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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 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.


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.


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!


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


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.


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!