Before She Saved The Universe, Amanda Tapping Saved Product Placement!

And while Amanda Tapping was doing this, so was Scott Bakula!

Related: Before Scott Bakula Leaped Through Time, He Did Product Placements!

“The Woman From Stargate SG-1”

If you’re familiar with science fiction and have some passing knowledge of the Stargate franchise, then Amanda Tapping is a name you’ll know.

Known as Samantha “Sam” Carter, the second-in-command/astrophysicist/woman with all the technobabble is known for being the one to pave the way for all the woman who walked through the Stargate across three series and 14 years. From her beginnings as a Captain to her eventual promotion to Colonel, Samantha Carter saw her share of what the galaxy could throw at her. She also did it with a megawatt smile and a killer aim.

Uploaded by silvercomic

Bonus points if you can put Colonel O’Neill in his place via frustration. That always  means you are doing something right!

They All Make Commercials…

But before Amanda Tapping took on the role that undoubtedly pushed her career in the right direction, she appeared on different Canadian television series, and like most actors seeking out their big breaks, made commercials.

I know of three commercials in existence. One such advertisement actually aired in 1998 (after Stargate SG-1 premiered), but isn’t on You Tube anymore. However, two of those pre-SG-1 commercials are available, and yeah, they’re gold.

We All Are Tempted By Chocolate…

But does our chocolate talk to us?

Uploaded by RetroCapeBreton

It’s the unending battle of 3 pm chocolate cravings versus “Judy.” Except, in the real world, our chocolate doesn’t actually talk to us. Perhaps in our heads, but not…

Don’t judge me.

But before chocolate candy cravings, there was muffins. And Canadian doughnut shops.

And There Was That Time at Tim Horton’s…

I’m sure a few Stargate fans wanted to buy a muffin if Amanda Tapping sold it to them.

And in 1989, a delightfully Canadian man was lucky enough to!

Uploaded by robatsea2009

So much smiling and Canadian accents. And Oooht (not Oat) Bran!

I had Tim Horton’s when I was in Michigan last year, and proclaimed my status as an “Honorary Canadian.” Because why not?

Advil and a Smile

Of course, I’d love to show you the third commercial (for Advil Cold and Sinus), but it isn’t on You Tube anymore.

But that doesn’t mean screenshots of it aren’t circulating online!

She has to be the most chipper person to ever need Advil….unless this is a side effect. In that case, I’d want to know what’s in the stuff.

Everyone Starts Somewhere!

Actors pay their dues to get to the top of their craft, and if that means hocking medicine, chocolate, and Ooht Bran Muffins with a smile, then so be it.

Besides, she eventually wound up using that smile to her advantage…

I don’t think he always minded it either. Just sayin’.

Oh, and I totally met her in 2013. And that hair was inspired by her pixie cut from Stargate SG-1.

Again, don’t judge.

Whodunit, Golden Girls?

Sophia Petrillo, in the kitchen, with the knife…cutting the cheesecake.

I promise, this is not Golden Girls fan fiction!

Stay Golden…In the Library!

While reading some posts on Facebook yesterday, I came across a link for a Babble article about a Golden Girls-themed version of clue. Now, I’ve seen how many different incarnations of Monopoly there are out there, but this is totally different!

It all starts with this epic box art…

This box! It is an immediate admission of guilt for Sophia.

The Weaponry…

The mystery involves consumed cheesecake (obviously!), and the weapon of choice is one of these items…

With the exception of Sophia’s purse, all of it came from Blanche’s room. All of it!

Thank You For Being a Friend…Mystery Man With the Rose!

There are six possible whodunits.

We’ve got all the usual suspects – Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, Sophia, Mystery Man with Rose, Mystery Man with Stanley Zbornak’s monkey, Fifi…

Stanley Zbornak’s monkey for the win, people!

The mystery men are obviously Miles and Stanley in black masks.  Just sayin’.

Come, Sit on the Lanai…

And this game board. Look at the house’s layout! You’ll want to play regular Clue on this board!

Did the mansion in Clue have a Lanai? I think not!

Back in St. Olaf (Which is Code for the Internetz)…

According to, the game will retail for $39.95, and is available for purchase in the United States and Canada. Players eight and up can participate, but will they truly appreciate it? I’m not sure, but the big kids sure will!

There’s no release information yet (this information only set a fire online yesterday!), but rest assured, the Retroist team will know about it as soon as it is a physical thing.

“Picture it, game night!”

And is it just me, or does Sophia look a little like Mrs. Doubtfire?

It actually isn’t just me, but it was pointed out to me. Perhaps you see it too?

Not since Golden Girls Funko Pops (also: this Funko follow-up over on Allison’s Written Words) and Legos have we been this excited about The Golden Girls since…we watched it last night. For the millionth time. Because we love it!

Yeah, that’s it.

Grateful Dead, A Touch of Grey, and “Pop-Up Video!”

