9/5/08

So once upon a time, I found this catalog in the rafters...

I actually got a chance to go through the rest of the JC Penney's catalog, and there's still some funny shit in there. I know there's no way to duplicate the success of the first entry -- so I'm not even going to try. But I still wanted to share some of the fantastic 1977 goodness with you all.

Let's take a look at childrens' fashions first:



With the black bow tie and the arm just itching for a white linen towel, I can almost guarantee this kid grew up to be a butler or a maƮtre d'. And could that suit be any thicker?

This next kid thinks he looks pretty smooth in his tangerine duds. Who said checks and polka dots don't mix? I also love the fact that he may actually be holding his own missing tooth.



As you can see from his expression, this next kid knows exactly what's going to happen to him if he steps outside his own front door. I mean, he has big bird and cookie monster in his pockets. The haircut alone will most likely get him a beat down, but the outfit and hair combo? You can almost see the thought-bubble over his head that says, "I am so fucked."



This is the kid they modeled Eric Foreman after on That 70's Show:



I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the photo below. That is one seriously effed-up hat. I believe this whole ensemble is some sort of cookie-selling uniform. It says "For Brownies" in very small letters next to the picture and if I remember correctly, a Brownie is just a boobless Girl Scout.



For this next one, I'll let you all make up your own jail-bait jokes:



They also had themed bedsheets for kids, and this one caught my eye:



These sheets were clearly designed by someone not familiar with the show, and I'm betting most of the geeks reading this right now know why. I've taken the liberty of pointing out the flaw below:



For those of you not up on your Trek, it's always the unknown guys in red that buy the farm. I think having sheets covered in dead guys would have given me recurring nightmares that always included the following bit of dialogue: "Spock, Bones, McCoy, Sulu, and uh...you there, in the red. Ensign...Virgil, is it? OK. Meet me in the transporter room. Chekhov, you have the Conn." 15 seconds after we beam down, I'm dead.

Here are some of my other favorites from the mens' and womens' sections:



The last time I saw a beard like that was on my Adventure Team GI Joe:



Billy Bob and Dubya look pretty virile:



These next two guys, I'm not so sure about:



I think the white cutoffs are assless.

f you've ever wondered about the inspiration for the Brawny paper towel guy, here you go:



The other guy is just thinking "I will do you right now."

Here's the contents of my dad's underwear drawer in 1977:



That old saying he shared with me about vertical stripes making you look longer must be true.

Wait, that was taller. Never mind.

If you really wanted to get ready for sexy time, you'd go to bed wearing one of these bad boys:



You just know he's gettin' some tonight.

The women's underwear was pretty hot back then too:



I think this particular line was called "Flat Irish Ass - by JC Penney"

The bras weren't very supportive back then:



I love how the name is "Comfort Hours." Does anything at all about that look comfortable to you? I am pretty sure it could deflect bullets.

These night gowns aren't too bad, except for Crazy Sally over there on the left who will obviously stab you to death while you sleep:



OK, I'm running out of steam, so I'll leave the exercise equipment, electronics and home furnishings for the next time. Until then, I leave you with these:



I have giant novelty sunglasses smaller than those.



Small children could hide inside her bell bottoms.





Have fun, I'm off on vacation for a few days. Enjoy what's left of the summer, and for god's sake, try not to dress like a wood-elf:

86 comments:

  1. Glad to see the catalog back!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave P.8:47 PM

    I'm almost positive that Sesame Street kid is Ricky Schroeder. My niece was in his fan club when she was 11.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking the same thing, Dave!

      Delete
  3. I didn't realize JCPenney hired the entire cast of "Village of the Damned" for their catalogs. Scary.

    Welcome back to the blogosphere, man. Keep up the good work.

    -Buffalo This

    ReplyDelete
  4. yup, that is definitely Ricky Schroeder. Oh, sorry, RICK Schroeder.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with Dave P. that is Ricky Schroeder in the Sesame Street get-up. Best, Becs

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was going to say that I thought the kid in the Sesame Street get up was Rick Schroeder, but it looks like the rest of the blogoverse beat me to it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hilarious as usual. The beard guy's head is way to big for his body.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Look closer at the guy in green plaid...pretty sure that is Robert Redford. At least it looks a whole hell of a lot like him.

