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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




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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


1984 Episode 7 - Speaker of the House Drama with Tip O’Neill and Kevin McCarthy

Back-to-back It Happened One Year politics?? You bet! Washington D.C. is providing the crazy content and IHOY is channeling it hard through 1984! Sarah & Joe look back at Tip O'Neill's epic run as Speaker in the '70s and '80s, and contrast some of the expectations for the role with how it is managed today. This naturally leads into the current House having no Speaker, the tumultuous mess that unfolded to bring us here, and what might possibly happen next. Along the way, we've got cameos from Nancy Pelosi, Monsieur Thenardier, Norm Petersen, AOC, Matt Gaetz, Frederick Muhlenberg, and Paul Ryan.


1984 Episode 6 - Vanessa Williams. Lauren Boebert, and the History of Sexy, Sexy Scandals

How well all the covered topics relate to one another is debatable in this lustiest of episodes from It Happened One Year! Ostensibly here to discuss the shameful handling Miss America Vanessa Williams received in 1984 over the publishing of old nude photos, Sarah & Joe pivot into the many and varied scandals enveloping politicians and celebrities thanks to their uncontained urges - with cameos along the way from everyone from Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and Bill Clinton to Rob Lowe, Hugh Grant, and the many notable men who impregnated their nannies - before landing at the real reason for this episode, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert's recent attendance at a production of Beetlejuice: The Musical. This one is decidedly not family friendly, despite all the Harry Belafonte musical fun!


1984 Episode 5 - Splash! The Tom Hanks-John Candy Mermaid Classic!

So when she's on land, she just HAS legs?? This is the main conundrum tackled in It Happened One Year's most riparian of episodes - a discussion of Ron Howard's Oscar nominated mermaid comedy Splash! Sarah & Joe take up the task of deducing mermaid lore on film (if there is any) and compare that to the freewheeling creativity on display. Along the way they dive into the bizarro made-for-TV sequel, Splash Too!, the mirrored plot elements of Free Willy and that one episode of The Boys, weathering cameos from the likes of Jason James Richter, Barbenheimer, Mel Brooks, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Amy Yasbeck, Barney Martin, and a very brief impression of Carla's son Anthony on Cheers.


1984 Episode 4 - Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

Unexpected twists and turns abound in what nominally is an It Happened One Year dedicated to the long-running syndicated phenomenon that was Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, premiering in 1984! Sarah & Joe discuss their foggy memories of the show and how that compares to a modern rewatch, then sidetrack wildly into why these sort of shows are popular, modern reality television that sprung from this concept, reality TV figures who most resemble Robin Leach today, and the worst cities they've ever visited, for some reason. It makes sense in real time!


1984 Episode 3 - The Death of Liberty (Gerald Ford’s Dog) and Goodbye Djakarta (Jim)

Not ones to shy away from a good eulogy, It Happened One Year makes a rare foray into the animal kingdom, by way of commemorating the lives of some trailblazing creatures! From American "monkeynaut" Miss Baker to Kansas zoo orangutan legend Djakarta Jim to Liberty and the many critters frequently spotted on the White House lawn, Sarah and Joe dig deep to find the bones buried in these tales of furry friends lost in 1984.


1984 Episode 2 - The Midnight Ride of the Baltimore Colts, plus Payton Beats Brown!

Football is upon us once again, and It Happened One Year is getting flagged for excessive celebration, as per usual! Sarah & Joe make their yearly predictions for 2023 NFL outcomes, but only after taking a look at two big events from 1984's football season - Walter Payton becoming the all-time leading rusher, and the events surrounding the Baltimore Colts hightailing it out of Maryland in the middle of the night. Along the way, there is much discussion about the Chicago Bears potentially moving to the suburbs, why the rushing record may never be broken again, how many times Sarah will go all-in predicting Buffalo to hoist the Lombardi, and how much mileage Joe can get out of correctly picking the Chiefs to win last year. It's almost time for kick-off! Get those pizza rolls cooking!


Season Three Begins! 1984 Episode 1 - Michael Jackson’s No Good, Very Bad Year

We're doing it again! It Happened One Year is back, now covering the pivotal political and pop culture period of 1984! First up, Sarah & Joe take a look at arguably the biggest star of the decade, Michael Jackson, and the many perils and pitfalls he faced in '84. The laborious Jackson 5/The Jacksons tour surrounding their latest album Victory serves as the backbone, and along the way attention is paid to the infamous Pepsi commercial that derailed the Gloved One's life, the infighting that finally ended the family band, how these events led to the New England Patriots eventually being sold, and how Michael's complicated legacy resonates in the modern day.


Coming Soon! It Happened One Year, Season Three!

You guessed it - we're doing it again! Join Sarah & Joe for a third trip into the past, looking at the events big and small, famed and forgotten from a new subject year! There'll be sports and politics! Movies and sweet jams! Cool fashions and dumb haircuts! New episodes arrive starting in August!


