A couple of nights ago at work I was talking with someone about old TV shows that probably wouldn’t make it on the air today.
All in the Family, for instance. There’s no way such a program would be given the thumbs-up by network executives in 2011. Despite the fact Archie Bunker was designed to look like a buffoon, his opinions wouldn’t fly at this point. Even in the context of a program designed to mock him.
No, you’d still have people cherry-picking individual lines of dialog, and acting all offended. They’d be sprawled-out on fainting couches and whatnot, completely missing the overall message of the show.
Because people like to be offended nowadays, it’s a hobby.
Another show we talked about was Hogan’s Heroes. It was a sitcom, for godsakes, set inside a Nazi concentration camp. And it debuted just twenty years after World War II ended.
Clearly, there were plenty of people still around who were victims of Hitler and his band of merry men. Jews who fled Europe… war widows… parents who lost sons and daughters in the fighting… And they made a sitcom about it? Featuring hilarious Nazi officers??
Yeah, I can’t see something like that receiving a green-light today. Can you imagine, for instance, a wacky sitcom about 9/11? Maybe about a lovable loser who is constantly trying to profit off the tragedy, always coming up with tasteless souvenirs and that sort of thing? I don’t think so. Maybe in 1965, but not now.
Heck, during the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, just a few weeks ago, I posted something at Facebook which caused someone to get — are you ready? — offended. There was wall-to-wall TV coverage at the time, and I wrote this:
I was dozing a bit, and my son was flipping through the channels. For a few confusing seconds I believed the guy from Man vs. Food had been eating an enormous sandwich in the south tower of the World Trade Center, on 9/11.
That’s a joke about me getting two TV shows mixed-up, while drifting in and out of sleep. It doesn’t have anything to do with 9/11, really. But I was taken to task, for even mentioning the subject inside a joke about something else.
I don’t think there will be any 9/11 sitcoms, anytime soon. Not that I’m saying there should be, mind you. I’m just pointing out how times have changed, for better or worse.
Can you imagine a TV character in 2011 hollering at his wife every week: “One of these days, Alice! Pow!! Right in the kisser!” Heh. Where’s the fainting couch?
Of course we have lots of options now, and the edgier stuff has kind of migrated to cable. So, it hasn’t disappeared completely. Some of it has, I think, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, we don’t really need an updated version of Amos & Andy. Right?
What do you think about this? If you have any opinions, please post them in the comments. Also, what are some old shows that probably wouldn’t make it to modern-day network television?
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon.
Also, just wait, all the shows that I loved as a kid (80s) have been “modernized” and turned to shit. Or were those shows shitty from the start? New GI Joe movie – complete turd, Ninja Turtles coming back, WWF turned to WWE. All the fashions just get recycled.
Anyway. I totally agree that you can’t say anything without offending some tissue paper thin skinned person. Toughen up people. Pick yourself up, rub some dirt in it and get back out there….. Oh wait, there is this thing called “band-aid wash” now… WTF is that?
Somewhere in the TopTen!
I just got taken to task for making light of Roy’s tragedy on an article I wrote about freaking football snacks! The joke?
What do Siegfreid and the tiger have in common?
They both know what Roy tastes like.
The editor of the website had to CUT the joke because people complained. WTF, man??
Those guys were the shittiest magicians ever. One of them was being EATEN, they should have just made the tiger disappear. Idiots.
Bill in WV says
Too damn funny.
Joe T. says
Can you imagine Blazing Saddles made today?
Love the picture you have of the guy eating breakfast, while everyone else is looking up at the towers.
Joe T. says
Or songs like, “Coward of the County” and the gang rape part where ol Kenny sings, “They took turns with Becky, there were six of them.”
Or maybe it’s a good thing they don’t write ’em like “Coward of the County” anymore.
I don’t think “Good TImes” or “Welcome Back, Kotter” would make it today. Seems like they might have been to willing to take on stereotypes with humor.
