5 months ago
“In a suburban Illinois backyard, little Tommy Pickler sets up a ramp to test his new Huffy. His father, Bill, lays down under the ramp so his son can jump him. Tommy rides his bike onto the ramp, the ramp collapses, and Tommy rides his shiny new Huffy right over daddy’s throat!”
In 1989, this was a reason to go to the hospital. By 1990, it was an opportunity to win $10,000.
America’s Funniest Home Videos took the most basic comedic effect – physical comedy- and turned it into an American phenomenon. Sure, The Three Stooges made physical comedy the norm in the 1930s, but those were actors. By 1990, the same shtick of Larry, Curley and Moe was being acted out (usually unprompted) in living rooms.
The show appealed to simple human weaknesses: dogs, babies, and people getting smacked in the groin. It’s actually kind of amazing someone didn’t think of it before 1990.
I remember watching AFHV when I was young, laughing at some cat swinging from a fan, or some dad jumping out from behind a curtain, scaring the hell out of his two-year-old. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how important AFHV was to American history. Yeah, I said it, AMERICAN HISTORY.
Think about it: in 1990, Americans would sit on their couch for 30 minutes and watch dogs, babies, and groin-shots. Now, Americans sit at their computers and watch hours of dogs, babies and groin-shots on YouTube.
Twenty years ago, “David Goes to the Dentist” and Star Wars Kid would’ve each won $10,000, and then been eligible for the super-duper spectacular $100,000 show at the end of the season. Now they get their 15 minutes, then go back to whatever subdivision in middle America they came from.
So yeah, AFHV paved the way for YouTube. And as much as Bob Saget really hated hosting the show, he should pat himself on the back for this one.
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