Monday, December 1, 2008

America, America, this is You

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

So while it used to be entertaining, perhaps one of the most annoying shows on television is America's Funniest Home Videos. I haven't tuned in for years, nor do I know anyone who still bothers. After so many episodes, all the slapstick jokes run together, every funny thing a child can say has been said, and every random accident that can take place has done so. AFV, as it is now commonly referred to, premiered in 1989, under the Master of Ceremonies Bob Saget. Saget suffered through this show until 1997, when it was taken over by Daisy Fuentes. Apparently there have been a few hosts since then, but I don't recognize their names, so I'm not even going to pretend I've seen them host this mess of a reality show.

Apparently some people are still watching this show though, as this season they're charging $90,044 for a 30-second commercial slot!

Now in its 19th season, the plot of the show is simple: mail in a clip of a funny thing that happened in a home video. Producers choose the top 3, then the studio audience votes on the Funniest video. The prize? $10,000 and a shot at making it to the season finale, whose winner gets $100,000. Consolation prizes include $3,000 for 2nd place and $2,000 for 3rd. As with most older game shows, the original runners-up prizes were merchandise, typically a television or VCR in this show. In the early 90s (when the show was worth watching), the $100,000 episode allowed viewers to vote from all 5 ABC studios across the country. This was done away with for a while, and now the home audience can apparently log on to and vote.

So, while it is easy to tell that I've not been a fan of the show for years, I thought it was important to mention in this week's Monday Flashback because I don't think that many people realize this is still on. There were a few running gags on the show, including the popular Jackalope sequences. Today I leave you with a clip of one of these stupid/funny mini-episodes.

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Kyle M. said...

Haha...I certainly do remember watching the show as a kid, but you're right, it did lose its appeal sometime in the early 90s.

I think I'd stopped paying attention by the time actual production of the videos became a practice (as opposed to random incidents opportunely occurring in front of a camera), so I'm unfamiliar with the jackalope series. Bizarre stuff, to say the least.

This is Kyle M. from FSU, by the way (if the blog author's name wasn't indication enough)...just perusing your blog via facebook and thought I'd say hi. :)

Amy K. Bredemeyer said...

Hi Kyle, great to hear from you! I clicked over and saw your blog, love the DJ game. I'll probably fill it out sometime soon too, seems like fun.

The jackalope (which was later named Jack Ching Bada Bing in a contest) segments ran around 1990-1993 I believe (going off of the fact that I know I lived in NJ when they aired, LoL).