Some of the edgier stuff on SNL, like the Richard Pryor / Chevy Chase word association bit would never happen.
Blazing Saddles would never get made, no way, no how.
We have to use Extraterrestrials as the bad guys in westerns now (Cowboys and Aliens).
But in fairness I will say that Hogans Hero’s was set in a Luftstalag, not a concentration camp. Those were two very different worlds. Neither one was a picnic, but only one was beyond inhumanity.
Tim Allen’s new show, “Last Man Standing” is supposed to be about the dying breed of men who hunt, fish, ride bicycles without helmets and are generally not in any way metrosexual. Even though he is portrayed as a buffoon (because we know that it’s just crazy to get on a bike without wearing hockey equipment) I find that I rather agree with most of the stuff he bitches about.
And if that offends anyone…. Well, you know.
Sit & Spin? 🙂
All those shows are classics! Now we have SHIT like, TEEN MOMS, 16 AND PREGNANT, SISTER WIVES, KATE PLUS 8. I’ll take Archie Bunker any day!
Sorry didnt mean to put my post om yours.
I like Last Man Standing also
Why are you such a terrible person, Jeffy Kay? How dare you does off while someone else flips across a channel talking about 9/11?
You should have boxed your boys ears and kicked him out of the house for the rest of the evening, and stood up at attention with you hand over your heart while the 9/11 program played.
It is almost like kissing during Schindlers list. Shame on you.
I do have opinions, but they are just as stupid as the guy who posted below me.
Rat Bastard says
Rat Bastard says
You would also never see a children’s cartoon like the original Johnny Quest series; you could actually keep a count of dead-bodies-per-episode with that show. And it was great!
The Venture Brothers
Yes but Venture Brothers is part of adult swim shown late at night; while Johnny Quest was Saturday morning fare. I don’t think Animaniacs or Pinky and the Brian would get made today
They tried to re-make/re-boot Ren and Stimpy recently on SpikeTV and they made it unwatchable. I’m having a hammering-yourself-in-the-head ala “Happy Happy Joy Joy” kind of day at work, so I’m longing for the great, violent cartoons I grew up with.
I remember that.
Have you guys ever seen Family Guy when Stewie was working at the boarding and gate and Race Bannon, the Quests and Haji were boarding the plane. You Tube it, The quality sucks…but it is so effin’ funny!
Lee Harvey Ramone says
I’d like to see a show in which scantily-dressed morbidly obese folks sit around and comment about the Occupy Wall St movement while eating potato chips.
I fucking hate the perpetually offended. Buncha goddamn whiners.
I think Superman would have stopped those planes from hitting the towers if he hadn’t been a quadriplegic.
Call me a sicko, but I can’t stop laughing at that comment!
Isnt he dead?
Yeah, he’s dead. But he didn’t die until 2004, I think. So on 9/11 he could have at least TRIED to do something. Maybe use that stick near his mouth that he used to steer his chair with to go down there and say a few words to calm everyone down, at least.
I thought the REAL Superman was the one on TV in the 50’s.
You talkin about George Reeves? He shot his own brain out.
T. Farty McAppleass says
Don’t encourage him!
T. Farty McAppleass says
T. Farty McAppleass says
You said you’d never forget.
Shittiest joke ever.
Bwahahahahahaha! (I enjoyed it!)
Told you not to encourage him
I think I accidentally blew out a little string of snot somewhere on my keyboard. Oh Jesus–I guess I’ll have to find it after it dries.
lori in cbus says
TFart never fails to amuse me
I thought Hogan’s Heroes was funny when I was a kid, but now it just seems bad.
Robert Clary was actually in a Nazi concentration camp when he was a kid.
Before Hogan’s Heroes, there was Stalag 17 (1953).
I like the movie Auto Focus (2002).
I think those shows would make it somewhere in the depths of cable today. Yeah, people would be offended and scream bloody terror, but South Park regularly has people up in arms nowadays.
