Bret Hart and Mickey Rourke wrestle, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan love America Online, and Dustin Hoffman is definitely getting an Oscar, definitely, yeah – Dec 14 – 20: Thirty Twenty Ten

Melanie Griffith is working. Tom Cruise meets the Rain Man, Bret Hart and Mickey Rourke struggle in the squared circle, Mario Party rolls up, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan just learned how to use email, Shania Twain is famous from the moment on, Bob Hope is still alive, Steve Martin and Michael Caine are a coupla scoundrels, and Sports Night is better than actual sports. All that and more this week on Thirty Twenty Ten, your weekly look back on the week that was 30, 20, and 10 years ago.


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10 thoughts on “Bret Hart and Mickey Rourke wrestle, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan love America Online, and Dustin Hoffman is definitely getting an Oscar, definitely, yeah – Dec 14 – 20: Thirty Twenty Ten

  1. If I may be a troll for a moment given John Boorman got mentioned, dude still made Zardoz and Exorcist II. 😛

    Anyway, I watched Working Girl before it left Netflix last year along with Blazing Saddles, Hugo and Angus Thongs & Perfect Snogging. Yes, I know how weird watching all those sounds day by day. But I really liked Working Girl myself. It’s charming and I rooted for Melanie Griffith. Though I can see how the Sigourney Weaver character was an out of nowhere choice for a villain for the third act.

    Prince of Egypt I did see in theaters and VHS. I haven’t seen in years but wouldn’t mind doing so again. I have remembered from time to time that one song entitled Through Heaven’s Eyes which, hey, I like how it sounds. Animation is solid too. I did see all three 2D DreamWorks animated films with that, El Dorado and Sinbad. Egypt is still the best.

    Christmas in Tattertown and Mysteries of Shelby Woo, I know Greg Stevens (Pop Arena) did a Nick Knacks holiday special video on the former. Apparently, Bakshi claimed it was about the clash betwern old cartoons and at the time as of 1988, current cartoons. As you can tell, that is nowhere in that special. You can watch it here and you should because he’s damn great and has even been spotlighted on AV Club and Ain’t It Cool News (No longer infested by Harry Knowles, yay!)

    And Shelby Woo, he hasn’t taken on it yet but he’s working his way through. He’ll get to the 90s stuff. But be warned, he won’t be kind to Ren and Stimpy and for good reason. (Doesn’t help I did call out Bakshi months ago if he defends John K still despite him being a child predator which still sours me).

    But seriously, get Greg Stevens on Lasertime, he’s perfect! He did an hour and 31 minute documentary essay video about You Can’t Do That On Television!

    Keith Richards, funny you mention him, he just announced he quit drinking.

  2. Holy ahit, Candy. I read the book long ago when I was going thru a phase of interest in classic dirty books. I can believe that someone said “why don’t I redo Voltaire’s CANDIDE as a porno?” and wrote it as a trash novel but I am agog that someone thought they could film it with an all-star cast as a “straight” movie.

  3. This was the first time I ever watched a movie in prep. for an episode! I watched Working Girl (shh at work) in time for this episode. I mostly knew the movie from the episode of Bob’s Burgers, “Work Hard or Die Trying Girl.” I don’t get the topless vacuum scene, I guess its hot? Wasn’t it right before Katherine came home and the big meeting with Harrison Ford at Trask? Maybe Tess didn’t want her clothes to get messed up while she was straightening up Katherine’s apartment?

    I always think of The Critic when I think of the Rainman scene with the suits. However, when that episode originally aired when I was 11, I thought it was a (timely) Twins reference!

    There was a Brady drama in 1990, it looks pretty upsetting from what I read.

    I’m so happy you brought up Bob Hope and flojo! I sent Di the press photo of the two together, like, this Summer <3 :

    "see! i'm the best one!" 🙂

    1. Oh, I got an answer on the topless vacuum scene:

      “GRIFFITH But that scene where I vacuum without my top on, that was my idea. I remember when I went to Mike and I asked, “What about if I vacuum wearing just high heels and my panties, like would that be OK? His face was like, “Of course it would be fucking OK! Would you do that?” Originally it was a full bra and a slip and panties, and that’s not how it would be if you’re in a rush. That’s how I lived — I wouldn’t get dressed to vacuum.”

