Retroist Thriller Podcast

Retroist Thriller Podcast

Welcome to the Retroist Thriller Podcast. On today’s show I talk all about the music video masterpiece, Thriller. I start off talking about how I was terrified by the monologue from this song while visiting a Ground Round. Then I move onto Michael Jackson and the song, album and video he brought to the world. I touch upon the person who wrote the song, how it came about, the production of the video and much more.

It is a fun video, and perfect for this time of year. I hope I persuade you to check it again or for the first time.

Subscribe and Support


If you have a moment please stop by iTunes or wherever you might download the show and perhaps give the show a quick rating. It is very much appreciated.

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)
[RSS MP3] Add the Retroist Podcast feed (in MP3) to your RSS aggregator and have the show delivered automatically.

If you would like more retro fun, you can also follow me on the Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/retroist and on the Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/retroist.com.

Want to help Support the Retroist Podcast? Please drop by our Support page to find out how.

Listen and download the Retroist Thriller Podcast


Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.

976 Number to talk to Kitt from Knight Rider

A 976 Number to talk to Kitt from Knight Rider!

As a kid I was a sucker for a good 976 number. I called the Chipmunks, Howard the Duck, Santa and many more. All of this without my Mom’s permission. Which caused some issues. So it was probably a good thing that I did not live in California, where I could have called Kitt from Knight Rider at 976-2233.

Like all kids in the eighties, I loved Knight Rider, especially Kitt. Probably because I have always dreamt of a world where I had a robot/computer friend. If that friend could also have been my car, all the better! I also would have accepted talking robot dog or bicycle.

What is weird about this particular 976 number is what you got when you called, it was almost incidental that you were talking to Kitt. He was just a vehicle for delivering information. Information not about Knight Rider or the Knight Foundation, but real solid science facts from the California Museum of Science and Industry. It is an odd idea to generate revenue, but I imagine it worked since kids like me existed in every state.

Since I have written a few of these posts about 976 numbers, people have emailed me about them. Someone recently asked me if they remembered if I thought I was really talking to Santa Claus at the time. I would like to tell you I was a smart kid. That I realized that I was consuming a generic message, but I am not so sure.

I wouldn’t say I was a dumb kid. Maybe I am just being kind to myself?

Let’s just say, I wanted to believe.

Watch this commercial a 976 Number to talk to Kitt from Knight Rider!

Burger King Table Service

Remembering Burger King Table Service

My family enjoyed going out for fast food. We liked the price and we really enjoyed the taste. It was not something we did all the time, but when we did, we made an event out of it. So when Burger King Table Service began we were drawn to it immediately.

Burger King Table Service was part of their move to go slightly upscale. It mostly revolved around their BK Dinner Baskets. It was a short-lived experiment. Starting in 1992 through 1994 and ending quickly thereafter. They really did not change the Burger Kings themselves, just the food options and how they served it.

During dinner hours, between 4pm and 8pm, you would order your food just like normal. Then things started to change. They would give you a number for your table and a basket of popcorn to munch on while you waited. Then a few minutes later a person would bring your food in baskets to your table.

Those baskets has a lot of the standard Burger King food, but with some new options on the side. You could get choice of Fries, Baked Potato AND Cole Slaw or Side Salad. I never got any of those sides and stuck to my normal cheeseburger meal. My family on the other hand were thrilled at trying their baked potato and side salads. Although in the end they would going running back to the fries option, but at least they tried.

The basket options, not counting any regional options, included:

  • Whopper Dinner Basket
  • Steak Sandwich Dinner Basket
  • Chicken Dinner Basket
  • Shrimp Dinner Basket

They might have also had a meatloaf sandwich at the time, but not sure if that was a regional offering. I recall the meatloaf sandwich being enjoyed a bit by my Grandmother. Mostly because we mocked her a bit for getting a meatloaf sandwich. For most of the meals during this offer, the rest of my family got the Whopper.

Never got to try BK Dinner baskets the accompanying Burger King Table Service, but still remember it? That is because they had some high energy commercials during their “I Love this Place” phase of advertising featuring Dan Cortese as Dan the Whopper Man. They were part of that obnoxious high-energy attempt to try figure out how to sell to Generation X.

Besides the grating tone, the commercials were good in that they did spell out the exact process and food available. Enjoy this collection of Burger King Table Service commercials.

Burger King Table Service Commercials

Since I mentioned the Meatloaf Sandwich, here is a little commercial about that short-lived gem starring Mr. Baseball, Bob Eucker.

Weird it is done in the same style at the Dan Cortese commercials, but with Euker.

dinner baskets at Burger King

Mayfair Candy Corn

Mayfair Candy Corn is delightfully retro

Halloween shopping keeps starting earlier each year. Despite my love for the holiday, I do try to limit my browsing until the month of October. I violated that rule (again) today at the supermarket today after spotting the retro packaging of Mayfair Candy Corn.

It was not even in the main Halloween candy spot, just in some random shelf that happened to have some Halloween candy. I was immediately smitten. The graphics, the colors and the price made for an irresistible combination. I scooped up two bags and immediately ran over to the main Halloween section of the store to find more pseudo retro offerings.

Sadly nothing matched the retro fun of Mayfair Candy Corn. Still, it did get me in the mood for the holiday season.

While I drove home I tore open one of the bags and ate my first candy corn of the year. How is Mayfair Candy Corn? It is average. Not as good as Brachs or Jelly Belly, but completely edible.

While not high praise, I would still tell everyone who see it to buy a bag. The remarkable retro label more than makes up for the quality of the candy. And at one dollar a bag, you really can’t go wrong.

1984 Pay N Save Coupon Book

1984 Pay N Save Coupon Book

In 1984, like in many years for it and after, Pay N Save sent out coupon books. I am sure many people used them, but an equal number threw them in the garbage. Luckily some people squirreled them away. That way 33 years later I could scan this 1984 Pay-N-Save Coupon Book and share it with everyone.

Not familiar with Pay n Save? Neither was I. Founded in 1940, Pay N Save was based out of Seattle, WA and had locations and all across the Western United States. Sadly they just couldn’t stay afloat and went under way back in 1992. This was just a couple of years before my first visit to the area. So I never got to enjoy the store firsthand.

All I can do is enjoy the store secondhand from people who went there and what I can find online. In fact, pp until this coupon book was handed to me by a friend, I had very little knowledge of the store. Now, a year later, I have a place in my heart for this regional chain. This affection is almost purely derived from ephemera and online reading.

While it might seem a bit silly to feel a pull to a chain of stores you never visited. And lament their closure. I do so because I can relate to its loss. Many small chains in the northeast, where I grew up, have gone the way of the dinosaurs with very little outcry. Especially the bargain stores.

These were the places my family often went to enjoy. Place we could afford to participate in consumerism. I could spend hours strolling through their aisles looking for affordable treasures.

And when a coupon book or circular got into my hands, I would pour through it. Marking items, especially toys, and trying to talk my Mother into promising to buy something for me.

So, if you were a Pay N Save patron, just a fan of these stores, or want to see what prices in the Puget Sound Area looked like in 1984, here is a full scan of the 1984 Pay N Save Coupon Book.

1984 Pay N Save Coupon Book