If that's not agonizing enough, Penny and Cindy further enhanced my aching by reviving their characters for a ridiculous skit in which they played contestants trying out for a Survivor-esque show. Watching these two 50-something women, who have had their share of visible and mediocre plastic surgery, trying to do physical comedy like they did at 20-something caused my pain to become so intense, I thought my appendix was going to burst. From Hottie to Captain Bible
I didn't even have time to recover before they aired Your Favorite Stars Then & Now. At this point I fell to my knees and pleaded with (insert your favorite deity here) not to show any of the hunks I used to drool over when I was a teen. My prayers were ignored, for no sooner did I say my "amen," then a hefty Willie Aames appeared on screen. The curly-topped hottie from Eight Is Enough is now a short-haired, semi-flabby guy who still considers himself an actor. He plays the interactive star Captain Bible.
It didn't stop there. Christopher Atkins, the mop-topped, pooka bead-wearing hunk who had his way with Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon is now a crop-topped father of teenagers. Make it stop, I begged.
They showed the cast of Fame. Skinny, soulful Irene Cara is now rather voluptuous and struggling to front an unknown female band. Steve Urkel, the high-water pants oddball from Family Matters, today is known as the actor Jaleel White, in his late 20s and handsome. Tina Yothers of Family Ties is a dark-haired rock star and — gasp — Robbie Benson is gray! Oh, the humanity!
To make matters worse, showing all that not only drove home the point that I am I far, far away from my early teens and the mid-'70s, but also that I'm more than a stone's throw from the '80s. NBC is featuring the L.A. Law reunion. Former philanderer Arnie (Corbin Bernsen) is now salvaging hairs to comb over the top of his head. Harry Hamlin and Susan Dey, once television's most seductive couple, are now reuniting as lovers in middle age. Their steamy French kisses have turned to noise-making smooches.
And as one more reminder that I'm decades away from my college days — when we all gathered to watch the Huxtables on The Cosby Show — that cast will reunite in the coming weeks as well. We'll see little Rudy as a college graduate, and smart-alec Theo, played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner, as a grown man sporting dreadlocks with numerous directing and producing credits to his name. Phylicia Rashad has gone from fertile Claire to menopausal ex-Mrs. Rashad.
Certainly I must glean something good from this walk down memory lane, but I'm not sure what. I suppose I could be happy that these talented actors of yore are getting work again. Instead, though, I have an overwhelming feeling that I need to start thinking about taking a supplement to achieve regularity.
It's awfully selfish, I know, but if I had my druthers, I'd like them to have reunion shows of The Golden Girls and Murder, She Wrote. From what I can remember, they were already old to begin with.
Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.