Objects of the class “Objects of the class”.
December 19, 2016 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Statistician Andrew Gelman's list of "Objects of the class":
Objects of the class “Foghorn Leghorn”: parodies that are more famous than the original. (“It would be as if everybody were familiar with Duchamp’s Mona-Lisa-with-a-moustache while never having heard of Leonardo’s version.”).
Objects of the class “Whoopi Goldberg”: actors who are undeniably talented but are almost always in bad movies, or at least movies that aren’t worthy of their talent. (The opposite: William Holden.)

Objects of the class “Weekend at Bernie’s”: low-quality movie, nobody’s actually seen it, but everybody knows what it’s about. (Other examples: Heathers and Zelig.)

Objects of the class “Lawrence Summers”: despised on the left for holding silly right-wing attitudes and simultaneously despised on the right for holding silly left-wing attitudes. (Another example: Arne Duncan.)

Objects of the class “Pauline Kael”: a woman who’s the top person ever in a male-dominated field. (Another example: Agatha Christie.) Not the same as objects of the class “Amelia Earhart,” who are famous for being women in a male-dominated field.
More suggestions of objects and classes found in the comments.
posted by rollick (86 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
Objects of the class “Weekend at Bernie’s”: low-quality movie

Now let's hold it right there.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:17 PM on December 19, 2016 [27 favorites]


Yeah, the same goes for Heathers. What the hell, man? (I haven't seen Zelig, because Woody Allen. I gather it's probably good, on its own merits.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:20 PM on December 19, 2016 [31 favorites]


Other examples: Heathers

Objects of the class "Andrew Gelman": a statistician who isn't qualified to critique movies.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2016 [61 favorites]


Just watched Heathers on Netflix. It . . . hasn't held up well. Winona was cool though.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just watched Heathers on Netflix. It . . . hasn't held up well. Winona was cool though.

This doesn't surprise me. For some reason I have recently been wanting to rewatch "Pump Up the Volume," which I assume is the same.
posted by OmieWise at 12:30 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I haven't held up well, either. Doesn't mean I was low quality or that nobody has actually seen me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:30 PM on December 19, 2016 [89 favorites]


William Holden was a good actor. Pfft, statisticians.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:32 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen Zelig for years, since before The Major Unpleasantness, but I remember it being pretty good.

Other than that the categories are clever and interesting to try to populate. The "Lawrence Summers" category is inherently subjective but I might have named it after Andrew Sullivan.
posted by saturday_morning at 12:33 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


The "Lawrence Summers" category is inherently subjective but I might have named it after Andrew Sullivan.

The Sullivan class is reserved for people who, decades too late, come to one or two notable and correct left-wing views, and then proceed to complain loudly about how the left ignores their wonderful sensibility on that one issue, while deep inside resenting that they're not fully right-leaning anymore and secretly pining for the great old days of Reagan.

It's related to the David Brooks class, except that instead of claiming the left ignores the change of heart, the Brooks class feels duty-bound to endlessly lie and smear the left as having never actually held the good idea in the first place, and wants everyone to bask in their superiority since they are utterly certain they thought of the idea first.
posted by mystyk at 12:40 PM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


Senator Claghorn

Foghorn Leghorn
posted by BWA at 12:45 PM on December 19, 2016 [13 favorites]


This seems like it has the potential to be kind of funny but the author just doesn't have enough knowledge (or taste) to pull it off.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:46 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Sullivan class is reserved for people who, decades too late, come to one or two notable and correct left-wing views, and then proceed to complain loudly about how the left ignores their wonderful sensibility on that one issue, while deep inside resenting that they're not fully right-leaning anymore and secretly pining for the great old days of Reagan.

The very model of a modern Major-General.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:46 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


William Holden was a good actor.

Yeah, but you might wanna let someone else drive
posted by thelonius at 12:46 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


(I haven't seen Zelig, because Woody Allen. I gather it's probably good, on its own merits.)

