My addiction to TV series staring Richard Dean Anderson (aka MacGyver)


If Gretchen can have her Will Weaton, I can have my MacGyver.

As a young and impressionable kid (I was still in the single digits), I watched this guy escape a swinging pendulum trap by using his shoe.  It wasn’t until many, many years later I learned that I had seen a few minutes of a MacGyver episode.

Yeah, I got teased for my love of MacGyver episodes.  I was addicted to watching how he would always get himself out of those situations.  I would often wonder how the writers scripted the episodes.  (Did they first come up with some approved-for-tv-ratings situation to put MacGyver in, then, at some weekly think-tank, decide how to use common household objects to get out of the problem?  And after that, they just worked those desperately-random objects into the scene?)  Did anyone else notice that MacGyver always solved 3 problems in any episode?  But what I really want to know is did Richard Dean Anderson ever increase his IQ from playing MacGyver?  (Seriously, I’d love to know the answer to that one.)

Truly, MacGyver was our first “out-of-the-box” problem solver TV hero.  Yes, I said it – “out-of-the-box”, the most overused term in modern day history.  You know it’s overused when fast food restaurants start referring to it.  But, it was this cliché that got me addicted to begin with.  I honestly felt smarter after watching any episode of MacGyver.  Yes, as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Mississippi, so I was often bored.  The Lego Company just couldn’t produce enough lego sets to keep me occupied. 

Eventually, the MacGyvers reruns I hadn’t seen ran out, but not without good timing.  I started high school about that time, so I had plenty of after school activities (soccer, cross country, karate) to keep me occupied.  I get bored easily. 

Ten years later…

Flipping through the channels one night, I thought I saw someone who looked like MacGyver’s older brother doing something military-like.  So, I watched a few minutes, but was appalled to see that Richard Dean Anderson was playing some doofus. (and not to mention my shock of “wow, if he’s gotten older, I’ve gotten older”) 

I guess I just didn’t watch that particular Stargate SG-1 episode long enough to appreciate the “Jack O’Neill” character..  And, you die-hard MacGyver fans out there have to admit that it was shocking, almost painful, to watch MacGyver shoot a gun.  Although I haven’t seen the first episode of SG-1, I’ve heard about the MacGyver reference.

But now I find myself watching 4 hours of taped Stargate SG-1 episodes very late into Friday night / Saturday morning.  Lord knows I need Tivo.

I’ve never written a fan letter before.  Not sure how to even start one.  But, I’ve waited a long enough time to write this particular one.  This guy in my 8th grade class one day brought in his autographed picture of Richard Dean Anderson.  I was so jealous (along with a few other educated students).  He said he just wrote a letter to the fan club and he got the autographed picture.  So now I’m taking up that quest that I had wanted to start on a long time ago, seeking out an autographed picture of Richard Dean Anderson. 

Doing a google search on MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson’s personal website (although written in 3rd person) appeared at the top of the list.  However, the website is lacking alt text in some critical areas, hence not quite reaching the accessibility bar.  The images used as buttons/links like “What’s New” need Alt Text.  I knew I could justify this post.  =) <grins>

Um, Mr. Richard Dean Anderson Sir, if you’re out there ego-surfing and you come across this entry, I’d really like an autograph photo, just like you sent to my classmate in the 8th grade.  It will complete one of my life’s dreams, like referring a high school soccer game, living on the east side of the city so I don’t have to drive directly into the sun to go home after work….

Comments (21)

  1. Elph says:

    You remember Patty and selma from The simpsons, with the same macgyverAddiction…

    be care about Bob….

  2. James Hancock says:

    Richard Dean Anderson ROCKS! SG: SG1 is great and the character is right out of MacGyver, he just shoots a gun now with a grin so not much has changed 🙂

  3. sara ford says:

    LOL, I’ve seen that episode of the Simpsons with my husband. He just looked at me like, "do you see what they are comparing you to?" That’s pretty funny. Kelsey Grammer does a good voice over for Bob.

