IT’S A CLASS OF 1988 REUNION WEEKEND! What Hit, And What Missed?

It's a changing time for music, but a GREAT time for pop culture!

Welcome to 1988!  If it was your graduation year, it was a great time for pop culture trends as the ’80s evolved into the ’90s… and a GREAT time for all things HAIR!  Let’s re-live the good, and some of the bad, as we kick off our Class of 1988 Reunion Weekend!



3) BIG HAIR – Women in the ’80s had the look of big hair, VO5, perms, bangs… all of it.  But later in the ’80s, guys got into bigger hair too, thanks to the rise of hair bands.  Whether it was Whitesnake, Poison, Bon Jovi, Winger, or any of the others, you saw longer hair on guys than some of their dates!

2) ANIMATION AT THE MOVIES – Maybe I’m showing my age, but 1988 had a series of BIG animated films  that stood the test of time.  Among them, “Oliver And Company,” “The Land Before Time,” “The Brave Little Toaster” (which was the first animated movie to win major awards at the Sundance Film Festival), and perhaps the most unique, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”  With a mix of animated characters and real-life stars, it appealed to kids and adults alike, and had cameos from basically EVERY cartoon character ever created.


1) TGIF… Thank Goodness It’s FUNNY! – Although the BRANDING of “TGIF Night” on ABC began a year later in 1989, in the 1987-88 season, the first programming block and concept of “interstitials” – where actors from the show hosted mini-segments in between the shows themselves – was born.  If you were a kid in this era, it harkens some incredibly nostalgic feelings about watching TV together as a family.  And even if some of the shows and concepts WERE a bit cheesy – we loved them anyway.

The lineup in 1988 included “Perfect Strangers” at 8/7p CT, “Full House” at 8:30/7:30p CT, “Mr. Belvidere at 9/8p CT, and “The Thorns” at 9:30/8:30p CT, then 20/20 (aka “BEDTIME” for me as a kid) at 10/9p CT.  With three out of those four shows appearing into syndication, that’s a pretty good record of success.

Here is one of those early “interstitial pieces” hosted by Mark Linn Baker and Bronson Pinchot of “Perfect Strangers.”


…and the MISSES…


3) JAMES BROWN – The Godfather of Soul had a comeback in 1986 with the hit song “Living In America,” and seemed to be on the upswing after some time out of the spotlight.   But a 1988 arrest for a car chase and PCP usage was not his best moment.  He served time in jail, but before incarceration, gave CNN one of their ODDEST interviews EVER.  Take a look.


2) READING LIPS.  THEN RAISING TAXES – It’s one of the most iconic speeches in politics: “Read My Lips, NO NEW TAXES.”  Of course, that wasn’t as easy to pull off for President George Bush when they went up a few years later.  But at the time, that statement was POWERFUL… and ICONIC.


1) TELEVANGELISTS – In the mid ’80s, the rise of TV preachers was at its height.  But by the end of the decade, many of them were found to be not following the guidance they preached.  In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker was found to be on the take and having affairs.  And a much-publicized meltdown from another, Jimmy Swaggart (found with a prostitute), was all over the headlines in 1988.  While it didn’t end his religious plans, it certainly took them down a couple notches, and more and more people suspicious that these popular TV persons of the cloth didn’t exactly practice what they preached.


So, avoid the televangelists, turn on some TGIF shows on Netflix, and enjoy the BEST of 1988 with us this weekend on Throwback Nation Radio!

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