Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Who will you miss?


With the passing of Barney Fife himself and the corresponding memories that people older than us have with that age television star, I was thinking this morning about who I would really miss that I enjoyed watching on TV. When you look at it, we all kinda grew up in the pinnacle of prime time television, where great sitcoms lived. With the advent of reality tv and the lack of solid comedy on at night, this may become a smaller and smaller percentage. So let's talk about some of the people that will be missed as we move forward.

The first one that came to mind for me was Mark Linn-Baker. Who is he? None other than Cousin Larry Appleton on Perfect Strangers. I remember Friday nights not being complete until you saw what dumb stunt he and cousin Balki from Mepos pulled. You can't beat the dumb jokes and the "Dance of Joy". Sure, it was stupid and pointless, but that was the point of TGIF on ABC. Favorite memory: Seeing Larry hanging from a chandelier with Balki high above a great room for the house he and his new/future wife had purchased. Balki had knocked the chair and the two were left dangling. Definitely funny stuff. And let's not forget, it had one of the best theme songs in sitcom history. If you don't remember it, I suggest looking it up. A quick google search yields the result and it gives you an extra hop in your step the rest of the day. Sadly, this classic is not on DVD. Someday, companies will wise up. We have all the seasons of the crap on TLC as DVD but none of the old comedies.

Some others that came to mind were Jaleel White, strictly for his portrayal of Urkel. Since the guy has done nothing else since then, it's reasonable to believe that it's how he'll be remembered. I'll toss in Cliffy the Mailman if not for his tremendously irrelevant remarks. I'll even take a look at some of the people from wings, memorable characters like Antonio Scarpacci (Tony Shalhoub, who now plays Monk on USA Network). Newman, George, and Kramer from Seinfeld have to be up there too. Most of these guys never had other roles of have appeared sparingly on TV and in movies since. And we won't count the failed sitcoms that Jason Alexander has put out there. They have to last more than one episode to count. I think that's the key to missing someone. There are plenty more, but I think it has to be a character that had a bit role on a show or a show that is actually missed in its role as a sitcom.

So I'll open it up to the floor for nominations, but I thought it was an interesting way to go...

2 Comments:

Blogger Raenge said...

While on the subject of TGIF shows, I'd like to pose the question of what shows were the best ones of the TGIF bunch. We have the staples of Family Matters, Step by Step, and Boy Meets World (I'm pretty sure all three of these shows lived excusively on Friday nights), but what other ones do you guys fondly recall...the lesser shows that did not stick it out on Friday or were good enough to move to another night?

I for one really enjoyed Dinosaur. The phrase "not the mama" caught on with young kids everywhere in the early 90's. Sure it was silly and probably downright stupid (I can't recall any plots offhand), but it was a show about dinosaurs! What kid out there didn't love dinosaurs?

Any takers for Hangin' With Mr. Cooper? I watched this show for a couple years, but then couldn't stand it anymore. Alas, I was growing up and I wanted good television and not the crap ABC was giving me in that show.

In it's prime TGIF, was probably the single most anticipated event of a kid's week, excluding saturday morning cartoons. I'm getting a little misty thinking about those days and wishing that somehow we could recapture that magic.

2:24 PM  
Blogger cwhager527 said...

I'll toss one out there. I think it was there for the first two years then moved on to TV heaven, but what about Mr. Belvedere? Can't go wrong with the lead character being a butler with an English accent. Hell even a supporting character (see: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). Quality show though, another one I actually miss and was irritated when it was reincarnated as The Nanny. Annoying women from Queens don't quite have the same thing.

Good call on Dinosaur. I actually saw that on DVD the other day and nearly picked it up just for that one line alone. Random trivia note: Family Matters was originally started as a spin off to Perfect Strangers as the Harriet Winslow character worked at the same newspaper as Larry Appleton in Chicago. I know, I know, more dumb trivia.

9:30 AM  

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