030 - S3E1 “Growing Pains” with Matthew Arter

Gulp and Gasp

Gulp and Gasp

Extras Available Exclusively At FaceTheFactsPod.com!

The AYDS Diet Plan

Matthew’s Favorite Toy: 2-XL by Mego

A later version by Tiger, which used a cassette tape:

Superman 2: Director’s Cut

We discuss this in the Extras… here is one of the ‘restored’ scenes (it’s actually screen test footage … and it has some SERIOUS continuity problems with Christopher Reeve’s hair and glasses). I think it’s pretty awful. So please watch it.

Willie Tyler and Lester!

An appearance on Lola Falana’s variety show in the 1970s:

A later appearance on David Letterman:

“Hello, Larry” Crossover Episode!

In an effort to bolster the fledgling ratings for “Hello, Larry,” NBC decided to connect it to its lead-in show, “Diff’rent Strokes” … even though the shows were not at all related in their creation. They had Philip Drummond purchase the radio station where his war buddy Larry works, and thus we had reason for the DF cast to visit HL. Which they did 3 times, including this episode which included Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett. (As we discuss on the show, “Hello Larry” would be canceled after 1 season, giving way for “The Facts Of Life” to take over its slot and build on the audience already watching NBC that night, thanks to DF and the 8:00-9:00 show: “Real People.”


When Mr. Drummond offers to bring Mrs. Garrett to Portland, OR, she happily explains to Arnold that Portland is near Seattle, and “it will give me a chance to visit my sister Beverly; she’s only an hour away!” GOOD WORK, FACTS OF LIFE WRITERS!

029 - S2E16 "Brian And Sylvia" with Cameron Francis

The Many Faces Of Cameron Francis:

(Maybe by posting all of these nobody will notice I forgot to take a picture of the two of us together. GRRRR)

Nice Guy!

Nice Guy!

Dramatic Actor

Dramatic Actor

Mesmerizing Magician

Mesmerizing Magician

Goofy Comedic Interactor

Goofy Comedic Interactor

Extras Available Only At FaceTheFactsPod.com!

Interracial Couples On TV

Check out this article on Screen Rant ...

Petula Clark and Harry Belafonte

Here is a full account on pophistorydig.com of that time some TV sponsors lost their shit because a famous white woman touched a famous black man’s arm:

Cameron’s Favorite Commercial: NAIR!

Rosanne Katon!

Playboy Playmate of the Month September 1978

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in “Bachelor Party”


The Wall (And We Ain’t Talkin’ Pink Floyd Here)


Kim Fields on "Dancing With The Stars" in 2016

…including a short bio about her early days and how the Mrs. Butterworth syrup commercial was her FIRST AUDITION! With a sweet cameo from Charlotte Rae… and sets and costumes inspired by her “Facts Of Life” roots.
(Um, who is performing the song during the dance? Little pitchy, dawg.)

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Homework: Watch S2E16 "Brian And Sylvia"

For some reason, this episode isn’t available on DailyMotion. Thankfully I found it at Richard Dean Anderson’s official website, rdanderson.com. Click the photo below, then select “The Facts Of Life” image from the top row.

While I was hunting this down — and thinking I wasn’t going to find it — I stumbled upon a blog called Allison’s Written Words (which looks like it hasn’t been posted on since 2015), and she wrote a detailed synopsis and analysis of this episode. An enjoyably detailed read. :-)

The podcast where I discuss this episode drops this Wednesday 5/18/19. Join me and my special guest, Cameron Francis!

028 - S2E15 "Free Spirit" with Mark Baratelli


The Daily City!


Learn about Mark Baratelli’s latest events and projects at TheDailyCity.com.

Oops, I did it again.

Once again, I have mis-remembered Natalie’s date of birth. In S1 E10, Blair clearly states on the phone that Natalie’s DOB was 9/2/1966. I wrongly said 1965. Not the first time I’ve messed this up; it probably won’t be the last. HOWEVER, I was correct that Natalie saying she’s a Taurus in this week’s show is wrong. Someone born on September 2nd would be a Virgo. So there.

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My Notebook

This is where (and how) I take my copious notes for each episode.


Carnac The Magnificent

a character of the late Johnny Carson when he hosted The Tonight Show.


Rona Barrett, Gossip Columnist

photo from the 1970s


Barbara Walters, Journalist

photo from the 1970s


Ricardo Montalban

Young and HOT movie star in the 1950s…


…older, and STILL attractive in the 1980s (best known for playing Mr. Rourke on “Fantasy Island”).


