Charlie's 80s Blog

Happy 40th Kilroy!

Kilroy (in case you didn’t know) is Charlie’s personal assistant who now calls Charlie’s 80s attic his home. Kilroy loves his job playing music alongside Charlie and from time to time, even suggests what we should play next on the station. He is also the late night and weekend DJ here in the attic. He’s a natural born whiz when it comes to 80s music, after all, he was created back in the early 80s. Early in 2020, I mentioned to Dr. Butters and Dr. Jarbeau that I was creating an amazing 80s radio station and was looking for an assistant to help me out.  When I mentioned 80s music they both looked at each other and at the same time yelled “KILROY!”  Here’s Kilroy’s story and how he got here;

It was November 4, 1980, Election night in the United States. The incumbent President, Jimmy Carter was running against former California Governor and Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan. Dr. Butters and Dr. Jarbeau, a couple of scientists, were watching the election returns on their antenna TV in the North Georgia mountains. Dr. Butters loved watching the news but refused to pay for cable TV, so he constructed a 50-ft tall TV antenna on the top of his cabin so he could get all the Atlanta news stations. Dr. Jarbeau, his partner, had urged him for years to get cable TV, but Dr. Butters wanted no part of it. “I will not pay for TV!” he would retort.

As the election returns from the east coast states started coming in, a rare November thunderstorm rolled in and clobbered the North Georgia Mountains. Dr. Butters and Dr. Jarbeau heard a loud BOOM outside of their cozy cabin. Lightning had struck Dr. Butters’ 50-ft antenna – knocking out power to their cabin and frying the tubes inside their 1977 Magnavox TV and rendering their radio useless! “Are you ok?” Dr. Butters said to Dr. Jarbeau. Dr. Jarbeau  turned to Dr. Butters and said “Yes, but I told you that antenna was a bad idea, what do we do now?” Dr. Butters, who was always calm, simply said “follow me.”

Candle in hand, Dr. Butters led Dr. Jarbeau into the basement of their cabin, which also served as their laboratory. Dr. Butters started gathering materials . “What are you doing?” Dr. Jarbeau asked. “Solving the problem once and for all” Dr. Butters replied. Dr. Butters was building a robot, but why? Dr. Jarbeau, an expert in robotics, guided Dr. Butters until the project was complete. That night, Kilroy the robot was born.

“If my calculations are correct, Kilroy will now bring us news, music, and information with no antennas, no cables, no nothing…. he’s brilliant! Brilliant I tell you!” screamed Dr. Butters. “There’s only one way to find out,” Dr. Jarbeau said, as she reached for Kilroy’s power switch. With one flick of the switch, Kilroy came to life! Dr. Butters started pressing Kilroy’s buttons, trying to find news of the election returns. He pressed the first button and music started playing. Kilroy was blaring “Whip It” by Devo. “What the heck is that?!” yelled Dr. Butters, pressing another button. This time, the volume went up and Kilroy was playing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. Dr. Butters, who had stopped listening to current music around 1967, was confused. “That’s Pat Benatar!” shrieked Dr. Jarbeau. “Pat who?” said Dr. Butters. “Forget it,” said Dr. Jarbeau as Dr. Butters was pressing more of Kilroy’s buttons. No matter what button Dr. Butters pressed, Kilroy played a song from the 80s. Dr. Butters started tapping the side of Kilroy’s head, like Kilroy was  a TV with a fuzzy picture, yelling “ELECTION RETURNS!!!” But Kilroy kept playing 80s song after 80s song, including deeper hits that even Dr. Jarbeau didn’t know. 

Dr. Butters, frantic to know the  election returns, said. “Let’s reboot him.” Dr. Jarbeau reluctantly powered Kilroy off and started him back up. But Kilroy refused to do anything but play 80s music. Dr. Butters, tired and annoyed said, “Forget it!” He put Kilroy in the attic and went to bed.

Life went on for Dr. Butters and Dr. Jarbeau. Dr. Butters gave up on TV and only listens to news radio after reconstructing his 50-ft antenna. Drs. Butters and Jarbeau created many more exciting inventions, but forgot all about Kilroy, who was left to collect dust in the attic. 

When I mentioned my new 80s music station to Drs. Butters and Jarbeau  they remembered that they put Kilroy in the attic back in 1980. They knew Kilroy would be a perfect assistant – that is, if he would still come to life after all these years. A few days later, I got a call from Dr. Jarbeau who told me “Kilroy is alive and well.” 

So, here he is, where he belongs, in my 80s Attic. It may have taken 40 years, but after dusting him off and a little oil, he’s here!


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