In April 1986, This Was Happening On HBO

In April 1986, This Was Happening On HBO

My parents often let the VCR record past the end of a movie or television show. I think everyone’s parents did . Heck, I’m guilty of it, and I’ve passed the bad habit on to how I set my DVR to record. Because let’s face it, you just never know what is going to show up at the end of a recording. And since this is a nostalgia website, there is always the distinct possibility that a gem is always hiding at the end of a program/movie that we recorded onto those big plastic boxes that hold so much film.

In 2007, I was home by myself on a regular day off from my job at a golf course – my brother and both of my parents were working, and it was raining, so there wasn’t much else to do. And I had (at the time) a one-year-old DVD recorder that was so much fun to use. So I figured, why not put it to work for me, and go through the videos in my parents’ VHS collection?

The result was so many gems of recordings…well, ok, gems to me. People see commercials and things they like to skip. I see memories. Lots and lots of memories.

One such tape my parents had in their collection was Bill Cosby: Himself (I know, that sounds a little timely, given the circumstances surrounding The Cos these days), and it was a recording they had made off of HBO in 1986. And since they were, well, my parents, they let the tape run about 90 seconds beyond the end of the comedy special.

And there were a magical ninety seconds.

Take my hand, and allow me to show you.

Coming up next on HBO…
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Comic Relief! Well, actually, it was a highlights reel of the first Comic Relief event, which aired on HBO on March 29, 1986. The once-yearly special boasted an impressive trio of hosts (Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams), and a lineup of headlining comedians, all to do one thing and one thing only – help the homeless. You knew it was a simpler time (in our perspective) when homelessness was the hot-button issue of the day. And this was during the Cold War.


But still, the best of Comic Relief, and my parents only taped this as proof of its very existence. What were they thinking?!

And this “Coming Up Next…” Segues itself into…
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Oh, wow. Does anyone else remember this show? Not Necessarily the News was initially a comedy special that aired on HBO in September 1982, was seen as a concept, and became a series that ran from August 1983 until August 1990. It featured sketches, parody news items, commercial parodies, and humor via overdubbing or editing actual news footage. Think Saturday Night Live, but uncensored.

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Oh, and Sniglets. The unexplained kind. Of the Universe.

This commercial is not promoting a specific episode, but the actual premiere of the upcoming season.

And that’s fine with me, the footage alone is nostalgic.
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And we go from “news” to sports with…

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HBO World Champion Boxing, and the Spinks versus Holmes rematch that was set to air on April 19, 1986. It was one fight in a series of fights being dubbed…

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But don’t take our word for it, let The Man With the Hair (aka Don King) tell you all about it!

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Seven games, seven fights, just like the World Series. Except without baseball bats. Oh, and it’s all about fighting.

Oh, and Holmes lost the fight. Sorry.

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And then we get an actual commercial for HBO that’s not promoting a movie, comedy special, or series. Just a regular commercial. In it, a guy is holding a party in his apartment, and is talking with the woman who was responsible for calling the cops on his last party…all because she couldn’t hear the movie she was watching on HBO. So she informed him that she no longer has this problem, ever since she bought…A VCR! Now she can start watching a movie (and tape it), and then she can finish it after she calls the cops.

HBO reminds viewers that if social commitments cause you to miss HBO programming, then to put them on your schedule.

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And really, are we keeping these people anonymous by not showing their faces? I feel like Nanny from the Muppet Babies wrote this commercial!

And finally, right before my parents realized they were still taping…

“Henry Winkler for Comic Relief.”

He has a book in his hands, but the tape had other plans…it cut off.

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And there you have it, the gems of parents leaving the VCR running.

But don’t take my carefully crafted words for it, just watch.

[Uploaded By] Allison Venezio

And there you have it, the best part about taping something off of television. Here’s to the parents before us who forgot to turn off the VCR.

And to items like this for keeping those memories alive…until it decides not to do the one and only job it was given.

DVD Recorder(1)

*Le Sigh*

Allison's Old DVD Recorder – Panasonic DMR-ES15 (2006-2014, when I finally junked it)
Allison’s Old DVD Recorder – Panasonic DMR-ES15 (2006-2014, when I finally junked it)

Allison loves nostalgia. You love nostalgia. It’s win-win, really. Come visit her at her blog, Allison’s Written Words to see what she has to say, both of the nostalgic sense, and the not-so-nostalgic sense.

She loved that DVD Recorder. She feels sad for two reasons – the DVD Recorder’s painful ending…and the fact that it can be seen in pictures.

Allison Venezio-Preston

Allison is a Secretary by day, a writer/blogger by night (and during lunch breaks and in the mornings before work), a nostalgia geek (and a geek in general), worshipper of Thor (and Chris Hemsworth), and honorary Avenger (she has a pin, so it is official). She collects Funko Pops, loves anything that takes her back to childhood, and has confessed her love for Kenny Loggins. Oh, and she listens to Chicago...alot. If any of this piques your interest, she'd love for you to visit her personal blog, Allison's Written Words, where she talks about alot of the same stuff she talks about here, and more! She can be found at You can follow her blog on Facebook (, Instagram @allisonswrittenwords, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. (Her husband is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)

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