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Smiles, Everyone, Smiles

Behold the stupefying fabulousness of the opening production number for the 1986 Miss America pageant. The contestants may have been different, but year after year one could count on getting the same elements from this spot. A jazzy dance troupe gyrates away while the fifty finalists walk around and lift their arms in unison — trying to spot the two or three uncoordinted ladies in the group was always good for a laugh. Glittery hosts (including a pre-Gifford Kathie Lee Johnson in ’86) are introduced, and everybody sings some thankless original tune with vague lyrics about setting your hopes high and reaching for the moon. The whole thing’s hilarious and not at all borderline scary like the year they did a production number to Prince’s “Play in the Sunshine”. They should’ve done “Dreamgirls”, man!

3 Thoughts on “Smiles, Everyone, Smiles

  1. I love it!

    My favorite Miss America Opening Number would be the one from 1989 — I think it was called “I Can Fly.” All the contestants were wearing beaded costumes with flowing fabric attached to their arms (to look like gossamer wings). They were arranged in various poses on several levels of scaffolding.

    Ah, those were the days!

  2. Tim – I know who you are!

    I also wanted to share the medley of “heart” songs from 1984, but nobody’s posted it on YouTube yet.

  3. So…awesomely…Eighties. I love it!

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