The One-Hundredth Episode

After twenty-six months spent taking extended looks at 1994 and 1967, It Happened One Year has finally reached its milestone 100th Episode! Hosts Sarah & Joe navigate this sort-of retrospective look at the show, by way of roping in many friends of the podcast and Baseball Humbug/Visitors to Nova Scotia veterans to hang out, play trivia games, cover overlooked corners of the subject years, and make ballsy predictions for the future! Listen as ReconCinemation hosts Jon Deiner and David Munchak breakdown the great film years of '67 & '94! Explore an alternate reality where IHOY: 1923 comes to life from Angie Buonincontro! Delve into the future pitch session for Muppet Speed, led by Nick Perfetto! Question the mechanics of rebooting The Golden Girls, recast with Spice Girls, thanks to Lana Cooper! Marvel at the brazen optimism of Bills fan and unofficial Buffalo mayor Dave Gardon, while sympathizing with the Bears related pessimism of Chicago denizens Sam McChuri and Sean McCann! It's the biggest It Happened One Year yet, closing the door on the first two seasons and signaling the way toward a mind-boggling third trip to the past, coming soon!


1967 Episode 42 - The ’67 In Memoriam Segment Season Finale!

What better to close out Season Two than with an historic, super-sized episode commemorating the dear departed of 1967! Sarah & Joe take an uncharacteristically deep dive into the many notables in film, music, sports, politics, writing, art, and society who vacated the premises in the subject year, with a list of icons including Vivien Leigh, Che Guevara, Otis Redding, Spencer Tracy, Dorothy Parker, Woody Guthrie, Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, Jayne Mansfield, the Apollo I astronauts, Rene Magritte, Jimmie Foxx, and many more! Pull up a chair and invite the neighbors over for a block party, because this is a long one, chock full of the facts and Speed references you've come to expect over IHOY's two season run!


1967 Episode 41 - The 200 Millionth American

Life may be a numbers game, but as that great American Ned Ryerson said, it's also "one big crap shoot, any-hoot." So how significant really is the fact that the 200 millionth American was born (probably) on November 20th, 1967? After an introduction by friend of the show and Visitors to Nova Scotia star Kristin Mann, Sarah & Joe dig deep into U.S. and World population, from the predictions made in '67 about where these numbers would be in 2000 and 2015, to where they might be headed in 2050, and why these guesses ended up so far off. Along the way, the hosts go into everything related to the debate, including contraception, abortion, Covid, sperm counts, obesity rates, microwave ovens, government assistance (or lack thereof) for parents and teachers, and the long soul-crushing darkness of Albuquerque, New Mexico.


1967 Episode 40 - The March on Washington to Levitate the Pentagon

Sometimes the powers that be need to know of the public's general displeasure, so we take up our signs and we march! It Happened One Year's near-miss scripted episode morphed into this Branson, Missouri recorded dissection of the great Vietnam War protest that gripped Washington D.C. and the Pentagon in October of 1967, replete with discussions of the Yippies, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and how comatose inducing Mexican drug trips brought about this historic event! Was the Pentagon really levitated off the ground? Did public opinion of the war change after this march? Was the Pentagon exorcised and demystified from that day forward? Sarah & Joe getting political can be a bit unhinged, but they manage to keep it together, talking the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968, Abbie Hoffman, Norman Mailer, Pigasus, Peter, Paul, & Mary, International Women's Day, and much more.


1967 Episode 39 - Beatles vs. Stones!

It's an epic throwdown for the ages as It Happened One Year wanders into one of the great debates in music history! Sarah & Joe don't exactly see eye-to-eye on these bands' particular outputs in 1967, but with The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request on the turntables, a heady, trippy time was bound to be had by all! After an introduction by friend of the show and Visitors to Nova Scotia star Shannon Hosey, the conversation ducks and weaves through favorite songs and albums from the bands, what The Who was up to in the Summer of Love, how the first text messages the hosts ever sent each other relate to this match-up, why The Doors have remained popular at all, who was the real king of Seattle grunge, and tries to answer the question - who best conquered this year of psychedelic music?


1967 Episode 38 - The Debut Films, Albums, and Shows!

There were a ton of newcomers to the entertainment industry in 1967, and It Happened One Year is there! After an introduction by friend of the show and ReconCinemation co-host Jon Deiner, Sarah & Joe unroll the landmark TV debuts, first albums, and inaugural feature film directing efforts coming out of '67 - covering a vast spectrum of the media universe, including The Flying Nun, The Producers, Surrealistic Pillow, Dragnet, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Who's That Knocking at My Door? and many more! Cameos abound from the likes of Gary Busey, Claude Debussy, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Melvin Van Peebles, Ken Loach, and George of the Jungle, plus lots and lots of Mel Brooks talk.


1967 Episode 37 - One Last Trip to Shag Harbour - This Time, With Facts!

In what will absolutely be the final time It Happened One Year covers the UFO sighting over Nova Scotia on October 4th, 1967, Sarah & Joe discuss the actual, known facts of the event, plus their own opinions about what this might have been. The Visitors to Nova Scotia's non-fiction percentage is guessed at, along with some random discussion of the film Women Talking and the most recent NFL season, as well as other theories and speculation that has swirled around the Shag Harbour incident in the decades since.