The May 2000 issue of The Last Laugh contained a do-it-yourself board game as its centerfold. It was called Not The Nineties!
I don’t know if anyone ever played it; I doubt it. The potshots are pretty brutal for a fun diversion. What can I say, the 1990s were actually pretty brutal themselves. The game provides a reasonably accurate simulation of trudging through ten unpleasant years.
(Printable game board included at the end of this article!)
Do you know what a “cold open” is? Sure you do. Every current sitcom you watch uses it. It’s when the show just begins, no fanfare, no opening titles. Right into the action, because the producers know you’ll change the channel if you have to sit through 30 seconds of the same music every week.
Congrats! You’ve done exactly what was expected of you, and nothing more.
“Cold opens” are like “cold sores”. They spread easily. Saturday Night Live has done cold opens since before you were born. You’re used to it in sitcoms. Hell, you were getting tired of the “typical sitcom theme”, anyway.
The FOX sitcom Married… With Children ran for eleven seasons, five of them good, from 1987 to 1997. It was created by Ron Leavitt and Michael G. Moye, who were inspired by the Norman Lear classic All In The Family. On the surface, the two shows appear similar; a middle-aged ignoramus, his obnoxious yet well-meaning family, contemporary social topics. But since these kind of programs invariably get into hot water for their dialogue, they share a more subtle connection.
Not only do they resemble a real family, but Kelly looks vaguely like Al, and Bud looks like Peg. That’s either serendipity or super-human casting.
During All In The Family‘s run (1971-79), “lovable bigot*” Archie Bunker, played by the great Carroll O’Connor, would go upstairs and flush the toilet to portray his disapproval. Bathroom noise on television was verboten before this. As you know, the home of the titular family on The Brady Bunch lacked a water closet, even though the father was an architect by trade. Early in television’s lifespan, it was believed that the sounds related to using the restroom would trigger the urge to defecate in viewers, driving them from the screen to the loo. Continue reading →