    Don't knock the Girls Scouts..even Brownies. Those little girls could kick your ass and tie you up with knots you would NEVER be able to get out of. I'm just sayin'...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ha, classic. I think that kid wearing the cookie monster shirt might be a young Ricky Schroder.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Staci M.10:24 PM

    No, this IS as good as the first. I'm totally busting a gut over here. Why were we so funny back then? Good thing we don't wear funny things now...that our kids will be laughing at in 30 years. Yeah, really good thing, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mike J10:34 PM

    Pretty sure Crazy Sally is a young Shelley Long.

    ReplyDelete
  12. These are absolutely terrific...but have you seen the Nordstroms ads for women's clothes where the models look like they were hired from the Spinabifida Association? Boggles the mind.

    ReplyDelete
  13. OMG... that brought back some memories, and quite a few nightmares too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't believed I lived through that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Seriously that has to be Ricky Schroeder! First thing I thought of when I saw that--boy, hope that doesn't come back to bite him in the ass LOL

    ReplyDelete
  16. I guess everyone else already beat my to the Ricky Schroeder comment. It's gotta be him.

    ReplyDelete
  17. LMAO!!
    This should be a regular thing. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. GREAT post. One of the funniest things I have read in a LONG time. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I had those Star Trek bed sheets! A little while ago, I was browsing through my local record store, and came across something familiar, an album by Thee Shatners. I had to buy it, simply because of the sheets.

    ReplyDelete
  20. GREAT post! Yes...that is Rick Schroeder. He was a dork back THEN too.

    The chicks in the green outfits towards the end remind me of a time I witnessed someone puke up their pistachio pudding....

    ReplyDelete
  21. The GI Joe comparison - hilarious! Oh and I think you should put up some more of your childhood drawings - or maybe put them in the middle of your book.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I actually HAD all of that Brownie stuff. And my mom had these lovely friends who would sew for me and my brother so we would be dressed in MATCHING outfits. Mine being the overall skirt with the shirt and his being overall shorts with the shirt. Sadistic!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great job but your scanner just melted. Going forward, please stay out of the attic.

    A Public Service Message from the RUFKM Army.

    "Are You F---ing Kidding Me?"
    www.rufkm.net
    Real Life, Real Shenanigans.
    In additon, for your effort, you get one smiley face.

    ReplyDelete
  24. MY BROTHER HAD THE STAR TREK SHEETS!!!!!!!!! Omg, I am lmoa right now!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Who knew they were having panty parties in the wheat fields back then?

    Really dig the B&W outfit for when you have a broken arm.

    Have a nice trip - thanks for leaving us laughing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. green plaid dude is Robert "Bob" Redford....

    And the chicks in the night-gown section, The one in the middle is Lorena Bobbet....

    ReplyDelete
  27. surplustorequirements6:23 PM

    I was just a boy when this catalog came out. Thank god I was blissfully unaware of the gay sexual tension that gripped the nation's middle-brow depart stores. GI Joe beard guy and his 'companion' clearly accidentally swapped jackets when dressing in a hurry, and I think the fellas in the stripey shirts and shorts were crew members on Liberace's yacht.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ahh...those were the days. Plaid, stripes and polka dots.

    ReplyDelete
  29. LOVED the catalog the first time and you couldn't have made me laugh any harder this time!

    I actually really dig those tie dyed flared women's pants. Do you think they still might have some in the warehouse?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:25 PM

    OMG, I so had the same haircut as the kid in the first picture and it looked just as wierd. It was the result of yet another 70's era trend- "The Home Barber Set" that allowed my mother to give me this special haircut at our dining room table.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Holy crap, that is Ricky Shroeder. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought so.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Classic funny, as usual, but I'm stuck on your Adventure Team GI Joe. Did you have to dig him out of storage or do you keep him on hand for quick photo ops like this?

    (btw - Humor-Blogs sucks. They won't let me vote for you anymore. I'm sick to see you in ninth place. What is this world coming to???)

    ReplyDelete
  33. euw time warp. I was having a 70's moment yesterday too....... go see

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oops guess the link wudda been helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  35. the brownie uniform is just scary. did the hotdog-on-a-stick people have something to do with that hat?

    ReplyDelete
  36. the bullet deflecting bra put me over the edge... Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Gotta be the Ricker!

    ReplyDelete
  38. laughter out loud complete with tears, the best medicine

    ReplyDelete
  39. This triggers my PTSD (post traumatic style disorder).

