During the upfronts this week, the media has been freaking out about the fact that ABC has given the greenlight to the new sitcom Cavemen, which is based on the popular series of Geico commercials. While I will reserve my judgement until I actually see the show (keep in mind it does feature our own brilliant Nick Kroll), I would like to point out some of history’s other competely insane TV shows, several of which actually weren’t half bad.
10. Homeboys In Outer Space (UPN, ‘96-’97) - Two black dudes fly around the galaxy in a “space hoopty” guided by a sassy onboard computer named “Loquatia”. Seriously. That was on television.
pular TV series about some chick hiding a coked-up space alien in her attic. Even more amazing is that TV audiences were able to put up with Robin Williams‘ wacky spaceman antics for a full 4 years without wanting to tear their eyes out.
6. Dinosaurs (ABC, ‘91-’94) - Oh, but to have been in the network pitch meeting where some dude was all like, “See, it’s a blue-collar family sitcom - but instead of people, they’re talking DINOSAURS!” And then some high-powered executive type starts nodding his head purposefully, then does a slow golf clap before asking if there could be an idiotic catchphrase, perhaps if the baby dinosaur keeps repeating, for no particular reason, “Not the mama! Not the mama!” while hitting people with a prehistoric frying pan.
5. Out of This World (Syndicated, ‘87-’91) - So it’s like a teen coming-of-age drama, except Evie - the puberty-ravaged Jr. High girl who the show’s about - is a half-alien who has the power to start and stop time like a clap-on lamp. Instead of using these powers for something awesome (say, robbing enough banks to retire by the time she starts high school), Evie mostly just tries to figure out why that surfer dude doesn’t like her. And somehow we never even got to see her mother tell Evie about the time she f*cked an alien.
4. Cop Rock (ABC, ‘90-’90) - Perhaps the most insane idea ever to have landed in the small mind of a desperate TV producer, the entire concept of a series that combines the melodrama of an urban cop show with the flamboyance of musical theater is something so retarded it almost becomes genius again. I seriously hope this gets a DVD release soon, because I would really love to enjoy lyrics like “We’re the local color with the coppertone skin / And you treat us like we’re guilty of some terrible sin.” over and over again.
3. Mr. Ed (CBS, ‘61-’66) - A pioneer in the “insane sitcom” genre of TV shows. I mean come on, it’s about a horse that f*cking talks, and with absolutely no explanation of how this horse somehow became imbued with the ability to communicate in clear, eloquent English. And why English? Why can’t the horse speak French or Portuguese or something?
2. Alf (NBC, ‘86-’90) - So a cat-eating alien crash lands into the home of a suburban family named “The Tanners”, then spends four years hiding in their kitchen (great hiding place, ALF!)? In the end, ALF ends up getting caught by the Military, who has presumably spent the last 20 years conducting scientific tests to determine why he’s such a smart-ass, the results of which were later used to create the character of Chandler Bing on Friends.
1. Manimal (NBC, ‘83-’83) - An entire show about a shape-shifting doctor who could turn himself in to an animal to fight crime? Yes, please! Besides, the title alone is one of the most awesome things television has ever given us.