MacGruber, Daft Punk, and Cheers’ First Spinoff is an Unsolved Mystery – Jan 20-26

In 1987 Cheers gets a flop spinoff, and Unsolved Mysteries spooks viewers nationwide. A decade later, Daft Punk debuts, Clinton cameos for cancer, and the Fish Called Wanda gang do another movie. Moving onto 2007, an iconic SNL character debuts, and Epic Movie fails to live up to its name.

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Facing arrest for taking a bribe, Pennsylvania state senator R. Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself at a televised press conference.

Jocks and The Stepfather release in theaters

Super Bowl 21: NY Giants beat Denver Broncos
The post-Super Bowl program is pretty much the template for the Troy McClure Handle With Care gag. After the game was the pilot for The Last Precinct, which starred Adam West as a police captain assigned to a group of police academy rejects (one of whom was played by Ernie Hudson) in LA’s seediest precinct. It would last 8 episodes and be cancelled in April.

1/20/87 – Unsolved Mysteries debuts. This pilot episode was hosted by Raymond Burr, and Karl Malden would host two more specials before it became a regular series with Robert Stack.

1/21/87 – Cheers’ first spinoff, The Tortellis, debuts.
Focused on Carla’s ex-husband (played by Dan Hedaya) as he moves with his trophy wife, son, and daughter in law to Las Vegas. It would end in May of 1987 after 13 episodes. It was resolved that the family moved back to Boston in future guest-starring appearances.

1/22/87 – The Cosby Show episode “Hello to a Good Buy” airs. Watched by over 65 million viewers, it is the highest-ever-rated Cosby Show ep. In it, Cliff pretends to be poor to get a good deal on a car. Here’s a scene featuring two guest stars:

1/23/87 – In the Mr. Belvedere episode “Jobless, ” George loses his sportswriter job and goes to the unemployment office where he stops a mugging, but the resulting news coverage focuses on his unemployment situation and makes him uncomfortable. Towards the end, while recieving an award for his heroics, notable 80s/90s sitcom icon Jaleel “Urkel” White makes a guest appearance:

1/26/87 – The PBS educational show Square One debuted, featuring skits and animated bits that taught math (like Mathnet and Mathman)

At This Moment is #1 – Billy Vera and the Beaters, song from 81 that was re-released, used in Family Ties and this sparked renewed interest and it was 1987 so if it wasn’t sitting in a store or on the radio YOU COULDN’T LISTEN TO IT.
The Return of Bruno – Bruce Willis sings R&B!



Homework – Daft Punk debut album, Da Funk and Around the World the big hits. We’ve talked about acts like Prodigy, KMFDM, Future Sound of London etc changing the sound and this album IMO is the big tipping point, where “alternative” loses its meaning as a rock thing.

Bill Clinton sworn in for 2nd term (first presidential inauguration to be streamed online). Madeline Albright becomes first female Sec. of State

Fierce Creatures, Prefontaine, Zeus and Roxanne, and Love! Valour! Compassion! release in theaters

1/20/97 – The TV movie “Friends Til The End” airs, starring a post-90210, pre-Charmed Shannen Doherty as a woman who gets Single White Femaled by a new friend

1/21/97 – The TV movie “A Child’s Wish” airs, about a cancer-stricken girl (played by My Girl’s Anna Clumsky) and her father (played by John Ritter) who was fired from his job while taking care of her. This was based on the actual events that led to the Family and Medical Leave Act and included a high-profile political cameo (starting at 6:15)

1/25/97- The TV movie Beverly Hills Family Robinson airs, about a wealthy CA family that ends up shipwrecked on a desert island. Pretty decent cast for a TV movie

1/26/97 – At Super Bowl 31, The Green Bay Packers defeat the New England Patriots 35-21. This was Fox’s first-ever Super Bowl and it was the network’s highest-rated program to date. Airing after the Super Bowl was The X-Files episode “Leonard Betts,” a monster-of-the-week story about a villain who can sense (and eats) cancer. He discovered that Dana Scully had cancer, setting up one of X-Files’ longer arcs.



