Boy, when the season ends, the networks slam down the shutters with the alacrity of DMV clerks at closing time. Suddenly, you can hear crickets during prime time.
NBC, at least, had an interesting special this week (well, for TV junkies anyway): The Funniest TV Phrases.
The show listed "TV's 50 Funniest Catchphrases." Of course, lists, like in-laws, were put on this Earth so we could argue with them.
So, let me take issue with a few entries.
First of all, catchphrases are signature slogans that a character delivers constantly, each time generating enthusiastic canned laughter, like Urkel's "Did I do that?" (which came in at No. 19) on Family Matters.
But NBC's list contains far too many instances of episode-specific punch lines, including, incredibly, its No. 1: "Yadda yadda yadda," from Seinfeld.
And if you're going to include salutations like "Ohhh, Rob!" from The Dick Van Dyke Show (No. 26), then how can you not include "Wilburrrr" from Mr. Ed or "Hey, Abbott" from The Abbott and Costello Show or "Oh, master!" from I Dream of Jeannie?
There are any number of glaring oversights here. J.J.'s "Dy-no-mite!" from Good Times, for instance. Or Gomer's "Suprise, suprise, suprise" from Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Going further back, there's "What a revoltin' development this is!" from The Life of Riley, and Eddie Haskell's fawning variations on "You look lovely today, Mrs. Cleaver" on Leave It to Beaver.
Finally, can somebody please tell me how "Burn" from That '70s Show landed at No. 6?
Come on, Funniest TV Phrases; don't make me laugh.
Check his meds. Did you catch the opening scene from Fox's summer series, Mental? Before even introducing himself to the staff, the new head of a psychiatric hospital takes off all his clothes in the crowded lobby, presumably to appease a paranoid schizophrenic.
He still hasn't seen his office, and the guy is stark naked? In the real world, the good doctor would be tasered and trussed before he got to the elevator.
You can't miss her. With the profileration of channels on cable and satellite, you can get some odd coincidences.
Because Oxygen and Lifetime are next-door neighbors on my channel array, the other night I had the choice of Tori Spelling on a reality show (Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood) or, a quick click away, Tori on an old TV movie (Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? - still the greatest title in TV's woman-in-jep genre).
Now, if only there had been an adjoining rerun of Beverly Hills, 90210, I could have had my own Spelling Bee.
Summer share. A poll this week declared that peoples' first choice for a celebrity they'd like to go on a vacation with is Kelly Ripa.
That really amazed me. I wouldn't think she'd be even Regis' pick.
Then I realized the poll's methodology was a little skewed. You couldn't vote for anyone you wanted; you had to pick from a limited field. Ripa still won out over Oprah, Jon Stewart, the Obamas, and the Brangelina tribe, which is pretty impressive.
I just want to point out to the people who voted for Ripa that, contrary to those appliance commercials she does (presumptuously set to the I Dream of Jeannie theme song), Chatty Kelly does not possess magic domestic abilities.
In other words, if you get a beach house with her, you're still going to have to scrub the grill with steel wool, do four loads of towels, and sweep a dune's worth of sand out of the living room.
Oh, and while you're up, could you grab Kelly a Mai Tai?