Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rescued From Obscurity:
"Can't Wait One Minute More" by CIV

Trashy talk shows were sort of the reality shows of the 1990's, in that they were ubiquitous and everyone and their mother bitched about how awful and staged they were and how stupid the whole phenomenon was, and yet...they were inexplicably popular.

The low point came sometime mid-decade, when some asshole TV producer--undoubtedly in the middle of a serious drug bender--dropped his crack pipe, slapped his forehead, and said "Hey, I know! Let's give EVERYONE a talk show!" Then he looked down at the intern he was riding and said, "Hey you, get me the phone numbers of every C-list actor who ever cut a fart on primetime TV. Start with Vanessa from Cosby, that red-headed sex offender from The Partridge Family, the chick who played the 40-year-old teenager on 90210, and just keep going from there. Damn, this is genius!"

Anyhoo, in 1995 (around the height of the talk show boom) NYC hardcore punk band CIV had a very minor hit with "Can't Wait One Minute More." It's a fun song, and the video is a great satire of the talk show format, with lead singer Anthony Civarelli playing the snarky "host," hopping through the audience members as they jeer at the parade of talk show guest staples: the requisite teen gang bangers, the gay love triangle, the trailer park couple, the male strippers, and even some Elvis impersonators.

Besides the CIV video, there was one other good thing that came out of the '90s crap talk show zeitgeist, and that was Night Stand with Dick Dietrick, a little-known talk show parody that aired at some absurd time like 2:00 am on Monday mornings and is probably only remembered by insomniacs like me. Dick Dietrick (played by comedian Timothy Stack) was a clueless Alan Partridge-type host who was forever shit-talking his "rival," Jerry Springer. Night Stand nailed every one of the sleazy talk show stereotypes: the faux-sympathetic host, the homophobic audience members, the delusional guests, the hilariously lurid topics (I remember one episode titled "Homicide in a Double Wide"). It was awesome.

Thank God for YouTube, ya know?

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