I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I'd be lost without Adult Swim.

Never did I think that at age 25, I would sit down to watch cartoons every day. But I do. And I love it. Adult Swim on the cartoon network ...

wait. I saw something I thought was a fake commercial, but it might be real - a phone blinging kit?! Are they fucking joking me? For 19.95, you can buy "bling" bejeweled stickers to put on your phone... ... ... I'm speechless.

Anyway, Adult Swim on the cartoon network, was like discovering College Radio - an "independent" outlet (moreso) in a very mainstream media. And I love it. It's hilarious. Hilarious and intelligent, and makes me happy.

Among the shows that make me uncomfortable...

It's strange to think that I could feel embarrassed for/uncomfortable-awkward because of a television show in my own living room, and yet... there are shows that I watch that just, after a while, make me squirm. It's not a gross-out factor or sexy sex or anything, it's more of an, "Ugh, there are people that like this?!" reaction... The two shows that come immediately to mind are Gallagher's old comedy specials, and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour on Comedy Central.

Bleahhhhh! Blehblahblahguhhhhhh!

The very first show that I can fathom, before either of those shows existed, was that gameshow...with that guy? Jim Stancil? He's that guy... (Wet Hot American Summer reference, people.) No, really, that 70s gameshow, where the audience members humiliated themselves, by dressing up like hobos or Raggedy Anne or a rabbit, to get the chance to guess what was behind door number 1 or 2, and they could win a pinto, or a goldenrod-colored refrigerator, or a bucket of feathers. Ugh. I wonder where all the sad contestants on that retarded show are now...in their uncreative and dignity-squashing costumes, knowing that in 1974 they won their current dishwasher, because they were the best...what's stupid...girlscout with hearts painted on her face, in the audience, and were selected by Guy Sexual-Harasser to participate in the show. So that's the predecessor... then we come to Gallagher.

Everything about that guy bothers me...except the watermelon smashing part. That part is awesome. His clothes make me...to repeat the word...awkward. He's usually in a turtleneck and a set of like..bellbottom overalls. OR, he's in his waffle-knit black and white striped Henley, wearing a newsboy cap over his dastardly "haircut," and sporting what I can only assume are double-knit polyester black bellbottoms, that today would be comparable to a Juicy sweatsuit. That starts the annoyance. Then he starts talking. "

Gallagher, "What's up with dippity-doooooo? I'd call it dippity---don't!"
Crowd: "BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!" ::cut to shot of two girls with Audrey's haircut from National Lampoon's European vacation, wearing pale-blue colored slacks tossing their heads back and laughing, revealing a severely crowded overbite::
Gallagher, "I mean, it's all those fat-cats up there in Washington...I feel like telling them to let me enjoy myself to the maxes...gimmie back my...TAXES!"
Crowd: "AHHHHHHHHHHH-HAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHA!" ::woman with ghastly haircut and black teeth gasps for air, mongoloid man with cokebottle glasses, severe acne and a butterfly collar slaps his knees and wipes his eyes::

It's at this point when I throw up a little bit in my mouth and change the channel.

I was just watching Blue Collar Comedy Tour because the choice was between that or Punk'd, and I couldn't stand watching Punk'd for another second... and it was the SAME THING as GALLAGHER, only MODERN! People that I recognize from the gas station and...no, that's it, the gas station... were in the audience, either plump with gin blossoms, or wiry and nicotine-stained, hooting and freaking out whenever someone cracked a "funny" and I use the word "funny" in the most abstract of senses.

I didn't understand the jokes. At all. One of them was, "I think Britney Spears should be a Baskin Robbins flavor of the month." If someone told me that joke, it would be greeted with a stony silence- masquerading as polite anticipation for the real punchline if I didn't really know the person, and if I DID know the person, it would be greeted with the admonition that the person never tell that joke, ever again, because it was, without question, the worst joke ever told in the history of human civilization. I like hyperbole. Sue me.

Not so for the yokels in the audience. You'd've thought Gallagher himself had just said, "I'm as jumpy as a mouse in a mousetrap factory," with the response they gave. Clapping and rocking, and eye-wiping. I certainly hope there was a paramedic in the house on standby, because I'm sure quite a few people gave themselves coronaries at that show.

Another joke, that this time I at least got the lame punchline to, was "What do you call a three-year old running around a flea market in only a diaper, drinking Coke out of his baby bottle? (Give up?) A future NASCAR fan."

::eruption of Jubilation as though the Lord removed the roof from the concert hall and informed everyone that, yes, he was real, and that everyone in the audience had been granted an automatic pass to Heaven upon their deaths, absolutely.::

And yet I sat, unmoved. No muscle in my face strained in even the slightest to crack a smile.

And at that moment, I turned off the TV again, preferring to sit in silence rather than suffer another joke that causes me to actually feel myself getting stupider. I mean, I get that when you're the audience to a comedian or to a show, there's a much greater impetus to laugh and enjoy yourself - you paid for the tickets, you're there to enjoy yourself, dammit, you've probably sucked down a few beers at the pre-show "cocktail" party, added to the group-mentality dimension. Still. Watching these comedian's wretched acts is bad enough, but it's the crowds that really make me sad. I'm sad for the fact that they're dressed like Mr. Furley (in the older versions), and I'm sad that they react the way they do, and I'm especially sad that they probably still have the brown, beige and orange plaid couch in full use, that contestants once won on the "Wear a dumb costume" show.

And because I'm sad about what they find funny, and sad that coleslaw probably figures into their diet on a weekly basis, I change the channel... because instead of entertaining me, it's the most depressing form of entertainment, short of "The Puppy and Bunny Killing, Baby Autopsy Good-Time Variety Hour!"