OK, you lucky people. You asked for it (in my dreams) so here it is – the third ‘Name that theme song’ quiz. This time I’ve focused on sitcoms from the 70s and 80s. So, prepare to travel back to the days of yore and see if you can name all 10 TV themes included in the clip. But be warned, it isn’t all Jesse Frederick and Miller/Boyett. There are a couple of obscurities thrown in for good measure. And don’t even think about playing along if you were born after 1985. Stupid youngster!
As before, send me a comment crying ‘uncle’ and I’ll send you an email with the answers. I am trying to work out an elegant solution for providing the answers on-line but until then, you’re at my mercy.
What follows isn’t meant as an indictment of Leon Schuster. It isn’t even meant as an indictment of Leon Schuster’s audience. Everyone has the right to watch whatever they want – even if it’s crap. Truth be told, we all have our guilty pleasures. Hell, I watch ‘Glee’ every week and there’s simply no excuse for that.
So, I’m not going to criticise anyone for enjoying what I think is the puerile ‘comedy’ of Schuster and his international counterparts. To each their own and all that. But the tremendous success enjoyed by Oom Leon and his ilk means that there isn’t room for any other kind of comedy on our screens. And that’s what makes me sad.
You see, I’m both a writer and a fan of comedy. But this kind of poep/fart/kick-in-the-balls genre doesn’t appeal. It isn’t the kind of comedy I want to write and it isn’t the kind of comedy I want to watch. That isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good fart joke, and I was reared on the slapstick of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Chaplin. However, it’s a gross injustice to compare the masters of silent comedy with the witless pratfalls of Adam Sandler et al.
Consequently, I usually find myself on the ‘hipster’ side of the comedy equation – championing TV shows and movies that are critically acclaimed but commercially tangential. I devour brilliant series such as Community, 30 Rock, The Thick of It and Parks and Recreation, while I eschew chart-topping rubbish like 2 and Half Men. That’s just the way I’m wired.
Now, in a normal unregulated media environment such as they enjoy in America or Britain, that wouldn’t be a problem. There are enough broadcasters and movie studios to ensure that at least a few niche products get the green light each year. The fate of these left-field endeavours then rests in the hands of the audiences, and that is how it should be.
Unfortunately, I work and live in South Africa where there is a virtual monopoly on media production. We have the Big 5 broadcasters and a handful of viable movie producers – none of whom have the capital or courage to take a risk. As a result, our South African movies and TV shows are pitched at the broadest possible audience, usually based on a format that proven popular in previous iterations. And preferably with boobs.
That means our local audiences are fed a constant stream of lowest-common-denominator pabulum; a vague and derivative mixture of toothless sitcoms and juvenile comedies. There are occasional exceptions: Jozi and Material, both directed by Craig Freimond, were pretty good and at least tried to take things to the next level. But, by and large, we are still very much stuck in the 1980s – creating disposable comedy that would make Tony Danza look cutting edge.
It’s therefore no surprise that a market fed exclusively on porridge has never developed a taste for sushi or a nice meta-curry. And that leads, as is always the case, back to me…
I guess the thing that really gets me is that, under the current dispensation, there just isn’t a place for me in South Africa (either as a writer or an audience member). I have never made it all the way through a Leon Schuster movie. I can’t watch more than a couple of episodes of any local sitcom. I shun local movies at the cinema (because they are either kak comedies or self-righteous dramas). And this means that I am forced to consume all my media from overseas; hooking into the global media establishment while simultaneous isolating myself in a bubble of internationalism.
In other words, when it comes to English-language programming, I have to concede that I am utterly disconnected from the local market. I steadfastly believe that a shot to the nuts is only funny in a home video, and I’ve finally come to accept that this kind of ‘sophistication’ makes me the worst thing I could ever be: irrelevant. IMHO.
