Sure, we live our everyday lives without giving them a second thought...UNTIL we find ourselves awake at midnight (or later). Why? Well, our insomnia could be brought on my many reasons: stress, food cravings, nightmares from a child, sickness of a child, sickness of yourself, or in my case--spousal absenteeism. (Is that even a word or did I just make that up?) Brett has been out of town on business for 3 days now and not likely to return for another 2. He will find this blog ironic because normally, I am wiped out and ready for bed by 10:00, if not earlier. I am a major party-pooper. HOWEVER, when he is not around, I find that although I am physically ready to sleep, emotionally I dread going to bed without him, so I postpone it by watching 2-3 hours of TV Land or Nick-At-Nite (don't judge me...you've all had your fair share of marathons in front of the boob tube--by the way, I googled "boob tube" to make sure I was spelling it correctly and using it in the right context (apparently for Americans and Canadians, I am). I wouldn't recommend entering that into a search engine again. YIKES.)
Anyway, I decided to turn the TV off tonight and instead do something productive. Write a blog about it! At least about my favorite late-night shows. Paying homage to them, in a way, you could say. And I know most of you won't want to read this post, so no offense taken. At least participate in the poll at the top right!
So if I haven't lost you by now, enjoy the following excerpts from my favorite episodes. These are the ones that made me actually laugh out loud. The only thing better would be to re-watch them in person with my best friend. He is the ultimate sitcom-watching partner. ("Miss ya, Babe. Hurry home soon!") Maybe you have seen them yourself and they will bring a smile to your face as you remember your own moment of private laughter.
Clair: "Cliff, why do we have five children?"
Cliff: "Because we did not want six."
Cliff: "Theo, your mother asked me to come up here and kill you."
Theo: "You're a doctor and Mom's a lawyer, and you're both successful in everything and that's great! But maybe I was born to be a regular person and have a regular life. If you weren't a doctor, I wouldn't love you less, because you're my dad. So rather than feeling disappointed because I'm not like you, maybe you should accept who I am and love me anyway, because I'm your son."
(At this point, violins are playing and as a viewer you are expecting this great Father-Son bonding moment.)
Cliff: "Theo... that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life! No wonder you get D's in everything! You're afraid to try because you're afraid your brain is going to explode and it's going to ooze out of your ears. Now I'm telling you, you are going to try as hard as you can. And you're going to do it because I said so. I am your father. I brought you into this world, and I'll take you out!"
(Life according to Monopoly Money)
Cliff: "So how much does you expect to make a week for 'regular people'?"
Cliff (pointing to the bed): "Sit down. I will give you $300 a week. $1200 a month." (Cliff hands the money to Theo)
Theo: "I'll take it!"
Cliff: "And I will take $350 for taxes."
Cliff: "Oh, yeah. See, the government goes for the regular people first. So, how much does that leave you with?"
Cliff: "Okay, now you'll need an apartment because you are NOT living here. Now an apartment in Manhattan will run you at least $400 a month."
Theo: "I'll live in New Jersey." (Theo takes back $200)
Cliff: "Now you'll need a car." (Cliff takes $300)
Theo: "I'll drive a motorbike." (Theo takes back $100)
Cliff: "You're gonna need a helmet." (Cliff takes $50) "Now figure $100 a month for clothes and shoes."
Theo: "Figure $200. I wanna look GOOD."
Cliff: "So, how much does that leave you with?"
Theo: "$200. So, no problem."
Cliff: "There IS a problem! You haven't EATEN yet!" (Cliff takes $100)
Theo: "I can get by on bologna and cereal." (Theo takes back his $100) "So I've got everything under control PLUS $200 left for the month."
Cliff: "You plan to have a girlfriend?"
Theo: "For sure." (Cliff takes the remaining $200) Cliff (pointing at Theo's empty hand): "Regular people."
