My Childhood Defined By Comics, Cartoons, Atari and Pizza


Everybody’s got a “Happy Place.” You know, that island in your mind you go to when you just need to get away and relax from the stress of life? Yeah, mine isn’t so much a place as it is a decade.

I may have been born in the ’70s, but I grew up in the ’80s. I am most definitely a child of the Bubble Gum Decade.

It’s crazy to me that it has been almost 30 years since the end of the ’80s, but somehow I’m still living it. I can always picture myself in my backyard, mowing the lawn with my headphones on (Sony Walkman, of course), as I rocked out to the latest album on cassette. Most likely Twisted Sister, Van Halen or Whitesnake.

Nostalgia is a pretty big deal for me and the things that make me happiest these days are anything that helps me relive my happy childhood years from the ’80s. There’s the killer cartoons like Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which, thanks to Netflix, I was able to share with my kids!


Then there’s my obsession with comic books. It started back when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and blossomed from there. At one point in my life, I had over 10,000 comics in my basement. I’ve since sold most of them off but still have some of my favorites and I love sharing those with my kids. No, I’m not letting them read through my Avengers #4, but we’ll (very carefully!) look at it together.

Ellio's #Pizzastalgia

I’ve had dozens of video games systems in my life too. The original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, N64. Sega Genesis. Sony PlayStation. They’re all amazing but nothing, yes nothing, will ever top my favorite gaming system of all time. That’d be the Golden Child of Gaming: The Atari 2600.


I still have a working Atari and over 100 games to play on it. The funny thing is, I break it out every once in awhile and play with my friends and kids. I was positive my boys would think it’s boring and hate the super pixelated look of it. Boy, was I wrong. They couldn’t care less what it looked like or how simplistic the games were, and they just loved playing it with me.


What tied all of those youthful reminders together, though, is pizza. But not just any pizza. I’m talking Ellio’s pizza. If you asked me to sum up the 1980s in one word, it’d definitely be Ellio’s. A flood of memories just explodes in my mind when I think about it. Call it #Pizzastalgia if you’d like! 

One of my best friends growing up was a neighborhood kid named Gary, and he definitely shared my passion for pizza. He’s a Mets fan, and I’m a Yankees fan. We spent soooo many hours just talking baseball, having catches, watching games and especially trading baseball cards! I’d give him all my Mets cards and he’d give me his Yankee cards. I can so clearly picture the two of us on his patio in the summer, flipping through cards while his mom would place slices of Ellio’s pizza in front of us. It was a convenient snack that kept us both occupied (and full) for the time being, so she loved it as much as we did!

I’d love to recreate these special childhood memories with my boys. They may not be into baseball cards like I was, but they’re definitely into movies. We’ve zipped through some of my favorites from the ’80s including Back to the Future, The Karate Kid and Ghostbusters. Sure they all don’t hold up perfectly but for the most part, my kids enjoyed them.

Some of my favs from the ’80s are John Cusack films. Better Off Dead is hilarious and I need to show that to Jason and Ryan soon. My favorite Cusack film rounded out the ’80s and I’ll have to save it for when my kids are a little older so they’ll really appreciate it. Yep, I’m talking about Say Anything. It’s the apex of Cusack’s career and no other film he’s ever done has hit the perfection of this film.


As part of a fun, nostalgic campaign with Life of Dad and Ellio’s Pizza, I was challenged with recreating a classic ’80s movie poster. What immediately popped into my mind was Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) standing outside his car with a boombox held over his head while Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” blasted. It’s the ultimate modern day Romeo and Juliet moment. So, of course, I needed to recreate it.

While I haven’t really thought much about Ellio’s pizza since my college days (my wife lived on the stuff then!), I’m happy to see that Ellio’s is around, and still just as delicious and convenient to make! Available in six different flavors (including cheese, pepperoni and supreme!), they are regional so be sure to check the Store Locator at for availability near you. You’ll be happy to know that Ellio’s uses 100% real cheese and no artificial flavors. Plus it’s so easy and quick to make, you just pop it in your toaster and you (okay, and your kids) will be enjoying it in no time!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read some comic books, play some Pitfall and chow down on some Ellio’s.

What are your favorite memories from the ’80s?



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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Life of Dad and Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I have received compensation for this post; however, all opinions stated are my own.

7 thoughts on “My Childhood Defined By Comics, Cartoons, Atari and Pizza”

  1. I wasnt a child of the 80s. Mine was sooner. Ours were the days of playing outside. I remember when the first computers came out and you had to write code to have it make a sound (or a series of sounds) and if one piece was messed up it didnt work. I figured computers would never catch on. I was wrong obviously!

  2. Oh man just seeing Ellios pizza reminds me of my childhood. As soon as I saw those rectangles I KNEW it was Ellios pizza lol. I feel the same way about the nostalgia!

  3. My sister and I got an Atari when we were little and just loved it. We played until our thumbs cramped up. We actually taught ourselves to play with our feet to give our hands a break!

  4. I did not have a 1980’s childhood. I was a young adult who danced to Michael Jackson and Madonna. “Born in the USA” was my favorite album and “Wall Street” was my favorite movie.

  5. I’m older so video games weren’t part of it but comics palyed some an important part in my growing up.I bought the first Spiderman,Daredevil,Silver Surfer etc.It was a great time to be a young boy.

  6. Hahaha, oh my gosh, this was my childhood too! Ellio’s, Atari, and Saturday morning cartoons were my life (back then, there weren’t a million channels to watch cartoons any time of day or night- it was just Saturday mornings). Ellio’s was my favorite afterschool treat- if we were good, that was dinner- yum!


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