After chatting with friends about the quality television available today, one person asked old-timers of the internet to share the absolute worst TV programs from the past. People took a walk down memory lane with their remotes.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: At Least They’re Silent
“Does anybody remember ‘Shields and Yarnell’?” one old-timer asked about the 70s-era program. “It was a TV show about mimes. I will say it again. A. TV. Show. About. Mimes.” Another viewer feels old for remembering the show but agrees. “I hated it then!”
2: Driving Audiences Crazy
One viewer not-so-fondly remembers a sitcom with a one-season run in the 1960s: “My Mother The Car.” As you can deduce from the title, “A guy’s late mom came back to life as a car.”
3: Groovy Man
Kid’s shows back in the day were a little different than Cocomelon, according to a few older viewers. “H.R. Puffinstuff was like watching somebody’s [psychedelic experience],” one person said. A 50-something commenter agreed. “Which is why it was and remains awesome.”
4: Going Through Changes
80s media is well-known for being a little outrageous, but one person brought up the short-lived sitcom “Manimal” as an exceptionally terrible show. The plot? A shape-shifting man who can turn into any animal uses his powers to help police solve crimes.
5: Notoriously Bad
“‘Hello Larry’ was famously terrible at the time,” one viewer says about the 1979 sitcom starring McLean Stevenson. Move over Kim Kardashian, “people used to say that Stevenson was the first person who was famous for being famous,” someone added.
6: Rinse and Repeat
Not even young minds could appreciate what they tried to do with “Alf.” One former viewer comments, “Even as a kid, that show sucked!” Another 50-something agreed. “I recall, even as a kid, realizing the show was the same few jokes over and over.”
7: Sure Jan
“The Brady Bunch variety hour was pretty bad,” one old-timer remembers. “That was a real show and not just a faint memory of a bad fever dream?” someone questioned. “I looked it up on YouTube to verify, and yes, it was a real show,” another viewer confirmed. “And even worse than I remembered.”
8: Starting Somewhere
“Speaking of duds’ n stinkers,” one person said, “Some mind-numb TV exec created the short-lived ‘Starland Vocal Band’ variety show.” Created after the smash success of their ’70s one-hit-wonder “Afternoon Delight,” the cast included young David Letterman. “It sank like a balsa boat full of anvils.”
9: Sorry Mom
A 62-year-old remembers hating the early ’80s sitcom, “One Day At A Time,” as a teenager. “I liked the daughters, but the mom made my skin crawl.” They weren’t alone. “I loved the daughters and watched the show religiously. I couldn’t stand the mom,” another said.
10: Theme Song Earworm
One viewer remembers being a big fan of the 70s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” as a teen. “Upon further review, I’m at a loss as to why,” they said. Another viewer has a guess, “The catchy theme song that I can remember 40 years later probably helped.”
11: Life as a Teenage Robot
Someone asked the forum if anyone remembers “Small Wonder,” an 80s-era sitcom. “I was in kindergarten when it came out, and it seriously gave me the creeps,” they said. The plot involves a robotics engineer who creates a robot girl and tries to pass her off as his adopted daughter.
12: Ripped Off
Imagine a show so “cataclysmically awful” that some local affiliates cut it off during the first commercial break and put reruns on instead. Enter “Turn On,” a 1969 rip-off of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” Viewers in the forum said it was so bad it got axed after the first episode.
13: Rock the Boat
“‘Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island” were and are absolutely terrible,” a viewer said. “Don’t believe me? Go revisit one online and watch how ridiculously corny they are.” Despite groaners, the long-running shows lasted ten seasons and seven seasons respectively, so they must’ve been doing something right.
14: Turn It Off
One viewer nominated “The Ropers” as their pick, saying it’s also a pretty horrible show. Based loosely on the popular program “Three’s Company,” it’s a shining example of how spin-offs aren’t always well received.
15: Horsing Around
Younger people may hear about a program titled “Mister Ed” and believe it’s about a man. Try a wise-talking horse that only speaks to his owner. “Anytime anyone says ‘TV never used to be this bad,’ I always remind them of that wonderful gem,” a viewer said.
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