We’re trying out a new column here at RB and it’s called The Test of Time. We’ll be periodically looking at things from the past – notably our collective childhood in the early 1990’s – and determining whether the fond memories for those things are deserved or just rooted in nostalgia. These things might be video games, TV shows, clothing fads, or pogs (spoiler alert, I still don’t get pogs).
This column is partly coming now to draw attention to how stupid our obsession with nostalgia is. We’re seeing movies rebooted and people are losing their minds over good/bad instead of just accepting things as they are. We’re seeing T-shirts of bands from the ’80s and ’90s being the cool thing for high schoolers to wear. We’re seeing Chris Berman still on ESPN. It’s a weird time.
It’s not all bad, though. We won’t hate on something just because it’s old and we won’t love it just because it’s something that we loved at the time. We’ll try to be objective while aggressively making fun of the parts that need to be made fun of.
So without further ado, the introductory Test of Time focus is on the introduction to a television show.
The Test of Time: The Salute Your Shorts Theme Song
There’s a lot to talk about here.
0:01: Donkey Lips is definitely not playing that trumpet. They give up on that ghost within three seconds as it keeps playing while he starts loading the shorts onto the flag pole with Budnick.
0:11: That was an impressive run of multi-cultured kids. Considering a lot of the shows I was watching at the time were cartoons, this might have been one of the first times I saw a seriously diverse cast. You just got hit with an overweight white kid, a Latina (I think) girl, a black girl, and a stereotypical nerdy white kid in three seconds. Nicely done, Camp Anawanna.
0:15: Okay, now there’s the whitewash I was expecting. Also, Ug is definitely not playing that piano.
0:30: The “it makes me wanna fart” joke is still pretty solid. I didn’t roll my eyes. I did roll them a little when Budnick pushed Sponge’s hand off of his shoulder. Side note: the character names on this show are amazing.
0:39: What?! Her name is Venus DeMilo?? Like the Venus de Milo?! That’s incredible. Her Wiki page confirms this. That’s her real name. Incredible. She’s also about half a beat ahead of the piano.
1:00: The closing part is actually still kind of nice. It feels anti-formulaic because of the way they all screw up the words or stop singing. In fact, it almost feels like they’re not acting, which is the hallmark of truly great actors, although I’m not sure these folks, as teens, qualify. The chant at the end is especially funny if you watch the different hand motions. The two kids on the front left are hand-rolling together, Budnick is pointing to “think, speak and live,” I guess. Otherwise there’s just sort of mayhem.
Verdict: I still like this theme song. It’s not nearly as corny as I expected it to be. Ug’s “get it right or pay the price” is still pretty lame, but his character was supposed to be lame. It feels low budget, but it’s supposed to feel low budget because it’s at a summer camp. It works. I’m shocked to say it.
Tune in next time when we go deeper into a larger subject. Feel free to let us know what you think might be a good topic to tackle.