Notable mostly for its technological achievements, which can be done on a laptop these days.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:48 PM on December 19, 2016


Jokes about airline peanuts are used as indicative of hack jokes generally but no one can tell you a single air lines peanut joke.
Oddly enough if you ask for an example of a joke "why did the chicken cross the road?" is probably the most common example, but it's a joke about jokes.
posted by I Foody at 12:49 PM on December 19, 2016 [14 favorites]


Airline peanuts? Is that some extra service you can purchase along with your cattle class ticket?
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:51 PM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Foghorn Leghorn: "Notes from Underground" was written in part as a parody of "What Is to Be Done?", a book which later became Lenin's favourite. In literature departments of the Western world, the story of a man who is completely ineffectual and pathetic while standing up to The Man - the parody - was recognized as great literature, while a story with a strong, determined, successful revolutionary was dismissed.

It's a conspiracy, I tell you.
posted by clawsoon at 12:52 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


"nobody’s actually seen it"

What? Maybe if you were born in 1989 you haven't seen it but the movie was successful enough to spawn a sequel.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:52 PM on December 19, 2016


Jokes about airline peanuts are used as indicative of hack jokes generally

Isn't the stereotypical hack comedian joke "What's the deal with airline food"? Especially making fun of Seinfeld imitators, even though Jerry himself only ever once said the phrase in an SNL skit making fun of his style.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm just a sore Gen Xer because I have script for a third film with Bernie as a skeleton and a reboot script with Bernie as a friendly voodoo zombie. In anycase, get off my lawn you kids!
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:56 PM on December 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Objects of the class "It's Raining Florence Henderson": a wit who isn't qualified to critique staircases.
posted by y2karl at 1:00 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


This seems like it has the potential to be kind of funny but the author just doesn't have enough knowledge (or taste) to pull it off.

"Nickelback...they're kinda like Winger, except bad...and don't even get me started on the low-rent Limp Bizkit that is Slipknot.""
posted by rhizome at 1:01 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Last time I tried to explain knock-knock jokes to a young person, I had precisely this problem. The jokes I could remember didn't make sense without a basic understanding of the form. I think the "Foghorn Leghorn" class is useful and the name is memorably chosen. So what if some of the other excercises are wobblier?
posted by Western Infidels at 1:07 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


low-quality movie, nobody’s actually seen it, but everybody knows what it’s about. (Other examples: Heathers

FIGHT ME
posted by praemunire at 1:12 PM on December 19, 2016 [14 favorites]


I think the "Foghorn Leghorn" class is useful and the name is memorably chosen.

The problem with the class name is that the example is essentially *too* good. With Foghorn Leghorn, the parody isn't merely more popular than the original, but rather has essentially completely replaced it except in the case of those few with the peculiar drive to look up what it was a parody of, and even in that fringe case nobody else wants to hear the explanation.
posted by mystyk at 1:14 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Foghorn Leghorn potential member? Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show vs Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.
posted by maryr at 1:19 PM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Here’s another example: Spinal Tap, which lots of people have heard of without being familiar with the hair-metal acts that inspired it.

OK, I'm out. Man has not scooby number one.
posted by Devonian at 1:28 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think he prefers decomposition over inheritance.
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:53 PM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


I was clueless enough to have to look up Duchamp’s Mona-Lisa-with-a-moustache and I'm still thinking "really, there are people familiar with this but not the original?". Also happy to learn that Dali actually parodied the parody.
posted by achrise at 2:05 PM on December 19, 2016


Mike Myers relates that Steve Martin paid him his favorite compliment about the character of Austin Powers, that it was incredible for being a successful parody of something his audience wasn't familiar with. More famous than the original from day one.
posted by little onion at 2:05 PM on December 19, 2016 [9 favorites]


I had a realization a month ago that , not just the most popular knock knock jokes, but every knock knock joke I can remember hearing and telling were parodies of the form.
posted by little onion at 2:09 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can think of a few objects of Class Foghorn Leghorn.

Austin Powers' Fembots: Dr. Goldfoot & the Girl Bombs and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

Weird Al Yankovic's "I Lost on Jeopardy": the Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy" (I think I once saw TV Tropes refer to Class Foghorn Leghorn as "the Greg Kihn effect.")

The recurring Saturday Night Live sketch of Christopher Walken as The Continental ("Shampanya?") is based on an actual namesake TV show that aired on CBS from 1952 to 1953. When I did a post on the original show itself back in 2007, I couldn't find any clips of the original show, although I could find several contemporary parodies of "The Continental" from the 1950s done by Popeye, Jerry Lewis, and Pepe Le Pew.
posted by jonp72 at 2:47 PM on December 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


Regarding the Foghorn Leghorn category of parodies more famous than the originals, wasn't Bugs Bunny's carrot thing a reference to/parody of Clark Gable in a scene from It Happened One Night?

