Author Topic: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?  (Read 4070 times)

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
From the Banana Splits Movie thread:

(which has now got me wondering, have people always been cynical and mocking about the entertainment of their youth - well, since modern mass entertainment started, anyway - or is that a new thing, and when did it start? Probably the earliest I can remember were the jokes, possibly in the 1980s, about Captain Pugwash and Seaman Staines and Roger The Cabin Boy... But this may be a topic for another thread)

So I immediately thought of Jasper Carrot's execrable Magic Roundabout record, and went to YouTube to look at the comments (hordes of Brexit Pensioners delighting in how politically incorrect it is to say 'virgin').

Any other examples which pre-date this? Is it ever funny? Do you have a favourite - or the one you hate the most?


Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 12:39:55 PM »
I generally loathe these. I remember Peter Kaye on one of those I Heart the Seventies programmes and he was going on about Hector's House or something, saying how one was gay and fancied the other. It's so fucking irritating, taking something that's generally innocent and layering on a load of innuendo and loldrugs bullshit. Having said that, I really laughed at a recent 'Kids TV characters not known for fights you would want on your side in a war'.

The Wombles. Shanked up.

the

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 12:41:03 PM »
I've always felt that this is just a humour byproduct of growing up/ageing. I remember conversations with friends as a kid (about 10/11), taking the piss out of kids' programmes for younger kids, chiding them for being cheap and crap and injecting them with sexual innuendo.

Then later comes the age when you apply drug innuendo to kids' shows, then political allegory, then darkness or whatever. Whimsically applying adult themes to innocent material can be funny, but there's an element of 'look how I've grown away from this' to it.

(Presumably this culminates in the age where you retrospectively apply supposed political freedoms to material, ie. 'you couldn't get away with that these days', because you have to insist that the world is stopping you from being alive.)

It's OK as a whimsical joke amongst friends, to actually enact it as a film or whatever is embarrassingly shit. Like a mashup, it goes nowhere.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 12:47:23 PM »

Then later comes the age when you apply drug innuendo to kids' shows, then political allegory, then darkness or whatever. Whimsically applying adult themes to innocent material can be funny, but there's an element of 'look how I've grown away from this' to it.

Then we can talk about the surprisingly long-lived phenomenon of 'punk rock' cover versions of kids tv themes - The Dickies/Banana Splits, The Jam/Batman... all the way to Half Man Half Biscuit's Trumpton fetish.

Surely it's how it's done. Ironic (which can be good or bad, to taste), sincere, funny, honest...

the

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2019, 12:51:01 PM »
Then we can talk about the surprisingly long-lived phenomenon of 'punk rock' cover versions of kids tv themes - The Dickies/Banana Splits, The Jam/Batman... all the way to Half Man Half Biscuit's Trumpton fetish.

Surely it's how it's done. Ironic (which can be good or bad, to taste), sincere, funny, honest...

Well yeah, but you've subtly shifted the topic to plain commemoration of kids' TV, rather than the stark thematic subversion that the thread is about.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 12:57:11 PM »
It is subtle, isn't it?

*twirls moustache*

But the parody can be both mocking and a form of tribute - probably at the same time, if you're clever.

But look: if this thread doesn't have a future, and has to die now - it really doesn't matter.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 04:31:35 PM »
Mind you - post-ascribing spurious drug references to kids tv might be tedious - but sometimes they just don't  help themselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yr0M1q0GiY

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 05:02:44 PM »
Good topic to bring up, I've often meant to start a thread on something similar. This is in the running for my least favourite type of humour of all time. Wish I could be more articulate about this, but I'll try anyway: I think it's a combo of a few factors: the innocence and wonder, the blank page possibilities of classic childrens TV being debased into something tawdry and banal and irritatingly 'look the world ain't so good after all like you were told as a kid, what do you think of that eh?' mind BLOWN YET??!, (a reason why I could  never get with Wonder Shozen, which just seemed to drip with that attitude in every sketch); also as you get older and age past your 20s, realising the small mindedness and pathetic teenagedness of that cynical attitude in itself is as much of a lie in it's own way and that ultimately it's healthier to look to the ideals of wholesome kids TV than something that seemed edgy and adult when you were 15.

Mind you, I think usage of that kind of humour had definitely been on the decline for quite a while now since it peaked likely in the 90s. Combination of the joke form getting played out and predictable and people having increasingly less shared reference points.

On a related note, I often wonder when the kind of parodies of 'wholesome' post war stuff like Enid Blyton and Ladybird books (etc) will finally end. These things would have been effective in a kind of punk rock way in the 80s when Viz and the Comic Strip etc were parodying them  cos their audience would have actually grown up with that kind of thing, but I dunno why that kind of thing is still parodied today, as fewer and fewer people actually grew up with them. It's changed from a parody of a lived experience to a kind of lazy shorthand.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 05:16:00 PM by ajsmith2 »

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 05:07:49 PM »
On your last point, I notice BBC Radio 4 Extra are about to re-run The Harpoon, which I always enjoy.

