Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take That, Family Hour!

I found this clip via Mark Evanier, who found it via Lee Goldberg, and maybe somebody will now find it through me.

Anyway, this All in the Family clip was not intended to be aired, and I don't know what occasion it was made for -- it seems like something that might have been made as entertainment for a meeting, or something like that. It was made in 1975 when the FCC was creating the "Family Hour," a legendarily stupid decision which fascinates me and which I wrote about a couple of years ago. All in the Family was one of the shows most affected by the Family Hour, as I said in the previous post; the new rule forced it to leave the 8 p.m. timeslot where it had done so well, and several years later, it became more kid-friendly when it was moved back to 8 p.m. (the Family Hour rule was gone, but not the idea that 8 o'clock was for kids).

So in this clip, the Bunkers and Stivics clean up their manners in a Family-Hour-approved way, and then they gather together and sing the theme song with new lyrics, about all the naughty stuff that the Family Hour seeks to banish. Interestingly, the lyrics mention vasectomies, which hadn't actually happened on All in the Family yet, but did happen on the show a year later.


Yowp said...

Jaime, considering the director's shots are pretty carefully planned, it wasn't just to warm up the audience. And I can't see this being sent closed-circuit to affiliates for their enjoyment (because someone would get offended and mouth off). It's almost like they did it especially for Norman Lear Production employees for Christmas or something.


Justin said...

and several years later, it became more kid-friendly when it was moved back to 8 p.m.

This was a travshamockery of which no one should speak.

And I completely refuse to acknowledge the existence of a show called "Archie Bunker's Place" (except for purely academic and analytical reasons related to the ways in which characters are watered down to become more likable).

Mike said...

That was hilarious, thanks for posting it. Judging from the quality of it, I'm guessing it's not included as a DVD extra, which sadly doesn't surprise me. Allow me to briefly go off on a mini-tangent: In your other blog a few days ago, you wrote about how TV shows are still treated like movie's ugly cousin, and while you were specifically talking about TV show-preservation vs. movie-preservation, it's also evident in the way TV shows are presented on DVD. Long-running, award-winning TV shows, like AITF or Cheers, are given bare-bones releases on DVD, whereas some grade-Z movie from the '80s gets a commentary track, a blooper reel and a making-of doc. With very few exceptions (I Love Lucy, for one), the only way a TV show will get presented on DVD with lots of special features (or, really, any) is if it's still on the air or came out within the past five years, 10 tops. I know there are budgets and everything, but when you're dealing with long-running, highly-praised shows that in some cases literally changed television (like AITF)....well, you can't throw the fans *any* kind of special-feature bone?

Chris L. said...

Just this past week USA Today's Robert Bianco panned ABC's "In The Motherhood" in part for including sex jokes despite airing at 8pm. Yes, in 2009.