There were numerous television shows that my mother forbade us to see when I was growing up. Either they were on too late or contained adult themes (or, in the case of Saturday Night Live, both). One of these programs was The Fall Guy. But with the wisdom of my adult years, I have realized that the problem with this show is that it was just so stupid, my mother would have much more gladly raided our collection of plastic Taco Bell dining utensils and sporked herself in the spleen than watched it.
I now know this not because I asked her because all these years I was losing sleep over why I’d never been allowed to watch The Fall Guy, but because in summer we host a Saturday evening movie night in our barn as a get together for the neighbors too old and lazy/self-respecting to do go in to town and hit the disco. Usually, before or after the film we show a short feature (or two, when they’re really short), generally raided from our next door neighbor alpaca people’s DVD collection. So we have watched some classic clips from Loriot, an old time German comedian whose sketches, half a century on (or more) are still fantastically funny. (If your German is up to it, you must watch this.) And we have watched some really bafflingly stupid episodes of Signor Rossi, an Italian cartoon that was translated into German and every one of our neighbors grew up with and is fond of. But now we’ve moved on to episodes of The Fall Guy. Or, to be more accurate, we started last summer with season one and yesterday we dove in to the beginning of season two (and I’m praying that there isn’t a season three or anything else like that). Because apparently the Pavlovian response of Germans of a certain age (which would be at the moment, middle) to the dulcet tones of The Fall Guy’s theme music isn’t to lunge for the channel changer but to sing along. Because they know all the words. Even though all of the words are in English. While I am left to writhe in the back of our barn, pondering digging out my camping spork and putting myself out of my misery.
This love for one of the world’s worst TV shows ever I must now add to the list, alongside their enthusiasm for Schlager music, sweetcorn on pizza, and cheese so tasteless calling it Butterkaese (butter cheese) is not false advertising, of extra bonus reasons (i.e., in addition to fascism, etc) why we should all be glad the Germans didn’t manage to conquer the western world 75-ish years ago (but I’ll give them a pass on socks with sandals).