I’ll settle the bet you probably are making with other Retroist readers right now: Not a Grateful Dead fan, but a huge Pop-Up Video fan.

That said…

Pop In To Pop-Up Video!

One of my favorite shows of in the mid-1990s was by far VH1’s Pop-Up Video. Premiering on October 27, 1996 (one week after my 14th birthday), the show combined music videos with fun trivia. It ran for six seasons in its original incarnation and two seasons in its revival (2012), for 209 episodes.

The trivia appeared in little bubbles that “popped” onto the screen, accompanied by an audible “pop” sound. Trivia involved facts about the singers, stories about the band, and tidbits about production of the video. Post-video, a large bubble told a longer story about the artist or group.

Everything was fair game in the world of Pop-Up Video. Most episodes were hodge podge, but there were themed episodes (Michael Jackson, 1980s, Rock and Roll Heaven, soundtracks, Divas, Madonna) mixed in. If you liked music videos and not-so-relevant tidbits (guilty!), then this show was fun. But, if you were my mom, then this show was annoying, since you had to “read” while you watched. Since I had no trouble reading fast and multi-tasking, even in eighth grade, Pop-Up Video was enjoyable.

Grateful Dead…Or Just Grateful for a Time Waster

I re-discovered the joys of Pop-Up Video while laid up with a sinus infection during the winter of 2012, when VH1 Classic showed a marathon. Since then, I tend to catch the occasional marathon (coincidentally, I was laid up when this happened). And while I’m never picky about which episodes they show (never was, either!), I always really liked when the most unusual music videos showed up.

One of those “most unusual videos” is actually one of my favorite Pop-Up Video entries, from a group whose music I’m otherwise not interested in. They have their legions of fans (called “Dead Heads”), and a well-established career long before their first music video.

If the nickname wasn’t enough of a dead giveaway, I’m referring to the group Grateful Dead, and the music video is 1987’s “Touch of Grey.”

I Will Get By…

“Touch of Grey” began life during Grateful Dead’s encore on September 15, 1982 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, but was not released until 1987’s In the Dark. It entered the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9, while reading #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, the first and only of their songs to accomplish this.

The video, also a first for Grateful Dead, featured skeletons performing the song at a live performance. It received major airplay on MTV, and introduced the group to new fans while gaining mainstream attention for the band.

Another thing that’s alright? Delicious ice cream!

I Don’t Care, ‘Cause It’s Alright…

Now, given my interest in Chicago, you’re probably thinking this is an unusual watch for me, but in reality…I love this song! It’s true! I first heard it while watching Pop-Up Video, and it was during a re-watch in 2015 (while I was, you guessed it, laid up with my first ankle injury) that piqued my interest in the song once again.

And with its light sound (which is deceptive if you listen to the lyrics), the interesting visuals, and well, trivia bubbles, it is impossible not to love the catchy nature of the song!

Although this may depress you. It really was that long ago.

But go on, click play, and don’t care, ’cause it’s alright. You will get by, you will survive!

And you’ll be singing this for a week.

You’re welcome!

Uploaded by mpd2l17

(Blame the uploader for why this is stuck in your head!)

This Happened With Our Very Nostalgic Technology!

Just because our beloved technology is dated, doesn’t mean you can’t find out something new about it!


This interesting idea for an article came to me while writing about what happens when you insert a LaserDisc “dead side” up.

Call me crazy, but inspiration hit to look back at some other interesting things we tried to do or figure out with our “primitive” 1980s technology. Truly it was a fun time that can’t be explained to today’s modern kids, who “know” and “discover” everything!

I’m sure some (or all) of this is not new to our very nostalgic minds, but humor me, this was a fun little bit of research! Plus, nostalgic technology! :-)

Our Very Nostalgic Technology

Did you have one like this?

We loved our gadgets in the 1980s just as much as we love our gadgets now. Sure our tech has advanced – Walkmans are replaced with mp3 players and phones, our portable phones are truly portable, cassettes and records have evolved into CDs and digital media, and BETA and VHS became DVDs, Blu-Rays, and like our music, digital media. We love our technology, and as it advances, it makes our lives better. But there was this awesome time when we tried to figure out what our “primitive” tech was doing, or what we could make our “primitive” tech do to work for us!

Because we loved experimenting with our tech then just as much as we do now!

Consider us the early innovators…or just a bunch of creative kids.

The Videocassette Dial-Up

Uploaded by BlueOctopede


I wasn’t the only little kid that heard the dial-up tone at the beginning of my videocassettes. And like the wonderful BlueOctopede (whose videos I highly recommend!), I heard this on my Disney videocassettes. Which reminds me, I really should pull out my Beauty and the Beast VHS for the nostalgia factor…but mostly to catch that dial tone.