Also, at this point, I wonder what fraction of the population is more familiar with Professor Frink's schtick than Jerry Lewis's. Or Roger the alien from American Dad versus Paul Lynde (I think?).
posted by mhum at 2:50 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


As for Class Whoopi Goldberg, I can't help but think of Karen Black. She was an actress mostly active in the 1970s with a good reputation, but she always seemed to be in nothing but the Airport movie sequels and B-grade horror movies. There are probably a lot of 1970s actresses that would fit the bill. That's sometimes the thrill of watching obscure B-grade 1970s movies. You sometimes find a hidden gem of a performance in the least likely places.
posted by jonp72 at 2:51 PM on December 19, 2016


Dave Sim's Elrod the Albino goes one step further by being a parody of, inter alia, Foghorn Leghorn.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:11 PM on December 19, 2016


I'm still thinking "really, there are people familiar with this but not the original?".
No, I don't think they are saying those people actually exist but that if they did, they would fall under that class.
posted by soelo at 3:15 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would think the big cartoons (Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck in the fifties, Flintstones in the sixties, Simpsons in the nineties/aughts) will be huge sources of the Foghorn Leghorn effect for future generations. I am not the most clueless person in the realm of pop culture; however, from age 6 until about 45 minutes ago I had only a vague suspicion icon that Mr Leghorn, Esq. was a parody, although I had no idea of whom.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:26 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


With Foghorn Leghorn, the parody isn't merely more popular than the original, but rather has essentially completely replaced it except in the case of those few with the peculiar drive to look up what it was a parody of

Hey, some of us are Fred Allen fans. (Admittedly, that's a much smaller class than Looney Tunes fans.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 4:32 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the conditions of a Foghorn Leghorn probably has to be enough time passing for people to forget the origin.

Foghorn survived because Warner Bros. cartoons were on the air, somewhere in America, every hour of every day for decades. By contrast, once the Fred Allen Show was off the air, the character Senator Claghorn went with it; old wartime radio shows never had the opportunity to become evergreen entertainment for generations of kids.

For future generations, maybe some meme or cultural artifact will only be remembered due to Family Guy reruns, it's too early to say. But it's also possible that intellectual property are treated in completely different ways than they were seventy years ago, and so parodic characters of other comic characters can't be built and developed to the same extent any more.
posted by ardgedee at 4:33 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


At least the Youth Of Today have the internet to explain early Simpsons pop culture references.

My favorite example of incomprehensibly dated (and terrifying) pop culture caricatures from my childhood is the 1941 Merrie Melodies short Hollywood Steps Out. All is explained in the Wikipedia article, but I still have no idea why this was considered appropriate children's programming for 1980s Australian TV.
posted by zamboni at 4:36 PM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


I wonder what fraction of the population is more familiar with Professor Frink's schtick than Jerry Lewis's. Or Roger the alien from American Dad versus Paul Lynde

The Onion article Dad's Paul Lynde Impression Lost on Daughter's Friends dates from 2002. So that might give you a clue.
posted by jonp72 at 4:47 PM on December 19, 2016


Mike Myers relates that Steve Martin paid him his favorite compliment about the character of Austin Powers, that it was incredible for being a successful parody of something his audience wasn't familiar with. More famous than the original from day one.

The Austin Powers movies are more of a parody of James Bond parodies Our Man Flint and In Like Flint than they are direct parodies of James Bond. The phone in Austin Powers' car has the same ringtone (but reversed) as James Coburn's phone in In Like Flint, and there's a scene from In Like Flint on a TV in The Spy Who Shagged Me.
And In Like Flint's title is a nod to "in like Flynn."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:24 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Obligatory TV Tropes link: the Weird Al Effect.
posted by darksasami at 5:51 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just came here to say that Metafilter is the perfect place to post Objects of the Class "Objects of the Class".
posted by JParker at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


We were just talking about the Foghorn Leghorn thing a couple of nights ago, and how I never knew that until a few years ago. There are a surprising amount of things that fall into this, many older cartoons. Betty Boop was one I didn't know about until recently.

