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.
Now, this might strike you as an odd thing to be nostalgic for. After all, I’m 27 years old. Carol Burnett’s show was long gone by the time I was born, why would I enjoy anything with Tim Conway? Y’see, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents when I was growing up. One of the few videotapes they had was Dorf on Golf, purchased as a gift for my golf loving grandfather. However much my grandfather liked golf, however, he never enjoyed movies, so I doubt he ever watched it. That said, I watched the shit out of Dorf on Golf as a young’un. This film reminded me of good times with family, playing with my cousins, and enjoying spaghetti and meatballs.
So it was with a spring in my step and joy in my heart that I left Target with Dorf Superfan Collection in a plastic shopping bag, content that my five dollars went directly into Tim Conway’s checking account, no doubt funding yet another champagne filled swimming pool at the palatial Bel-Air estate he shared with his partner, the late, great Harvey Korman. I excitedly tore off the shrink wrap, and inserted Dorf on Golf into my DVD player, my hands trembling. I waited excitedly for Dorf to tee off, assisted by his faithful caddy, Leonard (played by the great Vincent Schiavelli), and the lovely, leggy Boom Boom LeRoux. I sat back in my chair, put my feet up, and waited for the waves of laughter that were sure to come over me.
They didn’t come.
In fact, holy shit did this film ever suck on ice. But don’t take my word for it. Thanks to the wonders of the Interweb, you can experience it too.
It’s not funny. Not at all. In fact, it’s the total opposite of funny. It’s as brutal and exhausting as Schindler’s List, but without the sense of humor. And, looking at the case for the DVD now, anyone who considers themselves a Dorf Superfan should subjected to mandatory drug testing and chemical castration. They should be forced to register with their local police department, and go door to door, introducing themselves to their neighbors, telling them that they are legally required to inform you of their Dorf super fandom. Parents need to know of Dorf superfans in their area, so that they can make an educated decision about whether or not they can safely raise their children in that area.
Needless, to say, this experience had a sobering affect on me. I’ve realized that nostalgia is a dangerous thing, and not to be trusted. I’ve committed myself to not making these mistakes. And, more importantly, I’ve committed myself to making sure that no one else makes these sorts of mistakes.
And that, Officer, is why I’m lurking in Steve Guttenberg’s bushes.
Now, enough of my hilarious drollery, on to business: as you may now, DBI had a show scheduled for October 28. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a scheduling conflict with the theatre, but fortunately, that means we got to perform again 2 weeks sooner! DBI will be back at the Main Street Theatre on October 14. Instead of a three-days-before-Halloween-Throwdown, it’s going to be a four-days-after-Columbus-Day-Kerfluffle. But come in costume, if you want. Italians dress up in costumes for Columbus Day, I think. They go door to door for cannolis and sfogliatelle if I remember my sociology classes.
Lastly, DBI has applied to return to the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival this February. We had a blast there last time (only one post-festival emergency room trip for a troupe member, and it had almost nothing to do with alcohol!), so cross Your fingers that we get to go back!