    In addition to people actually wearing this they danced to ABBA.

    The horror...the horror of it all...

    ReplyDelete
  40. Another person confirming that Ricky Schroeder is the kid in the Sesame street shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  41. What is really sad is I remember selling clothes like this in the late 70's...but from JCP's competitor...Sears! Oh the days of plaid "toughskin" jeans, little suits and the ever-screaming tot who did NOT want to shop for clothes at all!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sundays with Sylvia and the Penney's catalog make my week!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Christina10:58 AM

    LMAO!!! My coworkers must think I'm crazy *cackling in my cubicle*

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous11:58 AM

    I think I speak for the entire world when I say that we will never get sick of the 70s Penneys catalog! It's the source of many laughs for us all.

    I can't wait for posts of the other sections in it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. If this were 25 years ago, and I saw a kid at my school wearing that crap, I'd tell him, "Hey, I used to have a shirt like that. But then my Dad got a job." It's hard to beat a good cutdown from the 4th grade.

    And I guess I'm the 40th person to recognize young Ricky Stratton. But where's his silver spoon?

    ReplyDelete
  46. LOL at boobless girlscouts...

    ReplyDelete
  47. thnaks for the laughs. Some funny stuff! I'm really glad that we didn't have JC Penney in Mass. in teh 70's. Sears was bad enough. :)

    I agree on Rick S.

    and I'm wondering if the tangerine suit kid holding his tooth is Sean Astin?? Of hobbit fame??

    ReplyDelete
  48. Encore! Encore!
    (*snicker* at "wood elf"... yeah, she's pretty hot.)

    ReplyDelete
  49. The girl in the Brownie pic would go on to be nominated for Vice President.

    ReplyDelete
  50. ScarlettO4:30 PM

    About the "Dead Ensign Walking" guy (and the fact that it's always the guys wearing red who "get it" on Star Trek), my husband calls those characters "food" when they show up in whichever TV show he's watching. He started that when we started watching Lost - whenever you met a character you've never met before, you can be sure s/he'll be eaten in the very near future. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  51. BunGirl4:55 PM

    I agree with dave p. It's Rick Schroeder!!!

    I'm laughing my A%# off right now!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Ah!- the catalog that brought me to the altar of 15 minute lunch- glad to have another scary dose of 70s unreality.
    Scary to think we might have actually wanted to look like those feathered haired automatons.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Excellent, excellent stuff!

    I think the woman in the multicolored dress near the end looks like Shelley Long. I'm not sure she's the same woman as "Crazy Sally" in the nightgown, though (who someone else said looks like Shelley Long). They sort of looks like the same person, but not exactly - maybe Crazy Sally's maniacal smile is throwing me off.

    I actually remember the Brownie t-shirts, as well as the other Brownie clothes - except the horrible hat. Who even decided that floppy mass of fabric panels qualified as a hat?? (Note my profile pic - now THAT is a hat! :-))

    ReplyDelete
  54. Whoops...I commented on the wrong post, what a dork.

    Anyway, I think the guy in the sexy time nightie is Dustin Hoffman.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Absolutely on par with the first volume. I actually got a stomach cramp from laughing so hard.

    Enjoy your vacation.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Lol.. this is always priceless.

    I think sally is creepy too...

    ReplyDelete
  57. You know, I used to have that same action figure!

    Sad part is, if you really look close, it seems to me that someone just tried to glue hair onto that model's face, if only to make the backwoodsmen feel less left out of the viwership.

    Anyway, great post!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Anonymous1:31 PM

    I think cookie-monster/grouch boy is Ricky Schroeder.

    ReplyDelete
  59. kristina4:16 PM

    Yegads!! The men's and women's underwear will be giving me more nightmares than the StarTrek sheets...

    Thanks for making my day!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I was surveying someone's home (for a move) last week and I spotted a Penney's catalog in their garage. I found myself inching over to see what year it was because I was going to ask for it if it was old. Sadly, 2003 wasn't nearly as funny.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Do you know if those items are still available at JCPenney? Halloween is just around the corner.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I can't believe I didn't notice this stuff back then...well I do remember my mom wearing some of that stupid stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I *had* the bert and ernie T-shirt. JCP had a whole Sesame Street department back then.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Just trackbacked this to my site, but I can't create a link being I don't have a Blogger account. Ah, well....