  4. KC Lemson says:

    For some reason this one macgyver episode sticks in my head from my childhood… it involved some kind of speed-aging potion. Some vial breaks or somehow the potion gets out of hand, and a dog gets in contact with it, and the dog starts aging really quickly and then dies. I was upset for days.

  5. b.borromeo says:

    for some reason mcgyver episodes influenced me in my growing years. i felt smarter just watching his series.

    would you believe when i failed to watch him on TV, i got sick the following day. thats why my mom made sure that i do watch his series every weekend. & on the next day after watching him, i grew more into somewhat mature kid.

    and now that im already an adult, because of his great influence in me…he sort of like molded me into an individual where i can get out in any situation that confront me just like what he did. i never surrender easily. he made me a fighter to face life’s battle. in one way or another, part of my strong personality is his influence.

    i owe you mcgyver.

  6. AC says:

    Just wanted to let you know that the website of RDAnderson.com is not officially affiliated with Richard Dean Anderson in any way and he is not responsible for the design or content of the site (please refer to the disclaimer at the bottom of the website). It’s merely a fan run website that has been brought to his attention on a few occassions and he does have appreciation for it and all of the websites that are run by fans and are dedicated to him (as he has stated in interviews on such topics).

    Richard Dean Anderson has no offical presence on the internet. The best way to contact him his through his TV series Stargate:SG1. If you would like to see changes on the site or have suggestions, you should contact the site owner.

  7. Cy Tymony says:

    Loved your MacGyver blog

    I liked MacGyver so much, and other resourceful characters like Lex Luthor and The Professor on Gilligan’s Island, that I wrote a book about it.

    Yes, anyone can actually make "Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things." My website, http://www.Sneakyuses.com has plenty of real-life amazing stories of applied resourcefulness including how to turn a penny into a radio and how prisoners in a WWII constructed a working airplane in their concentration camp using only their sheets and wood from their beds!

    The site also has free projects, reviews and a video clip. Hope you enjoy it.

    Regards,

    Cy

  8. Sharon says:

    If you’r e willing to pay a little bit of money you can get an autographed pic of RDA from Ebay. My husband got me one a few years back. It’s hard to find recent autographs of him since he’s not known to sign a lot. I got hooked on MacGyver the way you did. I saw a little bit of one episode ( the one where he and the chinese kid were trying to escape out of the basement and they"disappeared" in an opium lab at the end of a secret tunnel). When the show came on ABC my parents and sister knew not to disturb me, because "my show" was on. I was lucky enough to find a husband who loved Mac as much as me! We both love SG1 too. TV Land has a message board about Mac if you’re interested. That’s how I found out about you’re mention in Business week.

  9. Elaine says:

    Nice to know that there are other "addicts" out there. But Sara, why only Friday nights? The SCIFI channel has a 4 hour block every Monday night too!! Tivo them if you must….but I love my dual deck VCR for these marathon sessions. Commercial advance is a wonderful thing and speeds up the viewing pleasure automatically. I must admit to a small case of jealousy…that you can write about one of my favorite shows and somehow justify it as work at the same time amazes me! Here’s to a new season of SG-1! And thanks for blogging, I enjoyed reading it.

  10. Mel says:

    I so relate to everything you said!! I’ve been watching RDA since I was three years old and I still can’t get enough!

  11. Ian says:

    What da hell was the name of his dog in Macgyver. it’s a bet, i need 2 know. please help please.

  12. Alana says:

    My friends and I often joke that Richard Dean Anderson’s power lies, like Sampson, in his hair, and it makes a certain amount of sense. In MacGyver he’s got a long, lucious mullet, and he’s a scientist who’s also a problem-solving whiz. In Stargate SG-1, he also has a certain kind of intelligence, but he hides it well, and his hair is short.

  13. Richard Dean Anderson is the best actor in the world! I never watch soaps, but if RDA was in one of them I sure as goodness would watch it every night.

