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Author Topic: The Wacky 70's  (Read 11892 times)
Flick James
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« on: March 15, 2011, 04:42:08 PM »

Here's a thread dedicated to that bizarre decade in which I spent the bulk of my childhood. When you think about it, the 70's were wierder than the 60's, although much of that wierdness actually came from the 60's. But the wierdest of all were some of the paradoxes of the decade. Feel free to share your own. I'll start:

- Laugh tracks: These started in the 60's and made their way well into the 70's. The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, and other shows that had no possibility of having an audience viewing. In retrospect such a strange idea, but at the time, it was so commonplace and accepted that the original producer of M*A*S*H, who didn't want to have a laugh track, was pressured into having one because that's just what was done. Cartoons for crying out loud. CARTOONS. Hanna/Barbera cartoons were noted for using laugh tracks.

- The Cultural Shift: The decade started on dark and dismal, and ended up with disco and glitter. Looking back at the early to mid 70's, this was one depressed country, and it was reflected in the films and shows Americans watched. Dog Day Afternoon is a perfect example of a film portraying the mindset of mainstream America. Scores of other films from that era reflect that bleak and dismal landscape. Then, come 1977/78, this massive shift to this glittery disco culture, and the return of happy endings in movies. Star Wars was a notable film in how it reflected that shift away from dark, depressing backdrops and dismal endings. No other decade since WWII has, in my opinion, demonstrated such a dramatic cultural shift.

- The Loss of Innocence: This is related to the previous item. Since WWII, America had experienced a time of naivete and innocence, at least on the mainstream. The media culture reflected that. The 60's saw the beginnings of the shift into darkness that would permeate the early to mid 70's, but even most of that decade still held onto a feeling of innocence and naive wonderment. The Brady Bunch was just about the only television show that seemed able to penetrate the loss of innocence felt in the 70's with some of that naivete of decades past. This was the decade where dangerous drugs began to find their way into the public schools on a wide scale, and the first time the country started to see the casualties portrayed in film and television. Far more underage teens took to prostitution than in any decade before. These realities began to make their way into mainstream television and movies.

- Psychedelic and Just Plain Wierd Kids Shows: Anybody here watch Saturday morning kids programming in the 70's? Wow. H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, and scores of other shows reflected the fact that the college students of the 60's were now making the shows in the 70's.

There's a few for you consideration. It was a strange and fascinating decade.

Discuss.
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Flick James
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 04:48:29 PM »

Oh, The Love Boat and Eight is Enough. Those were two shows I missed that used laugh tracks exclusively  that were WELL into the 70's. I forgot to mention those.
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retrorussell
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 05:48:05 PM »

Is this an unofficial "Welcome Back the '70s" thread?
If so:


And the original Wheel hosts: Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford!
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 05:56:56 PM »

...Laugh tracks: These started in the 60's and made their way well into the 70's. The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, and other shows that had no possibility of having an audience viewing. In retrospect such a strange idea, but at the time, it was so commonplace and accepted that the original producer of M*A*S*H, who didn't want to have a laugh track, was pressured into having one because that's just what was done. Cartoons for crying out loud. CARTOONS. Hanna/Barbera cartoons were noted for using laugh tracks...
Laugh tracks started in the 1950s (or perhaps in the very earliest days of TV, the '40s).  The earliest show I've seen multiple episodes of and can confirm it always used a laugh track is "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet".  No studio audience, but that was probably also the first TV program shot on film, and hence well preserved.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 07:09:21 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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retrorussell
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 05:59:16 PM »

More:


Allen Ludden and Password Plus





Though it came out in the '50s, this is the version we all remember..

Break The Bank

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Flick James
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 06:03:18 PM »

...Laugh tracks: These started in the 60's and made their way well into the 70's. The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, and other shows that had no possibility of having an audience viewing. In retrospect such a strange idea, but at the time, it was so commonplace and accepted that the original producer of M*A*S*H, who didn't want to have a laugh track, was pressured into having one because that's just what was done. Cartoons for crying out loud. CARTOONS. Hanna/Barbera cartoons were noted for using laugh tracks...
Laugh tracks started in the 1950s (or perhaps in the very earliest days of TV, the '40s).  The earliest show I've seen multiples episodes of and can confirm it always used a laugh track is "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet".  No studio audience, but that was probably also the first TV program shot on film, and hence well preserved.

That's true, and I thought about that after the fact. Still, it didn't really get going until the 60's, and in the 70's you started to see it used in shows to ridiculous lengths, like the aforementioned M*A*S*H or The Love Boat, and cartoons, where the idea of an audience was well beyond ludicrous at that point.

That having been said, perhaps because of those ludicrous lengths, the 70's were also the decade that saw the return to live audiences, and at the end of the decade and into the early 80's, it became a badge of pride to announce at the beginning of a show "this show was filmed before a live studio audience."
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Flick James
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 06:03:49 PM »

Is this an unofficial "Welcome Back the '70s" thread?
If so:


And the original Wheel hosts: Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford!