Thanks to the hardworking ‘journalists’ at Cracked.com, I came across this brilliant little piece of serendipity. Watch what happens when you combine LMFAO’s annoying ‘Party Rock Anthem’ with the music from the Cantina scene out of Star Wars. A perfect fit! It’s stuff like this that makes the internet relevant. Now if we could only settle the Han vs. Greedo ‘who shot first’ controversy, we’d really be getting somewhere…
There was a flurry of comments about my previous TV Theme Song quiz – all right, 2 – so I decided to upload another compilation of familiar tunes from 10 TV shows of blessed memory.
This time, I’ve prepared two versions: regular and hard (settle down). They contain the same themes in the same order, but the hard version has much shorter samples – for real TV geeks like Frank.
BTW, Frank, I haven’t made them too obscure because I want this to be accessible to people other than yourself. And this time don’t post the answers so blatantly – you spoilsport. I’m trying to get people to register on my site!
Do you live on a double stand? If so, you might be in for a nasty shock. The City of Johannesburg’s valuations department has suddenly initiated a process whereby each stand now receives a separate valuation, even when the double stand only contains a single dwelling. Continue reading “Double Stand = Double Rates”
OK, here’s a treat for you! I’ve been playing around with my editing software and, just for fun, I compiled an audio montage of 10 beloved theme songs from popular TV shows of decades past. Can you name them all? It’s harder than you think!
I will provide the answers via email but you need to comment or subscribe to my blog so that I can get your email address. Preferably, subscribe – please! I personally guarantee to keep your details very private – no spam, pinky swear! To subscribe, just enter your details in the box at the bottom of the page.
If you enjoyed this compilation, please forward the link to your friends and don’t forget to comment on the blog (not just on Facebook). If the response is good, I’ll consider making more…
Oh, and my sincere apologies if I have infringed any copyrights. It’s not malicious. Just think of it as sampling [smiley face].
I had long heard about the secret chord progression that has underpinned most popular music for the last 100 years. I even knew their names: C, A minor, F and G. But it took the Axis of Awesome to really bring it all home: every top 10 hit of the last 5 decades is really the same song! Check out this great little video if you don’t believe me. And thanks to my sister, Debbie, for pointing this one out.
In life, context is everything. Don’t believe me? Check out these frame grabs from popular children’s cartoons. But be warned! There are things in this post that can’t be unseen. Who knew the Care Bears were into oral? Or that He-Man and Skeletor were into man-on-man action. Or that the mice in Cinderella have read 50 Shades of Grey? Thanks to the brilliant people at Happy Place for ruining my childhood. And now I’ve passed it on to you. You’re welcome. Continue reading “Twisted cartoon images that will ruin your childhood memories”
And now, for your edification and delectation, feast your eyes on these candidates for the worst name in the world. Because it’s fun to laugh at the misfortune of others. Also, innuendo – tee hee. Altogether now: IVANA MANDIC! Continue reading “Worst Names in History”
I have always been a big movie fan. Especially during my varsity years when a bunch of us started an informal Monday night movie club – ah, such hazy memories. But as I grew older and grumpier, I just kinda stopped going to the cinema. No real reason. It was just a shlep. Finally, with the advent of flat-screen TVs, Blu Ray players and an integrated wifi network that lets me stream videos from my PC directly to my TV, the die was cast. The cinematic world was my oyster and I didn’t even have to leave the couch.
South Africans are constantly moaning about the state of the country and the behaviour of our politicians etc. But the truth of the matter is that the entire planet is in the crapper and, all things considered, we aren’t doing so badly. That’s why I’m starting a new thread on this blog called ‘It Could Be Worse’ – a collection of bad news stories from around the world. If nothing else, this should give the whingers among us the perspective to understand that we’re all in the same boat… Continue reading “Greek politician gets slap happy”
As we’ve already established, South Africa’s broadcasting environment is almost totally devoid of balls. The SABC is a cowering, quivering mass of sycophancy. Mnet’s rule of thumb is to produce only shows with a voting line (the excellent Masterchef SA notwithstanding). And eTV is focussed on low-budget soapies.
