“On a star spangled night my love…”
Once upon a time, television was a lot different than it is today. Way back in the 20th century, most folks had but a small number of channels. And the kind of television out there was different. In the late 1960s there was a lot of very experimental programming going on, trying to capture the youth demographic. One of those shows was Love, American Style which ran on Friday nights on ABC throughout much of its run from 1969-1974.
In case you haven’t heard of it…
Love, American Style was sort of like Saturday Night Live, except for romance not for laughs. Most weeks it was a showcase of short sketches — some as short as 15 seconds — with the only common theme being some sort of focus on love.
A lot of stars came through the show. In fact it’s a virtual gallery of up-and-comers at the time, with some older talent sprinkled in.
The show also ended up being a dumping ground for pilots that didn’t sell, and occasionally featured sketches that turned into TV shows later. One of these, “Love and the Happy Days” turned into the most popular TV franchise of the 1970s, of course.
Spend a little time
Sadly, none of the major streaming services carries Love, American Style. It would probably take a lot of effort to rescan and remaster the original films to today’s standards. I think it would be worth it, just to document the time period. But luckily, you can get a peek into what the show looked like, thanks to people who have uploaded VHS tapes onto YouTube. Here’s a whole bunch of episodes for you to take a look at. If you look closely you’ll catch a young Burt Reynolds, Harrison Ford, and a whole bunch of other celebrities.