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It Happened One Year

History Podcasts

A fun and freewheeling look at the many events big and small, famed and forgotten from a single calendar year


United States


A fun and freewheeling look at the many events big and small, famed and forgotten from a single calendar year



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Big Bucks, No Whammies

Serial get-rich-quick fanatic Michael Larson was almost out of schemes to earn the elusive buck. Bills piling up, kids needing school clothes, ice cream truck season ending - obstacles were plentiful. So when he filled the living room with a dozen television sets to allow the universe to deliver his next great idea for success, the family was understandably skeptical. But the events that followed would go down in television history, as Larson hopped a bus to Los Angeles and tackled the newest game show sensation - Press Your Luck... It Happened One Year presents its fourth fully scripted, full cast episode, covering the incredible story of Larson and family, the nail-biting recording session for the famed contest, and its manic aftermath. Come along and commemorate the fortieth anniversary of this historic event, in vintage IHOY style! Written by Nick Perfetto Directed by Joe Cetta Cast Teresa Harrington - Alex Ferrer Michael Larson - Nick Perfetto Bill Carruthers - David Munchak Bobbi Richmond - Lana Cooper Marge Brockman - Sarah Agent Davis - Becky Schmidt Agent Richie - Joe Jim - Dave Gardon Judy - Clare Kalemba Peter Tomarken - Brett Benge Darlene - Lauren Morgan Paul - Jon Deiner Howard E. Cheetum - John Kozempel Pam - Kristen Gaydos Phil - Kevin Donlin Nancy - Sara Stefanski Adrienne - Sarah Dichkewich Ed Jenkins - Duke Tumbleweed Janie Lester - Eileen Linnabery Jennifer - Abigail Perfetto Julie - Susie Cetta Eugene - Danielle Harris Additional Voices - Brack Reed, Jerron DJ Frankie Wango - Scott Fata


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1984 Episode 23 - Baby the Parrot and Sandy the Lobster

1984 wasn't just the Presidential election and the Olympics and bustin' ghosts - there were also amazing tales of crimefighting parrots and the raffle for a century-old lobster, where nothing turns out the way you'd expect! This landmark It Happened One Year episode sees Sarah & Joe finally tackle the existence of God, while batting around some of the greatest animal stories in podcast history. And afterward - stick around for a preview of the new scripted episode - Big Bucks, No Whammies - coming June 8th!


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1984 Episode 22 - Ghostbusters: The Franchise That Won't Die

What is left to say about Ghostbusters that hasn't already been said? Sarah & Joe take a swing at it in this spooky It Happened One Year entry! They cover their personal relationships with the property in the 1980s, the reemergence of the franchise in the past decade, and how it compares to other film series where the first film was a big commercial and critical success, and then just coasted forever after. Along the way they're talking casting in the original film, the different versions of that script, how the 2016 reboot could've worked better, what other '80s films benefited from its huge success, and much more! Then - stick around to the end for a preview of the new scripted episode - Big Bucks, No Whammies - coming June 8th!


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Coming Soon - Big Bucks, No Whammies!

Michael Larson was an out-of-work ice cream truck driver, struggling to make ends meet for his young family (and multiple ex-wives) in Lebanon, Ohio. His penchant for get-rich-quick schemes caused few to take him seriously, and so when he announced he was going on a game show, no one thought much of it. But his subsequent run on CBS's Press Your Luck in 1984 would go down in television history. It Happened One Year presents its fourth fully scripted audio dramedy, this time written by great friend of the show Nick Perfetto, and featuring dozens of performers from the Mighty IHOY Players! Listen to the trailer now, and tune back in for the whole shebang on June 8th!


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1984 Episode 21 - Sisters are Doing It For the First Time!

Strap in, folks! It Happened One Year commemorates recording on International Women's Day with tales of exploration, politics, murder, and music, with some truly unhinged interludes along the way! Listen as Sarah & Joe wander off into the pointlessness of space walks! Gasp at Sarah's suggested names for this episode, and whether this sets feminism back decades in the doing! Marvel at the hosts' high school superlatives! Experience possibly the greatest song ever written about one's own grandfather being poisoned!


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In the Wake of O.J. Simpson and 1994

The most unexpected of bonus episodes arrives here in the midst of season three, as It Happened One Year harkens back to its early days in the form of finally discussing murderer and Heisman winner O.J. Simpson! Despite putting out shows dealing with Kato Kaelin, F. Lee Bailey, Naked Gun 33 1/3, and Al Cowlings (the inaugural episode of the entire show), Sarah & Joe never solely concentrated on the villain at the center of the whole event, and on the occasion of his death it felt high time to do just that. And boy does it get deep - not just opinions about the trial and the verdict, but America '94 versus America today, the early days of the show and the pandemic, the utter failure of the justice system then and now, cancel culture, the Me Too era, redemption, vengeance, Rodney King, George Floyd, Marcia Clark's hairstyles, the Dancing Itos, and more.


