Monday, April 23, 2012

Reality TV & The Blogger Bore

About a thousand years ago, the closest thing we had to what is now called “Reality TV” was a show called Candid Camera. 

I’m sure most of you are familiar with it since it’s been around in various incarnations through the ages.

It was a mean little show based on the premise that all of us love to watch other people be made fools of in public.

And who can argue with that….

It was originally created and hosted by Alan Funt, a chubby, bald man, which is of no relative significance other than he was, and boasted a super talented cast of writers and performers the likes of Woody Allen and Fannie Flagg.

Who needs Annie Hall and Fried Green Tomatoes?

Basically, Mr. Funt would hide a camera out on the street and ask unsuspecting passerby’s to watch his car while he ran into see a guy about a guy, and then have another guy in a gorilla suit come out and drive the car away…whereupon Alan would reappear and ask the guy what happened to his car? If all went well, the car watcher would then become totally apoplectic and, if we were really lucky, begin to hyperventilate and have a nervous breakdown, trying to explain about the gorilla.

Yeah…I know…that’s entertainment!

But that was then…when there were only 3 big networks around and most places were lucky to get more than 2 or 3 viewable channels.

Nowadays, there’re still only 2 or 3 “viewable” channels…but there’s a national network available for just about any topic and anybody who can operate a cable remote.

In fact I think there’s a hot new show called “Cable Calamities” on the new “Lifestyles & Remotes Network”.

Hidden cameras record the antics of people who are learning how to operate their new cable remote controls.  Hilarity ensues when grandpa mistakenly mutes the audio function and develops chest pain because he fears he may have gone deaf….

But you really need to see the whole episode to get the full comic effect once the paramedics revive the poor guy.

Good Times….

A mere 20 years ago if one wanted to make a social commentary on the nature of mass media, one might have created a satirical scenario that would have featured the very state of national television programming today.

If two had wanted to make a social commentary, then they would have probably just talked over one another and no one would have made any sense of it, if any sense is to be made of social commentary in the first place.

If you’ve always been a fan of storage lockers…there’s a show for that.

Pawn Shops…bingo!

Tow Truck Drivers…you got it.


Obsessive Compulives.

Repo men.

Rich Women getting their nails done.

Rich Women getting their hair done.

Rich Women getting their faces re-done.

There are shows about bachelors.

Shows about bachelorettes.

Fat people losing weight.

Skinny people gaining weight.

People who live together.

People who live alone.

Shows about boring celebrities.

Shows about boring people who think they’re celebrities.

Monster Brides.

Fantasy Weddings.


Speed Cooking.


Not Surviving.

And on and on it goes….

Okay…I admit it.

I’m just bitter because I’ve been trying to pitch a new reality TV series based on the life of a Freelance writer who blogs for the fun of it, mostly because no one has volunteered to pay him for it.

I call it “Blogger Bore”.

Each episode begins with the Blogger Bore staring at the blank ceiling above his bed hoping that a funny idea will mysteriously appear there.

Cut to the Blogger Bore brushing his teeth hoping that a funny idea will mysteriously appear there.

Cut to the Blogger Bore drinking coffee hoping that a funny idea will mysteriously appear there.

Cut to the Blogger Bore drinking more coffee, pursuing the Internet hoping that a funny idea will mysteriously appear there.

Cut to the Blogger Bore drinking even more coffee, still pursuing the Internet hoping that somebody else’s funny idea will mysteriously appear he can steal it.

And on and on it goes.

Hey, it could happen.

I’m just waiting to hear back from Dick Clark about hosting.

I'm pretty sure he was hot to do it, but now he's not returning my calls .

I guess that's how these kinds of big time negotiations go.

I'm sure he'll get back to me soon and we'll iron out the kinks....

While I’m waiting I’m hoping that a funny idea will mysteriously appear here.

I’m sure you are too….


  1. Try to call Verizon to report a funny noise on your phone. Talk to the robot for l5 minutes. Do you want to make an appointment for the tech to check the phone? Well, you have to stick around any day of the week between the hours of 8am and 5 pm. I gave up on this and yelled, "Never mind" to the robot. I still have the funny noise and I should have spoken in Spanish.

    1. I smell a big hit there…“On the Phone with Joan”

  2. Or how about my friend, the lady police officer? The problem: When visiting the lady's room, what to do with the flashlight, the baton, the keys, the REVOLVER and holster? This is a Reality moment.

  3. Or losing things, right while you are working with them - hammer, scissors, needle? Just gone. I think it's The Little People. I lost my hoop earring while I was attaching it to my ear. Gone. Looking under the bed - hey, whose shoes are those, size l0? Anyway, I looked on the bureau 5 times and finally saw it. On Jesus. Right next to the Chanel #5, My Sin, and Obsession. Hey - do you ever run out of space in your brain???

    1. It’s even more unsettling when the pair of size 10 shoes under my bed are being worn by a stranger.

      Yes, I do run out of space in my brain, but I’ve been purging most of my infant memories to make more room. They aren’t really good for anything other than reminding me to avoid stewed prunes….

  4. Jesus is on a crucifix on my bureau. Had to explain that, but I can't explain the shoes. They were empty except for the rolled up newspapers inside. I'm trying to save brainspace too, for whatever comes next. And I'm saving trees too by not using paper - using the internet instead because it is infinite. Oh, and spinach should be purged from your infant brain too.

  5. Owing to DVDs and Blu-rays we can enjoy what we have missed. So maybe you never did have an opportunity to watch some old series. DVD gives you a second chance to appreciate those long-gone series.


Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”