What this dearth of testicles means is that there is little room for anyone to speak their mind. The occasional hard news show or investigative slot are all well and good, but what about the other genres of television? Our glossy magazine shows, for example, are slick and smooth and featureless – much like Barbie’s crotch. Continue reading “Anderson Cooper cuts the crap”
For all the mid to late thirty-somethings out there, here’s a great funny/sad parody of ‘We Are Young’ by Fun. Fair warning, though, it cuts a little close to the bone – treading that fine line between a guffaw and a gut-punch.
So, if you’re pushing forty and feeling brave, settle back in your comfy chair and enjoy this depressing little ditty. Dedicated to all my peers who are still hanging on to their thirties, if only by their fingertips. Laugh through the pain, people. Laugh, dammit!
So, our glorious public broadcaster has refused to screen the latest Nando’s ‘Diversity’ ad. Unfortunately, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. The SABC has a long history of avoiding controversy at any cost, usually because the organisation is afraid to run foul of its political masters (nothing new here – the SABC was always designed to be a mouthpiece for the ruling government, whether National Party or the ANC).
Rather, this particular instance of ideological cowardice is supposedly based on cultural sensitivity; a fear that the mere mention of xenophobia will spark off another deplorable wave of bigotry and shop burning, such as we witnessed a couple of years ago. While this general concern does have some validity in a country fraught with xenophobic tension, the SABC’s reasoning as it relates to the commercial is, of course, craven nonsense. Continue reading “The SABC is chicken!”
This whole affair about Brett Murray’s painting of Zuma’s exposed genitals is, quite frankly, a load of bollocks. But it has raised a number of troublesome issues regarding freedom of expression, censorship, the right to dignity and the role of art in society.
So much has already been written about Zuma’s dangling tottie that I don’t want to rehash the whole cock and balls story. In summary, however: Yes, ‘The Spear’ and its encompassing exhibition titled ‘Hail to the Thief II’ would have hardly made a blip on the popular consciousness if the ANC had done the sensible thing by ignoring it. Yes, the ensuing shitstorm of publicity has raised Brett Murray’s profile into the stratosphere. And yes, the sudden escalation of hysteria – culminating in the painting’s unauthorised defacement – has made rational discussion impossible. Continue reading “Grow a pair, Zuma”
It’s been over two years since I last published a blog. In that time, I’ve been busy renovating my house (an utterly horrendous experience) and puttering around on a number of other projects. Now, I’ve returned with a new website and have decided to get back in the saddle to resume blogging a dead horse.
While this news may not exactly set the world on fire, I’m looking forward to exercising my writing muscles on something other than corporate work. So, here’s to a fresh start in which I promise to mouth-off intermittently about things that peak my interest.
And for the record, I have re-posted all my old blogs that were previously published on another website. You can find these rather dated diatribes below.
I trust you will enjoy my unashamedly self-involved rantings, and feel free to comment. Because life’s all about telling other people what you think. IMHO.
So far, it’s been great. But I am now looking ahead to the end of the World Cup and I’m worried. What’s going to happen to all the happy South Africans on July 12th? Will we forget about the goodwill and go back to hating each other? Will all the flags come down as we start bickering about the money ‘wasted’ on our international extravaganza? And will we fall back into the funk of negativity which characterised our pre-World Cup condition? Continue reading “World Cup Aftermath”
OK. So I may be prematurely basking in the glow of what appears to be a very successful World Cup, but I’m already looking forward and pondering: what next for SA?
I think the answer is obvious – the Johannesburg Olympics 2020.
And why not? We’ve now got the stadia, the experience and most of the infrastructure to host a major event, such as the Olympics. So let’s get the NOCSA to pull finger and submit the relevant proposals. Continue reading “Bring on the Olympics!”