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1984 Episode 20 - Love & Dissolution

It's time for another round of everyone's favorite alcove in the It Happened One Year complex of topics - The Love Corner! Sarah & Joe run down the list of marriages and divorces from 1984, from the titans of politics to the seedy philanderers of Tinseltown, with much classic digressing along the way. Hear tales of the hosts encountering many of today's subjects in the various movie theaters, comedy clubs, and street corners they frequent! Listen as they cannot recall which band sang what song and debate who exactly DeBarge is! Witness cameos from the likes of G.E. Smith, Pierre Trudeau, Mary Poppins, Apollo Creed, Paul Thomas Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, UHF, and many more! Love goes where my rosemary grows this week on the big show!


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1984 Episode 19 - All of Me, the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin/Carl Reiner Classic

The fourth and final pairing of Steve Martin and Carl Reiner created arguably their best movie, in the form of 1984's All of Me, and It Happened One Year is there to discuss! Sarah & Joe breakdown their memories of the star's films, why this movie may not be resonating down through the ages like some of their other projects, the somewhat odd circumstances of seeing both of these legends in person, and much more, including cameos from show favorite Speed, making friends on the internet, The X-Files, Louise Fletcher's parents, and Sarah forgetting how we typically wrap up an episode.


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1984 Episode 18 - Theoretically, There Could Be Anything Out There

In the midst of all the pop culture items crowding the subject year, the hosts managed to dust off the rarely-used science corner and see what - theoretically - was taking place in outer space in 1984! Two main topics comprise most of Sarah & Joe's stumbling through the cosmos - the Nemesis Star/Death Star theory and the SETI project, both concocted to take wild swings at what might be going on in the extraterrestrial plain!


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1984 Episode 17 - The Timeless Question: Who's the Boss?

The Ballad of Tony & Angela, or is it The Odd Couple meets The Brady Bunch meets the horniest of Golden Girls? ABC's long-running family sitcom Who's the Boss? checks all these boxes, and Sarah and Joe dig in deep to discuss the many facets of this until-recently difficult to watch show! Along the way are comparisons to other family fare of the era, how it stacks up against other Tony Danza works, questions about Jonathan Bower's purpose in things, why Samantha was the preeminent '80s teen sitcom figure, Tony Micelli's ability to master all sporting contests, and the two (count 'em!) awards the show won during its lengthy run. There is more to life than what you're living, this week on It Happened One Year!


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1984 Episode 16 - The Macintosh Apple Super Bowl Commercial

"You'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984!" With this is awkward-ass phrase, the era of Super Bowl commercials fully began, and home computers took over the world. Sarah & Joe cover the impact of this short Ridley Scott directed spot, take a trip down internet-laden memory lane, and go over some of their favorite Super Bowl commercials - with many cameos from Budweiser, McDonald's, Groundhog Day, wrestlers, Mean Joe Greene, David Letterman, and the walking horror that was Puppy Monkey Baby.


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1984 Episode 15 - The Hail Flutie

Just in time for the Super Bowl, It Happened One Year is heading back to the gridiron to talk a little football! Sarah & Joe very quickly discuss the Super Bowls surrounding 1984 - both blowouts - before transitioning into rare collegiate sports talk in the form of Heisman Trophy winner and future Buffalo Bills great Doug Flutie! The Boston College legend's Hail Mary to defeat Miami is possibly the most famous play in college football history, and one of the defining moments of '80s sports, and it leads into the larger discussion of Flutie's pro career - with stops along the way in Chicago, Calgary, Edmonton, Buffalo, San Diego, and many more locations! Cameos abound from the likes of Frank Thomas, Tom Brady, Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham, Duke Ellington, the Cameo website, Pokemon Go, and political debate icon Ken Bone. Then the hosts look back at their predictions for the current NFL season from August - both in an overall sense and in a local Chicago Bears way - and take some swings at guessing this year's championship game.


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1984 Episode 14 - Hulk Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik for the WWF Title!

An obvious pick by Sarah for topics - when Hulk Hogan fully emerged as a huge pop culture icon in the decade at Madison Square Garden in January of 1984! Just in time for this year's Royal Rumble, It Happened One Year finally enters the wrestling arena and talks a little leg-dropping and camel-clutching! Sarah & Joe break down the lives and careers of Hogan and the Iron Sheik, their glancing and not-so-glancing personal interactions with pro wrestling over the years, and discuss whether 1998's Brawl For All was the worst thing to ever happen in the history of sports. Along the way are cameos from Muppets From Space, the Gawker trial, Marvel Comics, the Shah of Iran, Thunderlips, and many more!


