Saturday, April 30, 2005

Reality TV For 40 Year Olds

I can't stand reality television. I don't watch any of it, except for that Surreal Life episode where Mini Me whizzes on the wall. Thursday night I watched Survivor for the first time. It wasn't really exciting. It's a bunch of people I've never heard of trying to win a contest I really don't care about. I find it hard to believe anyone really cares who wins this thing. So as I'm watching my mind is wandering and wondering. How could this be jazzed up, so that it would be interesting? How can this be changed so I care about it.

Well, if you're around or over 40, I think you'll like the idea I came up with. The next survivor shouldn't have a bunch of no names. No, the next survivor will feature...cartoon has-beens.

Survivor: Cartoon Has-beens would pit various old TV cartoon characters who have been forgotten against each other on some island. This would be entertainment at its finest. A look at the roster for this show is like a Who's Who of my pre-teen weekday and weekend mornings.

Penelope Pitstop- This chick from the Wacky Races I think eventually landed her own show. She was a bit too high-maintenance to be considered a threat on a survivor show, however. She'd be too concerned about her make up and nails to make a good team mate. And you can forget about her eating insects.

Hoppity Hooper- Don't let Hoppity's small size fool you. You know he's got the heart of a lion and would be the conscience on an island with so many misfits, bumblers, and villains. I'd call him the David Eckstein of cartoon characters.

Underdog- Originally I thought underdog would be one of the favorites. He's a super hero for crying out loud! He'd probably win every contest. But every super hero has a weakness, and his is a doozy. All it would take for him to lose is for his humble, but lovable, alter-ego to show up. Yep, one day as Shoeshine Boy, and Underdog would be a goner.


Tooter the Turtle- Tooter would be a definite lightweight; in fact, I believe Tooter would be the first character to leave the island. He wouldn't even have to be voted off! The going would get just a little bit tough, and he'd go all Tooter on everyone. "Help, Mr. Wizard! I don't want to be on Survivor any more." And I could just see Mr. Wizard shaking his lizard head. Let's see, how'd that incantation go. "Twizzle, tweazle, twazzle, twome, time for this one to come home." Or something like that.

By the way, does anyone think Tooter the Turtle could even get on the air nowadays? I can see James Dobson and the Christian Right police come after the "evil" lizard wizard, Mr. Wizard, as corrupting our young. I mean, he is, after all, a wizard. There could be something satanic going on there, right?


Hong Kong Phooey- Too much of a knucklehead to be a real threat. Or is he? He's one of those types that could fall in a pile of dung and come up smelling like a rose.

Jonny Quest- If it is just Jonny himself, on the island, the young Mr. Quest could hold his own the first few rounds, but because he's only a kid I just don't see him emerging as the winner. And I would hope he wouldn't bring Bandit with him. Bandit might become survival food for the evil Muttley.

The rest of these clowns better just hope Jonny's friend, the white-haired Race Bannon, isn't allowed in. Race is undoubtedly the biggest bad-ass in the history of television, not just cartoons. Within 24 hours he would lay waste to the entire island, taking no prisoners. He would probably assemble grenade lauchers and automatic weapons out of coconuts and tree vines to win this contest by force. Rising out of the carnage, Race would then probably swim back to civilization with Jonny and his little dog Bandit on his shoulders. Whew! Freaking Race Bannon.

Go Go Gophers- Almost as small as Hoppity Hooper, these two gophers have cunning and a sadistic sense of humor. Remember how they easily disposed of those John Wayne-inspired and Teddy Roosevelt-inspired cavalry dudes? "Whoopee Doopee, we have fun" would be heard a lot on the island. But I don't think they could make it to the final cut.

Mr. Peabody- Too smart, but not athletic enough. And his sidekick, Sherman, is too pathetic to be of any help to Peabody. With a millstone like that around his neck, Peabody wouldn't advance past the middle rounds.

Klondike Kat and Savoir Fair- Let's see, I think I can guess how this would go down. Klondike Kat would get beat up by Savoir Fair's dog buddy. Savoir Fair would steal all the resources available on the island and hide away in some cabin, with his sidekick to protect him. But "Klondike Kat always gets his mouse", and would bust Savoir Fair by some accidental maneuvering on his part. This would buy Klondike a few rounds of immunity. Unfortunately, however, that cat would be too bumbling to survive to the end.

Bullwinkle- Not a threat. No, not because he's as dumb as a box of rocks, and the dumbest character on television outside of Chumbley (and Freddy the Frog from New Zoo Revue). Bullwinkle wouldn't win because he'd never be allowed on the show. He's not a has-been. He's all over the place, and has recently been a movie character. So he's disqualified. Ditto "Squirrel".

Space Angel- Space Angel. I've said everything I can say about him already. Coolest dude in the universe. Probable winner of the whole thing.

Tennessee Tuxedo- Usuall fails in what he does because he tries too hard, and in an annoying sort of way. Chumbley, his cohort, makes Bullwinkle look like a Rhodes Scholar. He'd have no chance.

Riff Raff- Gangsta wolf-dog from the "Underdog Show", Riff Raff was a formidable opponent for Underdog. His sidekick Mooch was no bargain, however. Still and all, I could see Riff Raff stealing the title away from one of the good guys. And that could lead to a spin off series.

Commander McBragg- He's more like Commander McBlowhard. He could undoubtedly BS his way through a couple of rounds with his lies, but he would soon after be voted off, if the rest don't kill him first. McBragg has to be the most uncharismatic lead character to ever grace the drawing board.

Pink Panther- I love the Pink Panther, but he's too innocent to win. Or is he? Just like Hong Kong Phooey, he could build an outhouse and have flowers grow out of it. So he's an unknown factor. Things seem to happen around him, but he somehow stays out of all the festivities. On a show like this that's not a bad thing. A middle rounder if things don't go his way, or finalist if they do.

Dick Dastardly and Muttley- Fortunately for everyone else, Dick is as incompetent as he is evil. I think he is the only driver not to win at least one "Wacky Race". And he never could "Stop the Pigeon", either. Total Loser. No chance. And I'm sure Muttley would throatily giggle in the background when he got thrown off.

So, in the end, it looks like Space Angel would be our favorite, with Riff Raff and Pink Panther a good dark horse bet.

But, you know what, I just thought of a better idea for these guys. Ready? The Surreal Life: Cartoon Has-beens. You'd take these characters and put them in a house and make them live together for a few weeks. And you could get Space Ghost to host...and...

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