As both of my friends will tell you, I’m something a great fan of truly mediocre entertainment. Really, anything that’s poorly scripted, acted, lit, recorded, or otherwise mangled gives me great joy. This probably has stunted my development as a Man of Taste. I’ve never seen Citizen Kane, Casablanca, or Bonnie & Clyde. But if it helps, I’ve seen Short Circuit and Can’t Hardly Wait enough that I have them practically memorized. I’ve never really gotten into Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, or the Who, but I can burn you a copy of Dr. Demento’s 20th and 25th Anniversary Collections if you want to hear them.
I think a lot of this has to do with nostalgia rather than their own merit. Short Circuit was one of the first movies I ever saw, and watched it religiously as a kid. Can’t Hardly Wait was on cable constantly one summer when I was in high school (Interesting side note: my partner in Very Incredible Movie Theater 4, the Right Rev. Michael J. Farley, also discovered Can’t Hardly Wait that summer. There was an informal competition between the two of us to see who could watch it more. There were no winners). The Dr. Demento albums were a favorite of mine, and I suspect, of 11 year olds all over the country.
This isn’t to say that these things aren’t entirely without merit, though. Short Circuit, for all it’s flaws, features Number 5, one of the more ingenious examples of puppetry in the history of cinema. Can’t Hardly Wait is fairly intelligent for a dopey teen comedy, and it’s heart is in the right place. The Dr. Demento CDs featured “Existential Blues” by Tom “T-Bone” Stankus and “Wet Dream” by Kip Adotta, two of the more clever and amusing novelty songs ever recorded.
That being said, I think I may have talked myself into thinking a certain other bit of entertainment I enjoyed as a kid was better than it actually was. So when I found this particular project on DVD, I decided, for five dollars, this was a worthy investment. In fact, I’d be doing both myself and the American economy a disservice if I didn’t buy this particular item.
That’s how I became the proud owner of the Dorf Superfan Collection, featuring Tim Conway as Dorf.