Carly Simon

and her teeth


Gloria Loring on "The Carol Burnett Show"

Just some random fun to share. This spoof of “Valley of the Dolls” is from the very first season of the Carol Burnett Show. S1 E19, first broadcast 1/29/68. It features Carol and Vicki Lawrence, but the uncredited actress in the Sharon Tate role is none other than our own Gloria Loring, co-writer and singer of the theme song to “The Facts Of Life.” ENJOY!


Homework: Watch S2E15 "Free Spirit"

The podcast where I discuss this episode drops this Wednesday 5/8/19 (with my special guest Mark Baratelli!). The video is mis-labeled as E12 “The Secret,” but it is actually “Free Spirit.”


027 - S2E14 "Pretty Babies" with Philip Nolen


Extras Available Exclusively At FaceTheFactsPod.com!

D’Oh! A Correction:

On the show, I erroneously reported that the original air date for “Pretty Babies” was March 4, 1981… it was actually March 11, 1981.

Camera Stuff!

Philip and I discuss Tootie’s camera, and other related equipment on the show. Here is Tootie’s camera, a 110-style with the flash tower (you got 5 flashes, then flipped it over for another 5… and you couldn’t touch it right after snapping cuz that mother got HOT):


Here is its predecessor, the 126-style camera which took square pictures and slides. Note the flash cube!:


A fun hybrid - the lighthouse, so you could use flash cubes with the 110 camera:


One of Michael Landon’s many Kodak commercials:

Also mentioned in passing were the James Garner-Mariette Hartley Polaroid camera commercials which ran around the same time. From Mariette Hartley’s Wikipedia page: “During the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, Hartley appeared with James Garner in a popular series of television commercials advertising Polaroid cameras. The two actors had such amazing on-screen chemistry that many viewers erroneously believed that they were married in real life. Hartley's biography indicates that she began to wear a T-shirt printed with the phrase "I am not Mrs. James Garner."[9] (Hartley went as far to have a shirt made for her infant son, reading "I am not James Garner's Child" and even one for her then-husband: "I am not James Garner!" James Garner's actual wife then jokingly had a T-shirt printed with "I am Mrs. James Garner.") Hartley guest-starred in a memorable episode of Garner's television series The Rockford Files around this time. The script required the two to kiss at one point and unknown to them, a paparazzo was photographing the scene from a distance. The photos were run in a tabloid trying to provoke a scandal, causing a good deal of attention. An article that ran in TV Guide was titled: "That woman is not James Garner’s wife!” Here is one example of many that can be found on YouTube:

And discussed in the Audio Extras… The Disc Camera!


John Mark Robinson!

We think John Mark Robinson, who plays Fashion Photographer Jonathan Dutton in this episode, looks like the love child of…

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…actor/singer Rick Springfield…


…and The Cars’ front man Ric Ocasek. (Pronouced oh-CASS-ik, not as I incorrectly pronounced it on the show).


Michelle Downey!

The actress who plays underage model Rena also appeared on several episodes of “Little House On The Prairie” as Susan 'Sue' Goodspeed… who I think may have been one of the students at Mary & Adam’s School For The Blind.



The original film, released in 1974, clearly didn’t suffer from low self-esteem…!



A family of products still widely available (visit their web site), this is what Philip & I grew up with…


And this is what it looks like today.

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Toy Commercials!

Philip mentioned some G. I. Joe commercials. Here are a couple of them….

… and a collection of more that feel slightly before our time … probably early 1970s.

I mentioned an SNL commercial that hilariously spoofed many of the toy commercial tropes. The toy was called “BIG RED.” You can watch the whole video here at SNL.com.

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The Empire Strikes Back action figure commercial that we discuss… WITH SPOILERS!!

The “On The Nose” Disco Dressing Room Door

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Also discussed in the Audio Extras: Melissa McCarthy’s outtakes from “This Is 40” (shown during the end credits):

The gorgeous Bo Derek in “10” …


Lisa Whelchel On Not Appearing In The Natalie-Loses-Her-Virginity Episode

“…For one thing, I really felt a big responsibility of knowing that there were young girls watching this show and that you can’t deal with that topic in 20 minutes with a couple of commercials. I really didn’t want to be responsible for that…”

(To me, that sounds an awful lot like, “I didn’t trust the writers to do it well.” Just say’n.)

 Read the full article here.