That's a short article.
posted by bongo_x at 6:24 PM on December 19, 2016


Gelman is the source of one of my favorite quotes for my econometrics students: "In statistics it’s enough for our results to be cool. In psychology they’re supposed to be correct. In economics they’re supposed to be correct and consistent with your ideology."
posted by dismas at 6:28 PM on December 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


I would think the big cartoons (Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck in the fifties, Flintstones in the sixties, Simpsons in the nineties/aughts) will be huge sources of the Foghorn Leghorn effect for future generations.

% of people who recognize the conductor Bugs is imitating in "The Rabbit of Seville": probably down to 5 these days.
posted by praemunire at 6:54 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Flintstones is actually the classic case of Foghorn Leghorn. It's a parody of The Honeymooners, but it was popular with a generation who never saw the earlier show and in countries where the earlier show was never aired, like the U.K.
I grew up watching The Flintstones all the time and have never seen The Honeymooners.
posted by w0mbat at 7:28 PM on December 19, 2016 [10 favorites]


Don't tell anybody in the imaginary classic TV club that exists in my brain because I dont want to lose my cred but The Flintstones is better than The Honeymooners.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:12 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm making an early call for "who shot (Mr Burns|JR)" .
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 8:47 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


By the way, a while back I saw somebody make the point that the "why did the chicken cross the road?" joke is not actually an unjoke but a brilliant joke with a double meaning punchline referencing a suicidal chicken. That is:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the Other Side
posted by I-baLL at 9:07 PM on December 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Objects of the class “Weekend at Bernie’s”: low-quality movie, nobody’s actually seen it, but everybody knows what it’s about. (Other examples: Heathers and Zelig.)

Everyone's already covered why Heathers shouldn't be in this list. But Zelig? I swear to you I have no idea what it's about.
posted by great_radio at 10:55 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who. the hell. hasn't seen Heathers? And if you are one of these people, may I inquire, WHAT'S YOUR DAMAGE, HEATHER?

"Here’s another example: Spinal Tap, which lots of people have heard of without being familiar with the hair-metal acts that inspired it."

Who on earth knows about Spinal Tap but not hair metal? This guy has very weird friends.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:20 AM on December 20, 2016 [12 favorites]


Who on earth knows about Spinal Tap but not hair metal?

Spinal Tap's hasn't faded entirely into Stuff Old People Like, which means there are some young people watching it who aren't survivors of hair metal.

When I watched it the first time I had only the vaguest idea of what hair metal was, but it was still pretty funny. A lot of the jokes are pretty universal.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:02 AM on December 20, 2016


The Flintstones is actually the classic case of Foghorn Leghorn. It's a parody of The Honeymooners

I didn't realize this until I was about 35
posted by thelonius at 3:58 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is The Honeymooners notable these days for anything other than the Flintstones having been based on it?
posted by acb at 4:07 AM on December 20, 2016


I don't think it is relevant, no
posted by thelonius at 4:11 AM on December 20, 2016


Related to but not exactly a Foghorn Leghorn class would be things that are culturally obsolete but still readily recognizable because of heavy reliance on them for humor. In contrast to a specific character or thing parodied by another specific character or thing (Honeymooners -> Flintstones), these are tropes, used by by people who themselves might only have learned of them through parodie s.

Public access and small-town television. The "shave and a haircut" door knock. Beatniks. CB radios.
posted by ardgedee at 4:48 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Who the hell hasn't seen Heather?

Well, me. Life is short.

But I can fake it at parties because I read about it here.

And I have never seen Zelig either but it's a common conceptual conversational trope distributed via newspaper and magazine articles. It's so convenient. One can imply much by saying pretty much nothing.

Who on earth knows about Spinal Tap but not hair metal?

No one. That is common knowledge. C'mon, we're all anthropologists and well aware of a few score musical genres and their accompanying presentations.

And knew about Senator Claghorn but kinda thought there was a real person on whom that was based. But what do I know ?

This and that, from the evidence.
posted by y2karl at 4:50 AM on December 20, 2016


I only know about feline Zelig.
posted by miyabo at 5:28 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure you could say that Spinal Tap was a parody of hair metal bands: a lot of the set pieces are taken from situations and stories about British rock bands of the sixties and seventies (who, like the Tap, were trying with varying degrees of success to adapt to the 80s): the pod thing actually happened to Yes's drummer; Status Quo were a hardish rock band of the 70s who had a famous but totally out of character psychedelic pop hit (Pictures of Matchstick Men); the Stonehenge thing (or something very like) happened to someone. On the other hand hair metal bands were young americans who were just starting out when Spinal Tap was released. Even the Tap's rival Duke Fame is probably more like the slightly older bands such as Van Halen.

