Remember when that show You Can’t Do That On Television was on Nickelodeon?
There have been shows where kids make fun of their parents. There have been shows where kids put on comedy sketches. There have been shows where kids are supposed to be in “reality”.
Imagine that every time you called the Department of Motor Vehicles and someone who was supposed to know something said “I don’t know” got green slime dumped on their head.
Politicians must have been religious watcher of YCDTOT because they never say “I don’t know”.
The show was the most brilliant display of what I call repeated punchlines. Every episode took a group of these kids and rotated them through the same settings: the living room with the parents, the classroom, the arcade, the fast food restaurant, the summer camp. Each of these settings was hosted by the same repulsive adult. For example, the proprietor of the fast food restaurant was Barth, and every time the teenage patrons alluded to the fact that the burgers were made of roadkill, he would say, “D’uhhh I heard that.” But you had to hear to really know how effective it was.
Blip. Ross. The Executioner who would say “Ready…aim…fi-” and then the executionee would say “Wait wait wait” and the Executioner would say “What is it dis time?” These are the memories that get me through the cold, cold world of adulthood.
And now. What have kids to look to now? Yes there are more shows. Yes there is more variety. Yes there is more of everything on television.
But there are no shows where people get slimed for saying “I don’t know”.