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Homework: Watch S2E14 "Pretty Babies"

(The video below is labeled wrong! It is actually “Pretty Babies" NOT “Bought and Sold”)

The podcast where I discuss this episode drops this coming Wednesday 5/1 at midnight EST! Join me and my special guest!

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026 - S2E13 "Bought And Sold" with James Brendlinger

No this image is not the same one from the show we did earlier this year. It’s a different snap of the same pose. Whatever. Shut up.

No this image is not the same one from the show we did earlier this year. It’s a different snap of the same pose. Whatever. Shut up.

Extras Available Only At FaceTheFactsPod.com!

From The Digital Cutting Room Floor:

D’Oh! A Correction:

On the show, I erroneously reported that the original air date for “Bought and Sold” was February 25, 1981… it was actually March 4, 1981.

Todd Bridges!

One of my favorite career-moments from Todd Bridges… with Vanilla Ice in “That’s My Boy” (2012) - Todd appears around 1:45, and he is HILARIOUS!

Zsa Zsa Gabor !

Zsa Zsa Gabor is the middle child of the famous Gabor Sisters, two years younger than Magda, two years older than Eva. Their lives are fascinating, I encourage you to Google them and learn more. They were sort-of the Kardashians of their time.

Magda, Zsa Zsa, and Eva. Probably before they had any work done. Probably.

Magda, Zsa Zsa, and Eva. Probably before they had any work done. Probably.

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(“courtesy Everett Collection” from InStyle.com article)

(“courtesy Everett Collection” from InStyle.com article)

Poking fun at herself in the Naked Gun 2-1/2:

And here is her obituary at The Hollywood Reporter, which also mentions her makeup line.

Regarding The Fuller Brush Company, they do still exist today. According to their Wikipedia page, “The Fuller Brush Company sells branded and private label products for personal care as well as commercial and household cleaning. It was founded in 1906 by Alfred Fuller. Consolidated Foods, now Sara Lee Corporation, acquired Fuller Brush in 1968. In 1991 the company was placed in private ownership but, in 1994, it became a subsidiary of CPAC Inc.,[2] which from 2007 – 2012 was owned by the private equity group Buckingham Capital Partners.[1] From December 2012 thru Dec 2017, the Fuller Brush Company was owned and operated by David Sabin and Victory Park Capital. From January 2018 the Fuller Brush is owned and operated by Galaxy Brush LLC, located in Lakewood, New Jersey.”


(snort—) Huh? What? Oh. Well, if that paragraph hasn’t bored you enough, then how about a video? It shows EVERYTHING you (n)EVER wanted to know about Fuller Brushes…

Blair’s New Yorker Poster

Here are 2 stills from S7 E1 right after Edna’s Edibles burned down. Note the pennant on the left side of the screen. The New Yorker poster is to the far left of this. James is absolutely correct that this poster has followed Blair for a good chunk of the series.

“Do I need more mousse?”

“Do I need more mousse?”

Prompted Applause For Guest Stars?

The episode of Roseanne I mention where Patsy & Edina pop in. Their entrance happens @ 6:28… What do you think? Did the audience know they were going to appear? Or was it a surprise?

Fun Facebook Find For Facts Fans!

There are many fan groups on Facebook, but my current obsession is one called Facts Of Life Fans. The admin, David Davis, posts frequent interesting lists of facts about the actors from the Facts Of Life, as well as info about other vintage TV shows, movies, and actors. “Let’s Face The Facts” highly recommends it!

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025 - S2E12 "The Secret" with Heather Delmotte

Heather and I even play darts dramatically.

Heather and I even play darts dramatically.

Extras Available Exclusively at FaceTheFactsPod.com!

Betty Shambles!

Here is Heather’s very good friend Betty Shambles, often found performing on the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Virginia Slims Cigarettes!

A typical Virginia Slims magazine ad from the 1970s:

The Coffee Condundrum Continues!

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The Sombrero Saga:

OK, I finally got around to doing some research. When we first find ourselves in the girls’ room in S2E2 “The New Girl, Part 2,” there is really not much of anything in the room, and the window area looks clear.

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But to my great horror, the sombrero actually appears in the VERY NEXT episode.

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Once again, I had to wonder if the sombrero is there for the entire time the girls live in this room. Turns out that it is thankfully NOT. It remains only until the end of Season 3.

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When we start Season 4, the tiger is still there, but the sombrero is gone.

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And it doesn’t seem that it ever returns right up until the girls are packing up and moving out.

