Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Springer for President

A few days ago I was doing some laundry and flipping through channels, late morning on a weekday. Even with cable, this is ghost-town time for tv unless you like soap operas, home shopping, trashy talk shows, or George Lopez. While I wouldn't wish Sr. Lopez or soap operas on my worst enemy, and home shopping shows never have anything I like, sometimes daytime talk shows are televised gold. The one I watched on this particular day was perhaps the most famous of the trashy talk shows, guided by the "Ringmaster" himself, The Jerry Springer Show.

Now, I only managed to tune in to see the final five or ten minutes of the program, but I am not exaggerating when I say it was probably the best five or ten minutes of continuous television I have ever watched*.

I walked in on a scene with this very vocal middle-aged woman yelling at her daughter for sticking by her man, a dapper young man with aspirations of military service. Jerry Springer, noticing a flaw in the gentleman's plans is quick to point out that you need a high school education (or equivalent) to join the Marines (is this true? I have no idea, but I trust Jerry). Of course he and his girl have thought of that already and she gets all defensive and points out that he's getting a GED so it's all good. Jerry: "Well then. It's hard to believe we're LOSING over there!**" Audience/me: uproar. It's so true! This guy's a dumbass and he's going to be part of the face of our military operations. Oh, the tragedy.

Next, Jerry announces that there's going to be a spelling competition. Naturally, this is going to be good. The producer, whose name I do not know now that it is no longer Steve Wilkos*** pulls the redneck guy and the angry mother of the girlfriend onto the stage, front and center, to compete against each other in a battle of what little and questionable mastery of the written English language each has to offer. I'm going to write this out dialogue-style so I don't muddle it up with excess verbosity, and because it stands so brilliantly on its own.

Producer (to the mother): "First word, 'Loudmouth, as in---'"
Mother (speaking quickly): "L-O-U-D-M-O-U-T-H"
Producer: "Ma'am, you have to wait. I'll use the word in a sentence for you"

Mother: "Oh, ok"
Producer: "Your word is 'loudmouth', as in 'You are a
Audience: chuckles

Mother (slower than before): "L-O-U-D-M-O-U-T-H"

Producer: "Correct". (Now, to redneck guy): "Your word is 'hillbilly', as in 'has anyone ever called you a
hillbilly before?"
Audience: laughs

Redneck (looks confused, doesn't quite know why audience is laughing): "H-I-L-L-B-I-L-L-Y"
Daughter: looks proud

Producer (to mother): "Wait for it this time. Your next word is 'annoying', as in, 'most of the members of this audience think you are really
Audience: laughs

Mother (defiantly): "A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G"
Producer (to redneck): "Your next word is 'dentist', as in 'Before you leave Chicago, you should visit a
Audience and Mother: uproar

Redneck: "D-E-N-I-S-T"
Producer: "I'm sorry, can you spell that again?"

Redneck: "D-E-N-I-S-T"

Producer: "I'm sorry but that's incorrect. The correct spelling is 'D-E-N-
T-I-S-T'" Redneck: "AW MAN" (throws his arms down like Kros)

Then the mother gets all up in his face for being a dumbass, the audience keeps laughing, and I'm dying on the floor by this point. I don't remember what the final thought was, but it was hilarious also.

*Statement does not include The Wire, The Simpsons seasons 1-9, Beavis and Butthead, or, well, anything that can be classified as legitimately "good" tv.
**Clearly, not all military men have the intellectual deficiency that this guy does. Support our troops.
***Congrats on getting your own show, Steve!

1 comment:

Sam said...

Do you not like George Lopez because you feel he doesn't fully represent your Mexican-ness?