I’m a member of Generation X. And like every other Gen X kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s, we didn’t have cable or streaming TV like Netflix or YouTube. Our choices sucked. Don’t believe me? Get a load of these obscure TV shows Generation X kids were stuck watching before cable TV.
TV sucked for 70s & 80s kids before cable television. We didn't even have a remote! Who remembers these obscure TV shows Generation X kids were stuck with? Click To Tweet
It wasn’t called the Boob Tube for nothing!
You see children, before Cable, TV options were very limited.
In the 70s and 80s, there were only 5 or 6 channels to choose from (out of 13) and the rest was just snow.
Remote controls were not even a thing yet, so you actually had to get up and turn a dial every time you wanted to change the channel.
Kid shows were only on in the mornings before school and on Saturdays and Sundays.
And while these days I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, for some reason, I can still remember these weird TV shows from when I was a kid.
Maybe this is why so many of us spent our youth outside.
Dance Fever was a weekly disco dance competition where couples dressed up in amazing clothes (in my mind) and competed for a prize of $1000.
It was originally hosted by Deney Terrio and his two sexy female partners. But they eventually replaced him with Adrian Zmed.
All I know is that I wanted to be on this show so badly!
Besides disco, country music was also really popular in the late 70s.
The Mandrell Sisters was a weekly variety show featuring country singer Barbara Mandrell and her sisters, Louise, and Irlene – who was my favorite because she had the longest hair.
Shut up. I didn’t have a lot of options, remember?
I remember thinking that this was a kids show when I was a kid because it had a cartoon donkey in the opening.
But it actually came on TV after my bed time, so I only got to see snippets of it.
All I remember was people sticking their heads in and out of barn doors telling jokes I didn’t get and singing religious country music songs.
This crazy show created by Sid and Marty Krofft was centered around a family that was stuck in an alternate universe and were constantly being chased by dinosaurs and creepy lizard things called Sleestaks.
I do remember that the Sleestaks used to give me nightmares when I was little. And for some reason I think they smelled like pee.
Oh wait. That was just me when I woke up in the morning after wetting the bed after those horrible dreams.
This is another one of Sid and Marty Krofft’s acid trips that featured giant puppets that sang and danced with some creepy red haired kid.
Kinda like a 70s version of Yo Gabba Gabba!
To be honest, I don’t know which one is scarier.
This game show is still on the air. Can you believe it?
Except before Steve Harvey (or whoever it is now) , back in the 70’s it featured this perv named Richard Dawson who was the host.
I’ll never forget him because he freaking kissed every female on the lips, often times right in front of their husbands!
According to this article, he was trying to prove a point. But all I know is, that would never fly today.
I don’t know any kid who didn’t love Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang. I even had a Snoopy Lunch Box with a Woodstock thermos!
This show was extra super special because it was only on during the holidays.
I tried introducing it to my own son, but if it’s not Roblox or Minecraft, he’s not interested.
This was my Sunday morning jam. But I could never figure out what was so appealing about Olive Oil.
The host Tom Hatten, used to take drawings of squiggly lines sent in by kids and turn them into a picture of one of the Popeye characters.
No matter how many squiggles I sent in, mine never got picked 🙁
Who can forget Elvira Mistress of the Dark? Many people just know her for being a sexy Vampira with a huge set of knockers.
But did you know that she was also the host of her own show called Movie Macabre?
Movie Macabre taught me about awful B horror films like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Village of the Damned.
And between every commercial break, Elvira would talk on the phone with this creepy heavy breather who would talk dirty to her.
Poor Elvira. #MeToo
Ok, I never actually watched this show because it was on way past my bedtime. But I know so many people just loved it.
Except me. I hated it because of their awful theme song “Suicide is Painless“.
I mean, the show was a comedy, so why the hell did they use such a sad song as their opening?
Even today I won’t watch it because of that dreadful horn-filled song.
Suicide may be painless, but that theme song makes me want to commit homicide.
Staying home sick from school was no piece of cake either although you could always count on The Price is Right. Bob Barker and his bevvy of beauties were delightful.
Until it was over. All that was left was the soaps – on EVERY STINKING CHANNEL!!!
Screw you, soaps. I’d rather poke my eyes out with scissors than have to watch that plastic, filtered garbage.
But Price is Right never let me down. In fact I still watch it today on DVR, but only at night when it depresses me less.
So the next time your kid complains about having nothing to watch on TV, let them know how much worse it was when we were kids.
Can you think of other obscure TV shows Generation X kids were stuck watching? What TV shows did you enjoy or hate growing up? Leave me a comment and let me know!