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COLUMN: December's edition of 'Why did they ever get rid of...?'

Just a few laughs

Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 00:12

If you handle dead week and finals week anything like me, you are currently careening violently around your apartment in a heaping panic, sifting through dirty clothes, fast food cups, “The Best of ‘ABC’s One Saturday Morning’” DVDs and all other general sightings of clutter in hopes of finding notes and assignments that just now became important for you to keep in arms reach so you can, in some way, prove yourself worthy of a professional future. There is no way any of it will get found; in fact, a great deal of it could have ended up getting thrown away during the one time you sent a compiled cargo load of trash from your room, and now in hindsight you’re left dejected and shorthanded, wondering why you ever got rid of something so important.


A long-winded hypothetical story working into the verbatim title of the column? Now that’s a segue. Welcome to “Why Did They Ever Get Rid of…?” for December.


Why did they ever get rid of Post Sitcom-episode PSAs? – Look, we all love a hearty  ’90s sitcom. The cozy home setting, fatherly advice given to heart-tearing music, the token stupid guy, boppy theme songs, a piercing audience “wooo” during an unexpected kiss and even freeze-framed backgrounds behind the closing credits to boot good gravy, they just had it all.


Unfortunately for the bane of reality, the hallowed genre slipped through our fingers and an even more watered down generation of television entertainment took over and put many of our favorite idiosyncrasies to bed, none more painstaking than the post-episode public service announcement.


You know what I mean. The credits roll, then cut to close up: “Hi. I’m Ben Savage from ‘Boy Meets World.’ Every year, thousands of people suffer greatly from a lack of mayonnaise on their sandwiches. If you or someone close to you is suffering the loss of mayonnaise, please call this hotline now. You can find the help you need.”


At this point, the camera has panned out to the entire cast piled on an on-set living room couch. Then, tears. Every time. Those PSAs made us feel real. They made us feel loved, and then they were taken from us. Some things are unfair, but this, no, this was a travesty. Never again will I have quick resources to societal need all from the mouth of Carl from “Family Matters,” and that’s truth we all have to live with forever. But even then, we press on.


Why did they ever get rid of MTV Rock N Jock? – And I mean, seriously, why? Was there anything cooler than every conceivable under-30 celebrity matched with professional athletes in the most comically caricatured adaptation of a basketball game that it even made “NBA Jam” giggle? Where else could one see Jonathan Taylor Thomas zipping a bounce pass over every member of Boyz II Men to Moon Shoe-clad Steve Urkel who jumps in a pool of Jell-O and makes a 75-point layup while being defended by Reggie Miller holding a rake? I submit, nowhere not even in your dreams.

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