Disney Channel Guide for December 1984

Back when I was young and being jealous of my friends who had cable television, one of the channels I drooled over the most was The Disney Channel. It seemed so cool that Disney had its own channel! But what I didn’t know at that time was that they released their own Disney Channel magazine too. In it, would be details on everything that was coming to the channel that month so folks could set their watches and not miss any of the great programming that was being offered.

So what we have here is the guide section from The Disney Channel Magazine from December of 1984…the year they were debuting Mickey’s Christmas Carol on the channel. So enjoy this look back at what was coming to the channel that month long ago, and let yourself drift away to the days before streaming and on-demand viewing!

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Christmas Comes to Willow Creek

In today’s Retro Ramblings, I’m supplying you with a full-length Christmas movie to watch. It’s a made-for-TV Christmas movie from 1987. And it stars Bo and Luke Duke (well, the actors anyway) driving a big rig full of presents to Alaska. Can you think of any Christmas movie that sounds cooler than this? Well, with the exception of Rocky IV.

Somehow I went almost all of my life without knowledge of this movie’s existence. Then a couple of years ago I was browsing through a TV Guide from 1987 and saw an ad for it. That ad stopped me in my tracks. I immediately went on a hunt for the movie. IT wasn’t on YouTube or any streaming service, and I couldn’t even rent it from Amazon. So I turned to some pirate services and I found it. They say the best things in life are worth waiting for, and in this case, they may be right. I thoroughly enjoyed it when I finally got to watch it.

Here is the synopsis from Google:

Two feuding brothers and one’s teenage son spend four days in an 18-wheeler taking toys from California all the way to Alaska, facing blizzards and their own complicated history together.

Looking at the time this came out, it seems logical that this was the first project that either John Schneider or Tom Wopat worked on after wrapping up their hit TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. And it caught both of them at a great time. The dynamic of their characters in this is unique. While Tom Wopat’s character seems very much in line with his Luke Duke character, John Schneider’s character is a 180 degree flip from Bo Duke…at least at the beginning of the film. But that just adds to the allure of this movie. It may seem cheesy at times, but at the end of the day, I was certainly glad I discovered it and it has worked its way into my Christmas movie rotation. Not quite on a yearly basis yet, but every other year.

I thought I would share this with you this year in case you’ve never heard of it, or have heard of it but didn’t know how available it was now. So when you have some time on your hands this holiday season, give it a watch.

A Christmas Story Ad from 1992

TBS was one of my favorite TV channels in the late ’80s and the early ’90s, so I like to go back in time and talk about the things that made me love it so much.

A Christmas Story hasn’t always aired as a 24-hour marathon on Christmas on TBS.  That tradition didn’t begin until 1997.  Before that though, TBS did show the movie at various times throughout the holiday season.  The ad pictured above is from 1992 and was from the time that TBS was running the TBS Award Theater movie most days at 10:35 am.  The criteria for the award feature was pretty simple I think, in that as long as a movie had won any kind of award, that was all the excuse they needed to run a movie in that block.  

This ad in particular is one I come across advertising a TBS Award Theater showing of A Christmas Story from an issue of TV Guide from the week of Christmas in December of 1992. I can’t remember the date of the showing though, because I didn’t think to write it down or keep up with it, but it was almost certainly on a weekday. Being out of school on Christmas break that week every year means that I may have very well watched this exact airing in 1992.

The as is a good one as it features Ralphie in his cowboy get up from his dream sequence of ridding the neighborhood of Black Bart and his gang with his trusty Red Ryder B.B. Gun. While I’m a huge fan of the thought of this movie airing in its now traditional 24-hour marathon on Christmas Eve, I also like the idea of it being destination viewing on random days in the month of December.

And if you’re someone who likes the movie and/or the marathon (and I know you are), then check out my friend Jeff’s feature A Brief History of the “24 Hours of A Christmas Story” Marathon over at The Retro Network!

Christmas Specials as Presented in Old TV Guides

Am I alone in missing the good old days of TV Guide? Not only for the listings that helped you know what to watch when but for the ads for new episodes or specials peppered throughout its pages. With that kind of thought in mind, in this edition of Retro Ramblings, I’d like to present a collection of old ads TV Guide featured for Christmas specials from through the years. I’m even going to limit my commentary and just let you enjoy all the nostalgic goodness. Here we go!

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1990 Gamepro Holiday Catalog

Back in 1990, handheld gaming systems were the new hotness, and Gamepro provided a handy guide to all of the games that were currently available for both Gameboy and Lynx for the holidays. This way, kids knew exactly what games to bug their parents for, and now you can go back in time and enjoy this awesome look back at the state of handheld gaming in December 1990. Enjoy!

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