I know I've written a lot about The Coz, but one more episode is noteworthy. It's the one where Cliff and Clair want to give Cliff's parents a cruise for their anniversary. Anyway, I don't recall all that happens but at the end, the entire family--Cliff, Claire, and their 5 children, including irrepressible 5-year old Rudy (who adorably is missing teeth) perform an impromptu lip synch on the staircase to Ray Charles' "Night Time is the Right Time"--who can forget Rudy's "Baaaaaabay" with her mouth opened as wide as it can get and those teethless gaps staring at you. So cute!
Wings--Wings had so many great characters. Who didn't love Antonio, the unlucky-in-love cab driver from Italy? And what about Faye, who married three husbands, all with first name George--and all who DIED. But my all-time favorite was...(drumroll, please)...Lowell. Lowell Mathers won me over with his eccentricities (is there spell-check on blogspot, because I think I just spelled that wrong) and dim-witted antics. Here are a couple great quotes from our favorite airline mechanic--some of the best ones are between Lowell and Roy Biggins:
Lowell: "I give blood all the time. Just between you and me, Roy, I'll do anything for a sugar cookie."
Joe Hackett: Lowell, where you going?
Lowell Mather: Oh, to clear my mind.
Roy Biggins: Shouldn't take long. One good sneeze ought to do it.
I Love Lucy--Lucille Ball paved the way for nearly sixty years of television sitcoms when it premiered in October of 1951 (coincidentally the same year my parents were married!). In some ways I don't think the classic humor is appreciated now as it once was, which is a shame because it was the original, genuine stuff. Very talented and ahead of their time, the writers of this show were able to entertain the American public with situation comedy in a very non-offensive, clean way.
My favorite episode is from the second season and is called Lucy Wants New Furniture. Here's how one website describes it: "A frantic economy wave engulfs the Ricardo household. Lucy buys some furniture against Ricky's orders and is forced to pay for it out of her own allowance. Ricky confiscates the furniture and takes it to the club until it's paid off. Lucy also needs a new dress and a new hairstyle for the Carrolls' party at the Tropicana on Saturday night. She tries to make her own dress and then does some "permanent damage" in this episode." The permanent damage they speak of is with her hair, as well as their carpet. She tries to give herself a perm, but forgets to set the timer, so you can imagine the "hair-raising" result when it finally dawns on her to remove the curlers and rinse out the chemicals. As for the carpet, she tries to cut out a pattern for making herself a dress, but does not have scissors (except for her fingernail scissors, which do not work, to her dismay). Instead, she tries a razor blade on the pattern which she has laid out on her living room floor. She is so focused on her new task as seamstress, she does not realize she is not only cutting the fabric, but also the carpet!
Frasier--And finally, my favorite. (Check out the music I've got on the bottom right of my blog. Somewhere in there is the theme song.) Brett and I love the early years of Frasier so much we both bought the DVDs for each others' Christmas presents last year! This show had the best writing. Probably my favorite exchanges come between Frasier and his brother Niles.
Niles: And I stormed out and slammed the door! Of course, it was that fourteenth century Bavarian cathedral door, so I had to get two of the servants to help me, but what it lacked in spontanaity it made up for in resonance.
Niles: "At the Shangri-La [the name of Niles' dumpy apartment complex], the highlight of my day is getting out of bed, so I can slam it back into the wall!"
(THAT EPISODE IN GENERAL WAS JUST BRILLIANT. SHEER GENIUS! THERE ARE TOO MANY ONE-LINERS TO POST. I'M LAUGHING RIGHT NOW JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. BRETT, REMEMBER WHEN MARTIN OPENS THE CLOSET/IRONING BOARD TO FIND IT FULL OF FLANNEL SHIRTS???)
Niles: That was the same period where you insisted on wearing the wax earplugs and the slumbermask.
Frasier: Well I had to, what with you underneath the covers with a flashlight looking at the National Geographic.
Niles: I was looking at the maps.
Frasier: That's what makes it so scary.