A Look Back at the Perfectly '70s Birth of Good Morning America

In Depth

Good Morning America turned forty this month, celebrating with a marathon broadcast and a reunion of previous anchors. Its fierce rival Today is older, of course, dating back to 1952. However, GMA was launched in the mid 1970s, which presents a wonderful opportunity to gawk at wacky-ass throwback styles.

This clip where Robin Roberts walks the audience through GMA’s first broadcast is very promotional, obviously, but contains some truly fantastic suits, faux wood paneling, and a banking Saint Bernard (I swear, just watch) named Bourbon. Please note the set, designed to resemble a stylish home of the time. It has an inexplicable spiral staircase and looks rather Dallas.

Wish they’d followed on regarding whether ATMs put that dog out of business, though.

Some digging online turns up more random, delightful video. For instance, here’s Priscilla Presley in 1979. Essentially everything in the frame is a shade of yellow or green that is no longer manufactured.

If you’re a true completist, there’s this full broadcast from 1978. VERY chill introductory music.

But after a lifetime of morning shows with window views prominently featuring tourists enthusiastically gathered on New York City sidewalks, I cannot get over that lawn. Are the plants real, but potted and placed in front of a painted backdrop? You could never pull that off in the era of HDTV, that’s for sure.

Fast forward a few years and you get these retro-futuristic “interlinked” interviews with the crews of the Russian space station Mir and the space shuttle Discovery.

Please pause to appreciate this special space font.

Few things date quite so fast as video; it’s not surprising footage from the 1970s seems ancient. Somehow, old promo photos feel even stranger—the image quality is crystal clear, but my God, the outfits! Kneel before this blouse worn by Joan Kennedy in 1982 and worship.

Here’s Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford discussing their engagement plans in 1986. They met while working on the show.

Check out Tipper Gore’s suit. 1992 was something else, sartorially.

Look forward to reconvening in forty years to look back at our current ensembles in shock and horror.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Photos via AP Images.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin