All I Want For Christmas Is Tootie (and Nightmare Fuel)

My friend Justin gave me this for Christmas. A Tootie Ramsey OFFICIAL LIMITED EDITION ACTION FIGURE… ! It has credits: A Consultant, THREE sculptors, and a Seamstress.

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I checked to see if the others were as horrific, and YUP. (No Natalie doll, only Blair, Jo, and Tootie.)

Blair, with the jawline of Rocky Dennis.

Blair, with the jawline of Rocky Dennis.

Jo. Have I taken crazy pills!?! Has Jo EVER had RED HAIR!?! Has Nancy McKeon ever had RED HAIR!!?!?!?

Jo. Have I taken crazy pills!?! Has Jo EVER had RED HAIR!?! Has Nancy McKeon ever had RED HAIR!!?!?!?

011 - S1E11 "Running" with Kevin Kriegel

Kevin loves decorating for Christmas. A lot. As in A LOT of decorations.

Kevin loves decorating for Christmas. A lot. As in A LOT of decorations.


At Sleuths with an early incarnation of Kevin’s alter ego, Mitzi Morris

At Sleuths with an early incarnation of Kevin’s alter ego, Mitzi Morris

Mitzi Morris in “Dazzled To Death” at the 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival.


@ Sleuths… I have no idea what we were dressing for here.

@ Sleuths… I have no idea what we were dressing for here.


“Bubble Gum Party,” Orlando Fringe Festival 2015. (with Summer Aiello & Sarah French)

“Bubble Gum Party,” Orlando Fringe Festival 2015. (with Summer Aiello & Sarah French)


Kevin and his husband Brian at Christmas. Yes, they are THAT gay.

Kevin and his husband Brian at Christmas. Yes, they are THAT gay.

010 - S1E10 "Adoption" with Meghan Moroney

Moroney & Almeida: Separated At Birth?

Moroney & Almeida: Separated At Birth?



Meghan in “Love At Sea” on The Hallmark Channel

Meghan in “Love At Sea” on The Hallmark Channel


Listen to Meghan talk about “Twin Peaks” with our friend Brett Waldon  on his podcast ! (Brett was my guest in Episode 006)

Listen to Meghan talk about “Twin Peaks” with our friend Brett Waldon on his podcast! (Brett was my guest in Episode 006)


I did some research and was reminded that Blair’s father David Warner appeared on 5 episodes of the show throughout the series. He was played by English actor Nicolas Coster, best known for his work on daytime dramas as well as Buck Rogers and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I did some research and was reminded that Blair’s father David Warner appeared on 5 episodes of the show throughout the series. He was played by English actor Nicolas Coster, best known for his work on daytime dramas as well as Buck Rogers and Star Trek: The Next Generation.


I incorrectly said that Norman Jewison played Natalie’s father. Norman Jewison is the Hollywood director who made such films as “In The Heat Of The Night,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and (one of my all-time favorites) “Moonstruck.”

I incorrectly said that Norman Jewison played Natalie’s father. Norman Jewison is the Hollywood director who made such films as “In The Heat Of The Night,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and (one of my all-time favorites) “Moonstruck.”

This is actor Norman BURTON, whom we meet as Natalie’s father in S3 E17 “The Affair.” Norman is best known to TV audiences and homosexuals as Joe Atkinson, Lynda Carter’s boss on Seasons 2 and 3 of “Wonder Woman.”

This is actor Norman BURTON, whom we meet as Natalie’s father in S3 E17 “The Affair.” Norman is best known to TV audiences and homosexuals as Joe Atkinson, Lynda Carter’s boss on Seasons 2 and 3 of “Wonder Woman.”


About That Poem: I’m sure it ran in newspapers at various times since its initial publication, so Mrs. Garrett’s “source” isn’t completely implausible. Once again, my friend Bob, whom I believe has earned the official title of Unpaid Volunteer Archivist & Researcher, decided to do some digging on his own. He tracked down the poem’s origin. It is from the April 5, 1952 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. And, to our surprise, it is just a random thing stuck in the middle of a page with a completely different story. ?!?!? I mean, I’m glad that it was published… And whoever Fleur Conkling Heyliger is (more power to you for that name), thank you for these words, which I as an adopted child find very touching. :-) I can only find one other poem called “Clouds” by her on the interwebs. (Is FCH a pen name? Write to me if you know any more about her. I’m assuming it’s a she because Fleur is the French word for Flower.)

