Ubu Productions is an independent production company founded in 1982 by producer Gary David Goldberg. Ubu’s had made some pretty famous shows, including Family Ties and Spin City. If the name sounds familiar, it might be that you love those shows or it is more likely because at the end of many Ubu produced shows, you had a photo of a black Labrador Retriever with a Frisbee in his mouth.
And when that dog appeared, you would hear a voice say, “Sit, Ubu, sit! …Good dog!”, followed by the sound of a bark.
That voice is that of Ubu founder Goldberg and the dog in the picture is his beloved traveling companion and pet, Ubu Roi playing in the Tuileries Garden close to the Louvre Museum in Paris. Ubu passed away in 1984, but he was immortalized by his owner and friend and is probably more of a household name then some of the stars that appeared in Ubu produced sitcoms.
Every Christmas, you hear about the Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown specials. But Andre (Black Nerd Comedy), along with Roger Barr of I-Mockery.com and creator of Abobo’s Big Adventure, count down 11 strange specials from sitcoms and cartoons that you don’t remember… or forgot for good reason. He-Man, She-Ra, Power Rangers, Tiny Toons, Fresh Prince, Family Matters, Pac-Man, Pee-Wee, Weird Al, Super Mario… and of course the Star Wars Holiday Special.
There were crossovers. There were guest stars. And then there were promotional cameos, when a (usually music) star appeared in a (usually sitcom) TV show to shamelessly plug themselves or their recent products. My favorite promotional cameo of all time was Ray Parker Jr.’s appearance on Gimme A Break. The script kept finding ways for Parker Jr. to ask, “Who you gonna call?”, to which the girls all gleefully shouted, “Ghostbusters.” The entire episode can be seen here.
There were many others, though. Here are a few I could remember and find:
There were many more than these, of course. I doubt any were as cheesy, but I doubt any were as effective, either. Yes, obvious though these promotional cameos were, they still achieved their goal of making you want the (advertised) product. In fact, they’re still achieving that goal today. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go listen to “Two of Hearts” right now.
Welcome to the Retroist Threes Company Podcast. On today’s show we talk all about the comedy television series, Three’s Company. We talk about the characters and actors on the show, the talent behind the show, the cast changes and its availability today. What are the best episodes of Three’s Company? You will find out because, we also have a brand new top 5 list from metagirl.
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In the collective mind of all generations their are dark moments that dwell just at the edge of remembrance, occasionally surfacing in our fevered dreams, but remaining untouchable during our waking times. For some generations it is the dark memories of war or the specter of depression and plague. If you were born in the 1970s there is a good chance that the dark phantom that haunts you is the episode of “Too Close for Comfort” where Monroe is raped by two women in the back of a van. I know your mind is racing now. You remember it right, but you are not sure that if it really happened. Now go ask all your friends about it. About 1 in 10 will remember the episode, 4 in 10 will stare at you with a puzzled look (they remember, but are blocking) the other 5 will think you are a total idiot and will no longer take your calls.
I had read about this episode a few years ago and I was one of those 1 in 10. I clearly remember the episode, but everyone else looked at me like I was making stuff up. So I let it go – that is until I found the short movie “A Very Special Episode” by Ethan Duff and the memories returned. “A Very Special Episode” is a story about a man who remembers the episode and follows his short descent into madness as he tries to prove to himself and the world that the episode exists. If you have ever had a memory of something that no one else seems to remember this is the film for you.
After watching the episode I decided to see if I had anything in my immediate possession that proved that I had indeed seen the episode. I knew from the movie that the episode aired on July 20th, 1985 and that it was called “For Every Man, There’s Two Women”, which is more then I had before. I started digging through old VHS tapes hoping to dredge up something. Sadly it turns out I didn’t have one episode of “Too Close for Comfort” on tape. I was about to give up when I remembered that the “Retroist Print Archive” (box at bottom of hall closet) is filled with old TV guides. After an hour of searching I found what I was looking for:
So there it is. Proof of the airing of the episode in 1985 New Jersey. Notice that the show is airing at 6 pm on channel 17? That is because at this point the show was airing on the Metromedia network (which would eventually become Fox). The show had run for 3 seasons on ABC, but due to declining ratings, they decided to pull the plug. Metromedia picked up the show and ran it in syndication from 1984 to 1986. The show still can be found in syndication, but mysteriously enough, “For Every Man, There’s Two Women” had never been rebroadcast.
I still do not have this episode of the show in my collection, but my quest for proof had energized me and it is only a matter of time before I get to watch this episode again with adult eyes and will have more to share.