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Whew. I think we all feel better now. After Season 1 where multiple girls’ dorm rooms were inexplicably decorated with multiple sombreros, I suppose this tiny little homage isn’t the worst bit of useless set decoration. Nonetheless, adios sombreros. You never made any sense. Ever.

Alex Rocco

Alex Rocco, who plays Jo’s father Charlie Polniaczek was in fact in “The Godfather…”

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…and more importantly, he was in “The Cannonball Run 2.”


Jo’s Origins Retconned?

To clarify my confusion: S2E12 “The Secret” definitively states that Jo’s Dad left when she was 12, and she is now 16. I was thinking we had been told her father’s departure was more recent. Research shows that in S2E1, when we are learning Jo’s back story, Mrs Garrett says it was “a couple of years ago.” I suppose that *could* be loosely translated into 4 years. Ish. So… I guess this is OK. I guess.

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Heather’s favorite commercial!

Heather’s Favorite Cookies!

David’s Favorite Toy: Maskatron!

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While Maskatron was solely an action figure and never an actual character on “The Six Million Dollar Man,” I always thought his face-mask resembled Captain Radl, a Nazi bad guy from an episode of “Wonder Woman” (played by actor John Saxon.)

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Well, guess what? I did some research and the doll WAS modeled after John Saxon! There was an episode of T6MDM called “Day Of The Robot” in which Saxon plays a scientist who is kidnapped and replaced with a robot. This episode is unrelated to the official “Fembot” episodes/event I talk about on the podcast (officially titled “Kill Oscar"). In fact, Saxon’s episode pre-dates the Fembots by 2-1/2 years. WHO KNEW!?! Thanks, Internet!! (Saxon did make a second appearance on T6MDM, but as a different character.)

Here a GREAT blog with photos and other info.

I don’t know whatever happened to MY Maskatron doll, but I found the Steve Austin face tucked away somewhere many years later. So I made it into a Christmas ornament, and now 40+ years later, I hang it on my tree every year. :-)

Favorite Toy Honorable Mention: Hugo, Man Of A Thousand Faces

A friend posted this to FB 2 years ago and my brain EXPLODED. I had forgotten all about this! Apparently, you can’t find the commercial for Hugo anywhere on the interwebs, but he was a creepy bald, hairless doll that could be dressed up and disguised using various provided wigs, glasses, and prosthetics. (Do we see a pattern evolving here for the future actor with Maskatron and his changeable faces and now this…?!)


024 S2E11 "Sex Symbol" with Angie Sardiña

Me and Angie at a place where we work!

Me and Angie at a place where we work!

Extras Available Exclusively At FaceTheFactsPod.com!

FOLLOW UP: I speculated that Tony Orlando was Italian… he was, in fact, born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis on April 3, 1944, the son of a Greek father and a Puerto Rican mother. So, not Italian, but still a hairy guy. LOL

in his heyday in the 1970s

in his heyday in the 1970s

on the “Tony Orlando And Dawn” variety show

on the “Tony Orlando And Dawn” variety show

more recently

more recently

What do we think? If Blair’s older-than-I’m-comfortable-with escort at the Eastland Mixer isn’t Tony Orlando…

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…could it be Ron Jeremy?

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I realized I was confused over the abbreviations of various theatre education programs, so for my own clarification, and maybe some others:

Angie attended AADA, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts…

Not to be confused with AMDA, which is The American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

The more you know … *star whoosh*

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While I was researching and hunting down Angie’s favorite Chef Boyardee commercials, I was reminded that there WAS a slogan/jingle in the 1980s: “Thank Goodness For Chef Boyardee.”

This is the specific commercial Angie was remembering with the actor’s face dissolving to the image on the label:

And here is how you can feed a family of 4 for three bucks:

Holly Gagnier!

as “Home Run” Helen on The Facts Of Life (1981)…

as “Home Run” Helen on The Facts Of Life (1981)…

…and as bitchy Natalie in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (1985). Thanks to my friend Todd-Michael, who alerted me of this fact. And who then ended our friendship when I said I had actually never seen this film.

…and as bitchy Natalie in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (1985). Thanks to my friend Todd-Michael, who alerted me of this fact. And who then ended our friendship when I said I had actually never seen this film.

Miss Angie / Miss Vanjie

If you don’t understand why I kept saying “Miss Angie…” it is a reference to Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, who was eliminated on the first episode of Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in March of 2018. Her exit went viral on the Internet as she oddly called out her own name while making her exit. I like this version of the clip which includes Michelle Visage trying to crack up RuPaul, and RuPaul telling her to stop because he was about to pop his facelift tapes off. LOL