I saw a television commercial for Ted 2. I didn’t see the original film and I have no interest in seeing this one. It reminds me of ALF. It is this idea that if you have a puppet, you don’t need to make its personality charming. In Ted you have the bear who is annoying and then you have Mark Wahlberg who is a nonentity. You know who he is, right? He’s the Wahlberg who isn’t Donnie or Robert. But as a Seth MacFarlane film, I’m sure that it will be by turns hilarious and offensive. Whatever. That’s what people want and I was born in the wrong century. I’m okay with that.
But in the commercial, they are using the Harry Nilsson song “Best Friend.” And when I heard it, my heart sank. In “The Post-Postmodern Comedy Hour,” I use a parody of The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father. I hate that! I wrote the first two episodes of it three years ago. And here these people are stealing my thunder. Of course, maybe it’s obvious. The whole point of using The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father is to highlight the the power dynamic. Although it makes a lot more sense in my case because Darren (the puppet) is a child. Ted, as far as I can tell, is just Peter Griffin in a bear costume.
Also, I do something interesting with it. The thing that I remember from The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father was Eddie and Tom’s philosophical conversations at the end of each episode. So I thought it would be funny to parody these. Steve (the Tom character) is kind and understanding, but Darren (the Eddie character) is a narcissistic puppet. So the first episode has the following typically circular conversation:
Steve: What is it, little buddy?
As they ride, the light at the intersection ahead turns red.
Darren: What does it mean to be great?
Steve: What? Why do you want to know?
Steve slows the bike to a stop at the intersection. At the corner on the left is a woman with her young son getting ready to cross the street. Steve turns toward Darren and continues to talk.
Darren: I wanna be great. If I’m not already. I am though, right?
The mother and son cross into the crosswalk.
Steve: I don’t know, Darren.
Cross traffic cars pass by in front of the bike.
Darren: You don’t know if I’m great? That can’t be. You don’t know what greatness is?
Steve: No. It’s just that greatness means a lot of things.
As the mother and son reach halfway across the street, the boy notices Darren and points at him.
Boy: Look mom!
The mother hushes her son.
Darren: As it applies to me. That’s all I care about.
The mother and son reach the other side of the street and continue down the sidewalk. The cross traffic stops. The light changes to green.
Steve: I’m still not clear on it.
Steve accelerates the bike into the intersection.
Darren: Jeez! If everyone applauds when a man walks in the room, is he great?
Steve: I suppose.
Darren: So I’m great!
They turn left into the driveway in front of an office building.
Steve: People applaud when you enter a room?
Darren (gravely): Pretty much.
Steve gets off the bike and walks it up to the front of the building and to a bike rack.
Steve: Who applauds when you enter a room?
Darren: Well, you for one.
Steve: I applaud when you enter the room?
Steve starts to lock up his bike.
Darren: Oh, yeah!
Steve: I have no memory of ever doing that.
Darren: Probably do it subconsciously.
Steve looks away from his work and stares at Darren.
Steve: And why do I do that? Do I say?
Darren: No. I figure because of my greatness.
Steve shakes his head and goes back to his work.
Steve: And why are you so great?
Darren: Don’t ask me! I’m not the one applauding.
I doubt there is anything like that in Ted 2. For one thing, Darren appears to be nothing like Ted. But I’d like to claim my own take on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. The second episode involves a discussion of artifice. Each conversation involves the theme of the episode. And then the episode ends with Darren getting some comeuppance for his plotting against Steve throughout the episode. There is probably a very limited audience for “The Post-Postmodern Comedy Hour,” because it is the absolute perfect representation of the kind of entertainment that I want to see. It includes the supposed writer of the show locked in a cage on the set.
I’ll bet that’s not in Ted 2!