Saturday, June 23, 2007

Grimley Fun

In high school I had a bit of a weird infatuation with the animated television show Ed Grimley.

For those not of the slightly distorted humor persuasion, Ed Grimley began as as character created and acted by Martin Short on Saturday Night Live. I didn't know this when I first discovered the cartoon show.

All I knew was that the Saturday morning show was hystercially funny. Everything from Ed's pet rat Sheldon to his neighbor Miss Malone to the Gastoff brothers (the scientists who interrupt when Ed's about to be smooshed by a piano or tossed out of a wrestling ring and then explain scientifically what is happening to Ed through the force of gravity, etc.), or Ed's favorite television show, which he always finds time to watch, whether he's in prison or in Europe: Count Floyd's Scary Stories, the one live-action portion of the show.

The whole thing is ludicrious and silly and, well, Martin Shortish.

I used to watch it religiously in high school, especially with one friend in particular, who I'll call (because it was her nickname even then) J.J.-Panda. (Hey, Babe!) We'd record the episodes and make sure that any time one of us started dating anyone that we'd show them Ed. If the new guy didn't laugh his head off, he was officially dead meat and deemed not boyfriend material.

Most of the guys figured out pretty quick that it was a test and nervously laughed their way through a couple of episodes, whether they understood the bizarre humor or not.

And then Ed went off the air. J.J.-Panda and I went into mourning.

I had outgrown the boyfriend "Ed Test" by the time I met my husband, but he did know all about my love for Ed. Once for Valentine's Day, several years after we married, he went onto E-bay and found me a pull-string talking Ed Grimley doll and—wonder of wonders—a VHS tape of every single episode of the series. Not the greatest of copies, but a copy nonetheless. I pulled that string to hear Ed say all his catch phrases over and over, sat down with my chocolate (of course I got chocolate too) and watched the whole tape.

Yes, I'm married to a romantic.

For years my kids have wondered what the funky-looking doll is on the bookshelf in my office. (And WHY can't they touch it?)

Not long ago I got my oldest daughter loving Anne, so I decided to try it with a few other things. My second attempt was showing her The Scarlet Pimpernel, another one of my all-time favorites. She has since watched it twice. So far so good.

After Anne and Percy were received well, I thought hmmm, maybe it's time for something totally different. Ed isn't exactly in the same category as the others, but maybe my kids will still like it.

So this week I dug into the old VHS tapes, found Ed, and popped it into the VCR. At first the kids weren't all that impressed. The recording was a bit grainy, after all, and they could tell as I hovered that I was hoping they'd love it. I was laughing and giggling, and they kept looking at me funny every time Ed said, "Now THAT'S a pain that's going to linger, no question!"

But the next day, unbeknownst to me, the KIDS put in the Ed tape and showed it to their friends, saying, "This is really funny. You have to watch it."


Now I feel like I'm rubbing my hands together fiendishly, thinking, what shall I try on them next . . . ?


Josi said...

Annette, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to show them Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And then, Labyrinth. I will pray for you.

And doesn't Paprika make everything taste better?

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, like you couldn't be more incredibly decent, Mrs. Lyon, I must say!

I'm a huge Ed fan, and I ALWAYS put my boyfriends to the Scarlet Pimpernel test. I know I don't have to mention how freaky these coincidences are, but--I just did.

Someday I'll have to tell you about meeting Anthony Andrews in person. Thrill!

Josi said...

Lousia--you did NOT!

I'm a huge SP fan, a few months ago I got the DVD and I've watched it many a time. In fact on a road trip a few weeks ago those in the backseat watched it while I was driving and asked if they should use headphones so I wouldn't feel left out. Are you kidding? I know that whole movie by heart and could see ever scene in my head.

"Sink me, the man doesn't even know how to tie his on cravat."

Must tell!


Annette Lyon said...

Luisa, NO WAY on two counts. I'm stunned that you're an Ed Grimley fan. That's a coincidence that just borders on the bizarre. I've never met anyone I didn't go to high school with that even knows about that cartoon.

And you've got to fill me in on the Anthony Andrews thing. I think I'd faint if I met him in person. (Of course, I bet he's all wrinkled now, huh?)

Luisa Perkins said...

I'll blog about it tomorrow, just for you two!

Annette Lyon said...

YES! Can't wait to read it!

Jenna said...

I, too, remember Ed. My brother was a huge fan. You made me smile to recall him.


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