Somewhere, Dick Van Patten is Smiling

Did I see things correctly? Did Sen. Obama actually reference ’70s family schmaltzfest Eight is Enough in his convention speech last night? And did his wide-eyed supporters actually turn the reference into a chant to fill Denver’s mile-high air?

Roughly midway through the speech last night, Obama said a vote for Sen. McCain would essentially mean four more years of the Bush-Cheney administration. 

"The same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third," he thundered. "And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: ‘Eight is enough.’"

As Obama delivered that last sound bite, he smiled a bit, either acknowledging the cheesiness of the reference, or because you can’t not smile when a picture of young Adam Rich in a bowl cut comes to mind. 

Even Dick Van Patten’s wise Bradford patriarch character couldn’t have predicted what would happen next: The Invesco field breaking into an "Eight is Enough!" chant for several seconds. 

It’s weird for me to share pop-culture touchstones with a presidential candidate. Either it means the Democratic nominee is rather young, or I’m getting a bit old.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.