1986 IS the 80s. All of the ’80s. The triumph of movies like Karate Kid II and Top Gun; the heartbreak of the Challenger explosion; the togetherness of “Hands Across America,” and the wide-eyed optimism of Ferris Bueller. So, if you graduated in 1986, you felt all these emotions… and we’ll feel them all again with the TOP 3 HITS and MISSES of 1986.
3) SLEDGE HAMMER, THE SONG AND MUSIC VIDEO – Peter Gabriel was an icon in his own right with his previous time in Genesis, but he was one of the pioneers of music video with “Sledge Hammer.” His imagery of the beginning of life, wide eyes, and all sorts of movement made this song come to life FAR BEYOND just in the speakers. He had a great influence on others during this time, and continued to do it with other music videos himself, like those for “Steam,” “Big Time,” and more.
2) RONALD REAGAN’S CHALLENGER SPEECH – Regardless of your political background, there are some times in our country’s history where we all tend to rally together and support a common cause. The loss of life in the Challenger disaster was one, and President Reagan’s remarks helped ease the sadness of an incredibly somber day. Called “exactly the right words, on exactly the right day” by the Washington Post, this speech is known as a masterclass of how to react when tragedy strikes.
1) JOHN HUGHES MOVIES – John made SO MANY great movies throughout the ’80s and ’90s, but when it came to teen angst, he hit the nail on the head. Both “Pretty In Pink” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” are all-time classics, sharing both optimism and skepticism at the same time. John was able to tap into that unique feeling unlike any other director and make it so special in film. And although he kept his success going with “Home Alone,” “Beethoven,” and more into the ’90s, these 1986 John Hughes films just feel… PERFECT.
…AND THE MISSES…
3) SLEDGE HAMMER, THE TV SHOW. THE TV SHOW? Yes, there was a TV show called “Sledge Hammer” starring David Rasche that also debuted around the same time as the song from Peter Gabriel. While critics have said it may have been a little ahead of its time with a sarcastic, almost “Office”-like mocumentary style, it only lasted two years on ABC. And to make matters worse, it didn’t even use the Peter Gabriel song as it’s theme. (OBVIOUSLY, that’s why it didn’t make it 🙂 )
2) JOAN RIVERS’ LATE SHOW. Did you know the first TV show on FOX was Joan Rivers’ late night entry in 1986? It’s true! Before the Simpsons, Tracy Ullman, In Living Color, Married with Children and all the others, a group of previously independent stations banded together with Joan as their late night anchor. Her show caused a major rift between her and longtime friend Johnny Carson, who basically considered her “dead to him” from that point forward. While the show didn’t take off, FOX certainly did, so Joan’s presence wasn’t all for naught.
1) GERALDO OPENING AL CAPONE’S VAULT. Maybe it was just in the air, or something, but 1986 had some very questionable TV, including this unveiling of Al Capone’s Chicago vault. Thinking they’d find mysteries, money, or maybe more, producers put Geraldo Rivera on the case to uncap it live on TV. What did they find? NADDA.
So, the highlights – and LOWLIGHTS – on 1986 have arrived! Enjoy them with our Class Reunion Weekend all weekend long, and let’s turn up the tunes that MOVED you, class of ’86!