I think if Archie Bunker were to hit the airwaves now, he’d just have a list of “no-no”s and be allowed to go on his merry way.
Bill in WV says
My dad used to say back in the day when Three’s Company was on the air “if John Ritter’s daddy Tex were alive today, he’d kick the shit out of him”.
People are Pussies!!!! Have a nice day.
What about “Speed Racer”? I think that fucker was actually on speed. He was always jerking around going, “wha? wha? wha?” with sweat pouring off him.
They can say “My Nigger!” on MTV but they can’t say “My nigger” on TMC.
[relax ya’ll. I’m only MOSTLY white]
As ridiculous as things are today with people being offended, I seriously doubt that the original Bugs Bunny and The Road Runner would be aired. Cross-dressing; use of dynomite, guns and various weapons (Acme would be out of business!); bullying; name-calling…etc. Parents would be picketing Mel Blanc’s house. But, sure as shit, the very same parents will be out this holiday season buying their little angels the newest play station game that features machine gun wielding bad guys or whatever.
You nailed it, sister.
Hell, they suffered cuts and freeze frames for a while as the “dangerous” stuff occured.
People today just have no comprehension of context, nor a sense of sarcasm. My parents or grand parents didn’t get uptight with the likes of Hogans Heros. My grandfather had the tattoo (he was captured and escaped three times, third time in is when he got the tattoo, story goes if he had been caught again he’d have been shot, my dad was “jailed” in a camp as well during the latter part of the war… So if they can see the humor, the people with the panties on too tight can just go fuck themselves and go to hell.
Which, brings me to a harrassment investigation going on at one of our buildings (not mine. its still in hush hush phase) but from what I’ve been able to piece together, some male has made the claim and best I can figure its some p.c. tard too afraid to tell the perp to just fuck off and get on with life. Be curious to see where that goes, but it is a related tangent: People don’t fucking stand up for themselves, they gotta go crying to somebody else about it and then hide behind annonimity…
Man, putting the sights on the other side of a gun to make it fire backward wouldn’t fly.
I’m offended by my balls.
Whittaker Walt says
You got it Alex. People need to get over themselves.
A very good friend of my father spent a little time in a Luft Stalag after his B-24 got shot down. He thought Hogan’s Heroes was the funniest show ever. He realized that it was NOT intended to portray reality!
BTW did anyone know that Werner Klemperer (colonel Klink) was Jewish? LOL, just another bit of trivia that clogs my brain.
Many movies wouldn’t get made today or would at least have some censorship.
How about Blues Brothers? Calling the nun a ‘penguin’ – oops, you’ve offended Catholics
Caddyshack – kids sitting around smoking pot, and Spaulding says “this is good shit, I got it from a NEGRO!”
Airplane! – The black guys and Barbara Billingsly speaking ‘jive’.
I think you could take just about any comedy from the 70’s and 80’s and find something that would offend someone today if you really tried. Its a sad commentary on how our society has degenerated.
Garrett - g1g3m says
Southern Fried Rabbit:
First, Bugs disguises himself as a banjo-playing slave, singing “My Old Kentucky Home.” When Sam asks for something “more peppy”, Bugs promptly sings “Yankee Doodle,” leading Sam to call Bugs a traitor. Bugs then begs Sam not to beat him, pulls out a whip (disguised as a banjo string), and forces it into Sam’s hands, making Sam look guilty. After fleeing, the rabbit immediately comes in disguised as Abraham Lincoln, scolding Sam for “whipping slaves.” Sam tries to protest with repeated “buts” but Bugs in response hands him a card to “look me up at my Gettysburg Address”.
one of my favorite shows, sanford and son, i couldnt see that being on today, fred is always going off on the asians and latinos. the show is hilarious but there are times when i watch it and go omg this would never be on tv nowadays.
Is there a recurring theme today in the bunker cam and further evidence? Good stuff as always.
