Thursday, July 7, 2011

Battle of the Network Stars

One of my favorite shows when I was a kid was The Battle of The Network Stars. It was the most exciting event on TV and featured stars from the 3 major networks. Yes, back then there were really only three channels to watch. It aired from 1976 to 1985 and it was a pioneer for reality TV shows.

How could you not like athletic events featuring your favorite TV stars? It's one thing to watch the Olympics, but it's even cooler to see those same events performed by the cast of Happy Days, Welcome Back Kotter, Different Strokes, Charlies Angels, Laverne and Shirley, Chips, Wonder Woman, Little House on the Prairie, WKRP in Cincinnati, Family Ties, and MASH.

What really added validity to the games was the fact that Howard Cosell hosted the event. You have to laugh when you hear Cosell's serious and dramatic narration of the events as he makes people like Ed Asner, Melissa Gilbert, and Billy Crystal seem like elite Olympic athletes. As much as I enjoyed this program, I don't know that I'd like to see it with today's stars. I'd hate to see the cast of Jersey Shore pollute this beautiful event. There was something more innocent and wholesome about the 70's and 80's. It was probably the short shorts.

Here is one of my favorite SCTV skits where they spoofed the event by featuring The Battle of the PBS Stars. The quality is poor, but it is worth watching.


Kristina P. said...

This sounds awesome! I think the current version is Celebrity Rehab where B list stars battle it out to stay sober and not as crazy.

Anonymous said...

Love the Mr. Rogers Skit. Classic.

W.C.Camp said...

I liked that show too but to be honest even as a star for PAY, there are some sports like Boxing or running a marathon that I would not want to do!! W.C.C.

Cheeseboy said...

Honestly, I am a little surprised that they haven't brought this program back. Marv Albert could do the announcing.

M-Cat said...

Of course it was the short shorts!