Full House has a deep connection to Sixties Beach Party movies
During the fourth season of Full House, an episode comes along that finds Joey cast in a TV series and heading off to Los Angeles.
Of course, in "Joey Goes Hollywood," the entire Tanner family tags along to make sure Joey has a good experience in L.A. — and to meet his very famous castmates.
Apart from being a change in scenery, this episode paid tribute to Sixties Beach Party movies. Joey’s castmates on his new TV show (a fictional program called Surf’s Up) are none other than Beach Party stars Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
But their appearance together on Full House isn’t the only connection the sitcom has to the beachy fun movie genre.
Full House star Lori Loughlin (Becky Katsopolis) actually appeared in a 1987 Beach Party revival movie called Back to the Beach.
In the movie, Loughlin played teen daughter to Frankie and Annette, giving Beach Party movie fans a chance to see their favorite couple all grown up and coping with their teenage kids.
Classic TV fans might remember this film best because it was Gilligan actor Bob Denver’s last movie role.
The movie would also famously become Annette Funicello’s last film.
While shooting it, Funicello bravely hid her fatigue, then shortly after filming ended, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 2013, she passed away.
Appearing on Full House was a return to TV for Funicello, who had only made a comeback to acting once after Back to the Beach, playing herself in a 1989 movie called Troop Beverly Hills.
In the Full House episode, Funicello revives her brightest movie star days with Frankie right by her side, and the sitcom cast struggles to explain to the young Tanner girls what the Beach Party movie craze was all about.
MeTV fans know that the craze was huge, and those fans never forgot all the fun they had with Frankie and Annette.
In fact, that when Funicello decided to do Back to the Beach in 1987, it was because Avalon had convinced her that she still had tons of fans wanting to see her looking tan on the sand again.
"Frankie would come back off the road with these reports of how many fans I had, how many people were following my career," Funicello told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1987. "I thought he must be kidding me."
While filming Back to the Beach, Funicello stayed loyal to her Disney contract that stated she could not show her belly button, even though times had significantly changed by 1987.
Avalon said it just felt good being back on the beach, partying with Funicello. Undoubtedly, they both felt the same nostalgia when they were reviving the spirit of those same characters for the Full House appearance.
"Annette and I loved our characters from the ’60s pictures, and we loved going back for a look around," Avalon said.
"Nostalgia is an important part of our lives," Funicello said.
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