Once upon a time…
There was no TV. If you wanted to experience media, you would have to go out on the town to a theatre and hope to see something epic. You would have to leave your couch, drive a car downtown, pay for tickets (and drinks), possibly climb some stairs, and sit on folding chair for an hour.
To avoid the pains of uncomfortable chairs, paying admission, and possibly encountering a flight or two of stairs, they invented the talking picture box. One of great features of TV was the variety show. It provided the public with a little taste of everything from comedy, to dancing, to (most importantly) music. These shows would showcase true talent on a regular basis and entertained the masses.
But this golden age of television was short lived as the variety show died out at the onset of the eighties. Music moved to music television, and then music television got rid of the music. Talent shows have recently become popular, but they don’t showcase the talent as much as critique and commercialize it.
What has happened? Is the fall of the variety show a result of the fragmentation of media, especially now with the internet? Or is it society changing from a modernist taste for “high art” to postmodernist questioning and critiquing of the artists? Or is it just that people really don’t love the Muppet Show as much as I do, and don’t care that its gone?
I’m thinking the latter.
Regardless, I want to hear what you think. Why are variety shows a lost art? What defines the art of the variety show? What would you do if you were on a variety show? Finally, if the Muppets did a version of Pulp Fiction, who would play who? I’m thinking Fozzie for playing Butch.
I think it would be cool if I could do some sort of variety show on KWVA, maybe even a tribute to the Muppets. If you have any good variety show acts, let me know!
In the meantime, I’m gonna go watch old episodes of the Muppets.
Stay Classy, like a variety show.