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Jingle Hell: The Last Shopping Day Before Christmas

It's Christmas Eve 1984, and the battle scars from the prior year's Cabbage Patch carnage still sting for employees and customers alike. The utter mayhem of '83 lives in legend at the Viewmont Mall in Scranton, PA, and everyone is anxious to avoid a repeat this holiday season. Surely, it can't get that bloodthirsty, that vicious, that diabolical again, can it? What fresh hell awaits the mall denizens of 1984? Jingle Hell, that's what! It Happened One Year presents its third fully scripted, full cast episode, chronicling the comic carnage that befalls the mall's various toy store staff, mall security guards, local teens, and families trying to get a picture with a very inebriated St. Nick. Carve up the roast beast and call in the kids smoking in the garage - the newest IHOY gift for humanity has arrived, just in time for Christmas! Written by Lana Cooper Directed by Joe Cetta Cast Doug - Bill Randall Robin - Shannon Hosey Pete/Mike 'Burnout' Burns - David Munchak Al - The Batman Jennifer - Sarah Chrissy/Corey - Lana Cooper Grandma Joanie - Nick Perfetto Matt 'The Mall Rat' Rattanski - Joe Greg - Dane Bower Lisa - Yams McChuri Bridget - Angie Buonincontro Mall Santa/Billy - Bear Savo Carol - Jennifer Nack Phil the Photographer Elf - John Kozempel Bob McCann - Brent Hutchins Julie - Alex Ferrer Sam - Duke Tumbleweed The Narrator - Brack Reed Mall Announcer - Jon Deiner Additional Voices - Dave Gardon, Susie Cetta


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1984 Episode 12 - Mr. T & Emmanuel Lewis/Scrooge’s Rock ’N’ Roll Christmas

Upon the discovery of their existence, It Happened One Year had no choice but to reconvene before the holiday and discuss the brain-melting lunacy of 1984's top TV holiday specials - Mr. T & Emmanuel Lewis in A Christmas Dream and Scrooge's Rock 'N' Roll Christmas starring Jack Elam. Sarah & Joe's wildly different opinions about this yuletide fare serve as a backdrop to an episode clearly recorded on the fly, whenever a spare moment could be grabbed, to some unconventional IHOY effect.


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1984 Episode 11 - The Formidable George C. Scott A Christmas Carol

Jacob Marley was dead to begin with (he always is!) and It Happened One Year is there to pick up the slack, in what was originally conceived as the show's holiday episode, before the hosts got carried away and kept recording Christmassy things (tune in next week!). Herein, Sarah & Joe get into all things Cratchit in order to discuss the acclaimed 1984 movie version of A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott, Frank Finlay, David Warner, and Susannah York. This opens up the larger conversation of best film Scrooges, best family versions, best musical versions, best TV versions, and much, much more. It's a Dickens-ophile's dream! Rising up in the debate are the likes of Alastair Sim, the Muppets, Reginald Owen, Albert Finney, Mr. Magoo, Basil Rathbone, Bill Murray, Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey, Henry Winkler, and many more! Then - after all the "God Bless Us, Everyones" have been tossed around like Christmas crackers - the hosts perform that most IHOY of rituals - playing a trivia game for the listeners. Enjoy!


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Coming Soon - Jingle Hell: The Last Shopping Day Before Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve 1984 at the Viewmont Mall, and tensions are running high. Employees cower in fear of the shopping onslaught ahead. Customers prepare to do battle for the season's coveted gifts. And children hope to get on Santa's lap with last minute pleas to the big guy. But nothing goes as planned. It Happened One Year presents its third fully scripted, madcap episode, this time written by great friend of the show Lana Cooper and featuring a cast of dozens! Listen to the new trailer now and come back for the big show on December 20th!


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1984 Episode 10 - The Material Girl Arrives

This Thanksgiving, it is best to remember what we truly have to be thankful for - '80s pop music and the advent of music videos. With the inaugural VMA Awards on MTV in September and the November release of her landmark second album Like a Virgin, Madonna fully took the world by storm in 1984 and staked her claim as THE star of the decade, and It Happened One Year is there! Sarah & Joe break down their earliest memories of the songs and the videos, the movies and the mania, and try to get in the 1984 mindset of what it possibly must've been like experiencing that summer/fall circa Madonna.


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1984 Episode 9 - Andy Kaufman and Matthew Perry

The somber topic of celebrity death leads down an avenue to discuss television comedy in this straight-from-the-headlines It Happened One Year. Andy Kaufman's 1984 death (or grand hoax) leads Sarah & Joe to discuss his career, from Saturday Night Live to Taxi to wrestling, before pivoting into the seemingly evergreen popularity of Friends and the shocking loss of Matthew Perry. How and why sitcoms can remain relevant and even grow in fame decades after they air is discussed, along with the impact of celebrity deaths, why this feels so decidedly different, and the general places Taxi and Friends hold in the eternal television landscape.


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1984 Episode 8 - ABC’s November 3rd TV Lineup - T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, and more!

As has become a yearly tradition, It Happened One Year is taking a look at a single night of programming from the topic's television season, and so it begins with ABC's November 3rd shows! T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, and the long forgotten Finder of Lost Loves comprised Saturday night entertainment on the Alphabet Network, and Sarah & Joe are there! Listen as they question strange props, guest casting, theme songs, hairdos, Gavin MacLeod's career decisions, Aaron Spelling's thematic empire, Heather Thomas' acting instincts, who the hell Connie Sellecca is, why anyone knows Charo's name, and much much more!