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Every year some friends throw a “Crap For Christmas” party where we all unload something we already own in a white-elephant-style gift exchange. A couple years back I received a gift bag with some random decorative items, statues, candles, and THIS PICTURE FRAME. It had a picture of parents and a baby in it. I decided to give it my own personal spin:

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And lastly, OF COURSE THERE IS ALREADY FACTS OF LIFE FAN FICTION. (Because Internet.) DISCLAIMER: I have read very, very little of this. I just felt the need to share. In case my podcast doesn’t waste enough of your time already.


009 - S1E9 "Flash Flood" with Paul Padilla


Paul ‘n Me. That’s the title card for the show in the background. I tried to get artsy and clearly it didn’t work.

Paul ‘n Me. That’s the title card for the show in the background. I tried to get artsy and clearly it didn’t work.


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View the original episode here: The Facts Of Life S1E9 Flash Flood


“Much Happiness!” - Paul’s autographed photo of Mindy Cohn!

“Much Happiness!” - Paul’s autographed photo of Mindy Cohn!


Bob, our Unpaid Director Of Research, did a little digging and GUESS WHAT? There IS a flooding problem in Peekskill, New York. According to page 19 of this document from 2007:

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WHO KNEW?!?


And more importantly, THERE IS A DAM!! Apparently, it had some problems back in 1981. So, this episode may have been quite prophetic indeed. And very uncharacteristically, it seems the writers actually knew something and/or did some research.

Which then leads me to ask… if this is actually a ‘thing’ for Peekskill… why do we never hear about any severe rain or dam issues ever again on “The Facts Of Life” in the subsequent 8 seasons?

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Lisa Whelchel’s über-80s-sounding Christian Album. According to her Wikipedia page,

“In 1984, Whelchel released a Christian pop album entitled All Because of You. The album reached No. 17 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian music charts. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance and was recognized as the writer of the title song, "All Because of You". Among the songs featured on the album were "All Because of You", "Just Obey", "Cover Me Lord", and "Good Girl". She did not record a second album.”

(Editor’s Note: The feathering of her hair in the album cover photo is on-point AF.)

008 - S1E8 "The Facts Of Love" with Alexander Mrazek

Me with Alex!

Me with Alex!


View the original episode here: The Facts Of Life S1E8 The Facts Of Love


performing our Fringe show “Eunice & Ernie’s Story Time For Grown-Ups” at the 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival (David in drag)

performing our Fringe show “Eunice & Ernie’s Story Time For Grown-Ups” at the 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival (David in drag)


performing together recently at  Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre  (Alex in drag)

performing together recently at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre (Alex in drag)


Look who is back in this episode! Delivery Boy Steve! YUMMMMM!!!

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The (entire!) John Schneider TV movie where he somehow renovates a house while mostly wearing a towel…


Here is a Rusty Warren party record from 1960. (The bit I reference is around 10:45.) Her humor is a great example of sex being comedically referred to as a nebulous “it” (not unlike this particular FOL episode). There is a routine of hers on a different album where she talks about how young girls are introduced to sexuality by their mothers sticking to a script of “DON’T DO IT! No matter what, DON’T DO IT!” and by the time a woman reaches her wedding day, the honeymoon car drives away, and the mother shouts, “IT’S OK! YOU CAN DO IT NOW!” And the daughter shouts back, “BUT YOU NEVER TOLD ME WHAT IT WAS!” LOL On this album, “The Poon-Tang Song” at 13:15 is one of my favorites.


That bit reminds me of a Joan Rivers routine from 1969, also about.. THE FACTS OF LIFE!! (starts @ 1:18)


Alex mentioned he loves the cheesy theme song footage from classic sitcoms. I do too! Here are two of my favorites: A Lord-Of-The-Rings sitcom bit from SNL (with Elijah Wood and Chris Kattan)… and the granddaddy of all sitcom theme spoofs, that phenomenon that was all the everythings for 5 minutes 4 years ago: “Too Many Cooks.”


