Do you remember going to the cinema to watch The Godfather? And Did you and your family sit around the TV to watch Fred and Lamont Sanford as they tried to sell a porcelain figure in the first episode of Sanford and Son?
Believe it or not, this was 50 years ago! That’s right, many of your favorite films and TV shows are turning 50 in 2022 – even if it doesn’t seem that long ago.
Much has changed about the world in these past 50 years, and we can often look back at our favorite films and TV shows to reminisce about how the world once was.
Let’s learn about the classic films and TV shows that are turning 50 in 2022…
THE BOB NEWHART SHOW
The first iteration of “The Bob Newhart Show” a short-lived variety show released in 1961. But the version we all remember was The Bob Newhart Show sitcom that first reached our TV screens on September 16, 1972.
The show followed Dr. Bob Hartley, a Chicago-based psychologist as he juggled his home life and his career. This show co-starred Suzanne Pleshette as his sarcastic but loving wife Emily.
The show ran from 1972 to 1978 and had 142 episodes over 6 seasons. It a lighthearted comedy that noted for its excellent writing and quick wit. Even 50 years later, it’s still seen as a modern show because of the acting and its themes. It’s really only the aesthetics that still seem stuck back in time!
The chemistry between Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette made them one of the most popular TV couples of all time. In fact, the producers decided to pair the two actors after seeing their natural chemistry when they were both guests on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
The characters became so popular that they even made guest appearances outside of The Bob Newhart Show! Dr. Larry Dykstra another psychologist on the show, and he played by Bill Daily. Dr. Dykstra made an appearance on the show ALF and in that episode, Alf mentions that he learned about psychology by watching The Bob Newhart Show!
Bob Newhart reprised his role as Dr. Hartley on shows such as Saturday Night Live and Murphy Brown. He and Suzanne Pleshette also hosted CBS at 75 as The Hartley’s in 2002!
It’s been 50 years, but The Bob Newhart Show looks like it’s going to live on for several years to come. It’s arguably one of the funniest American sitcoms we’ve ever had and it’s lighthearted approach to life makes one reminisce about simpler times.
But The Bob Newhart Show isn’t the only great show turning 50 in 2022. There was also another show about a father and son trying to make a quick buck from their junkyard…
Before we tell you more about the classic films and TV shows that are turning 50 in 2022, please like this video and subscribe to our channel for more current news and interesting stories. Now, back to the video…
SANFORD AND SON
Sanford and Son hit our screens on January 14, 1972. The first episode was called “Crossed Swords” and it immediately introduced us to the loving but often tempestuous relationship between junkyard owner Fred G. Sanford and his son, Lamont.
This show, created by Norman Lear, and starring Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson was one of the most popular American sitcoms featuring a predominantly black American cast. It was also one of the funniest sitcoms that America has ever produced!
The show ran for six seasons from 1972 to 1977 and had a total of 136 episodes. The show helped catapult Redd Foxx to stardom – as he was primarily known for his stand-up comedy. It also gave opportunities to many other talented black entertainers. LaWanda Page got her start with Sanford and Son as Aunt Esther. Paul Mooney and Richard Pryor wrote a few of the episodes.
Puerto Rican actor Gregory Sierra and Japanese-American actor Pat Morita also got their start on Sanford and Son.
The show also had a few special guest stars including Della Reese, BB King, George Foreman, and Lena Horne.
While the show was lighthearted comedy quite different from Redd Foxx’s legendary “blue” humor, there were quite a few episodes that weren’t afraid to be bold.
In the first season, we see and hear Fred’s prejudice toward the Chinese when Lamont decides to take him to a Chinese restaurant for his birthday. Fred also didn’t hold back when making remarks about white, Hispanic, and Japanese-Americans. He also wasn’t afraid to make fun of his own race!
That’s actually part of the charm of Sanford and Son and of much of the classic TV shows from the 1970s. They weren’t afraid to be politically-incorrect and tackle the real issues that people faced. 50 years later, people will still watch Sanford and Son and we expect they’ll watch the show for at least another 50 years!
The shows from the 1970s weren’t afraid to dramatize events that affected the whole country. There was one very successful show in particular that focused on war through a dramatic and comedic lens…
The film M*A*S*H* turned 50 in 2020 and now it’s time for the hit TV series to celebrate half a century!
