My colleague David Skinner must really hate me, for he just left in my office an unopened copy of America's Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 with Tom Bergeron. This prized package includes 12 episodes on 3 DVDs, plus the bonus disc with the anniversary 300th episode (parts 1 and 2!) and, best of all: "A Thousand Guaranteed Laughs!"
A thousand, really? The liner notes describe America's Funniest Home Videos (or AFHV) as "an American institution.... From practical jokes to home improvement plans gone awry, from animal mishaps to just flat out strange behavior..." Enough already. Things went downhill ever since the first few seasons of TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Dick Clark and Ed McMahon. Remember the "practical joke" played on Shirley Jones involving a talking parrot that was really a robot? Or the melting ice-sculpture of Jerry Lewis? Or the knock-off show Bloopers, Bleeps, and Blunders hosted by Steve Lawrence and Don Rickles? And why did I waste so many precious hours of my youth watching this instead of reading porn?
This latest DVD should come with a warning: That watching these shows will numb the brain, that whether it be Tom Bergeron or Bob Saget, root canal is still preferable. These tapes should be sent to Guantanamo. Interrogators can then pose the ultimate question to a terrorist:
Either tell us who is in your network or one more episode of "CAT FALLS OFF TV!!!"
2 hours ago