Friday, June 20, 2008

AV: Nostalgia Sucks -or- Watch Me Pull A Rabbit Outta My Hat

So, while sitting at the dining room table, Aida and I began to wax a bit nostalgic about Red Skelton. You know, "America's Clown" (before the current buffoon-in-office, mind you) from the 60s and 70s. The old guy with the funny hair and comic characterizations of hobos and seagulls. Yeah. Him.

We thought of some of his comedy skits ... Heathcliff and Gertrude (aforementioned Seagulls), Clem Cadiddlehopper (a sort of bumpkin character), and his gift for mime. We also laughed together as we spoke of how much our parents had enjoyed him -- especially our fathers. We got a little misty as we recalled our families sitting in our respective living rooms intently focused on our console sets while Red pranced, pratfalled, and giggled his way into our homes and hearts.

There was only one thing to do. Netflix.

The day -- and the little red envelope -- finally arrived. We were delighted in anticipation, telling Megan all about Red Skelton and how he had mesmerized our childhood selves with comic delight and wonder. We laughed all over again thinking of it.

And popped in the DVD.

Good lord. Honestly, neither of us had remembered him as a misogynist or vaguely racist performer. I suppose that is because he, like many performers, was a product of his time. We were horrified by some of the sketches and short little "jokes" he told at A Command Performance for the Queen of England in the late 70s. I can't even recall right now what they were, only that I was embarrassed to be watching it.

I'm really glad I didn't have to explain this to Megan, who wasn't paying any attention.

Boy howdy, Red. I just don't know what to say. We couldn't watch the whole thing. Goodness knows I still like Gertrude and Heathcliff, but jokes about women, drunks, and the Chinese just aren't any kind of funny. I'm appalled that they ever were.

Here's hoping that The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show holds up to the test of time. A little Moose and Squirrel, anyone?

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