Welp, we did it. We reached Friday my friends. With that New Years holiday stuck in the middle it made for a long work week. Tough to get any sort of flow working with the herky jerky schedule, but that is all behind us now.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I was a young duckling (never an ugly duckling) we used to look forward to the ABC Friday night primetime line up, aka, T.G.I.F.
The glory days of the T.G.I.F. line up ran from 1988-2000. They’ve tried to reinvent it a few times since then with such low levels of success they could only be compared to my Fantasy Football teams this year. Our close personal friends, Dave and Mahoney were discussing T.G.I.F on their morning show today, Dave & Mahoney Morning Show (download the Radio.com app to listen to their show or tune into X107.5 if you’re in Vegas)
Their convo got me thinking, what WERE the best shows on T.G.I.F? I ran through my own recollections of what was part of the line up. There were some mainstays like Full House and Family Matters, but what else was thrown in. So I did what any other red blooded American would do, I googled it.
I found some shows I barely remember, like Baby Talk, an Italian-American wet dream headlined by Tony Danza and Scott Baio. Did anyone else remember that they had a Clueless show? No? Me neither.
The Sister, Sister show wasn’t all that great, starring Tia and Tamara Mowry, along with Jackee’. You had Melissa Joan Hart starring as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. But all I can picture her doing is running around with her yearbook in Can’t Hardly Wait (a CLASSIC with Jennifer Love Hewitt, who was THE GIRL around 1997-1998).
But what were the TOP TEN T.G.I.F. shows during that golden era of Friday night television (sorry Blue Bloods, 14 year old me overruled 40 year old me)? Well, lets COUNT. IT. DOWN!!!
10. JUST THE TEN OF US (87-90)
This spin off of Growing Pains was centered around a coach who moved his family across the country for a job and ended up having his teenage daughters having to attend the otherwise all boys school he was coaching at.
9. STEP BY STEP (91-98)
Step by Step, oh baby, gonna get to you giiiirrrrrrlllllll. Oh wait, that’s the New Kids on the Block right there. The SHOW Step by Step was a modern day Brady Bunch led by Patrick Duffy making a triumphant return to television following the end of Dallas and Suzanne Somers of Three’s Company fame.
8. THE HUGHLEYS (98-02)
Coming in at the tail end of the T.G.I.F run, The Hughleys were a vessel for the comedic exploits of D.L. Hughley. Hughley moved his black family out into the valley and predominantly white community. Think of it as The Neighborhood in reverse.
7. DINOSAURS (91-94)
Not the best! Not the worst! Not the Mama! A Jim Henson creation this showcased the working man efforts of a good hearted, but slightly bafoonish father, Earl Sinclair. Much like The Family Guy, the show stealer was Baby Sinclair and his exploits as the attention whore of the family.
6. FAMILY MATTERS (89-98)
The story of how Al Powell had to leave the Los Angeles police force following the heroics at Nakatomi Plaza. As part of the cover up he changed his name to Carl Winslow and relocated to Chicago. He was placed next door to the original Sheldon Cooper, America’s favorite nerd, Steve Urkel. Jaleel White stole the show for this sitcom that along with Full House were really the foundation on which T.G.I.F was built
5. MR. BELVEDERE (85-90)
Juuuuust a bit outside the hay day of T.G.I.F. this sitcom centered around a british butler, Mr. Belvedere who was living with an American family and noted their exploits in his diary for a future novel he was writing. The show was headlined by former Major Leaguer Bob Uecker.
4. HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER (92-97)
Before there was Steph Curry in Golden State, there was Mark Curry! The failed NBA player turned gym teacher, Mr. Cooper, played by comedian Mark Curry made occasional cameos with the Warriors on 10 day contracts. Co-headlined by Holly Robinson Peete this show was one of my favorites.
3. FULL HOUSE (87-95)
Dave and Mahoney were talking about the laughs they had watching Full House, led by Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier. Maybe I was just a horn dog young fella, but I was all about Lori Loughlin and Candace Cameron. I loved me some D.J. Tanner! If I have to go over the synopsis of Full House then I just can’t help you. Even if you’re “too young” you can flip on Netflix and watch the rebooted version, Fuller House. Honestly, wasn’t THAT big a fan of the show’s content, but again, Candace Cameron elevated them to this level.
2. PERFECT STRANGERS (86-93)
The adventures of Mypos’ own Balki Bartokomouse and his cousin Larry Appleton. Just two wild and crazy lads living in an apartment in Chicago. Well, maybe not two wild and crazy guys, as Larry was very skidish and shy while Balki was the carefree innocent outgoing guy that was always pushing Larry’s social boundries. Picture the Odd Couple if Oscar was foreign. I always recall an episode where Balki is put in charge of selling some land for his small sheep herder country and mentions that they always wanted to build a stadium and “luuuure the Raiders”. I find it amusing because apparently Vegas was a big fan of that show.
1. BOY MEETS WORLD (93-00)
Faheeeeeeeeny, aka the voice of KIT, aka the best teacher ever. Cory and Shawn. A little sister who disappeared from the show without any reason, and Topanga. I know her name is Danielle Fishel, but she will forever be Topanga. An absolute smoke show, she was the star of the show. Boy Meets World? No, boy meets puberty. This show also spanned a re-boot, Girl Meets World, centered around the grown up Matthews couple of Cory and Topanga, America’s favorite couple. These two crazy kids made America believe in love again. And for teenage boys everywhere T.G.I.F. stood for Topanga Gives Immense Feelings. Aside from all that, it was a great show. I’d still watch Boy Meets World reruns to this day.
So there it is, 1-10 on a Friday night, talking about old school Friday nights. So sit back, grab a beer and let us know, what would your top choice be?
- Written by Jason Sullivan
- Find us on Twitter at @TopDucker or on Facebook at You’re Ducking Right