Big hair, blue eye shadow and beer-can earrings were the look of Lynnwood in the 1980s-90s TV sketch comedy “Almost Live!”
The fashion mis-statements are coming back — not in style, thank goodness — but to stop traffic.
What’s up with that?
Lynnwood is having a “Big Hair” photo contest to decorate a utility signal box.
The city wants those ludicrous throwback pictures of you with big hair.
Back when you had hair, dude. This contest is for men, too. Those with locks the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Howard Stern.
Ladies, dangling Budweiser earrings are a bonus.
“We are having some fun with ourselves,” said Fred Wong, city community programs coordinator.
Big hair isn’t just hysterical, it’s also historical. The contest is a collaboration with the Lynnwood History & Heritage Board.
Wong said the idea for the “Big Hair and Blue Eye Shadow” theme came up during a brainstorming session about the lighter side of Lynnwood’s legacy.
“Almost Live!” deemed Lynnwood a “nondescript suburb.” Well, except when it came to gussying up.
The “Lynnwood Beauty Academy” segments on the show depicted three popular styles — the poofed hair, the big scary hair, and the Lynnwood patented “Wall-A-Bangs.”
In the skit, eye shadow came in “easy to use buckets that will last a week” in three colors: “Lynnwood blue.” “Really really really blue.” “Not found in nature blue, only found in Lynnwood blue.”
Perfume was sprayed on using a Super Soaker water gun pump. Scents included enticing aromas that have driven Lynnwood men crazy for years, like “slightly damp sheepskin seat cover.”
“Almost Live!” was a regional ritual for 15 years when canceled by KING-TV in 1999, to the dismay of many viewers, though it could be seen on reruns for years.
“We would sort of willy-nilly assign arbitrary characteristics to these places,” said Pat Cashman, a show regular with co-star John Keister. “I don’t know that Lynnwood had any bigger hair per se than any place else. It was an identity we kind of threw out there and it got some resonance.”
A reboot of the show titled “The 206,” named after Seattle’s area code, was launched in 2013 by Cashman, his son, Chris, and Keister. It had a three-season run, followed by variety show called “Up Late NW” until 2016.
Cashman, who lived in Snohomish until recently, said the Lynnwood signal box is a nice tribute to the original show. “Many of the actors and writers no longer have a lot of hair,” he said.
The box will be in a conspicuous site near Alderwood mall. Who knows, maybe some of the “Almost Live!” stars will show up at the ribbon-cutting later this year.
Nancy Irwin, 51, of Lynnwood, submitted a pic from her big hair days.
“It’s kind of embarrassing how we had our hair back then and how wild the ’80s was as far as fashion,” Irwin said.
She denied ever having beer can earrings.
“But I had colored hoop earrings,” she said. “I had pink and purple eye shadow.”
This is the seventh utility box to get arted up in Lynnwood. Grants have covered the $3,000 cost for most of the boxes.
Lynnwood’s first signal box project three years ago was butterflies and flowers by Cedar Valley Community School. There are more than 60 signal boxes that maintain law and order in the congested streets of Lynnwood, which also has traffic cameras.
Wong said the wrap will have multiple photos.
“We are going to do some big ones and some collage ones. We want to include everyone, if possible,” he said.
So all entrants get the glory. And the shame.
Big hair contest
The contest is open to people from Lynnwood and south Snohomish County, including Everett.
Deadline is May 31.
More at www.lynnwoodwa.gov or email firstname.lastname@example.org.