My80sTV, the fantastic inventory of over 150,000 TV clips from the ‘70s through aughts has recently introduced a whole new decade, the ‘60s, with over 21,500 clips on over 19,000 channels. Weird era! Let’s poke around…
Like My70sTV, My80sTV, My90sTV, and My2000sTV before it, My60sTV is a website with a TV frame, a channel knob, volume, and a colour tuner. Boom. (It’s pretty clear, but here’s a guide to operating each TV set.) You can surf a decade of Walter Kronkite and confusingly glorious crap: trippy cartoons, Fred Astaire introducing a family of ribbon dancers, the curious idea of a family sending children on a plane alone, Beverly Hillbillies swinging from a chandelier, the “American Gothic” couple singing about…cornflakes. All in all, the era has over 21,500 clips.
If you feel like blowing off an hour or two, you’ll find a fascinating somewhat logic-less overview of TV’s evolution. On the ‘70s Jetsons-esque set, Dolly Parton sings “Jolene” live, and Ford pardons Nixon. In the ‘80s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles blend together with a balls-to-the-wall snowmobile ad and a Nightmare on Elm Street trailer. The ‘90s usher in Chris Rock doing a Flavour Flav impression on SNL, A Tribe Called Quest, and a 7-Up ad. The aughts bring the golden Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig cast of “SNL” and, holy hell, Lost.
You’ll never run out of content, but you can’t search it either, which makes it a brain balm in a time when toxic algorithmically selected waste has driven everyone bananas and eroded a general consensus that the earth is round.
Engineer Joey Cato told Gizmodo via email that he’d started with My80sTV out of nostalgia for the television of his childhood. The clips are crowdsourced from YouTube videos, which Cato says he independently vets, titles, and dates weekly, so that information appears in a bar below the screen. Cato hopes to add the ‘50s, at which point, the project will be complete.
Relive the droning of incessant dramatic voiceovers, crazed ballads for doll commercials, and canned laughter. A lot of crap, but within reason. Maybe Colombo comes on. Satisfying to turn on, monotonous enough to shut off and move on.