A Fan’s Guide to “Picking Favorites”: Episode 16, Cancelled 80’s Children’s Books


By Shannon Fox, @shannonfox

Welcome back to your weekly recap of the “Picking Favorites” podcast!  Just call me “Shanlock Holmes” (no, wait, please don’t do that) this week!  I was on the hunt for some missing information on choices from our adorable hosts, who are all getting too old to remember things anymore (unless Razzle is younger than me, in which case, he and I are both exempt and awesome).  I mean, do we need to put a Silver Alert out for Tyler? That guy’s been gone awhile.

You can find this week’s episode on iTunes or Soundcloud.

This Week’s Guest:

Paul Scheer! (@paulscheer)


Paul Scheer is a comedian, actor, writer, and director, but he’s also the creator of the Wolfpop podcast network that “Picking Favorites” is a part of.  You may know him from “Human Giant”, a sketch show that was on MTV, “NTSF:SD:SUV::” on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, or his many appearances on a ton of comedy shows, like “Best Week Ever” and “Children’s Hospital”.  HOWEVER, even though he didn’t mention it, I also have to talk about his role as Andre on “The League” on FXX.  I just started watching it on Netflix last week (so how perfectly timed was this episode? We are cosmically bonded).  The show is HILARIOUS and Paul is one of the main reasons for it, but poor Andre just needs so many hugs.  Like, maybe ALL of them.

Paul also cohosts a podcast on the Earwolf network called “How Did This Get Made?”.  You can catch it here or on iTunes.

“The Bachelor”, Monday nights on ABC

“Burning Love”, available on E! or Hulu

Tracy Morgan’s Scare Tactics, on SyFy

“Fresh Off the Boat”, Tuesday nights on ABC

“The League”, on FXX

And now, the topics!

Favorite Book (As A Child)

Since I was one of those kids that always had my nose in a book (like, even while walking, so my parents would have to steer me around things), I am ALL ABOUT this topic.  But I was ALSO a Scholastic Fair bookmark thief when I was younger!  I remember I took an entire stack of Goosebumps bookmarks and thought I was the COOLEST PERSON THAT EVER EXISTED.  Spoiler: I wasn’t (and, unfortunately, never got that title as I grew up, either).


Unnamed Teenage Spy Book Series

(I have spent HOURS trying to figure this out, and the closest thing I can come up with is the A.I. Gang series by Bruce Coville, which I don’t think is right.  If anyone has any ideas about this, let me know!)

Kentucky ‘Murica:

The Emperor’s New Clothes



Encyclopedia Brown series



Z is for Zachariah


Extra Mentions:

The Wave After-School Special


Freckle Juice


Scholastic Book Fairs


I am stumped on the book series that Zac mentioned about a town of insects.  Feel free to tweet/comment with your guesses!  So far, the closest series found was by fan @Principia on Twitter with the Bugg book series by Stephen Cosgrove.


The story that Razzle mentioned about magic gardens on the back of cereal boxes MIGHT be The Serial Garden, by Joan Aiken:


The Peanut Butter Solution

Favorite 80’s Theme Song

Does anyone else find it interesting that all the songs chosen were from sitcoms?  Like, where are all the awesome cartoon theme songs from the 80’s in this list?  No “David the Gnome”, guys? Come on, now.  Don’t get me wrong, these are some solid choices, too.  You know you were singing along.  Don’t lie.


“Perfect Strangers”

Kentucky ‘Murica: 

“Family Ties”




“Growing Pains”

Extra Mentions:

“Perfect Strangers” Video Game

Second Sight

Tom Hanks as Uncle Ned in “Family Ties”

“Magnum PI”

“Golden Girls”

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

“Silver Spoons”

“Charles in Charge”

“Too Many Cooks”

Favorite Show That Was Cancelled Too Soon

Is this the first time that this subject has been mentioned among nerds and “Firefly” hasn’t been mentioned? I think so.


“It’s Your Move”


“Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”


“Pushing Daisies”



Extra Mentions:

“He’s the Mayor”

“Mockingbird Lane”

“The Famous Teddy Z”

Eddie Izzard’s “Dressed to Kill”, Stories


H. Jon Benjamin in “Human Giant” – “To Catch a Predator” sketch

“Meow TV” (Sorry, Paul)

Random Notes From Shannon’s Brain

  • The winner of this week’s “Hey, You’re Awesome” Award is… RAZZLE! Simply for singing along SO ENTHUSIASTICALLY to all of the theme songs.  Oh, Razzle.  You’re our little shining star.
  • The complete and utter horror that Zac has at people actually liking “The Bachelor” is hilarious.
  • To add to the discussion about the 4am slot at “Adult Swim”: if you can do it, WATCH “Adult Swim” in the middle of the night.  You will find the most amazing, random stuff.  I’m pretty sure that they air “The Mighty Boosh”, one of my favorite weird shows, in the middle of the night now, so I highly recommend that.
  • I had to cut some stuff out of this recap just for time purposes, because I spent probably far too long trying to find the unknown stuff on this episode.  Um. Whoops.  That being said… watch Eddie Izzard’s special “Dressed to Kill”. You will not regret it.

That’s it for this week’s recap!  Remember to subscribe to and rate the podcast on iTunes, and send YOUR favorites to @thenerdmachine on Twitter with the hashtag “#PickingFavorites”!

You can find our hosts all over social media:

Kentucky/Dave: Twitter

Razzle: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Zac: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Tyler: Twitter, Facebook

Thanks for reading! See you next week!


  1. JayneFebruary 18th, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Very impressive Shannon … they’re definitely making it more difficult for you doing the recaps – picking favourites without giving the full information! 🙂 Good job!

  2. SynbiosTaelFebruary 19th, 2015 at 3:15 am

    My favorite 80s opening song is either The A-Team or Knight Rider

    Parker Lewis can’t lose was so cool. I loved that show!

    I can’t believe no one mentioned Firefly or Dollhouse! :O

  3. GFebruary 19th, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I have to give them (small) slap on the wrist. You can not have a section about 80s TV themes and not extensively mention the name Mike Post! Sure, they mentioned some of his themes, it’s impossible not to, but considering his track record, the man is like a… no sorry, THE.. TV theme god. 😀

    While I agree with the sentiment that after the 80s themes jumped the shark, I think there’s a gem to be found here and there after that. I’d give “Friends” an honorable mention for an iconic and great post-80s theme, with lyrics no less.

  4. skorpeoFebruary 20th, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Best non-comedy theme song from the 80’s: “Hill Street Blues”

  5. John WolynecJuly 27th, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Hopefully Tyler might have read this throw back to a classic Canadian book series from when I was a kid, Eric Wilson Mysteries. A series of detective novels following the adventures of Tom and Liz Austen, young sleuths in Canada

  6. SarahApril 6th, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I just found this podcast last week and so far this is my favorite episode. It’s just a lot of fun and made me laugh.

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