PETA would freak on the abuse of horses with “Mr Ed”
Chico and the Man. Punky Brewster. Popeye, for fuck’s sake – surprised nobody’s mentioned that at this late date.
Phantom Railfan says
A few years ago the early black-and-white 1930s POPEYE cartoons were released on DVD. All the packaging contained disclaimers about how (paraphrasing) “these cartoons were made during a less-enlightened era and as such may contain elements of humor or comic violence not in accordance with modern values. They are reccomended for the adult collector…”
…and when I clicked on the one link in this update, I saw the page title in the other tab before I looked at it. I wondered “who is George, and why will he throw the pillow?”
We catch “All in the Family” reruns almost every night. My wife is from Germany and knew nothing of it. Now she loves Archie, Edith, and sometimes even meathead.
All in the Family was my father’s favorite show. He’d giggle like a little kid. He also loved Don Rickles. Which reminds me of the Dean Martin Roast’s. Funny as hell…never would be seen on primetime ABC/NBC/CBS now.
Bill in WV says
I have a couple of the Dean Martin celebrity roasts. One where they are roasting Sammy Davis, Jr. Man, the racial comments on that one would start World War III. Foster Brooks gets up, in his acting-drunk state, and says “We are here tonight (burp) to honor a great American (burp)…..Sandy Duncan, Jr.”. I bout shit.
Bill: Omg…that is CLASSIC! Absolutely hilarious! Any youngin’s here may not even know who Sandy Duncan is. I could see that joke now being used on Comedy Central’s Roasts…but primetime…fuck no. And Foster Brooks was brilliant. I looked forward to him every DM Roast. Thanks for that laugh. Good memories!
I saw Don Rickls in concert about 2 years ago. One of the best nights out!
Speaking of Don Rickles and Foster Brooks and the Dean Martin Roasts…..
Imagine trying to air “I Dream of Jeannie?” “Yes, Master” my ass.
If, by chance, it did hit the airwaves, Jeannie would be wearing 1/4 of the clothes from the original. That bottle would have heel marks up and down the sides from Jeannie and the major bottle boinking.
Whittaker Walt says
Can’t. Stop. Laughing. HA!
good one, you’d have Major’s Nelson and Healy in a 3 way with Jeannie.
when I watch that show today I think, Major Nelson must have been gay – otherwise he’d say, Jeannie, blink me a ton of money, screw NASA, lets just spend the rest of our lives boinking!
Ummmm… the Dukes of Hazzard.
I dunno…maybe I’m wrong there. Just watch an episode or two.
Bo, Luke and Daisy… all the sex with family members… Cooter… Flash… sex… dirt and moonshine… Flash…
the bad guys are always from “Atlanta,” and one of ’em is usually a black dude.
Maybe I’m imagining part of that. I don’t think so.
I’m gonna get drunk and tune into CMT tonight and write a position paper.
It is impossible to watch and episode much less two of that show.
I have studied this using several advanced entertainment metrics over hundreds of arduous hours.
Considering the soulful, emotional acting, the deep and varied scripts and fully realized characters, and the production values that closely resemble those in Orson Welles’ greatest works, The Dukes of Hazzard is perhaps the finest achievement in the history of American television- nay, ANY and ALL television.
Furthermore, Flash is the most accomplished canine thespian in the annals of entertainment.
If The Bible itself were a television series, even it would not compare in quality to The Dukes of Hazzard.
Also, I have a poster of Catherine Bach on all four walls of both bathrooms. And a few of Tom Wopat.
Good day, sir.
Clearly this was a reply to Uncle Wedgie. Clearly, the ability to reply has again eluded my brain’s powers.Clearly, I may actually BE a Duke of Hazzard.
Chuck in Belpre says
Also, I have a naked poster of Catherine Bach on all fours.
There I fixed it for ya.
Okay, you’re right. I should’ve told the truth the first time.
You looked into my soul.