Thursday, September 12, 2013

What's so Funny?

When I was growing up in the 70's we had 6 television stations chalk full of family-friendly programming.  With the help of a set top mounted television antenna, which looked like rabbit ears wrapped in aluminum foil, and a family member who had to hold onto one of those rabbit ears while balancing on one leg and holding their other arm pointed toward the ceiling, those stations came in pretty nicely.  Television programming back then was so family-oriented that even our local news anchor started the 10 o'clock news with "It's 10pm, do you know where your children are?".   My how television has changed since then.

funny, entertainment

These days, with the help of Directv, we have 225+ channels, and yet there is rarely anything on tv worth watching.  Back in the 70's, we had great comedy shows like "I Love Lucy", "The Carol Burnett Show", "Dick Van Dyke", and "Leave it to Beaver".  These days my viewing choices are  "Here comes Honey Boo Boo", "My Big Redneck Vacation", "Finding Bigfoot", "The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man", "The Man with the 132 lb Scrotum", and around 150 channels of infomercials.

As I stayed up late one night and considered these options, I decided to try "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo", thinking it would be the least offensive on the guide. I made it about 3 minutes into the program when it became obvious that this particular show's theme was flatulence.

I've never heard so many people breaking wind on a tv show in such a short span of time in all my life.  I quickly changed the channel when the family's 8-9 year old little girl wanted to show the world how she'd discovered the ever so genteel artform of throwing a fart.  I really have no idea how she planned on accomplishing this feat, but having seen monkeys flinging poo at the zoo, I decided I was too evolved for this particular show.

My second choice was "The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man".  I watched what was left of the 30 minute episode and found it quite entertaining.  Shelby, who hasn't ventured much further than the swamp, had me in stitches as he was trying to figure out what an escalator was and how he was supposed to get on it without doing the splits.  When the show ended, I realized my mouth had been hanging wide open through a majority of the program.  I don't think I've ever watched an English-speaking program, filmed in the good old United States of America, where I could not understand 95% of what the main character said due to his thick cajun accent.  The 5% I could understand pertained to his "begonias", which I'm pretty sure was not in reference to the actual flower species.

Just when I thought my only other non-mind-numbingly-stupid or non-horrendously-offensive programming option was either a Shark vacuum cleaner infomercial or The Weather Channel, up pops 3 men with thick southern drawls and beards so full, they could make ZZ Top consider having facial hair implants.  Within seconds, Phil on "Duck Dynasty" had me laughing so hard over he and his wife having family portraits taken with their dogs by a pet photographer, I was sure I would awaken my entire household.

While these 2 shows are not comedies, at least their form of entertainment results from their senses of humor and not on the characters hurling insults or vulgarities at one another.  Who would have thought you could watch 2 shows about people from the swamps of Louisiana and they could be so completely and utterly different, and yet entertaining at the same time. 

All in all my, family watches about 6 channels out of the 225+ offered on our pricey Directv package.  I miss having television programming which was entertaining and original.  It would be nice to have something to watch which was actually worth  the effort of having to hold onto the television antenna's aluminum foil wrapped rabbit ears like one of Michelangelo's sculptures.

by: Christie Bielss

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