Monday, October 19, 2009

1970s TV Exposure, Volume 1: The Battle of the Bulge!

Whenever anyone today makes mention of “tight jeans,” I almost break into laughter. As anyone around in the 70s and 80s knows, pants and jeans were practically painted on back then! I can remember sometimes having to lie down on my bed to zip up certain pairs of jeans. I guess I’ll deal with the internal organ trauma I probably caused when the time comes! In revisiting some 70s television, I’ve occasionally been quite stunned at what has paraded across my screen.


One of my favorite programs as a kid was The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Now I see why! The stars of The Hardy Boys, Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy, seem to enjoy wearing the snug and revealing type of pants of the day (I’m partial to Parker, myself, more than Shaun, who is far too slender for my tastes, though he certainly had a major fan following at the time!) They sort of take turns showing off their wares, with Shaun tending to lead the way. Parker, nonetheless, was thanked in public by his then-wife Kirstie Alley during her 1991 Emmy acceptance speech for “for giving me the big one for the last eight years.” They are nothing, however, compared to guest star Ricky Nelson (in a vast acting stretch, playing a popular singer!) Nelson found the need, on this show geared towards youngsters, to wear jeans so revealing that he may as well have turned up on the set naked. When they talk about clothing leaving nothing to the imagination, this is surely what they meant! What in the world would Ozzie have had to say about this?


Not to be outdone, on the distaff side of the show (episodes alternated between the crime solvers) The Nancy Drew Mysteries, guest actor A Martinez (probably best known for his starring role on the daytime soap Santa Barbara) shows up in jeans that look as if he left a pair of tube socks in them by accident. The biggest mystery of this episode is finding out what kept Nancy from unzipping his fly when she went to visit him in jail! Ha Ha! Again, I say no one today need bother to mention the term “tight jeans!”


Sticking with the kiddie-oriented shows for a bit longer, I give you the seemingly innocent The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. Fans of The Young and the Restless might be surprised to see Victor Newman himself, Eric Braeden, as a guest star. I venture to say they would be even more surprised to see Eric parading around in polyester slacks so revealing that it’s almost insane! Were we that naïve? Blind? Did we not look? Did we not notice? It seems impossible not to. First Eric sidles up to another guest actor, his trousers hiked up and showing everything he’s got. The they begin to walk and the friction appears to be getting the better of him with each stride! Small wonder that Nikki and Victor have been marrying and remarrying each other on Y&R for the better part of three decades! Other episodes feature the painted-on style of the day as well. See Brian Tochi as he walks with Diana Prince through a marine park.

Of course, no discussion of 70s tight jeans is complete without mentioning those Kings of Bulge, The Duke Boys of The Dukes of Hazzard. John Schneider and Tom Wopat portrayed the good ol’ country bumpkins who delighted in foiling the exploit’s the corrupt county commissioner Boss Hogg and his sheriff henchman Roscoe P. Coltrane. The show wasn’t for everyone (I never made a point to watch it), but at least if one was planted in front of it, there were the mesmerizing shots of John, Tom, John Jr. and Tom Jr.! Schneider, in particular, tended to show off the most, but both guys could be counted upon to wear jeans that outlined every iota of their anatomy as demonstrated in this autographed 8 x 10 glossy. Other “culprits,” not pictured here, include CHiPs’ Erik Estrada, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’s Gil Gerard and Baa Baa Black Sheep’s Robert Conrad.


Despite the preoccupation with sexiness and physical fitness, it seems that today’s television performers are actually more modest than some of their predecessors. The baggy look has been in for quite a while now and who knows when, or if, the super-tight and revealing look will make a comeback.

6 comments:

Topaz said...

True story. I know a very attractive woman who went off to New York in the '90s to be your typical model/actress/waitress and wound up working at Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Grill. At that time, Tom Wopat was concentrating on his singing career and was starring in a Broadway play, and also recording a country-focused album. He was a regular at the restaurant and he and this woman started dating pretty seriously. He even had her appear in one of the videos he made for the album.

He was supposed to go out on tour, but before he left, he proposed and she accepted. After a few months, with regular phone calls, she stopped hearing from him. Just total radio silence. After two months, when she had just about written him off, he called again. Turns out, he had slept with another woman at some point and had knocked her up, so he had married her so the child wouldn't be a "bastard." But everything was okay now because he was divorcing her, so they could go ahead with their own wedding plans. He was surprised when she rejected that notion.

Based on his "Dukes" days, in her place, I'm not sure I would have.

Poseidon3 said...

There is something so gross about Tom's behavior in that story! I have a feeling it's not all that unusual in showbiz land. So glad I only ever dated total nobodies. LOL

1AceGuy said...

Who could forget Freddie Prinz Sr. of "Chico and the Man." I always thought Freddie's jeans were incredibly tight and left nothing to the imagination!

Mac McNeill said...

Those were the days. Now they wear them hanging pass their butt cracks and not a pleasant sight. I can remember dreaming what would be like to wrap my lips around one of those joy sticks.

Brayden Cormac said...

Nothing to the Imagination,i too did believe this as i though i had a real find (because of an active imagination)but "little" did i realise what i had in my future relationship,i do rather now appreciate to know what i'm getting then to be a very unhappy with disapointed surpise !!!

campernj1 said...

I remember those days and 'The Hardy Boy' series...but who can forget Willie Aames in 'Eight Is Enough' from '77-'81 with that nice big bulge he showed in his TIGHT jeans mmmm. I watched it mainly to see that impressive bulge hehe. I had a bit of a crush lol. Also Lance Kerwin in 'James At 15'. He was so cute and showed a nice bulge...