The 2011 TV Land Awards aired Sunday, April 17. This year's nostalgia fest was a thrilling set of cast reunions with more sweet and tearful moments than a night of saccharine Nick at Nite programming. The show opened with a bang: Liza Minnelli belting out 'New York, New York' to a packed room of enthusiastic sitcom legends.
Next up, Stevie Wonder presented the Huxtables with the Impact Award for the Cosby Show and serenaded the cast with 'Higher Ground.' The stage was packed with an almost full-cast reunion. Sadly, though not surprisingly, it was Deniseless. Trophies were handed out to Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Sabrina Le Beauf, Geoffrey Owens, a very handsome Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Raven-Symone. They're still a good looking cast! I was hoping to see Rudy's friend, Kenny, to see if he would eat the croutons in his salad! [from the third season episode 'Planning Parenthood,' which aired April 30, 1987]
The girls of Eastland earned the Pop Culture Award for The Facts of Life, which was accepted by Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn, Nancy McKeon, and Geri Jewell. Also in attendance was a relatively subdued Cloris Leachman. My favorite episode of The Facts Of Life involved a not-very-savvy Natalie returning from New York City with only the detachable straps of her purse. She didn't realize that the bulk of her handbag (with all its contents) was no longer attached to it! Typical Natalie!
Family Ties won the Fan Favorite Award, and it most certainly was a favorite of mine! The award was accepted by the entire Keaton clan (sans Andy who is no longer family-friendly viewing), including Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Michael J. Fox, Terri Pollan, Justine Bateman, Tina Yothers, and Marc Prince (Skippy!). Sadly, Nick was not present. Yo.
The 35th anniversary of Welcome Back, Kotter was, coincidentally, the recipient of the 35th Anniversary Award. Gabe Kaplin, a teary-eyed John Travolta, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, and the rest of the Sweathogs (minus Horshack, apparently) were on hand. John Travolta seemed to be having the time of his life! Even John Sebastian, the singer of the highly catchy theme song, was in the audience.
Barbara Walters looked back at the record-shattering career of Regis Philbin and bestowed the Legend Award on the dynamo. Hall and Oates got the Music Icon Award. They sang one of their fifty hits to an ecstatic crowd. While I was never a big Hall and Oates fan, it sure beats that autotuned what-have-you they call music now! Missing: John Oates' moustache.
Undeniably, the best part of the entire evening was a thpoof trailer for the new Brady Bunch movie, Thindy's Thpeech. I think it's going to thweep the Oscars next year!
The entire show is available at the TV Land website for free. For the latest TV Land news, follow them on Twitter. Then follow me on Twitter.