You Can't Do That Shit on Television
Katy Collins & Vanessa Valliere, Laura Davis, Meg Duguid, The International Chefs of Mystery (Jason Dunda & Larry Lee), Jessica Hannah, John Henley, Dylan Jones, Catie Olson, Julie Potratz, Leone Reeves, Kate Sierzputowski, Molly Shea, Ellis Von Sternberg
May 20 - June 17, 2017
Curated by Jeffrey Grauel for Loo
Canada's 1980s propaganda invasion was so stealth most folks still don't know its influence. You Can’t Do That on Television was an Ottawa low-fi comedy variety show for kids that first aired in 1979. The locals liked it just fine, but when it aired internationally just 2 years later kids in the USA lost their shit. Those little idiots were so desperate to watch toxic sludge dumped on peoples' heads a fledgling 24-hour children’s television network was launched into a multi-million dollar corporation (ever heard of Nickelodeon?).
YCDTOT took the stance: Kids rule! Adults suck!
Each episode covered a different topic: fame, smoking, technology. The two adult actors played all the adult roles: the revolting lazy father, the perpetually-in-yellow-rubber-washing-gloves dopey mother, the school bus driver who gleefully got into accidents, the chef whose burgers always made the kids barf. They also flipped the scripts. Vanessa would protest how unfair it was that bother Alasdair always got to wear the prettier party dresses. Mom would tell her to “get back in that house, young lady, and put on more makeup!”
Modern sensibilities would likely scoff at some of the scenes. Alasdair pleads with mother not to make him go to school because the teacher wants to kill him. Just as the mother is mocking his lame excuse the teacher breaks in firing a machine-gun. Every episode include at least one near execution by firing squad.
It was all out youth rebellion atop a yummy comedy cone! What kid doesn’t love chocolate soft serve?
What happened to all of that juvenile anarchy? Put down the seat and settle in to watch these 15 artists respond to the spirit of YCDTOT with their own teevee skits.