So there's that.
posted by Grangousier at 5:29 AM on December 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


By the way:

Not the same as objects of the class “Amelia Earhart,” who are famous for being women in a male-dominated field.

Since the class "30s aviators anyone remembers" is made up of Earhart and Charles Lindbergh, I'm not sure that works anyway (especially if you're British and have heard of Amy Johnson).
posted by Grangousier at 5:32 AM on December 20, 2016


Spinal Tap, which lots of people have heard of without being familiar with the hair-metal acts that inspired it.

YES THAT.

They weren't parodying hair metal like Motley Crue or Warrant. They were (mostly) parodying British prog-rock and 60s/70s metal like Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, with the Beatles thrown in because why not.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:41 AM on December 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


> hair metal bands were young americans who were just starting out when Spinal Tap was released.

Kiss, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister and Motley Crue were all big on on MTV before This Is Spinal Tap came out. Hair metal was definitely known far and wide across the U.S. before the movie rode that zeitgeist.
posted by ardgedee at 5:51 AM on December 20, 2016


The "shave and a haircut" door knock.

Where did that originate? It's one of those rhythm-only memes which replicates without any linguistic context. (Like another one which ends up as the rhythm of playground singsongs, and may be counted as “1, 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 4, 2 3”; anyone else familiar with that one?)
posted by acb at 6:17 AM on December 20, 2016


British prog-rock and 60s/70s metal like Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, with the Beatles thrown in because why not.

Also, like all British people seen from across the Atlantic, they were Londoners (“the Thamesmen”), because Britain is London, despite their accents being vaguely Northern. Making it more authentic and having them be from somewhere in the West Midlands (the crucible of British hard rock) would have just confused American audiences.
posted by acb at 6:19 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the Foghorn Leghorn department: many years ago I was taking a break from pop culture and managed to hear Weird Al's Amish Paradise without ever having heard Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise.

20 years later that still stands out as a life-changing WTF.
posted by workerant at 7:01 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


“the Thamesmen”

Don't forget The Lovely Lads
posted by thelonius at 7:59 AM on December 20, 2016


Who the hell hasn't seen Heather?

There's a prequel?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:07 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh wait, I just remembered that Shaggy from Scooby-Doo is actually Maynard G. Krebs from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. And, I guess according to Wikipedia, all the other characters from Scooby-Doo are also from Dobie Gillis? Huh. I didn't learn that until just now. I barely have any memory of seeing Dobie Gillis on Nick at Nite and the only thing I remember was that evil dimension Gilligan was very pretty obviously Shaggy.
posted by mhum at 8:22 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Who. the hell. hasn't seen Heathers? And if you are one of these people, may I inquire, WHAT'S YOUR DAMAGE, HEATHER?

In the immortal words of middle-aged Grandpa Simpson: "I used to be with it, but then they changed what *it* was. Now what I'm with isn't *it*, and what's *it* seems weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you..."

It has happened to me.

(I, of course, realize that quoting a 20 year old episode of The Simpsons is also proof of this.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:23 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


These all seem like good ideas for ice breakers at a cocktail party, rather than the final word on this sort of stuff. The one I bring up now and again, that's a bit similar to the Whoopi Goldberg post, is what actors do I always give the benefit of the doubt to, but never enjoy their movies, and vice versa. The best answer for the first I've found is Johnny Depp, but I think he may have finally outgrown his goodwill. Ryan Gosling might be going this way for me. And for the opposite, I wrote off Tom Cruise and Leonardo Dicaprio long ago for just being movie stars in blockbusters, but when I watch most of their movies, I tend to enjoy them. Jennifer Lawrence might fall into this category for me, too.

And maybe a little similar to the parody being more famous than the original, though another step removed, parodies of JFK (Mayor Quimby, etc.) are usually impersonations of comedian Vaughn Meader, whose career ended when Kennedy was assassinated.

