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.