The tone at the beginning of our videos is the Dual Tone Multiple Frequences, or DTMF, tone. This “dialing” sound, as described by Reddit user NerdyGerdy:

“DTMF signaling tones can also be heard at the start or end of some VHS (Video Home System) cassette tapes. Information on the master version of the video tape is encoded in the DTMF tone. The encoded tone provides information to automatic duplication machines, such as format, duration and volume levels, in order to replicate the original video as closely as possible.”

But why was this more commonplace on Disney videos?

…And the Videocassette “White Screen of Death”

That is actually more gray than anything.

Uploaded by Princess Daisy Fanatic Backup

And sometimes red…

Because a blood red screen and a long beeping squeal were perfectly acceptable at the end of a videocassette, when white/gray wasn’t scary enough. This color just screams “I murdered your favorite Disney video!”

Actually, it is a from a United Kingdom print of O Brother Where Are Thou?, and was uploaded (bravely) by You Tube user Daniel Mullins.

…Or This Strange Noise

Guess whose headphones were (accidentally) turned up for this one?!

Uploaded by tititag89

Because the White Screen of Death (and its snappy British cousin, the Red Screen of Death) wasn’t terrifying enough, here’s some loud music, followed by a faux siren!

Teddy Ruxpin Sings!

Uploaded by scbird

Everyone tried this at least once. I tried it with Cricket and my New Kids on the Block tape!

The whole thing with getting our talking dolls to rock out to our other cassette tapes is that, unfortunately, it doesn’t work well. Unless you’re uploader scbird.

This video’s uploader explained in the comments section that they recorded the song on the right channel, and the tones on the left channel to control the eyes and mouth, resulting in what everyone with a talking doll wanted to accomplish in the 1980s.

And this was the best video of the “experimental” bunch. Unfortunately, all the other videos trying the same thing were done by kids who probably found out about this…and felt the need to talk on the video. Nope, couldn’t handle them. This, on the other hand? I could seriously rock out to this!

…And Talking Doll Tapes Do This In Standard Tape Decks!

This was something I tried with my Walkman when I was nine years old. I still had all the tapes from my Cricket doll that I gotten about five years earlier, and while I wasn’t incredibly fond of the doll anymore, I still liked her stories and figured taking one “one the road” would be fine.

This is exactly what happens when you play a talking doll cassette in a standard tape deck (and no, it is not my video):

Uploaded by BB182000

You can hear the recording just fine, but your enjoyment had to contend with the beep boop bop sounds. These “beep boop bop” sounds are the signals that control the eye and mouth movements of our classic talking dolls. As explained with the Teddy Ruxpin video, there is one channel for the recording (right channel), and another for the eye/mouth motion controls (left channel).

Give ‘Em Credit!

Our tech was much more sophisticated than most will ever give it credit for, because someone had to figure out how to make our toys talk and get our videos to work correctly in our VCRs! Sure we were weirded out by the sounds things made, and equally fascinated by how those weird noises made things work. But in the end, it was our technology, and we always made do with what we had…while figuring out all the cool ways to make something work for our adorably nefarious purposes.

Those kids trying this stuff probably think they’re the innovators. If they only knew how many 30-somethings were so far ahead of them…

Use the Power of the Fur, Hello Kitty!

Oh yes, this is a Hello Kitty-themed article!

Taken by the author, May 2014.

May the Fourth Be With You…

…and also with you.

Couldn’t resist!

First of all, a very happy May the 4th to all of you. May the fourth be with you always!

On the fly, I was asked by the wonderful Vic Sage if I had anything Star Wars to contribute. Now, I could celebrate the day in my usual way by watching the commercials from the trainwreck known as the Star Wars Holiday Special, given the incredible RiffTrax treatment, but I wrote about that last year.

I can also regale you with pictures (see Exhibit A above) that I’ve taken of my various Star Wars-themed toys for previous May the 4th celebrations…

From 2015

I could do all this (and I sorta have), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you this one particular gem I found a few years ago during my Hello Kitty collecting days.

Cat Wars…We’re Talking About CAT WARS!

You’ll never get this old Saturday Night Live reference out of your head!

This little segment is from the 1987 cartoon Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater, which parodied various popular movies, as well as fairy tales and well-known stories. It seems that in 1987, Star Wars was a relevant aspect of pop culture (as was E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, for some reason), so of course, they parodied it.

In this segment, Kitty plays Princess Leia, while her friends Tuxedo Sam, Chip, and My Melody take on the roles of Luke Skywalker, C3PO, and R2-D2-inspired characters, respectively. Kitty’s father, Papa Kitty, takes on the role of the Obi-Wan Kenobi-type, while antagonistic Catnip fits in nicely as Darth Vader.

Yes, I’ve seen this before. I also know my Sanrio characters. I’m just that kind of geek. :-)

There’s also The Fur (The Force), and a bit of an itchy situation.

Go on and click play, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Uploaded by mrcinnamarollsanrio