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Apr 09

Heil Honey I’m Home!

Heil Honey I'm Home!On Thursday, the anniversary post was, Attila the Hun and Monty Python’s Worst Sketch. I was complaining about an awful little skit called, “The Attila the Hun Show,” which is a parody of 1950s sitcoms. And it is terrible. Jurgan then commented, “Kind of reminds me of Heil Honey I’m Home!” I had never heard of it, but luckily, the first episode is on YouTube.

Jurgan was right. Heil Honey I’m Home! is exactly what Monty Python was going for. But instead of it going on for just about the most painful minute of television ever, this show goes on for 25 glorious minutes. But before we get to it, let me explain the premise. Hitler and Eva Braun live in Berlin in 1938. Their next door neighbors are Arny and Rosa Goldenstein, a Jewish couple. Basically, it’s I Love Lucy, but with a war criminal.

Eight episodes of the show were made. Only the first was shown. This is not surprising. According to Wikipedia, historian Marian Calabro called it “perhaps the world’s most tasteless situation comedy.” It’s not surprising. There were a lot of people in the 1960s who thought that Hogan’s Heroes was tasteless. Heil Honey I’m Home! is on a whole other level.

Just the same, unlike “The Attila the Hun Show,” Heil Honey I’m Home! is actually fairly funny. The joke isn’t that Hitler is funny but rather that the shows of these types trivialized the complexity and danger of the real world. And although it is going for a 1950s feel, there isn’t much that changed about sitcoms from then and when the show aired in 1990. For example, The Cosby Show ran from 1984 through 1992. Everything always worked out fine by the end of each episode, even if Bill Cosby himself was drugging and raping women at night.

The first episode revolves around a visit from Neville Chamberlain. Hitler says if Eva isn’t nice to him, he won’t tell her why Chamberlain is coming to dinner. Eva replies, “You don’t have to tell me why! I know why: it’s Czechoslovakia; you finally did it!” Everything gets completely out of hand with Chamberlain, Eva, and Arny doing a conga line as Hitler hides the Munich Agreement — referred to as “Peace in Our Time” because they think Americans wouldn’t know the difference between an agreement and a speech. But Hitler signs it just to save face and the episode ends with Eva and Adolph calling themselves their nicknames and kissing.

On one hand, it is surprising that British Satellite Broadcasting thought the show was worth investing in eight episodes worth of this. On the other, who knows what’s going to work? And it does work. There is something strangely not offensive about the show. I suspect that people were offended by it because they felt like they ought to be offended. What I wonder about is where the show went from here. I suspect nowhere — that it just continued to be a simple parody of the anemic sitcom. And because of that, I’m not disappointed that I will likely never get to see the other seven episodes.

6 comments

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  1. James Fillmore

    Pretty cute to have the Hitlers living in an apartment with nosy Jewish neighbors, and I liked the line “do you want the world to know Hitler is mean to his neighbors?” But the funniest bits were Chamberlain enjoying the bad puns; that was great.

    Here’s an odd coincidence. The South Park guys did an extremely similar show called “That’s My Bush” featuring George, Laura, Karl Rove, and stock characters like the ditsy assistant and wacky neighbor. It also ran for exactly eight episodes. And it also has only one episode available online! (The last one, in this case. Cheaney takes over, and his megalomania is the funniest thing in the show; at the end he sits on a gilded throne.)

    https://vimeo.com/75071641

    According to Wiki the “South Park” guys were thinking of “Three’s Company,” and while “Bush” and “Heil” have almost the identical premise I wouldn’t be surprised if that was accidental. Still, strange that both shows ended up in the same place.

    1. Frank Moraes

      I’ll check it out. I’m surprised that Parker and Stone found room in their schedule of bashing liberals to go after the Bushes. Of course, like all good libertarians, they are against war — in theory — as long as it is easy. But for as much as the guys claim to hate both the parties, their attacks are usually on liberals — and they are largely cultural (that is, substanceless). But I’ve never been that into South Park despite the fact that all my friends are. It has its moments, but that’s all I’ll say.

      1. James Fillmore

        Don’t waste too much time on it. It’s the similarities with “Heil Honey” I found most interesting, and you can grasp those in a few minutes. Although I have to admit, the actor playing Bush does a fine job. He’s both a numbskull and sympathetic.

        As for the “Park” guys, they were originally planning it to be a Gore comedy. “South Park” I haven’t watched in years. Occasionally there’s a sharp episode someone turns me onto, but yes, I also get tired of poking at cultural liberalism. Although the songs in the “Park” movie were really top-notch — largely because they were truly non-political and just focused on the characters. And this one from “Book Of Mormon” is really great:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlbDHejQFV4

        1. Frank Moraes

          That’s it exactly: cultural liberalism. And the truth is that I find cultural liberalism pretty annoying myself. I’m much more of a “look for the union label” liberal. But if you really think that some Hollywood liberal saying something stupid is more deserving of satire than than people who want to enslave all women who happen to get pregnant, then there is something wrong with you.

          The Bush thing makes me think I should dust off my Nixon White House puppet plays. I always enjoyed writing those because the characters were so great. It was kind of like No Exit, but in the Oval Office.

          1. James Fillmore

            You could, and I’d watch them. Look out; you might have cause to create new Trump administration puppets. Although you could always work in figures from the past, like the cartoon “Venture Bros.” does with Doctor Henry “Killinger”:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obNTJTByrF4

            Since when does this site automatically embed video clips? That’s a neat trick. I’m so dumb on HTML.

            I don’t know anyone who doesn’t find cultural liberalism annoying. Self-righteousness is always annoying. It’s odd that we are now in full mode of criticizing each other not because of policy proposals but because of how irritating we find each other’s most self-righteous gasbags.

            1. Frank Moraes

              I had to add a plugin because it wouldn’t let anyone but me do it otherwise.

              It’s funny that cultural liberalism is annoying and so many people go after it. But cultural conservatism is deadly but it doesn’t get nearly as much discussion. But it does show how vacuous conservatism is. The biggest conservative books of the last two decades have been all about it. Can they point to it having a bad effect on policy. No. Only liberals should be allowed to complain about cultural liberalism.

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