  4. I don’t have any media to add or stand for, but I must say, thank you for the 2008 section sending me down the remembrance of a past girlfriend (it ended not so well) and all the terrible movies we went to see together as we first started dating. The Day the Earth Stood Still… Yes Man… it is like turning over stones to find horrible horrible memories awaiting… this is the next two years for me people…

  5. Hey, sorry to be that guy, but Aaron Sorkin didn’t just pull the Confederate Flag thing out of the air for Sports Night. This was actually a HUGE deal at the time at *drumroll please* Ole Miss!
    A TON of Southern schools were waving Confederate flags & playing Dixie into the 80s, but by the 1990s, as cable TV allowed practically every football game to be televised nationwide, it became a source of embarrassment, and (more importantly) it caused problems when recruiting black athletes to come to these schools. As time went on, fewer & fewer schools allowed it to go on.
    Mississippi’s version of backing down was, shall we say…different. After deciding to ban the cheerleaders from handing out flags at games in 1983, a crowd of 1000 students marched on the Chancellor’s house, & when told to go away, they did. To the Black Frat house on campus.
    In the mid-90s, the school attempted to ban the flag outright, but came into trouble with the Alumni Association, the Legislature, & in a fun twist, Constitutional scholars, who weren’t sure that a State school could ban something like that from people who weren’t students. After a couple of poor seasons, a coach that wasn’t from the state was hired & BEGGED the school president to get rid of all of it.

    There was talk for years of how they could, before the school took on a mildly ingenious plan (that has since been followed by nearly all sports venues in the country). It was decided that people carrying large wooden & metal poles into the stadium caused a safety hazard, so therefore, all sticks & poles were banned outright.

    Sorry I’ve made a way too big a deal out of a small comment, but I find this stuff way too fascinating.

    Thanks & I love the show.

  6. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels This is 100% two movies combined into one. The first movie is one con man teaching an amateur to be a better con-man. The second movie is a competition between two con men. I find it interesting that Diana mainly remembers it as the later, while I solely remember it as a former. What are some other films that are really two films in one?

    In Working Girl Harrison Ford does a really good job at comedy. Honestly, I think he may have the biggest range of any of the “huge” actors of the 1980’s. Think about it, he spit out great pulp adventure heroes like Han and Indy, serious noir characters in Blade Runner, was good in straight dramas like Witness or the Mosquito Coast, and did well in comedies like Working Girl. Arnold and Stallone didn’t have that range in the 1980’s. Any other big actors with that type of range from that decade?

    Is Rain Man no longer in the zeitgeist? What’s in the zeitgeist is a question I often ask myself and I think one of the best checks is if a stand-up comedian can make a reference to it and still get a laugh. And I honestly don’t know if that’s the case with a Rain Man reference.
    In regards to us still not really understanding autism; that’s because we don’t understand the brain. At all. Take the very basic and simplest question about the brain, how does electricity passing through fatty cells and thereby create consciousness? That’s the most basic aspect of the brain and it’s not just that we don’t know, it’s that we don’t even have any good theories. We are like 18th century scientists trying to understand why the sun works when we don’t know that “fusion” is a thing. Oh, we know WHY the brain works (it was evolutionarily advantageous, that’s the why) but the how? Nope. We are probably multiple life time’s away from understanding that, if ever, so us not really understanding autism follows naturally from that.

    Rain Man Side note: It was the #1 movie of year. Without googling, Guess what is the title of the last non-sci-fi non-fantasy non-superhero non-etc etc film to be #1 at the box office for its year?

    #thirtytwentyten At ten years old, I think I was only vaguely aware of the 60’s and 70’s as decades (I had a firm view of the 1950’s though (thanks to Back to the Future and Happy Days) and I don’t recall watching the original Bradys and thinking anything about the time it was set in. It was just a “real life” show (as opposed to shows where horses talked and what not). That is until A Very Brady Christmas came out in 1988 and kind of rubbed my nose in the fact that the kids I were watching were all now adults and I realized just how old it and Gilligan’s Island were. Were there any shows that you didn’t realize were set in the past when you were young?

    Ninja Gaiden -should be recognized as the true start of video game cut scenes. There were some before of course (trying to find “the first” in any type of media is rife with debate) but I think it had dramatic and visually striking cut scenes that were significantly better than any at the time. And of course as mentioned, it was a great example of Nintendo Hard. Utterly punishing. I can’t recall if I ever beat it or not, but I know I died a ridiculous number of times. Also, as a young kid I misunderstood Gaiden with another Japanese word, Gaijun. So the whole time I played it (and on the school yard) I informed everyone that the protagonist was actually an American not Japanese. It probably wasn’t until I was in college that I learned that I was wrong and everyone else was right.

    1998. That’s a very good point that the top selling albums of all time will likely stay that way forever. Doing some quick wiki research ( It looks like the bestselling album of the last 15 years was Addelle’s and that is only #22 of all time. Of the top 20 selling albums of all time, the average age for the year that album was released is … 1983. So you’re probably right and the top ten selling albums will not ever be dethroned.

