I used to get about 4 hours of sleep each night during the work week. I would wake up and give the kids some food and then I would sort of pass out on the living room floor for awhile with the TV going. I would usually start to regain consciousness around the time that a local daytime talk show was on. The show is called “Good Things Utah.”
The show is hosted by a few local TV reporters who sit around gabbing about things they read in magazines and such. I meant to blog about this show a long time ago but I didn’t have the heart. I was going to be very mean but after some time I have gained a little sympathy (maybe it’s because I get more sleep now).
Don’t get me wrong, the show is still not good by any means. They follow a weekly format where they waste vast amounts of time talking about scrap-booking, homeless pets, gardening and clipping coupons. They also do “health-tips” where they showcase new cosmetic surgery procedures that are available in Utah. It’s quite a service. They spend ten minutes of the show cooking fatty foods and stuffing their faces and about 30 seconds a day talking about news articles on diets that look hopeful. They do makeovers where the final result looks the same as the before picture.
Watching the show leads a person to believe that every woman under the age of 30 is a quiet, humble seminary student. While the show is running, you forget that women can do things like ride a bike or fly a plane. You forget that women know what politicians are and what they do. You forget that there is any woman past the age of puberty who has not started a brood of infants and toddlers.
Over the past year or so, I keep bumping into the blond “host” around town. I saw her at the Gateway Mall. She does this thing where she makes eye-contact with you, like you are going to recognize her and tell her what a great show she has. After she walked past, my wife said, “That was that lady from that show.”
I said, “I thought it was but I wasn’t positive. If I was certain it was her I would have yelled, ‘FIX YOUR SHOW!!’” And then one day we were eating dinner at Chick Fillet. I needed a refill on my drink but before I could get to the counter this blond lady and her family kind of rushed up so they could order before me. I had to stand there and wait while they ordered their food. During that time, I got the feeling that it was the host again, except she was in grungy workout pants, her husband looked too young for the lady on the show and her child didn’t have any socks or shoes on, on this cold and rainy day. I thought, it’s like the trailer park version of that TV lady. Despite the fact that she did that eye contact thing again, I thought it was all my imagination. When we were leaving the restaurant, my wife said, “Hey, there is that lady again.”
I told her that I was suspicious but I offered up the info about the grungy clothes and the shoeless child; Not very Showbiz. But my wife insisted that it was the host and I my wife is right 99.9% of the time about these things. The lady in the restaurant seemed like a completely different person than the host on TV and that is when my sympathy grew.
I’m thinking that if the format of the show was up to the hosts, it would not be quite so bad. But this is Utah and I’m sure the show has producers that want to pander to what they believe is Utah’s status quo. Basically, the show is instructional to Utah women to become scrapbook queens; To stay home, be churchy, be middle class mothers. To dream big but never leave your couch except to shop for groceries and weed the garden. To be just like everyone else in their church ward.
I saw comedian George Lopez on the show once. He finally couldn’t contain it and busted out a “mormon polygamy” joke. It was met with deathly silence and uncomfortable smiles. A cricket tried to chirp but Heavenly Father quickly sent down a seagull to eat the troublesome insect before it could acknowledge Lopez’s comment.
One night when I was loading trucks at work, I thought it would be cool if Salt Lake City had their own sketch comedy show like Seattle does in “Almost Live.” I’ll tell you some of the skit ideas I had:
Of course, Status Quo Things Utah (picture the hosts with permanent smiles):
Host 1: “… And that concludes our demonstration on Getting Your Tile Its Whitest for the educational portion of our program.”
Host 2: “Those were such wonderful tips.”
Host 1: “Yes. This magazine is full of all sorts of wonderful things. They even have Family Circle comics inside.”
Host 3: “Ooh. We used to let the children read Family Circus comics while they ate their breakfast mush but it got them bouncing off the walls. You know those days when you have to double the children’s dose of Ritalin before you send them to school?”
Host 2: “At our house, we call those WEEKDAYS. Let’s take some calls from our viewers. Go ahead caller.”
Caller 1: “Hi, I love your show. But I can’t say I cared for all that poppycock with George Lopez.”
Host 2: “Alright, we will certainly get a focus group together to talk about how to improve that aspect of the show. Go ahead next caller.”
Caller 2: “Hi. I really didn’t care for the last caller’s use of the word, poppy-you-know-what.”
Host 2: “We don’t screen our viewer’s comments before they air but we apologize and we will make it better. Go ahead next caller.”
Caller 3: “Why are these callers so mean? Why can’t we all act like a decent society?”
Host 2: “We know exactly what you mean and our viewers are the best ever. You make us so happy. Tune in tomorrow for our fashion updates… or just look outside at what your neighbors are wearing. If all you can see is hands and faces then run with it.”
The Totally Awesome, Gun-packing, Excited-About-A-Root-Canal, Computer Whiz is a joke in himself so I didn’t bother to expand on the idea.
A lot of people in Utah want to protect our society from the evils of illegal immigrants. Utah is no stranger to Minute Men watchdog groups bent on deporting all illegal immigrants. I figure this would be a recurring sketch that starts of simple and eventually leads to the rebuilding of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s our right, nay, our DUTY as Americans.
Jumpin’ Jesus (pronounced with a Spanish ‘j’)
This is a take off of the local Fox channel’s “Big Buddha” morning personality. He’s excited about everything. Look at him wiggle with excitement as he rides and escalator. By the end of the episode, Jumpin’ Jesus is wrangled into a net by the Minute Men to be deported to Mexico despite his pleas, “I’m CUBAN!”
I also thought of another skit about a married couple who has a prenuptial agreement guaranteeing the husband “regular nookie.”
Wife: “Oh no. What is SHE doing here?” (pointing at husband’s lawyer)
Husband: “I didn’t want to say anything… but as it appears you are settling in for the night, I hate to point out paragraph 7 of our prenup guaranteeing me certain rights.”
Husband: “Honey, I gave up my right to that ‘Jake the Snake’ tattoo I wanted for this. If you break the contract then that tattoo is fair game.”
Wife: “I can’t believe this is even legal.”
Husband: “You were the one who wanted to get married in Tijuana.”
Wife, flopping down: “Fine! Let’s just get it over with.”
Husband: “Ah, ah, ah. Paragraph 9 clearly states “nookie with ZEST. ZEST! Otherwise it doesn’t count.”
Wife: “Okay, okay.”
Husband (to lawyer): “Would you care to stay and witness the transaction?”
Lawyer: “Need I remind you about my ‘Don’t creep out the lawyer’ stipulation?”
Husband (Opens the door to a closet to reveal a hidden stenographer): “I would like to have that last comment stricken from the record please.”
Anyway. I wasn’t serious about the sketch comedy. Those were just the basic ideas of it as I came up with them at a boring day of work.