Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sitcom Nostalgia

Gentle Reader,

Okay, I know this is going to sound crazy... but I haven't been a daily TV watcher since 2004.  In fact, I haven't even owned a television set since 2010.  This isn't some kind of crusade with me, it's just how my life turned out.  When I moved out on my own in 2004, I couldn't afford cable, and I had a crappy old TV that didn't always work.  Over time, I just kinda got... weaned off of TV.

Now and again I have occasion to see a bit of TV and  I am amazed by how it has changed.  I think that, with the exception of reality shows, TV is a lot more cerebral than it used to be.  There's a lot more edgy or ironic humor, and I don't mind that one bit.  Even so, I have a soft spot for the sitcoms that were own in the mid-80s to mid-90s, when I was a kid growing up and gorging myself on the culture around me.

Here are just a few of my favorites, courtesy of the Wayback Machine known as YouTube.

Who's the Boss?; ABC, 1984-1992

Dear John; NBC, 1988-1992

Wings; NBC, 1990-1997

Empty Nest; NBC, 1988-1995

And last but certainly not least...

Cheers; NBC, 1982-1993

I could probably do a whole essay on the opening of Cheers--but I'll spare you, just this once...  Firstly, the use of colorful Victorian drawings and nostalgic photographs really helps to establish the mood of the classic "friendly bar."  The images are also nicely set against the personalities of the characters, especially in the case of the oft-antagonistic Sam and Diane.  There's also the song itself, which, while a bit sappy, conveys a sentiment shared by all of us.  We all want to find that place where everybody is always happy to see us, don't we?  In all, it's a brilliant send off for an excellent show.

I miss old TV!  Thank goodness for the internet!

Ever Yours,

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Gentle Reader,

OMG OMG OMG.  There are few shows that I have ever loved as much as I loved MADtv.  I missed the first few seasons, which were on when I was in high school, but I became addicted to this show during college and watched it regularly through the end of its run.  It was a different type of humor than SNL or other late night shows, and maybe it wasn't for everybody, but it was definitely just right for me.

I could probably do 25 posts about my favorite MADtv skits, but here are just five of (IMO) the funnest MADtv moments of all time.  If you have more, feel free to post about it in a comment!

5.) Crest Whitestrips
This one might be funnier if you remember the actual commercial that was airing at the time, which would have been circa 2003ish.  But, give it a go even if you don't.  It is hilarious!

4.) Mariah Carrey "Love Muffin"
Here's a great short clip of Debra Wilson imitating Mariah Carey as only she can.  This is a sendup of MTV's (awful) TRL as well as a certain tendency Mariah apparently had back in the late 90's to lose her marbles now and again.

3.) Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Here's one from 2007 or thereabouts.  Normally I would say that the less said about the Kardashians the better, but this skit just hits all the right notes.  Perverse, annoying, and upsetting notes, but the right ones just the same.

2.) Yvoone Criddle on The People's Court
I will never understand why this amazing recurring character only appeared in two episodes!  As you will quickly discover, the deal with Yvoone is that she does not like to be crossed and thinks that virtually any retaliation is justified.  Watch the fireworks and enjoy!

1.) Let's Be Honest
I love this skit so so so much.  This aired somewhere around 2007 but my friends and I quote it to this day.  You have known these girls, or been one, or wished you were one.  And I don't care if it sounds weird, okay?  I'm just being honest...

Ever Yours,

Friday, March 8, 2013


If people tell me that I look like Seth McFarlane, is that a good thing?

Cuz I think so.