    Hot Take: Prince of Egypt was the best animated film of 1998. This means that it was better than A Bug’s Life, Mulan, or Antz, and I stand by that proclamation. Bug’s life is … fine. It’s just fine. Mulan has some of the weakest characters on any 90’s Disney film and only one good song, and Antz is painful to look at with 2018 eyes, so yea Prince of Egypt for the win.

    I’ve really got to watch You’ve Got Mail again with 2018 eyes because when I first saw it I had never met anyone off of the internet but soon after this film came out that all changed. As it was being released I was in the long drawn out process of breaking up with my very first GF (who I met through in class Freshman year of college). And … she was the only GF I ever had who I met “naturally.” 100% of the girlfriends in my life after that point, including the one who would become my lovely wife of 12 years this December, were girls I met online. I don’t know why, the format just worked for single-JR. Regarding the film being a fantasy of what it’s like to be an adult; that true for every rom com! All the adults in my life have tons and tons of responsibilities and commitments and trying to get even two couples together for frickin a dinner party can require sisyphean levels of trial and error but in a rom-com world every couple I know would be able to spend the next three weeks in Florida pretending to be the Amish village that raised me so that a girl I’m dating won’t realize we had a misunderstanding, or whatever. Adults having unrealistic amounts of free time in rom coms is as much a part of the willing suspension of disbelief in the genre as believing a radioactive spider can give you spider-strength is to super hero films. It’s part of the price you pay when you buy your ticket.

    Fun fact. Shop Around the Corner was based on Books of Wonder in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. … Which unlike Borders is still open! So if she could have held out, Meg’s character business could have outlasted Tom’s character’s business! They should have a sequel based on that…

    Chris, “When was Tom Hanks at his most sexy?” I’m going to go with in 1985’s Volunteers. Laserino’s what say you?
    Simpsons of 12/20/1998 HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD LUKE BE A JEDI TONIGHT????!!! That should be burned into my brain like “I Hate every Ape I see from Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z” but… nothing! Googling the plot of the show … also nothing! Could there really be an episode from the first 10 seasons that I’ve yet to see? I knew the day would come when you would talk about an episode of the Simpsons I have no memory of but … wow, I was not expecting it this early.

    1998 – MARIO PARTY is, in its own way, also as important to gaming history as Ninja Gaiden. Because this was a game that you could (and I did) randomly encounter at a drunken college party. I skipped the N64 and PS1 generation and was completely out of the gaming-sphere when Mario Party came out so when I saw four (four!) people sitting around the TV playing it while drinking and laughing I didn’t know what was up. I had literally never seen a party in which video games naturally arose to become part of the party experience (as opposed to a few LAN parties which were specifically designed to play video games) and therefore I think you Mario Party has to get some big credit for opened up gaming as being a “thing” that could just happen at parties.

    2008 – 95% of my mental image of what professional wrestling is “really” like comes from The Wrestler. It really did feel like a documentary when I watched it and it’s a great story about a man sacrificing his life for what he wants instead of going after what he needs. One thing I wished you would have touched upon more was the parallel story of him and Marisa Tomei. He’s an aging wrestler whose body is not going to allow him to keep doing his job much longer. She’s an aging stripper whose mere age, regardless of how she works to keep a fabulous body, is going to mean she can’t do her job much longer. The two intertwine and bounce off each other in some really good thematic ways.

    In Funny People Adam Sandler had a series of clips from films making fun of the type of films he made, “I didn’t wish to be a baby” “Yes Man” seems like it should be a fake film making fun of the type of films Carry was making at this time.

  7. Rando cartoon connection: Charlie Adler (Buster Bunny et al) has mentioned in interviews that the last thing he was working on before starting in cartoons was playing the lead in Torch Song Trilogy, the way he tells it he went straight from drag to G.I. Joe.

  8. Okay I LOVE “You’ve got Mail” from 1998 – I don’t know if it’s the chemistry between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks (I mean I will be honest Sleepless in Seattle is a better film) or the supporting cast (I mean who would have seen Dave Chappelle in a chick flick in 1998) . The original “Shop Around the Corner” is also a treasured classic in my eyes – I am a sucker for a romance movie (apparently involving pen pals) and this just ticks the boxes for me. I quote You’ve got Mail on a daily basis, from “You need quiet while the hot dog is singing” to “That Caivier is a garnish” – there is just something about it that gives me the warm and fuzzies.

  9. Chris,

    Thanks for reading my comments on the November bonus show. Someone gave me a heads up about it. Nice to know someone else loves Vance likes me. <3

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