February 2, 2003 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Is this the most non-PC TV show ever? As we become more and more desensitised to humour that makes fun of those less fortunate than ourselves, where do we draw the line?
posted by dg (18 comments total)
Is this the most non-PC TV show ever?

Actually the show itself is quite tame, really. And most of the disabilities of the characters are comical rather than realistic (i.e., the letcherous head-on-a-skateboard guy or the guy with hooks for hands). This territory was mostly covered already in The Head.

The persuit of cheap laughs has undermined this show's potential to be truly subversive, I'm afraid. Which is unfortunate, because it does have a killer premise.

So, in conclusion, South Park still wins, if only for Cripple Fight.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:46 PM on February 2, 2003

It might be good to note that John Callahan is quadrapalegic himself and has used this same wheelchair humor to shock as well as illuminate in his comic strip, Pelswick.
posted by 4easypayments at 6:47 PM on February 2, 2003

As for "where do we draw the line": we don't.
posted by mischief at 6:50 PM on February 2, 2003

I always thought Family Guy pushed the envelope the most... I might be wrong.
posted by drezdn at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2003

"...a hemp wearing, VW minibus-driving, environmentalist girlfriend."

So they're going after the Metafilter demographic, eh?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:10 PM on February 2, 2003

haha... crash_davis is on a roll today...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:22 PM on February 2, 2003

censor censorship
promote thought
posted by Satapher at 7:32 PM on February 2, 2003

Yo, crash_davis...not ALL of us fit that demo!

The show looks ... um ... interesting. I'd watch it, if it aired on TV here in the States...but doesn't look interesting enough to download and/or watch on my computer.
posted by davidmsc at 8:25 PM on February 2, 2003

Faimly Guy was great, and far more offensive than this show.
posted by SweetJesus at 9:51 PM on February 2, 2003

Callahan's a cool guy, but it's always good when humor doesn't rely on making fun of the people cruel folk would laugh at anyway.

Fr'instance, the Onion has been stooping a few too many times to making fun of the retarded. People were already doing that in 2nd grade without help from a New York team of comedy writers. I want to see people make fun of the President.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2003

It's probably not fair to count "South Park" since it's a cable show. Frankly, there is NOTHING on broadcast TV that tweaks the bulbous nose of PCism -- especially now that 9/11 has everyone cowed into meekness. Ironically, shows on twenty and thirty years ago were (and remain) more daring. Can anyone even imagine Garrett Morris doing his "news recap for the hard of hearing" on the current limp-wristed iteration of SNL? A character like Archie Bunker talking about "jungle bunnies running through the jungle with tigers nipping at their ass"? Maybe Bugs Bunny outsmarting Injun Joe?
posted by RavinDave at 10:48 PM on February 2, 2003

Quadriplegics are so three years ago...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:53 AM on February 3, 2003

Certain quadriplegics seem to be doing pretty well for themselves these days. (Maybe mildly NSFW)
posted by hal incandenza at 2:46 AM on February 3, 2003

Actually, Moore's not quadriplegic, but he does have severe cerebral palsy that prevents him from walking. And the article's hilarious.
posted by hal incandenza at 2:53 AM on February 3, 2003

Quad's is on endlessly on Teletoon up here in Canada.

Sadly, IMO it's pretty weak. I'd rather be watching Mission Hill, Clone High or Undergrads.
posted by Leonard at 9:33 AM on February 3, 2003

I find Callahan's cartoons very uneven, but some are really, really funny. Still, I give him a wide berth to make fun of disabilities and the disabled because he's a member of the group, like a gangsta rapper saying "nigga." But a project like this with many (able-bodied, unless someone can tell me otherwise) collaborators tips the scales a little. Now it's like getting the local white folks' glee club to sing backup and sing along with the word "nigga." It's not the same.

I don't care all that much either way, but I think that's a point worth considering.
posted by soyjoy at 10:51 AM on February 3, 2003

... make fun of disabilities and the disabled because he's a member of the group, like a gangsta rapper saying "nigga."
It can be a fine line between being accepted because you are laughing at yourself and making fun of those "less fortunate" that you, can't it?

Another classic performer in this respect is Steady Eddie, who makes fun of mentally disabled people (mostly himself) to roars of laughter and approval all round.
posted by dg at 3:17 PM on February 3, 2003

What's up with all the people who like Family Guy? That show was as guilty as any other for going for the cheap laugh and frequently didn't get it. It went off the air because it was lame.
posted by monkeyman at 3:55 PM on February 3, 2003

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