Tuesday, March 27, 2007

‘And then there’s Maude…’


Just when I decided to talk a little shit about Seth MacFarlane, “Family Guy” went and executed a real funny gag the other night… an extended joke to tickle the memory of any TV geek over the age of, say, 42. Which begs the question: How many “Family Guy” fans are even familiar with the original theme song?

Certainly not all. Like for instance the person who just commented on YouTube claiming to “get it” regardless: “[W]e may not know the song itself, but we still get the idea that it was some song that pissed ppl off cause it was so long before the chorus.”

Uhhh… no. But anyway, thank you, Mr. MacFarlane, for giving us old-timers a chuckle. (I still mean it about Shawn Belschwender's pubic hair, though.)

10 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

"Maude" was slightly ahead of my time, and the only one of the classic Norman Lear shows that wasn't in constant rerun syndication, and now that you mention it, I'm not sure I've seen even a single episode. I've seen Maude pop up on "All in the Family" repeats, but I'm now feeling inadequate. Maybe it's time to put that season one DVD in the ol' Netflix queue.

So how many famous feminists did the original theme name check?

Alan Sepinwall said...

"Maude" was slightly ahead of my time, and the only one of the classic Norman Lear shows that wasn't in constant rerun syndication, and now that you mention it, I'm not sure I've seen even a single episode. I've seen Maude pop up on "All in the Family" repeats, but I'm now feeling inadequate. Maybe it's time to put that season one DVD in the ol' Netflix queue.

So how many famous feminists did the original theme name check?

AlexG said...

I have tried to like Family Guy but rarely can make it through an episode. The South Park two-parter with Cartman trying to get Family Guy canceled and the big reveal that it is written by manatees randomly pushing balls inscribed with pop culture references across a tank is spot-on. But this is damn funny.

Maude was always one of those shows you watched when nothing else was on because even TV you didn't like was better than no TV. Sadly future generations with Tivo and DVDs ans On Demand will never know the feeling of staying home sick and being faced with the choice of shows on the UHF dial like That Girl, Love American Style, and Maude at 1:30 when the kid-friendly lunch break shows like The Munsters and Batman were over.

As for the original, it had two verses namechecking four famous woman. The Family Guy parody deviates afters the first two, skipping Isadora and Betsy Ross.

Undercover Black Man said...

Alan: That would be Lady Godiva, Joan of Arc, Isadora Duncan and Betsy Ross. The "Family Guy" joke has nothing to do with the original song being inordinately long... just riffing on the premise.

I suspect that "Maude" hasn't dated well, unlike "All in the Family," whose racial humor is still bold and bracing. Then again, I was so young when "Maude" was on, I didn't understand half of what they were talking about (abortion, depression, politics, etc.)

But I do recall that one of my earliest erotic dreams involved Rue McLanahan (not Adrienne Barbeau, as you might expect). Honest to God truth.

Undercover Black Man said...

Alex G: I feel doubly disengaged from today's youth culture, because I'm not into "South Park" either. Parker & Stone's sense of humor never did anything for me.

So when I saw MacFarlane on Spike Feresten's talk show the other night, talking about how the "South Park" guys hated him, I was like, "Meh. I've got no dog in this fight."

SJ said...

I watch both "Family Guy" and "South Park". I especially love SP.

FG is mostly hit and miss.

Dougfp said...

Man, I knew you had a twisted side...but Rue McLanahan? I won't even ask what that particular fantasy might entail. Not sure I could take the details!

Undercover Black Man said...

Doug: Judge me not. There's no telling what little piece of culture or media will burn itself onto a pre-adolescent brain for life.

And Rue McLanahan played a sexed-up character in "Maude." More than 30 years later, I can still remember one specific joke from "Maude": McLanahan's there with a powdered bosom, and Maude says to her, "A little bit of snow isn't going to make the Alps look any bigger."

Our pop culture is so over-sexualized now, it's hard to imagine that an innocuous boob joke like that was considered cutting-edge "adult" content in prime time.

Anonymous said...

Well, now you all have a chance to see how Maude has stood up to the test of time, because it was just released on DVD!
Maude was SO ahead of its time, but for young girls like me, she was the ultimate strong feminist role model. All my female friends from my youth still quote the show all the time, I suspect the non-fans here are male.

Dougfp said...

Hey, I wanted to do the Mom on "Lost In Space" when I was twelve. That gold lame suit gave me liftoff every time...