From 1979 to 1984 NBC had a hit show called “Real People”. I loved watching TV with the whole family, and of course this meant having to actually be in front of the TV at the time the broadcast was on, no DVR’s, no skipping the commercials. It had a great cast, John Barbour, Sarah Purcell, Byron Allen, Skip Stephenson, Bill Raferty, Mark Russell, Fred Willard, and Peter Billingsley, who would begin his three-year hosting gig in 1982, and then starred in a little movie called “A Christmas Story” in 1983.
I loved the format of the show, it was kind of like a talk show, but it was funny, the hosts were great, but the best part was seeing ordinary folks from across the country doing odd, strange, or unique things. It was even responsible for introducing America to Richard Simmons! Here is the intro from one of the shows.
Of course, with the popularity of the show NBC was getting a great rating boost, and ABC came up with a competitor, debuting in 1980 “That’s Incredible!” lasted until 1984. The format was different, most of the segments involved stunts that people performed, but I still liked the show a lot. The hosts were John Davidson, Cathy Lee Crosby, and Fran Tarkenton.
Here is an opening sequence from the show…
Just as “Real People” introduced the world to Richard Simmons, “That’s Incredible! introduced the world to Earl Woods and his son, Eldrick….