Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mr. Belvedere

Here's an '80s sitcom that you don't hear about too much anymore: Mr. Belvedere, a very '80s sitcom which ran from 1985 to 1990. The show featured a British butler employed and living with an American family. As associated with the '80s as this show is, it may surprise people to find out that its origins dated back a few decades. According to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia:

The character of Lynn Belvedere was originally created by 
Gwen Davenport in her 1947 novel, Belvedere. The following year, the 
title character was portrayed by Clifton Webb in the film Sitting Pretty. 
Webb's performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for 
Best Actor. Sitting Pretty told the story of an arrogant genius who 
answers an employment ad for a baby sitter for three bratty kids. He 
accepts such employment because he is secretly writing a novel 
about a community filled with gossips and busybodies. Webb reprised 
the role in two more movies, Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949) 
and Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell (1951).

As early as the 1950s, attempts were made to adapt the 
character to television, with three pilots made during the 1950s 
and 1960s, including a 1965 version starring Victor Buono in the 
title role. All efforts, however, were unsuccessful until 1985, when 
ABC was finally able to get the show up and running with British 
actor Christopher Hewett playing Lynn Belvedere.

The memorable theme song to Mr. Belvedere was sung by quirky ragtime musician Leon Redbone and was originally written for another sitcom that never got off the ground. It was written by Judy-Hart Angelino and Gary Portnoy. Portnoy was also responsible for writing such other classic '80s sitcom themes as Cheers ("Where Everybody Knows Your Name") and Punky Brewster.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Limahl's Neverending Story (& New Single)

Heres a wonderful blast from the '80s past....

Limahl originally invaded the American pop charts as the lead singer of the British new wave group Kajagoogoo, who were part of the enormous Second British Invasion of music groups in 1983. Their big hit was "Too Shy." Limahl later had a solo hit with the enchanting theme to the movie, The Neverending Story.  

Turn around
Look at what you see...
In her face
The mirror of your dreams...

Make believe I'm everywhere
Given in the light
Written on the pages 
Is the answer to a never ending story...

Reach the stars
Fly a fantasy...
Dream a dream
And what you see will be...

Thanks to my fellow '80s retro blogger Rediscover the '80s I've discovered that Limahl is putting out a great new '80s style single celebrating the year of the Second British music invasion, 1983. The song is also called "1983", and starts by declaring that the singer want 'to go back in time." Back in time to the '80s. 

Rediscover the '80s has a good deal of material on it, including an audio clip of an excellent interview with the artist himself with a full clip of the song. In the interview, Limahl does a great job of expressing how much he loves the era of the '80s, and how exciting it was to be a part of the music scene back then.

Here's Kajagoogoo... back in their heyday of the '80s!


I have had the pleasure of receiving a post from Kai Lofthus, a professional and guru in the area of media, music and marketing, one of whose recent projects is the new Limahl single "1983" reported above. I checked out his site, which includes the much material on the new Limahl single and its inspiration.

He also left me a link to the great interview with Limahl, originally on XM Sirius radios "the Morning Jolt" with Larry Flick. Here's the link:


Another Update:

WOW!! Limahl himself has mentioned this blog on Twitter. 


Thank you, Limahl !!  And we're with you 100% on bringing back that great era, the '80s!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Doug and Wendy Whiner

Saturday Night Live has been a staple of late night television since its premier in 1975, with its classic first case which included John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, and Jane Curtain.  Over the years, the show went through some big highs and lows, but by 1983 it was on the upswing again, with the likes of Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and others. It was at this time that I started to delve into late night television, and with that discovering the offbeat, sometimes outrageous comedy of SNL. 

I remember that among the features which appeared at this time was The Whiners, a recurring set of skits featuring Joe Piscopo, and fellow SNL star Robin Duke, as the highly irritating duo Doug and Wendy Whiner. According to Wikipedia the two characters "spoke all their lines in a whining, nasal tone, hence, a double meaning of their name." The skits appeared on SNL from 1982 to 1984. I remember them well.