Sunday, April 16, 2006

I Know! Let's Have An Hour-Long TV Show With 60 Year-Old Songs!!

7:00: We’re greeted not by the smoking hot face of Mary Lou Metzger this week, but by the smoking hot face of Ralna English. What gives?! Turns out it’s an Easter-themed episode from 1980, so this must be a repeat (of the repeats). The episode showcased is from 1980, so we’re doubly-screwed: religious-themed episode from the absolute worst period in the show’s history. Ralna comes to us from Branson, Missouri, which is kinda like Las Vegas for Republicans. Basically, you would never want to go there or be associated with anyone who has.

7:02: Lawrence introduces the first number, “Easter Parade”. It’s a peppy little number that is thankfully devoid of any sort of religious significance. Thank God those Victorians invented the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

7:05: Some new guy I have never seen sings some religious tune on an acoustic guitar. Who the hell is this guy? I suppose at this point (early 80s), the old ones saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship. I mean, it’s pretty silly to picture a show like this on TV today, but it’s not much less silly to picture it even 25 years ago.

7:07: The band does a nice little song called, “It Might as Well Be Spring”. I’m positive I’ve heard this song on this show before, though. No biggie. For all I know, it was from a broadcast 20 years earlier. It’s pretty good, with the flutes, but I’m not so sure about Myron Floren on the accordion; every time he does his little routine, it’s like they’ve shoehorned him into the song. I mean, really, how natural is it to stick an accordion into the middle of a song?

7:09: Norma Zimmer sings some hymn. Sample lyric: “A world where lost sinners were slain”. How heart-warming! I’m also pretty positive she’s lip-synching. Must be getting rusty in her old age.

7:11: Ralna in the present day comes back and talks about her daughter; you’ll be happy to know that she’s now a second grade teacher! This is what I mean when I say that I prefer the new system whereby Mary Lou Metzger comes on once at the start, and once at the end. I should also report that Ralna’s daughter has some significant upper-arm fat. And how’s this for a bombshell: she’s no longer married to Guy! Fuck! She does speak fondly of him and his new wife, however, and says she’s going on tour with him. Weird.

7:13: 1980s Guy and Ralna sing an awful gospel-y song. If only they knew then that their marriage was doomed to failure!

By the way, here's a little tidbit on Guy, courtesy of the Wikipedia: "Guy sang 'Let the Eagle Soar', a song written by then-Attorney-General John Ashcroft at the second inaugural of President George W. Bush". So you just know he's a great guy!

7:15: Bobby and Random Dance Partner No. 307 do a dance number. Pretty effing forgettable. I’m starting to think that this episode is going to be a real waste of time.

7:17: Lawrence Welk introduces the next guy, the creepy, toothy blonde with the hair, saying, “Tom Netherington is becoming very active in the religious music circuit”. Great! His song’s bound to be great, then!

7:20: Present day Ralna shills her new CD, “My God, My Country”, and sings an extract from it, backed by a Casio keyboard! Man, you know it’s gotta be good if the background orchestration is done by a keyboard! Here are some sample lyrics: “Mary did you know your baby boy will one day rule the nations”.

7:23: It’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”, by four strangers I’ve never seen before. Wow, I thought this song was originally from that Scrooged movie. Guess not. You can really tell with this stuff that Lawrence feels obligated to load the show with contemporary crap.

7:26: Joe Feeney has a pretty song for us. As usual, it starts with Bob Ralston, the guy who might be gay, opening on the organ. And it’s actually not a hymn or Irish song, for once. I also think that Feeney must be using copious amounts of black dye at this point in his life.

7:28: It’s an accordion duet with Floren and some new kid. Lawrence introduces him, saying, “Joey Schmidt is on our training program”. Huh?

Anyway, the accordion must be the hardest instrument to play. It’s heavy, you have to actually hold it, it’s a piano on one side and then another thing with a bunch of buttons on the other (both of which you have to play at the same time). And you have to squeeze it to play.

7:30: Ralna tells us some more shit, mentions her CD again, and invites us to visit her website! Conveniently, you can also buy her CD at that same website!

7:32: George Cates conducts “Holiday for Strings”. What’s this – the show-stopper at 7:32? Looks like. By the way, string plucking makes songs better.

PS: What’s with all these “holiday for” songs? There’s “Fluter’s Holiday”, “Bugler’s Holiday”, this one, and… hell, probably some others. What’s the deal? Presumably they’re fun songs to play if you’re good at that instrument, but where did the trend start?

7:35: Ken Deal-o is up, who can’t sing. This is as good a time to ask, would it kill Lawrence Welk to mention the name of the song? “Here’s a pretty little song I’m sure you all know”. Well… well, no, I don’t.

7:37: Mary-Lou Metzger and some creepy guy do a tap dance to “Tip-toe Through the Tulips”. It’s alright, I guess, but it’s too cheesy a song. Mary is also hot, of course.

7:40: Some lady I’ve never seen does “A Few of My Favourite Things”. I don’t get it, what’s so beloved about The Sound of Music?

7:42: Ralna mentions that she was a participant in the Merv Griffin Celebrity Tennis Tournament recently. She played alongside Dr. Phil and Chandler, from Friends! I guess they raised money for something? Also, is it true that Nancy Reagan had an affair with Merv Griffin?

7:42: Anacani sings “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” for the kids, since they just love watching TV shows with 60-year old songs and hymns. What a nightmare it must be for a professional arranger to be asked to work with this shitty song.

Anacani’s the really hot Mexican who looks about 17. But she’s not.

7:45: The trombonist who looks like my uncle Jim plays “My Tribute”, which is very similar to “My Way”. Only slightly different. It’s not bad, but it’s got some sort of awful electronic accompaniment. I mean, really, people thought that stuff would hold up?

7:47: Eva Barber, the chunky country singer, does “A Tisket, A Tasket”. She looks awful in cowboy boots.

7:49: Arthur Duncan taps to “Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet”. Says Floren, “For this show, we’ll call it an old Easter bonnet”. Oh, okay. Now I see how the song is related to the Easter theme.

7:51: Ralna tells us that lately, she’s done a few reunions with the old cast. And they get 4 standing ovations! Wow, really? You think that old people near death who pay to see the surviving members of a 25-year old TV show sing old songs might be a little less discriminating when handing out standing ovations? Ralna also mentions the website again, if you didn’t catch it the first couple of times.

7:52: The cast is assembled, decked out in choir gear, on some cathedral set. And then everyone sings a big religious song. Hey, I’m sure it’s real moving if you’re into that stuff.

7:56: Ralna closes, being sure to sing one last hymn from her CD. I turned the TV off before she was done, so maybe something cool happened afterwards, I dunno.


Blogger Dev said...

Branson is a fun place to go to. I went with my family and grandparents and watched a few Branson shows!

1:52 pm  

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