    That said, I clearly remember wearing such outfits as a young squab.

    Plaid? Check.

    Star Wars t-shirt? Check.

    Toddler-sized Leisure Suit? Check

    Tube socks pulled up the length of my calves? Abso-friggin'-lutely!

    Unfortunately, since Humanity is forever doomed to forget the past, I see such fashions creeping back. Oy, the horror...

    ReplyDelete
  65. "Yes, Mom, STAR TREK sheets, so your little Starfleet Cadet can be inspired by scenes of Captain Kirk in action on the matress!"

    ReplyDelete
  66. I wonder what would happen if you tried to send in the order form from that catalog?

    ReplyDelete
  67. I don't know how I found this blog but, I am already hooked to it. Great sense of humour and a witty penmanship.

    Live long and Prosper!
    T'Pol (no, I am not kidding)

    ReplyDelete
  68. The sheets reminded me of the movie Galaxy Quest. If you haven't seen it, I think you should. Very funny, in a star-trek-spoof type of way.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Anonymous2:00 AM

    The kid in the Sesame Street nightmare is none other than "The Ricker" - Ricky Schroeder.

    Everyone has to start somewhere I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  70. That IS Ricky Schroeder, I'm sure!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Great job :)

    I should show this to my kid, she's always wondering why I give her the stink eye when she picks out synthetic shit in that nauseating lime green color.

    ReplyDelete
  72. They won't let me vote for you anymore! "Ok, we get it. You like 15 Minute Lunch. Why don't you try rating something else now?" I'm so sad!
    Anyway, was that Ricky Schroeder (cookie monster in his pocket)!?

    ReplyDelete
  73. heatherinparadise11:46 AM

    Has anyone mentioned that the kid in the Grouch shirt is Ricky Schroeder?

    Hilarious, as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Anonymous12:49 PM

    I agree that the woman in the multicolored top looks like Shelley Long. I don't think Crazy Sally is her though. Take a look at the woman to the far right of Crazy Sally. She looks like Erin Gray to me (Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons).

    ReplyDelete
  75. I absolutely wore that Brownie ensemble! You had to have different variations of the uniform for certain occasions: after school Brownie meetings, camp, formal state dinners, etc. What the catalog doesn't show is the array of headscarf/kerchief things that coordinated with each outfit. It's very complicated. That's why they have a manual.

    ReplyDelete
  76. 3rd photo from the top - kid in a Sesame street tee is Ricky Schroeder!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Holy crap.

    I remember when Pt. I was sent to me...it was an email forward going around, long before I even thought of blogging...and it was sent to me by more than one person...non-bloggers. It seriously was the funniest email forward of something I had ever received, and I had no idea where it came from until a few months ago when I decided to take my terry cloth robe off and dive into the pool.

    Brilliant stuff. So happy to see a part deux! Part one still makes me cry laughing when I read it...and this is a great sequel!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Anonymous12:35 AM

    I chanced upon this blog when I googled 'it only takes a minute girl', a song that I found was by Tavares. Lucky me that it was the title of one of your topics.

    The commentary is the best for the retro gear. I then recalled a dark blue velour 70's lounge lizard shirt(?) I had seen in a drawer last year that mom made that I had saved. I can still wear it, although it's snug around the spare tire I now have. Perfect for winter in this no central heat condo!

    ReplyDelete
  79. So funny! I remember those day well! I probably still have some of them in my closet!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Anonymous12:16 AM

    Did you ever wonder why that catalog was hidden in the rafters? That was the famous underwear model issue. I'm sure someone remembers?

    ReplyDelete
  81. that was actually a sears catalog -- the famous weenie shot.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Anonymous6:08 PM

    I'm wondering if anyone on here recognizes the kid with the pout wearing the sesame street shirt?? That's Ricky Shroeder from Silver Spoons. This came out just before he got famous and Years before he became a Hasbeen!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Anonymous11:22 PM

    GIJoe= Billy Mays.... :-D

    ~Sabrina M.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Yes, yes, Ricky Schroeder - but that is also Shelley Hack (replacement "Angel" in Charlies Angels) in the giant sunglasses. She was always in JC Penney -

    ReplyDelete
  85. simply out standing.. i worked for JCpenny for a short while but thisss was truely unblievable.

    ReplyDelete