One more thing that I don't have a name for but which is sort of related to this is when I am disappointed by something because it's cliche, but which in fact was the originator of that cliche. I run into this watching Hitchcock movies, sometimes. And parodies tend to add to the ruining of the original. The Shining was not what it could have been on first viewing because I'd seen so many re-runs of the first 10 seasons of the Simpsons, and everything else that has parodied or stolen from it.
posted by msbrauer at 8:23 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


msbrauer: One more thing that I don't have a name for but which is sort of related to this is when I am disappointed by something because it's cliche, but which in fact was the originator of that cliche.

Reminds me of the old nugget: "I tried to read Shakespeare, but it was full of so many cliches."
posted by clawsoon at 8:32 AM on December 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


One more thing that I don't have a name for but which is sort of related to this is when I am disappointed by something because it's cliche, but which in fact was the originator of that cliche.

The Godfather is the absolute KING of this category, although once I got past that initial reaction I grew to appreciate it.
posted by praemunire at 8:41 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I submit Jonah Hill as an object of the class William Holden.

(That's a little unfair to Jonah but the fact that he's been nominated for two academy awards is pretty incredible to me)
posted by dismas at 9:02 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


One more thing that I don't have a name for but which is sort of related to this is when I am disappointed by something because it's cliche, but which in fact was the originator of that cliche.

I call it the Hitchcock Recurrence, after something my ex-spouse said after watching a bunch of my Hitchcock movies for the first time: "Oh, I have seen these. They just weren't Hitchcock movies when I saw them."
posted by Etrigan at 9:07 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


"1, 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 4, 2 3”

Is that the Toni Basil "Mickey" beat? Related to the Bay City Rollers' "s-a t-u-r d-a-y night" beat?>
posted by the sobsister at 10:05 AM on December 20, 2016


Is that the Toni Basil "Mickey" beat?

It's close, but has two fewer notes. I wonder whether the kidlore meme came from a bowdlerisation of this pop song (not sure it got much airplay in Australia where I heard it) or whether the beat is something far older.
posted by acb at 10:11 AM on December 20, 2016


I am disappointed by something because it's cliche, but which in fact was the originator of that cliche.

This happens to my business partner frequently. Treasure of the Sierra Madre was "ruined" for him because of references to the film in a Bugs Bunny cartoon he saw as a kid ("Can you help American down on his luck") and references in the Three Amigos. Which I always think is a funny reaction to have as they are pretty different things.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:17 AM on December 20, 2016


Is The Honeymooners notable these days for anything other than the Flintstones having been based on it?

Do you mean, "are people still watching the show today?" Or "is it even worth remembering?" Because it's pretty well established as a landmark comedy on television. As well as, IMHO, a tragedy of poverty and spousal abuse and mistrust. The Flintstones filed all the edges off the original show, which was as grimy and kitchen-sinkish as any Angry Young Men drama (and is, in fact, exactly contemporary with Look Back in Anger). All Ralph Kramden needed to have done was follow through on just one of those "To the moon, Alice!" threats to put the cherry on the sundae.

So, yes, along with I Love Lucy and Your Show of Shows and Ernie Kovacs' shows, a foundation stone for modern television.
posted by the sobsister at 10:18 AM on December 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Flintstones is actually the classic case of Foghorn Leghorn.

It is not so much the overt Honeymooners set-up, it is the cameos and guest stars. By the time as an adult I began seeing movies starring some of the classic fifties-sixties performers I knew who they were already via their animated existence as Stony Curtis, Anne-Margrock and the like.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:29 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Flintstones is actually the classic case of Foghorn Leghorn.

Not really. Fred Flintstone was Ralph Kramden after marketing had a word. The Honeymooners were poor working class fifties urbanites and childless while the Flintstones were middle class suburbanites with appliances, kids and pets.Why one could almost say the latter was a poorly drawn cartoon of the former...
posted by y2karl at 10:55 AM on December 20, 2016


the Stonehenge thing (or something very like) happened to someone.

Black Sabbath. But - apparently a coincidence?
posted by atoxyl at 11:41 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am disappointed by something because it's cliche, but which in fact was the originator of that cliche.

The Velvet Underground Effect.
posted by acb at 2:28 PM on December 20, 2016


A case could be made that Heathers is, itself, an object of the class Foghorn Leghorn, seeing its many similarities with Massacre at Central High, only with added production values and jokes.
posted by Sparx at 2:40 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the Foghorn Leghorn class: Airplane!/Zero Hour (and all the Airport disaster movies of the 1970s)
posted by SisterHavana at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


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