Obviously I'm too young to view the exact kind of Boys Own Ripping Yarns it parodies as mainstream popular culture - although as a kid in the 70s there were enough Biggles, Jennings, and Famous Five books in the school library, so I read and enjoyed them innocently as a kid so I'm personally invested in the source material anyway.

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2019, 05:12:45 PM »
I don't have much to say on the matter of bygone kids TV, but I can make a prediction for the future: people won't need to joke about subversive themes in beloved kids TV so much, because the current generation of shows already has them?



Petey Pate

  • Currently Not Available
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2019, 05:48:39 PM »
Half of the sketches in Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights were examples of this, just one reason why it was so terrible.

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2019, 06:01:08 PM »
I have a specific contempt for attempts at comic subversion of Sesame Street because they tend to rely on the conceit that it’s a bland and saccharine show when actually it’s much funnier and cleverer than anything the majority of comedy hacks could produce. The sketch Dave Chappelle did with the junkie version of Oscar the Grouch comes to mind.

The exception to this is Wonder Showzen, which for all its demented and gross-out humour actually did a bang-up job of homaging the style of the Street.

alan nagsworth

  • meat suite marathon!
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2019, 06:09:48 PM »
Remember the Herb Garden? WEED

petrilTanaka

  • Are we counting shites?
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2019, 06:56:51 PM »
Then we can talk about the surprisingly long-lived phenomenon of 'punk rock' cover versions of kids tv themes - The Dickies/Banana Splits, The Jam/Batman... all the way to Half Man Half Biscuit's Trumpton fetish.

Surely it's how it's done. Ironic (which can be good or bad, to taste), sincere, funny, honest...

followed up by the turn of the 90s subversive sampling fad: Sesame's Treet et al, which were quite funny if you were about 11, in the same way as Hale and Pace were

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2019, 07:19:57 PM »
Half of the sketches in Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights were examples of this, just one reason why it was so terrible.

Oh yeah, I was trying to find his 'parody' of Angelina Ballerina to link to as a particularly bad example of this kind of thing, but for some reason no one's seen fit to put it up isolated on youtube. This is another point entirely, but I think it also suffered cos comedy shows that attempt to parody animated things (when they don't usually have animated bits themsevles) are usually on to a loser as the parody animation is always going to look shit compared to what it's supposed to be emulating as it'll have been knocked together quickly on a budget as opposed to being made by a dedicated studio. This annoys me even in shows I like: for instance in Kimmy Schmidt where the couple of animation cutaways that are meant to be Disneyesque are just too distractingly basic.

I recall the intro to Tramadol Nights was also that kind of pish as well: everythings nice and cuddly!: OH WAIT NO IT'S NOT! THIS SHOW MUST BE REALLY OUT THERE!!! Didn't Monkey Dust also have a very similar intro animation several years before? Even then it stank of soulless boardroom decision wank. (I can't comment on the actual show as I turned off after that point, apparently it was pretty good though but that intro put me off).

I have to admit I did think Boyle's parody of '5 Children and It' was kind of effective though, if only for showing up what cruel c*nts kids can be in certain scenarios quite viscerally.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • ...to stab you with!
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2019, 07:35:22 PM »
That " 5 children and it " parody actually upset me. Not to mention the fact that it was a parody of something from about 17 years previously.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 07:45:34 PM by Lisa Jesusandmarychain »

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2019, 07:40:15 PM »
Hmm, Looks like I in fact misrecalled the intro of Tramadol Nights for the animated beginning bit of this advert, which after a quick scroll through every episode on Dailymotion, doesn't seem to appear in an episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7J6my_TjCE

Brundle-Fly

  • I'm so Avant-garden variety
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2019, 07:50:12 PM »


On a related note, I often wonder when the kind of parodies of 'wholesome' post war stuff like Enid Blyton and Ladybird books (etc) will finally end. These things would have been effective in a kind of punk rock way in the 80s when Viz and the Comic Strip etc were parodying them  cos their audience would have actually grown up with that kind of thing, but I dunno why that kind of thing is still parodied today, as fewer and fewer people actually grew up with them. It's changed from a parody of a lived experience to a kind of lazy shorthand.

Because I suspect the majority of people who bought the Ladybird/ Enid Blyton adult books enjoyed Viz and Comic Strip etc at the time. People in their forties/fifties. They didn't grow up in postwar Britain but then neither did any of the Viz cartoonists. Some of The Comic Strip lot at a push. Richardson was born in 1951. Old stuff hangs about for ages getting passed down. 


Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2019, 08:04:21 PM »
Because I suspect the majority of people who bought the Ladybird/ Enid Blyton adult books enjoyed Viz and Comic Strip etc at the time. People in their forties/fifties. They didn't grow up in postwar Britain but then neither did any of The Comic Strip or Viz cartoonists.

That's true, however, I think I'm using a broader definition of 'post war Britain' in relation to kids entertainment than you. Mine would extend from immediately post war to just before Thatcher pretty much. I would say that kids stuff is generally a lot more innocently earnest and good natured up to that point. Then the 80s are kind of a transitional period and then from the 90s onwards everythings a bit more knowing or has 'tude. (In great part influenced by the new wave of comedy of the 80s). So yeah a fair amount of the audience for the Ladybird/Blyton adult parodies will have some direct experience of that era but its surely disappearing further and further in the rear view mirror, this original state of innocent earnestness that decades of parody have played off of to great effect.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 08:25:14 PM by ajsmith2 »

Brundle-Fly

  • I'm so Avant-garden variety
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2019, 08:40:45 PM »
That's true, however, I think I'm using a broader definition of 'post war Britain' in relation to kids entertainment than you. Mine would extend from immediately post war to just before Thatcher pretty much. I would say that kids stuff is generally a lot more innocently earnest and good natured up to that point. Then the 80s are kind of a transitional period and then from the 90s onwards everythings a bit more knowing or has 'tude. (In great part influenced by the new wave of comedy of the 80s). So yeah a fair amount of the audience for the Ladybird/Blyton adult parodies will have some direct experience of that era but its surely disappearing further and further in the rear view mirror, this original state of innocent earnestness that decades of parody have played off of to great effect.

You're right but I think the 20th-century pop culture past is going to be tailgating us for a long time yet in that rear view mirror because our generation like our parents, are going to be sticking around for a long time. We're a nostalgic bunch and on the whole, have more disposable income than those much younger than us with their student debt, astronomical rent and no pensions. The market will still be there.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 08:58:24 PM by Brundle-Fly »

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2019, 10:24:50 PM »
I'll not hear a word said against Biffovision.

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2019, 10:44:38 PM »
Mind you - post-ascribing spurious drug references to kids tv might be tedious - but sometimes they just don't  help themselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yr0M1q0GiY

I saw them live, Chatham Central Hall.

the

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2019, 02:13:33 AM »
Living enactment of this kind of arse-gravy

     


(Excepting that Peanuts isn't a kids' strip, it's a strip featuring kids that explores adult/human themes)

Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2019, 07:07:48 AM »
From the Banana Splits Movie thread:

(which has now got me wondering, have people always been cynical and mocking about the entertainment of their youth - well, since modern mass entertainment started, anyway - or is that a new thing, and when did it start? Probably the earliest I can remember were the jokes, possibly in the 1980s, about Captain Pugwash and Seaman Staines and Roger The Cabin Boy... But this may be a topic for another thread)

So I immediately thought of Jasper Carrot's execrable Magic Roundabout record, and went to YouTube to look at the comments (hordes of Brexit Pensioners delighting in how politically incorrect it is to say 'virgin').

Any other examples which pre-date this? Is it ever funny? Do you have a favourite - or the one you hate the most?

That's not really an example of what you're talking about though, as Carrott wouldn't have grown up with The Magic Roundabout, and it wouldn't have qualified as nostalgia as it was still a current programme when he did his parody, circa 1975.  He wasn't mocking something from his own childhood.

Shaky

  • I drink your thread
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2019, 07:26:33 AM »
I'll not hear a word said against Biffovision.

Is that because you're Paul Rose?

Ornlu

  • it's total Armageddon, like that movie Deep Impact
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2019, 08:35:22 AM »
Remember the Herb Garden? WEED

Scooby Dooby Doo? Doobie Doobie Doo

"Raggy!"

alan nagsworth

  • meat suite marathon!
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2019, 09:48:09 AM »
Rod, Jane and Freddy? How 2? BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLES MATE

alan nagsworth

  • meat suite marathon!
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2019, 09:52:18 AM »
You can’t tell me the creators of Zzzap! weren’t tripping the balls fantastic when they wrote that shit. Fucking giant comic where all the characters come to life! You can’t tell me they weren’t honking the jazzy bifters when they came up with that idea. You literally can’t tell me otherwise because I won’t fucking have it. Not listening.

alan nagsworth

  • meat suite marathon!
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2019, 09:53:19 AM »
Smart Arty was blatantly shagging Daisy Dares as well.

Norton Canes

  • The leper heart will see you for what you are
Re: Mocking the tropes of bygone Kids TV for comic effect: S4C or not?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2019, 09:53:23 AM »
Remember the Herb Garden? WEED

remember Bill and Ben? HERBIDACIOUS