We all of us – the YouTube-ing, Facebook wall-linking internets generation – find our amusing bits and bobs on the web in a variety of ways. Sometimes, however, the route to which we get to that glorious moment of “WTF?” is nearly as entertaining as the final result. Here, let me thrill you with an example!…
- Yesterday, approx. 10:30 p.m. I’m perusing my Twitter feed and notice one of the entertainment news accounts (honestly, can’t remember which one) reporting about Nancy O’Dell taking over for Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight.
- This begets a sudden realization, after reading how ol’ Leggy Hart has been on ET for nearly 30 years, that I still have foggy childhood memories of the early days of the show: All relaxed slow-pan camera angles, soft-jazz renditions of the theme tune with none of the obnoxious guitar riffage of today. Lo-fi, stock photography-crammed graphics and a noticeable dearth of red-carpet coverage compared to the current incarnation. Back in the early 80’s, my grade-school recollections included a lot more casual-Baba Wawa style sit-down interviews in people’s homes and segments that really had little to do with celebrity gossip or fashion, though they were still entertainment-relevant. Basically, entirely free of the tabloid-y tropes that characterize the show today. You know what that means: YOUTUBE TIME.
- Fifteen minutes later, after browsing and watching several clips in varying degrees of hilarious, I happen upon this clip featuring original co-host Ron Hendren (and his spectacular perm) breaking down the home video revolution in easy-to-understand bullet points. Betamax? VHS? Laserdisc? How DO you best spend your $700?!:
I realize it’s a terribly soft target to elicit yuks from early-80’s footage like this, with outrageous prices for home video gear, top-loading VCR’s and whatever the hell that flat 8-track looking thing from RCA was. (How many of those units sold? Three?!) Granted, it’s rare that they’re not still funny regardless. And that’s not why I felt this nugget of news-magazine-y history was worthy of a blog. Watch that segment again, and stop and think about it: This was on Entertainment Tonight! (!11!!1111!1!1!!!!) Once upon a time, the show that indirectly unleashed the musical tyranny of John Tesh on an unsuspecting public actually provided useful tips to gadget geeks. Doesn’t that just just beat all? (And no, it doesn’t make amends for inflicting Steven Cojocaru on us later, either. But it’s something.)
Also, note: For anyone who finds this significantly less amusing than I do, stick with it and there’s a groovy vintage bit of cinema advertising tacked onto the end. *whip-crack!* (That’s your hint…)
Next time: I actually get back to significant telly talk, of the Caprica-eulogizin’ variety. (Even though there are still episodes yet to air. Of which I’m going to watch one tonight. *gasp!*)