Wincing the Night Away – The Shins third album

Atreyu – The Best Of…

Late Night Special – Pretty Ricky

Freedom’s Road – John Mellencamp’s 19th album

Blood and Chocolate, Smoking Aces, Epic Movie, FInishing the Game, Seraphim Falls, and Catch & Release hit theaters. C&R actually has a decade-old YouTube page! Check out the poorly encoded OFFICIAL trailer

1/23/07 – George W. Bush’s performs a State of the Union, the first SotU after mid-term elections that shifted Congress to the Democrats. GWB notes a historic change at the beginning of his speech, as it was the first time a woman was Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi)

1/20/07 – Jeremy Piven hosts SNL, which could only happen in 2007. However, the episode is notable for being the first appearance of MacGruber.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 – interesting visual novel game, cool sketch art style. Former detective looking for his former partner, hears of a room that can grant wishes. Like a less sinister Silent Hill?

The Shield for PC/PS2
Voice actors! Here’s the shield in a nutshell – planting drugs on bad guys so they stay one more step ahead of getting themselves thrown in prison forever

Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean PSP – fifth in the series, from Nihon Falcom (Ys people) and this treaded water a bit in the aughts but lately folks might know Trails in the Sky, or folks our age may know Dragon Slayer on Turbo Duo OR Legacy of the Wizard on NES. Which is where Tiny Mikel came from, if TalkRadar/GR fans remember those days.







25 thoughts on “MacGruber, Daft Punk, and Cheers’ First Spinoff is an Unsolved Mystery – Jan 20-26

  1. I was in college in 97, and instead of going out drinking and screwing, I’d spend Saturday nights watching Duckman, and late at night MTV had an Electronica video show called Amp. The video for Daft Punk’s Da Funk got me into them, and I loved the Homework album. It’s impossible to hear Around the World without seeing skeletons and robots and mummies dancing in my head. I was disappointed in Discovery, though. French Electronica was always a bit more spare and repetitive than English stuff, and Homework was the best French stuff to me.

  2. Quick correction for Chris regarding The Fray. The band is NOT Canadian, they are Coloradoan! I can understand how you got that confused, wonderful beer filled socialist paradise in the mountains. My friend’s grandma lived next door to the bassist.

    Thanks for the great show! One my favorite podcasts going.

    1. Yes! And hey had their second album release party at Colorado’s home grown Disneyland, Casa Bonita (made world famous by South Park)

  3. Daft Punk’s Homework is probably my earliest memory of me actually seeking out an album to own. I kept hearing Around The World a lot, on the radio and really liked it, had no idea who sang it. One day in class I over heard a girl naming the group that made the song. A light went off in my head and rushed to buy it the following weekend. I listened to it to it so much and loved almost every track on it. what a great album.

  4. I was playing Trails of Cold Steel 2 while listening to you bring up Legend of Heroes. Trails may have spun off from LoH, but I gotta say that I love this series enough that it is now my second JRPG franchise after Persona

  5. I loved the writing and story in Hotel Dusk, that was what really kept me playing and eventually finishing it (along with its sequel).

    1. Agreed. I really enjoyed Hotel Dusk. I imported the sequel so I could play it but I was really disappointed when Cing went out of business.

  6. HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by The Fray reminded me of Sarcastic Gamer’s video game parody songs that I probably have not heard in basically ten years, specifically their “How To Kill a Brand” about the PS3. I remember my brother showing me various songs of theirs back in the day, and thought they were the coolest thing (I had not yet gotten into Palette Swap Ninja). Here it is for anyone interested
    That was a crazy blast from the past and I love the show for reminding me of things that slip my memory like this. Cheers for the memory, TTT team!

  7. Bruce Lee was the first Asian star to make it in Hollywood in a long time, but he wasn’t the first. Sessue Hayakawa was a huge star in the silent era and apparently a sex symbol as well. You can probably guess why that didn’t last, but he did manage to get one last big role in Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957.

