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Friday, April 15, 2011

Thanks For The Memories, Erica!

Goodbye Jenny and Greg, goodbye Jesse and Angie, goodbye Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, goodbye Billy Clyde Tuggle and yes, goodbye Erica Kane!

It's a tremendously sad day in t.v. land, ABC has cancelled its long-running soap opera, "All My Children". Soap operas have been declining in popularity for several years, and many of them, some older than television itself, have bought the farm in the past five years. ABC also cancelled "One Life to Live" yesterday, but we're especially sad to see "All My Children" go.

"All My Children" premiered in 1970 and quickly became one of the most popular soaps on t.v., thanks in part to the character of a young, self-centered beauty named Erica Kane, who has been played from the very beginning by actress Susan Lucci. Later, in the late 70's and early 80's, "AMC" reached a popularity which transcended daytime t.v.; the entire nation was riveted to the romantic storylines of Greg and Jenny, Jesse and Angie and Cliff and Nina. But what made "AMC" stand out from the rest of the soaps was the fact that it embraced comedic writing, even campy at times. The characters of Opal Gardner, played by Dorothy Lyman, and Billy Clyde Tuggle, played by Matthew Cowles, (pictured above right), were clearly meant to be funny, and it worked; they were hilarious. The tone of "AMC" remained serious, but the show wasn't afraid to poke fun at itself and the soap genre as a whole. The evil pimp, Billy Clyde Tuggle, and his hooker girlfriend, Honey Stell, had the whole country talking and laughing. And then, of course, there were the epic battles between Pine Valley's social doyenne, Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, and the social ladder-climbing Erica, who once memorably scheduled a social event on the same day as Phoebe's garden party, which prompted Phoebe to yell at Erica, "Go ahead and try to have your party on the same day as mine. I will blow you out of the water!" God, it was classic.

To read more about "All My Children" click here, and enjoy the gallery of photos of "AMC"'s most famous characters below.

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