Absolutely. I thought of calling it that. Have at it.
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Raffine
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 06:57:13 PM »

« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 07:01:14 PM by Raffine » Logged

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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 07:07:59 PM »

...Laugh tracks: These started in the 60's and made their way well into the 70's. The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, and other shows that had no possibility of having an audience viewing. In retrospect such a strange idea, but at the time, it was so commonplace and accepted that the original producer of M*A*S*H, who didn't want to have a laugh track, was pressured into having one because that's just what was done. Cartoons for crying out loud. CARTOONS. Hanna/Barbera cartoons were noted for using laugh tracks...
Laugh tracks started in the 1950s (or perhaps in the very earliest days of TV, the '40s).  The earliest show I've seen multiples episodes of and can confirm it always used a laugh track is "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet".  No studio audience, but that was probably also the first TV program shot on film, and hence well preserved.
That's true, and I thought about that after the fact. Still, it didn't really get going until the 60's, and in the 70's you started to see it used in shows to ridiculous lengths, like the aforementioned M*A*S*H or The Love Boat, and cartoons, where the idea of an audience was well beyond ludicrous at that point.
That having been said, perhaps because of those ludicrous lengths, the 70's were also the decade that saw the return to live audiences, and at the end of the decade and into the early 80's, it became a badge of pride to announce at the beginning of a show "this show was filmed before a live studio audience."
All fair, there are piles of '60s programs that used laugh tracks: "The Munsters" "The Addams Family" "Gilligan's Island" "Bewitched" "Family Affair" "The Patty Duke Show" and in the '70s I think there's a real return to form: "All In The Family" "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" "Three's Company" Not sure, relying on memory: "Welcome Back Kotter" "Taxi" "Soap" ...?
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Raffine
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 07:12:53 PM »

My most vivid impression of having actually lived through the 70s is that almost everything was brown, orange, and yellow.




People even had brown, orange, and yellow appliances in their kitchen. Anybody remember 'Harvest Gold'?

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venomx
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 07:26:08 PM »

Born in 73, I remember...

What's Happening!!
The Gong Show
Scooby-Doo
Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse
Star Blazers
Dynomutt - Dog Wonder
My dad's old console stereo with the brown speakers.
Record Player
Analog TV with turn dials.
Halloween... when it was COOL!
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Newt
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 08:04:22 PM »

Yes, I remember the '70's quite well: I graduated High School in '76.

People even had brown, orange, and yellow appliances in their kitchen. Anybody remember 'Harvest Gold'?


HA! I'll see your 'Harvest Gold' and raise you an 'Avocado Green'  (Which looked more like a sickly dull olive colour) That's what my Mom had.  Hideous, much?



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AndyC
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 08:13:22 PM »

The 70s also gave us the summer blockbuster, with movies like Jaws and Star Wars. Star Wars also largely kicked off the rapid advancement of movie special effects.

Low-budget horror hits like Black Christmas, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween laid the groundwork for slasher films to take off in the 80s.

Video games, which had existed in some form since the 50s, finally reached the public. The first commercial arcade video game, Computer Space, appeared in 1971. Built entirely from discrete components, it had no microprocessor and no software. Home gaming followed with the Magnavox Odyssey and the Atari 2600. By the end of the decade, arcade games such as Space Invaders and Galaxian were popular, and more were on the way.

Computers first started finding their way into homes. The 70s started with the first microcomputers, which went from using discrete logic to microprocessor chips, and eventually found their way into the hands of hobbyists by the middle of the decade, which led directly to the founding of Microsoft. In the late 70s, the home computer took its familiar form of a desktop-sized machine with a keyboard and monitor.

Culturally, the 70s was a decade of transition. Demographics had just started coming into use in entertainment, so there was a really interesting mix of music, TV shows and whatnot. Newer stuff was taking over, but the older generations continued to be represented. You saw a new crop of TV, movie and popular music stars, alongside veterans of early television, pre-television and even Vaudeville, who were still working and still household names. Rockers and crooners shared the Top 40. And it probably didn't hurt that TV stations had a lot of hours to fill, and did not have a whole lot of cheap programming to choose from. So kids who were getting more programming aimed at them than ever, still watched cartoons that were released in theatres as far back as the 30s, as well as a lot of old shows and movies.

And, of course, the home video revolution started to take off in the 70s as well.

Funny how the 60s gets the credit as the big decade of change, and the popular image of the 70s is all disco and leisure suits and Watergate. The 70s were pretty important years.
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retrorussell
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 09:23:08 PM »

The PG rating made its debut in 1971.
Also in 1971, the first arcade game made its appearance.
COMPUTER SPACE


Much more famous, this came out the following year:

This guy and his Steelers dominated the NFL in the '70s:

This guy melded sex and home video, as well as his Hogans Heroes status.  This was ended in 1978 when he was brutally murdered.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 09:24:32 PM »

I remember Harvest Gold and Avocado Green (is that what they called it?)  Though we'd be more inclined towards sh!t brown (yer third option - you find the pic!)  
As tacky as the '80s got, I enjoyed them.  I could not wait to get out of the '70s... though now, I'm nostalgic.  

HURRICANE SMITH!!!  
Small | Large
 

My dad and I liked the Cowboys.  
 

« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 09:39:11 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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