TechnoRetro Dads: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Learns to Speak & Spell

by TechnoRetro Dads

Steven Spielberg struck space gold with E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial thirty-five years ago and captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation.

JediShua and shazbazzar remember what it was like to see E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in the summer of 1982 as excitement about this unique movie collided with trepidation about how its box office numbers would affect the standing of Star Wars.

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Learns to Speak & Spell

Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial with a squishy, little green guy stranded on earth to wander about a California community with the likes of the Firestarter, Yoda, and Harvey the Clown Dog.  While awaiting the next installment of the Star Wars saga, the ‘Dads both checked out this endearing story of a lovable alien botanist who befriended (or possessed) a ten year-old boy who was struggling with his place in a broken home and a macabre school where frogs are killed by JediShua’s fifth grade science class.  Halfway through the movie, the short man from the Green Planet raided the TechnoRetro attic for toys to build the ULTIMATE WEAPON a communication device to signal his people to extract him from this crazy world in an oversized Christmas tree ornament propelled by water vapor (evident from the rainbow left behind as it blasted into space).  One ‘Dad went head-over-heels for this movie while the other resented its success in dethroning Star Wars (temporarily) in box office receipts.  We’ll leave it to the EarBuds to figure out which ‘Dad loved it, but it’s likely the one whose love for costuming may be linked to a homemade E.T. outfit he wore for Halloween in 1982.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Speak & Spell

In the NEWS…

Rancho Obi-Wan has been infiltrated and Stephen Sansweet needs your help in recovering stolen collectibles.  Check out the list at  Rockwell (‘80s pop singer) gets violent when lunch isn’t ready on time.  Quirk Books publishes a new children’s book chronicling the story of E.T.

Quirk Books E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Ten year-old earthling meets ten million year-old plant man from outer space in a heartwarming tale of friendship that stretches across light years.  JediShua and shazbazzar were just about Elliott’s age when they saw E.T. during the summer of 1982. While Steven Spielberg’s masterful work hasn’t been forgotten, it hasn’t remained as present in pop culture through the years as other blockbuster films from that era.  Could that be rectified with a reboot, remake, or sequel?  Possibly.  Should E.T. get a reboot, remake, or sequel?  No way!  Not because we don’t like the movie — but because it seems perfect just the way it is (and the kids agree)!

Toys in the Attic

JediShua retrieves his brother’s Speak & Spell from the attic since the buttons on his machine not only wore out, but literally fell off the Texas Instruments learning toy that nearly every GenXer played with at some point in the late ’70s or early ’80s.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Speak & Spell

With some tunes, news, and feedback, this episode of TechnoRetro Dads is likely to dredge up some memories of a more innocent time of wonder and magic as we look to the past with one eye on the future.  Join in the good times as summer camp continues with shazbazzar and JediShua…and Elliott, Gertie, and Mike by lending your voice to the discussion on social media or give the ‘Dads your feedback by calling our voice mail line at (209) 878-7323 or sending us a message or mp3 via electronic-M to  Please rate and review TechnoRetro Dads on iTunes and Stitcher.

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Join shazbazzar and JediShua each week for a look back at the ’70s and ’80s as they share the fun and also fandom of their youth with their families, friends, and EarBuds. Topics include TV, film, music, toys, and games of the ’70s and ’80s as well as franchises which have continued into the 21st Century, like Star WarsTRON, Buck RogersBattlestar Galactica, Indiana Jones and Jaws. TechnoRetro Dads is a blend of new stories as old legends are then passed down from one generation to the next.

If you’re a TechnoRetro Dad, the child of one, or appreciate the ’70s and ’80s, then this podcast is definitely for you!

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