation. For a while there seemed to be a competition to see who could build the tallest hair, have the strangest angles, or a favourite of this site - how much plastic, metal and mousse you could fit into your hair and still keep your head upright. In this first part of on ongoing series, eighty-eightynine will look at big hair.

Big hair is not unique to the 80s - the 60s had the beehive and the 70s had the afro. What set the 80s hair styles apart was their diversity. The start of the decade saw the extravagance of strange hair colours and cuts. By 1984 the trends had settled and focused on one simple concept - volume. More hair was better. Bananarama had some of best examples of 80s hair - pretty much reflecting the fashions of the decade (but maybe not the best fashions) from cuts styles to volume and flicks. The 'Hair Bands' of the 1980s applied this style which was strongest around 1987-88. Your hair could go up, out and down. It could look like you put your head in a candy floss machine - as long as it wasn't straight - this was the ultimate sin in the early 80s (often met with the criticism 'she needs to do something with that hair').

By 87-88, the 70s started to return and it was suddenly OK to have a retro look. You could even have short hair provided it was bleached, dyed a bright color or spiked with hair gel).

Many accessories were available to assist with this process - you could tease your hair and stick it up with mousse. Some mousse even contained glitter or other sparkle pieces to give your hair 'extra interest and individuality'. If you think shampoo stings, try getting glitter mousse in your eyes - a common occurrence as some brands tended to flake.

Like any cultural period, bands of the 80s reflected styles of the decade. Below you will find images of Dave Stewart, Sisters of Mercy, Bananarama and more.

external image 2005-legwarmers.jpgLeg warmers started with dancers - and are still worn by many today. By around 1982 they began to make an appearance in wider society: you could now pretend you were a dancer by wearing leg warmers over the top of your jeans. This is something a dancer at the time would refuse to do. Leg warmers were no longer black or some other functional colour. Now they were speckled, fluoro and some were worn so low that they would have been better known as ankle warmers. The hard core would wear them to a sweaty nightclub - even in summer. Strangely, leg warmers managed to hang around a little longer than many other 80's fashions and they didn't meet their fate until late 1984. By 85, they were extinct. Few samples of 80's fashion leg warmers exist today, although you can still buy the 90s bland versions at some dance supply shops.
external image moz-screenshot-1.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-2.pngexternal image FingerlessGloves.jpg
The fingerless glove as a fashion statement was a culmination of various 80s influences. For starters there were the lace glove-wearing new romantics and the leather/vinyl punk fashions. In addition, punks tended to wear large studded wristbands that were frequently up near the base of the thumb. The other factor is the 80s obsession with cutting off the ends of garments. Leg warmers are a similar example of the cut-off look and were often accessorised with fingerless gloves.

PCNE (Pop Culture News and Events)
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The 1984 "Crack Epidemic" began as the smokeable cocaine that catched on in such major cities as Miami, Los Angeles, and New York and soon spread throughout the country. Crack is cheap and potent, but its addictive high fades quickly and leads many users to crime, prostitution, and homelessness. The drug is blamed for many of the social ills of the mid- to late 1980s.
"A Line Through the Desert" by William Stroock was the late 80s cultural references that will be very familiar to anyone coming of age during this time.

  • The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The first tanks entered during December 1979 with about 40,000 personnel, by 1985 this had grown to 118,000 [In October 2001, a US-lead coalition invaded Afghanistan as part of the search for suspects in the 2001 World Trade Center bombing on September 11].
  • Ronald Reagan was elected US President with George (no W.) Bush as vice president. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter. RR and GB took office January 20, 1981.
  • President Carter attempted to free US hostages held in Iran and it backfires. After becoming president, Ronald Reagan had another attempt and took credit for ultimately freeing the hostages.
  • John Lennon was shot and killed in New York. The gunman, Mark Chapman, apparently shouted 'I am the Catcher in the Rye' just before dropping to the ground and firing the weapon.
  • The Supreme Court in the US allowed corporations to patent living organisms.
  • WHO (World Health Organisation) announced that small pox had been eradicated [In the 2000's they were still debating whether to destroy the last known cultures of the disease, and the disease was subsequently flagged as a likely bioterrorism weapon].
  • The Rubik's Cube craze began.
  • Worldwide, 'The Empire Strikes Back' was the highest grossing film of 1980. Followed by 'Superman II' and '9 to 5'. 'Ordinary People' took out the best picture Academy award.
  • Pacman was released - and went on to be the most successful arcade game of all time.
  • Baby Azaria Chamberlain disappears from a at Ayers Rock (Uluru), parents say that a dingo took the baby. Thus sparking a drawn out court case and an even more drawn out film - A Cry in the Dark (released 1988).
  • In November half the world finally finds out who shot JR in TV's Dallas. The other half is heard saying who gives a shit?


"You Better Run" by Pat Benatar
This was shown on the first broadcast of MTV
Fitness Fever