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Ken Reid talks ‘Cheers’ and the best old-school TV shows

Mass. comic’s TV Guide podcast celebrates 250 episodes.
Ken Reid
Ken Reid celebrates 250 episodes in Somerville this weekend. Photo Provided

Remember when you had to flip through a TV Guide to find out what was on? Boy how times have changed.

While the world of television is experiencing a golden age of programing, fans can take trips down memory lane thanks to Ken Reid’s “TV Guidance Counselor” podcast. The Massachusetts comic’s popular show takes a deep dive into what people were watching back in the day, as he flips through old TV Guide issues with special guests ranging from “Weird” Al Yankovic to Dana Gould.

The podcast celebrates its 250th episode this weekend with a free, big bash at the Comicazi comic book shop in Somerville, featuring an appearance by Will Smalley. The evening includes trivia, video clips and even a few prizes.

We chatted with Reid about his show’s big milestone, his love of “Cheers” and more.

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You’ve done 250 episodes of the podcast. That’s a lot of TV talk.

Over 10 full days of my life I’ve spent on this show, but it’s exciting. I’m sort of the biggest fan of the show in a non-vain way in that I make a show that I want to listen to. I can’t believe I get to meet and talk to these people that I’ve admired since I was a kid.

How did growing up in Massachusetts influence your comedy and love of TV?

Boston is a unique place because so many performers grew up here or developed their sense of humor here, that it’s such a weird conflict of being the crucible of education in the country, but it’s also an incredibly blue collar, provincial place as well. I developed an odd outlook on the world as an outsider but also a homebody. Plus it’s very cold and people are angry and that makes people funny because you have to have a sense of humor to survive through it.

I’m guessing you were a “Cheers” fan.

“Cheers” I absolutely loved. I remember going to the Bull & Finch with my dad as a kid and being really disappointed that Sam, Diane and everybody wasn’t working. It was a surreal show of people that I know. Other shows didn’t seem that way.

What’s an old-school show everyone should binge watch?

Absolutely “Barney Miller.” It’s a perfect show. Anyone who wants to write comedy or realize how to write characters, I always recommend “Barney Miller.” It’s literally four or five guys in a room, and it’s just great acting and dialogue. Even though the fashion’s very ‘70s, it’s a timeless show. Also, “The Adventures of Pete & Pete,” which is an absolutely perfect show. It’s so surreal, bizarre and really captures what it feels like to be that age when everything’s a big deal. It’s funny, bittersweet and just a great show that I think wouldn’t feel dated and would appeal to anybody.

If you go:

Sept. 9, 7 p.m., Comicazi, 407 Highland Ave., Somerville, free

 
 
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