  8. I probably haven’t thought about Beverly Hills Family Robinson in 19 years and 360-some days but I definitely remember it. The commercials either teased or showed that Sarah Michelle Gellar would be in a bikini and as a 13-year-old boy at the time I made sure to have the VCR ready to tape it. I then spent the next few days watching the movie using a combination of the mute button on the TV and the rewind and fast forward buttons on the VCR.

  9. In Canada, our version of “Mathnet” was “Math Patrol” and starred a detective who went undercover as a kangaroo in order to solve math problems. The show was based out of Ontario and hearing the theme song immediately puts me back in an elementary classroom, watching the show off of a giant tv on a wheelie cart.

    1. I think that was even out of syndication by the time I was watching TV but it seems mildly horrifying looking at it now. Glad to see TVO and Canadian TV in general has always been as weird as it was when I was a kid.

  10. I don’t know what Chris is talking about with the Chronicles of Narnia being unsuccessful. It was the 3rd highest grossing film that year behind Star Wars Episode III and Harry Potter. Narnia was huge, but probably not with anyone in his network. Other notable movies Narnia beat in 2005, King Kong, Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, and Batman Begins.

    1. I was in fourth grade at the time the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe came out and I can confirm it was pretty big with the youth audience back in 2005. I ended up reading a couple of the books after I saw the movie but the interest from me and most of the people within a few grades of me dwindled by the first sequel in 2008 and I don’t even remember noticing when Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out in 2010 (of course I was into ninth grade by then so I was aging out a little).

  11. I saw Finishing the Game in theaters when it did its limited independent run. My friends and I were pumped about it since the trailer, consisting of Bruce Lee stand-in auditions, was hilarious. However, I can’t remember anything about that movie other than that part. I remember it being a much more serious film that dealt with racism and stereotyping, but it was largely forgettable. It’s definitely due for another viewing.

    You guys should really watch Game of Death for a Monday Night Movie. It’s the right mix of awesomeness (Bruce Lee’s actual footage) and hilarity (all of the body double stuff). The NES game Kung Fu is largely influenced by the movie’s climax where Lee has to ascend a building, fighting a different “master” every floor. And yes, one of those guys is Kareem.

  12. When I was graduating junior high school I actually sang “How to Save a Life” by The Fray at a dance. I’m pretty sure there is still a video online where I awkwardly fumble through it in my half falsetto, half teenager from The Simpson’s voice.

  13. The music video for Daft Punk-Around the World is actually directed by french avante garde director Michel Gondry (famous for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep). There was a compilation dvd years ago of acclaimed directors’ music videos and commercials and Gondry has his own set. There’s a video of his explanation of the video, being that each monster/character goes along with the different musical element of the song. Great music video by a great director

  14. Oh god, that epic movie made me have some sort of repressed memory flashback.
    2007, a date with a kinda hot girl (turns out she was crazy)
    It was a movie date, I let her pick the film I wanted to see Hot Fuzz… she picked epic movie, needless to say there was no second date.

    Like i’d date anyone that picked Epic Movie over the blood and Ice Cream trilogy

  15. The Bruce Willis cartoon was called Bruno the Kid. Don’t ask me why I remember this. The opening featured a mid 90’s CG Bruce Willis head being scanned into a computer, YEARS before he starred in Apocalypse.

    Freemasons basically recreated the video for ‘Around the World’ for their track ‘Rain Down Love’, replacing the skeletons, mummies and robots with sailors, cowboys and hot cops™. Coincidentally, that song was released on January 15th, 2007, just missing this episode’s coverage.

  16. Unsolved Mysteries scared the crap out of me. I grew up in Indiana, where half of the alien abductions seemed to take place.

  17. Belated response re: Square One/Mathnet, but this also dovetails a little with Talking Simpsons. I watched a lot of PBS as a kid, so I first connected Lisa Simpson’s voice to “that one girl from the Mathnet gorilla episode.”

    Also, it’s nice to revisit Mathnet again now that I’m old enough to understand the actual math involved hah.

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