    P.S Your blog is on my first page of my personalised google search for "Richard Dean Anderson". I’m guessing its because of this being about programming, and I do a lot of searches on that topic.

  14. RIVKA says:

    I never saw MacGyver back in the day. Too busy going to grad school. I had never seen Stargate and our cable changed to digital and I caught an episode a couple of summers ago on the SCIFI Channel. The one where the bugs are leaking through from another dimension. I have always been a SCI FI addict. I was like boy …as an older gal, that guy is gorgeous and boy does he look familiar. I actually did not know who the heck Richard Dean Anderson was. After catching a few episodes here and there, the complexity of the back story got to me. I rented all prior six seaons and watched ’em back to back for weeks. Now … it is the saddest thing that ever happened to me that he left the show which I now think has completely lost its mojo. However, I really liked the comaradery between the four actors …sort of the four Musketeers. I do think it is one of the best shows ever on TV. Not just because of RDA. the other three are great actors esp. Michael Shanks…. Sigh I will have to find a new obsession. I have resorted renting old STAR Trek TNG. Ah Piccard… not RDA but interesting.

  15. dang says:

    i just love Macgyver and Richard Dean Anderson. I read some articles about him on the net every now and then and it really impressed me that RDA is as committed to social relevance, nature and environment, and sports just like his Macgyver character. I dunno who influenced whom but…a great guy just the same. I have yet to watch a full SG-1 episode (My, Where have I been for the last, what, eight seasons?), but reading your blog and all the responses just urges me to look for old seasons on DVD. RDA also has another tv series, although short lived. It aired post-Macgyver but before SG1. The name of the series is Legend, where he plays a dual character. He tried a his luck on comedy that time. Although, I enjoyed the show (must be my bias towards RDA), the networks apparently did not. The show was cancelled after only 1 season (not even sure if they completed 1 whole season). Anyway…thanks for sharing your RDA addiction. Sure feels good that I’m not the only one.

    My mom love him too, by the way.

  16. Sharon says:

    Just in case you don’t watch Entertainment Tonight or those kind of shows, ( I usually don’t, but I was just flipping channels and happened to catch this), RDA is actually going to be in a Superbowl commercial as MacGyver! It’s part of the Mastercard Priceless campaign, and they actually showed parts of the commercial. According to RDA’s website, he had fun doing it and was approached by Mastercard to do it. Would be nice if it was shown more than once, but we know that most Superbowl commercials ( at least the good ones ) are only shown during the Superbowl. You can go to Gateworld.net or RDA’S website (rdanderson.com) to find out more! Can’t wait to see it! Also, Mastercard has some bits and pieces about it on Priceless.com.

  17. Macgirl says:

    I was just searching in google one of my favorites, RDA, when I found this blog.

    And you are right about the feeling smarther, because was the same to me, I watched MacGyver when I was 8 years old,  and enjoyed the fact that he was not only nice but smart, and you know, how a little girl with glasses and high IQ could feel about being different of every other kid around.

    So, I keep doing my own research every time I watched him do something amazing, trying to find prove, ¡to know if that was possible to stop acid with a chocolate bar!

    And to all of you who haven’t seen Stargate SG-1, you must. Really, and not only for Richard, even if thats the main reason many of us fans watch it, but because is one of the better scifi shows ever. Just be warned to watch seasons 1 to 8 first, so you will understand why the newers sucks. 😀

  18. linda says:

    Is it just me? Did anyone else notice how heavy RDA was in the MasterCard commercial? I’m not knocing him for it, but I had hoped that "Jack" would stay, well, taut, unlike me and other Boomers. Please tell me it was all just makeup.

    Disillusioned

  19. saraford says:

    Yeah, it was the cash register scene that i thought, "Wow, please tell me he’s getting ready for a new movie."

  20. saraford says:

    Funny, the commercial just came on 5 minutes ago during VH1’s top 20 countdown.  I haven’t seen it since the superbowl.  It’s still a great commercial.

  21. Diane says:

    All this and RDA plays hockey, too.