‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ carries on like it’s 1989

“My So-Called Life,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “Firefly” — all of them iconic series — lasted a single season.

Ricky Gervais’ version of “The Office,” Aaron Sorkin’s “Sports Night,” and “Twin Peaks,” until this year’s Showtime revival, survived for only two.

Yet at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” will kick off its 28th season.

Twenty.

Eighth.

In “America’s Funniest Home Videos” terms, a baby who fell out of his high chair during the early seasons would be old enough to have bounced off a trampoline and landed on his head as a teenager, slipped and fallen while dancing at his wedding reception, and have had his own daughter swing a baseball bat directly into his groin.

When the series debuted Nov. 26, 1989, The Mirage, the resort that kicked off the transformation of the Strip, was four days old. Under Jerry Tarkanian, UNLV was four games into its national championship season. And the Raiders were in Los Angeles.

Elsewhere, Milli Vanilli had the No. 1 song with “Blame It on the Rain,” the Berlin Wall was in the process of being demolished, and Taylor Swift was 17 days away from being born. Yes, Swifties, there was a time before Tay Tay.

Somewhere, deep in my amygdala, I knew “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was still on the air, just like I knew there was that crazy flower that blooms every few years and smells like rotting flesh. I just assumed my chances of encountering either of them were roughly equal.

Yet last season’s episodes averaged 5.27 million viewers, helping “America’s Funniest Home Videos” rank ahead of more-hyped shows including “Once Upon a Time,” “Family Guy,” “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” It also attracted more viewers than TV’s highest-rated superhero shows, “Gotham,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Flash,” “Arrow” and “Supergirl.”

Since it’s the longest-running prime-time entertainment show in ABC history, I decided to check out the most recent episode I could find to see what had changed. Aside from the host — Alfonso Ribeiro has taken over from Tom Bergeron, who replaced John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes, who stepped in when original host Bob Saget no doubt finally snapped and ran screaming from the set — not much.

Three people tumbled into swimming pools, two sleeping people were awoken by firecrackers, and 21 people were struck by falling basketball hoops.

In other words, it’s as though your least favorite friend’s Facebook page had a studio audience.

One of the videos was time-stamped March 6, 1994, meaning someone either recently discovered an old VHS tape, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” or both — or they’re almost pathologically persistent.

“Not too long ago, we lost a great artist, David Bowie,” Ribeiro remarked. “We thought there’d be no better way to pay tribute to him than by using his timeless song “Fashion” as he no doubt originally intended — set to videos of people falling down and pets wearing costumes.”

This actually was said.

The prizes also haven’t changed since Season 2, when producers stopped giving away a TV and VCR for second place and a camcorder — Google it, kids — for third place.

The makers of the third-place video receive $2,000, the runner-up gets $3,000, and the “winner” takes home $10,000. (In case you were wondering, $10,000 in 1989 would be the equivalent of $20,035.85 in 2017 dollars.)

As for the dozens of others who humiliate themselves on national TV each week, they still receive an “America’s Funniest Home Videos” T-shirt.

Maybe they’ll be lucky enough to be wearing it the next time they suffer what appears to be a horrific injury while their loved ones laugh hysterically.

What to watch

■ In the late 1970s, two FBI agents delve into the psychology of murder by getting uneasily close some of America’s worst criminals in “Mindhunter” (Friday, Netflix), from director David Fincher and Charlize Theron.

■ Archie (KJ Apa) struggles with his emotions as Fred’s (Luke Perry) life hangs in the balance following the shooting at Pop’s diner in the season premiere of the guilty pleasure “Riverdale” (8 p.m. Wednesday, The CW).

■ Sarah Silverman will look to connect with “un-like-minded people” in the weekly talk show “I Love You, America” (Thursday, Hulu).

■ Based on the popular podcast, the anthology series “Lore” (Friday, Amazon) chronicles the frightening tales of real events that have inspired modern myths and legends.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like