The show followed a mobile army surgical hospital based in South Korea during the Korean War. M*A*S*H had a great ensemble of actors including Alan Alda as Captain “Hawkeye” Pierce – which became one of his most famous roles.
The show was a mix of a drama and dark comedy. It managed to depict the harsh lives of soldiers battling in the Korean War as well as the army doctors and medical staff who treated them.
Many of the early episodes focused on comedy with occasional hints of drama. As the series progressed, this changed to focusing mainly on the drama with occasional hints of comedy.
It’s important to note that the show was airing during the Vietnam War. As the Vietnam War ended, the show began moving away from its political undertones. The show had a laugh track which creator Larry Gelbart wasn’t too fond of.
But CBS insisted and the laugh track stayed. Although, the laugh track wasn’t always there when M*A*S*H was aired overseas – such as in the United Kingdom.
The show’s finale aired on February 28, 1983 and was 2 and a half hours long! This was the 256th episode of the show which spanned 11 seasons!
The series finale Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen, broke the record for being the most-watched TV episode in American history. At the time, approximately 83.3 million homes in America had TV sets.
The series finale was directed by Alan Alda, who also served as one of the writers for the episode. The series finale drew 105.97 million viewers. Just to give you an idea of how big that is – the overall population of the United States in 1983 was just over 236 million people according to PopulationPyramid.net!
To this day, M*A*S*H remains one of the most influential television shows in American history…
One of the great things about TV shows in the 70s is how they weren’t afraid to reflect the changing cultural attitudes in the country. One such show featured a vivacious female lead, which had rarely been seen before…
On September 12, 1972, American audiences were introduced to Maude Findlay. Well, not quite. The character, played by Bea Arthur, first made appearances on a few episodes of All In The Family.
Maude was a popular sitcom that depicted the changing liberal attitudes that would soon become part of mainstream America. The show ran for 6 seasons and had 141 episodes. The final episode aired on April 22, 1978.
The show was praised for using humor to discuss many challenging issues. These included civil rights, gender equality, feminism, abortion, alcoholism, and drug use. One of the most controversial episodes was Maude’s Dilemma – a 2-part episode in which Maude learns that, at the age of 47, she’s pregnant.
She ponders whether she should have an abortion. The episode premiered 2 months before the Roe Vs Wade Supreme Court decision in the USA. It was one of the most challenging episodes and remains controversial due to the issues it focuses on.
Nevertheless, this was a testament to the writers and actors of the 1970s – they weren’t afraid to create intelligent TV shows that challenged audiences. The character of Maude was often mocked as a “knee jerk liberal” and the show was seen as a sharp contrast to the conservative attitudes that Archie Bunker promoted on All in the Family.
Maude remains one of the most popular American TV sitcoms of all time. Now turning 50, perhaps it’s time for a new generation to discover the show.
Of course, 2022 is also a year for some of the greatest American films to be remembered as they turn 50…
A FEW CLASSIC FILMS
Let’s look at a few classic films that are turning 50 in 2022. The Godfather was released in 1972 and became a huge hit almost immediately. To this day, it’s considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. It features one of Marlon Brando’s best known roles as Don Vito Corleone. It’s also the film that gave Al Pacino his big break as Michael Corleone.
1972 is also the year in which one of the funniest films starring Woody Allen was released. Though not directed by him, Play It Again Sam features Woody Allen in one of his funniest roles as a hapless writer trying to find love. His co-star is Diane Keaton with whom he starred with many times throughout his career. Diane Keaton, of course, also starred in The Godfather. It seemed that 50 years ago, she made the right choices with films!
Who can forget the famous dueling banjos scene? Deliverance turns 50 in 2022. This was perhaps the film that launch Burt Reynolds to stardom and remained one of his favorite films. The film also starred Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox.
The film depicted four friends trying to survive in America’s countryside – never far from the prying eyes of hillbillies. It was controversial for its violence and for its depiction of Americans from Appalachia.
Nevertheless, this film remains a classic. If you’ve got a strong stomach, you should give it a watch…
Are you a fan of any of these films and TV shows? Now, we’d like to know your opinion:
Do you think that films and TV were better in the 1970s? Or do you think that the stories on the big screens and small screens today are far more captivating?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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