I own this vintage Weltron 8-track player, prominently displayed in my office where I record many of my podcasts. This is relevant because…

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…Alex needed to learn about 8-track tapes,

A good explanation for those who like a more ‘visual’ approach (starts @ about 2:30):


Cut For Time: Alex talks about his favorite TV shows:

007 - S1E7 "Dieting" with Mark Baratelli

Baratelli & Almeida.

Baratelli & Almeida.


View the original episode here: The Facts Of Life S1E7 Dieting


Promo shot for Mark’s “Judy Garland” show(s) at The Orlando Fringe Festival

Promo shot for Mark’s “Judy Garland” show(s) at The Orlando Fringe Festival


David and Mark agree: Actor Greg Bradford as Steve the delivery guy is SUPER HOT. Check him out below squaring off against a young unknown Patrick Swayze in “SkateTown U.S.A.” He also appeared in the movie “Zapped!” with Scott Baio and Willie Aames (trailer below, he is quickly glimpsed between 0:45 - 0:49). Here is  a tumblr blog about him  (sadly no nudes of him, but the blog is NSFW).

David and Mark agree: Actor Greg Bradford as Steve the delivery guy is SUPER HOT. Check him out below squaring off against a young unknown Patrick Swayze in “SkateTown U.S.A.” He also appeared in the movie “Zapped!” with Scott Baio and Willie Aames (trailer below, he is quickly glimpsed between 0:45 - 0:49). Here is a tumblr blog about him (sadly no nudes of him, but the blog is NSFW).



Does Scott Dunbar grow to be Mr. Big from “Sex And The City?”

Does Scott Dunbar grow to be Mr. Big from “Sex And The City?”


Nancy McKeon played Inspector Jinny Exstead on “The Division” from 2001-2004. Somebody compiled a 31 minute video of ‘favorite moments.’ I’ve only skimmed this, but it looks pretty good for a Lifetime series. Her shooting schedule for this show is what prevented her from appearing in “The Facts Of Life Reunion” in 2001; After this show ended, she took time away from acting to raise her family. Her return to television happened just last month on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”


MORE EXTRAS!!

David teaches Mark Baratelli what a backdoor pilot is. (Sadly it doesn’t have to do with this guy:)

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David also gets really obsessive-geeky about The Three Stooges:

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Video for Jump ‘N The Saddle Band’s surprise 1983 pop hit “The Curly Shuffle:”


Due to Tootie’s careless handling of Mr. Bradley’s Chinese food, David is reminded of this:

“It’s Not Chicken Fingers, Tootie!”

“It’s Not Chicken Fingers, Tootie!”

Goodbye, Miss Mahoney

After 5 episodes, Jenny O’Hara (and her poodle perm) is dismissed from the cast, and we never see or hear from Miss Emily Mahoney ever again. But with 159 acting credits to date on her IMDb page, Ms. O’Hara seems to have been working pretty steadily post-”Facts.”

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And clearly these publicity pics were taken post-Mahoney. Hang in there, kids, Season 2 is coming!

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004 - S1E4 "IQ" with Mike Marinaccio

Mike Marinaccio with his head looking abnormally tiny, and my head looking unabnormally extra large.

Mike Marinaccio with his head looking abnormally tiny, and my head looking unabnormally extra large.

Um… WTF? I incorrectly state that Facts Of Life was on for 8 years. Duh. I know it was 9. Brain fart. Or, I guess “Low IQ Moment…”

SUPPLEMENTAL STUFF:

The IQ equation that I couldn’t remember during the show was this: (And I realize I learned this stuff in junior high school, so it is very likely as outdated as the info on this episode.)

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Here is an interesting episode of SciShow Psych giving further insight into IQ scores. I like that he refers to it as “a useful shorthand.” That your IQ can change is new information, I was taught that scores were pretty static… and that was OK because it measures potential intelligence, not actual intelligence.

And for your (racist) entertainment, here is Al Jolson performing “Toot Toot Tootsie” in 1927’s The Jazz Singer. (Thankfully not in blackface.)