Television sitcoms in the 1960s had a grand tradition of episodes in which the main characters, usually pretty mainstream types, even if they included witches, genies, ghouls, or futuristic space travelers, were dropped into the groovy times of ’60s B-movies. As a kid, I was in heaven when one of those episodes appeared. I felt dropped into a happening scene right along with the characters. Until a friend posted it on Facebook this morning, I’d forgotten about this episode of Max Smart and one of my all-time TV crushes, Agent 99, getting real groovy.
Did television sitcoms in the post-groovy mid-1970s and beyond continue some form of this tradition? Suzi Quatro appearing on Happy Days was pretty cool, but that required some anachronistic reverse grooviness. WKRP in Cincinnati must have featured actual rock musicians inspiring Bailey to cut loose the way we knew she could. Pretty please?
I know The Doobie Brothers dropped in on the cast of some ’70s sitcom, but I don’t remember instances of of Meathead and Gloria getting down with The Dictators. I don’t recall the episode of Welcome Back, Kotter in which Vinny Barbarino and the Sweat Hogs totally rocked out to Brownsville Station. Where’s the episode of Good Times in which J.J., Thelma, and Willona get down to Curtis Mayfield‘s surprise appearance at the Cabrini-Green block party, with Michael joining the band on cowbell? Did I miss these episodes?
I shudder to think of the “groovy” TV episodes I missed in the 1980s, but please fill me in.
When you think “TV gone groovy,” what’s the first episode that comes to mind? Which “straight” character most benefited from getting groovy? Which character had no business getting groovy?
To take it to the next level, what groovy TV episode should have been written? I’m hopeful that the likes of alexmagic will deliver the would-be goods!