Great Moments in Television

As an antidote to all the tragedy we’d been seeing, we invited some friends over Friday night to watch a movie, ‘The Dish’. It’s a really nice movie, and I recommend it. It was also topical because it dealt with the Moon Landing and efforts to allow people to watch it.

So we were talking - what moments since then have brought people together around the TV? Well there were obvious ones, but they were largely negative: the WTC attack, Columbine, the Gulf War, etc.

We only came up with two positive ones since 1969: The fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Royal Wedding. Are there any other positive moments we’re overlooking where huge number people peoples watched it unfold on TV?

Last year’s election?
The Olympics.
The 1976 4th of July Celebration in New York.
New Year’s Eve from New York.

All the first manned rocket launches of our space program.

The episode of “The Outer Limits” titled The Man With the Glass Hand by Phillip K. Dick (IIRC) was some of the finest television science fiction ever done. “The Outer Limits” had a budget of $100,000 per show (a modern million dollars), that’s per episode, back in the mid-1960’s. They did a lot to make themselves proud.

Seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and barely understanding that music just wasn’t ever going to be the same any more.

Some of the half-hour Hitchcock shows were better than a lot of two hour movies. Seeing almost every one of Hollywood’s royalty clawing their way up on his program remains a hoot to this day.

The occasional “Perry Mason” could be pretty evocative with his near-but-not-quite-pompous courtroom delivery always striking for justice while the adoring (and rather fetching) Della Street looked on ever so admiringly.

Just use my first and third entries after all.

The big round-the-world millenium celebration.

Zenster – that’s Harlan Ellison, not Phillip K. Dick. You don’t want to make Harlan mad at you. :wink:

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

The Challenger Disaster
Stone Cold Steve Austin joining :eek: Vince McMahon

Oooo… One more: Kirk and Uhura kiss. That was good TV

Another thing, zenster: the title is Demon with a Glass Hand. Sorry to be correcting you so much, it was indeed a great episode.

THAT was positive??

Many sports moments were positive and witnessed by large numbers of viewers. Examples:

Kentucky vs. UCLA Basketball - Final second shot in 3rd overtime by Christian Laettner

Tiger Woods winning his first Major Tournament…the US Open, IIRC, can’t remember year…1995?

St. Louis Rams vs. Tennesse Titans SuperBowl - One of the greatest and most exciting SuperBowl GAMES ever. Won on a last second play.

We got away from the OP’s request of positive moments into general great moments – there has been a lot of great coverage of not so great events.

For positive, I’ve got a few:

The ultimate release of the mainly American hostages from a hijacked TWA airliner in the summer of 1985. One Navy Seal was killed, Robert Dean Steatham, but all of the other hostages were released mostly unharmed. Thanks to the coverage of the then-fledgling CNN, I will never forget Steatham’s name.

The rescue of Baby Jessica, who fell down a backyard well in Texas.

The Live Aid concerts that same summer, brought to us in the states by the also fledgling MTV. Twenty hours of live, bi-continental music coverage; such an event had never been undertaken nor televised up to that point.

The return of the US to space after the Challenger disaster. We were all on pins and needles until that shuttle was up and away, and I think everyone watching breathed a simultaneous sigh of relief, including Tom Brokaw, who said something to the effect of “I’ve never held my breath for quite so long.”

Televised coverage of Reagan’s 1986 (I think) speech from Germany which included the admonition: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!” Most Americans agreed that the Berlin Wall should come down, whether they agreed with Reagan’s politics or not. His demand was impassioned, emphatic and absolutely riveting.

“I knew Jack Kennedy, and sir, let me tell you, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” Now, the positivity of that statement may be open to debate, but I count it as a good moment because it remains one of the single most honest and forthright statements ever made by a candidate for national office.

At the 1996 Summer Olympics there were two moments, first when Muhammed Ali, clearly debilitated of body but resolute of spirit, lit the torch in the stadium. The second was Keri Strug’s triumphant vault, performed while injured and clearly in pain.

The 1980 Winter Games gave us the incomparable moment that the US Hockey Team won the Gold. I can still hear the announced screaming, elatedly, “USA wins! USA wins!”

All three exemplify everything good about sport, never giving up, exceling through seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, and giving your all for the glory of the team and, in the case of the Olympics, the country. Good stuff, that.