As 2014 kicks off with new rounds of shows like American Idol, and established shows like The Walking Dead return from hiatus, it’s a fine time to appreciate the cultural phenomenon that is TV shows that were so awful, that so misjudged their audience they had to be stricken from the collective consciousness on the actual day they arrived. These shows had as much chance of succeeding as a bookish girl with glasses does at becoming prom queen, and that would never happen!
Heil Honey, I’m Home
What do internet flame wars and the worst possible idea for a sitcom have in common? Hitler! Yes, when it comes to rib tickling you’re hard pressed to find someone less amusing than Hitler in history. That’s why Heil, Honey, a sitcom about Hitler and his wife moving in next to a Jewish family (which sounds hilarious now) was just a bad idea.
If I had to guess, I’d say this entire misfire was a result of someone not quite getting comedy. It’s likely you’ve heard a joke about Hitler in your life, they’re not hard to come by, but context is everything. Hitler can be mocked, but Hitler shouldn’t be the comedy force behind an entire show that then uses his wacky Nazism as jumping off point for awkward interactions with the Jews next door.
Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos
You’re probably very aware of how America’s Funniest Home Videos works. Back before the internet, people with giant VHS camcorders would spontaneously record children hitting their fathers’ in the ball with plastic bats and it was hilarious. This was also the premise of Australia’s Funniest Home Videos. However, Australia took it one step further when they sought to launch Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos. The premise is exactly what you think, given that we all know people only take three kinds of home videos – atrociously dull ones, allegedly funny ones and uncomfortably sexy ones. No one wants to see the dull ones, the funny ones were covered so there was only one choice left – sexy fun times.
For one evening, an Australian network aired a show that featured nothing but home sex videos. It wasn’t explicit home porno, but it was a bit over the line with humping dogs, little kids grabbing kangaroo scrotums and some of the most unattractive strippers to ever crawl from an Australian cave in the early 1990s.. Legend has it that the head of the network received a call at home, turned the show on and said “get that shit off the air” and, before the first episode even finished airing, it went to commercial and never came back, instead being replaced by a rerun of Cheers.
You can actually watch the fully restored version of the show on Youtube, for however long it stays up, just remember it’s NSFW. I was going to embed it here but my boss spit coffee on his desk after about 2 minutes of footage and suggested if I value my job I just describe the show instead of embedding it. So I’ll describe the scene in which an overweight and very naked stripped steps on a guy’s crotch while the audience chuckles and be done with it.
Every year brings a new crop of reality shows that make us believe we’ve hit rock bottom. But we may be forgetting that the road we travelled to get to Honey Boo Boo and Real Housewives is stained with shame and shit skids that no power washer can ever scour clean. The Will is one of those skids.
Treating human life itself as a crass plot point, the Will was a show about 10 people competing to be the beneficiary of an old rich man’s will. The competitors were all friends or members of his family, none of whom he apparently cared enough about to include fully in the will and none of whom care enough about each other to not participate in a farce of a game show for profit.
How obscure was this show that only aired a single episode before being axed? So obscure that I couldn't even find a picture of it larger than 250 pixels wide. That may not mean anything to you but it really screwed up the flow of the whole article. Thanks for sucking so bad, show.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had a TV show. It wasn’t 20 years ago when he was an idealistic, young politician, it wasn’t before his tenure in office when he was a less controversial figure. It was last November, right in the middle of Rob Ford smoking crack and letting the world know he has all the oral sex he can handle back home. Have you seen his wife, by the way? You’d send that meal back.
Ironically, Ford Nation aired on the Sun News network and got more views than any show they’ve ever aired, but they still cancelled it because obviously. You can’t let the cracked out mayor of a Canadian metropolis have access to a cable audience with only his compulsive liar of a brother on set to try to reign him in. His brother still thinks he never smoked crack, for God’s sake. If they’d let the show run by now it’d just be Mayor Ford in a kiddie pool full of pudding getting peed on by hookers.
Who’s Your Daddy?
Who’s your daddy, you may recall, was a popular expression in the 90s. In some ways “owned” and the more colorfully stupid “pwned” have come to kind of represent the same sentiment. Basically it means “Hello there, I am exercising some kind of power and superiority over you, my supplicant.” However, if you’ve ever stopped to appreciate the question at face value, you’ll have a special kind of love for this show which took an adopted “contestant” and set them up Bachelor style with 8 potential fathers as they tried to guess who their biological parent was. If the adoptee guesses right, they win $100,000! If they guess wrong, the fake father wins $100,000.
Unsurprisingly, this show was considered somewhat disgusting when it aired, and various adoption groups fired off angry emails or telegrams or whatever the popular method of angry ranting was back when this aired. In fairness, adoption groups hate anything that makes adoption look bad, they even had an issue with that terrible movie Orphan just because it was about a psychotic woman pretending to be a little girl who murdered people and tried to hump her adopted father. I mean, come on.
One episode later and Who’s Your Daddy was sent abandoned at the orphanage by FOX.