Tag Archives: McQuaid Brothers

And the Gold Medal for Most Awkward Pound Explosion Goes to….

Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf from the United States!

Do you see how you just embarrassed Liam McHugh?  On national TV!

Ladies, just not the right time for this.  In fact, there’s never a right time for a televised pound explosion.  It only looks cool when our three your old niece does it (and sometimes when we do it.  Sometimes).  The worst part is that you clearly discussed it beforehand.  The only thing worse than a spontaneous televised pound explosion?  A rehearsed pound explosion.

Note: This is the only acceptable handshake suitable for broadcast:

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Filed under Huh?, Jump Streets Ahead

21 Jump Streets Ahead: Officer Hanson Doesn’t Like Chocolate Milk

Last week dear Jumped the Snark friend Eliot Glazer co-hosted a night of trivia in Brooklyn themed around the two great female-ensemble sitcoms of the late 80s/early 90s – Golden Girls and Designing Women.  In between rounds Glazer and co-host H. Alan Scott played clips from each series, highlighting not just how smart, funny and fresh the shows still are, but also how they weren’t afraid to confront taboo issues of the time, including AIDS and homosexuality.  These serious, socially conscious moments reminded us of another show from that era that wasn’t afraid to push the envelope.  In fact, this show seemed to make taking on controversial issues its main agenda.  And that show was 21 Jump Street.  Yes, it’s wildly different from those double X chromosome comedies above, and does not hold up a fraction as well (we now wonder if it even held up in its time), but, looking back, 21 Jump Street was often going out there on a limb on the nascent Fox Network, bringing uncomfortable, sensitive but relevant issues to the forefront.  We’re going to make an attempt to semi-regularly feature some of these moments, starting right now.

It’s really hard to believe that we were watching this show at six-years-old, first because it’s often slow, melodramatic and pedantic (as was the style of the time), and doesn’t star any cartoon ducks, and shouldn’t hold a six-year-old’s attention,  and secondly because it frequently contains a great deal of mature content, an amped up after-school special on five-hour delay (but compared to Silk Stalkings, which we began watching regularly a couple of years later, this was Green Acres.  Also, good parenting, Mom).  Even if an episode didn’t tackle a controversial issue of the time, it probably involved some kind of drugs and/or violence, or why else would Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise go undercover as the McQuaid Brothers?  But the show frequently went beyond fake IDs and selling “dope” in the locker room, covering such topics at bigotry, racism, bullying, child abuse, class warfare and, in one single episode, HIV-AIDS and suicide.

In that episode, “A Big Disease with a Little Name,” Officer Hanson (pre-Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp and our first man-crush) is tasked with protecting Harley, a teenager with AIDS who continues to attend his high school despite protests from local parents and the hostile atmosphere fostered by his fellow students (also, unsurprisingly, Harley has an affinity for motorcycles).  Hanson isn’t afraid to sit at the same table as the kid, unlike much of the student body, but he’s not exempt from the same kind of prejudice, fear and ignorance, as we see when he declines Harley’s offer of chocolate milk.

But, as was often the case, 21 Jump Street functioned as an educational tool, teaching us there are three ways to contract HIV, and chocolate milk is not one of them.  And, as also was often the case, by the end of the forty-four minutes Hanson not only learned the lesson but took it to heart.

We don’t actually remember this episode from our childhood – perhaps it didn’t get much syndication play – but we do know we weren’t afraid of a little chocolate milk.  Maybe we have 21 Jump Street to thank for that.*

*Probably not.  

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Filed under Golden Girls, Jump Streets Ahead, Makes You Think, Mancrush

In Memorium Nostalgia Corner: Andrew Koenig

Foreward: Jumped The Snark updates have been few and far between for the last few weeks (in fact, they’ve been non-existent), because I have been in the process of moving out of LA, driving cross-country, and settling in back in NY.  I’d been hoping to get back to the blog sooner than this, and certainly on a much lighter note.  But while I’ve still just made a dent in my  to do list (chief among them: get a job, so let me know if you hear of anything), it feels important that I note this tragedy, even if it’s not the way I wanted to return to the blogosphere.

This is not an obituary.  This is not a eulogy.  This is not a tribute.  This is just some words and thoughts and memories.

I can still vividly recall one night twenty-one years ago when I planted myself in my parents bed to watch ABC’s Saturday night comedy line-up, anchored by heartthrob Kirk Cameron and Growing Pains.  Unfortunately, to my great surprise/disappointment, when the show started  I learned that Richard “Boner” Stabone decided to leave his comfy Long Island confines for the Marines, choosing his future before it chose him, and officially growing up beyond his rather unfortunate moniker (one that somehow got by the censors all those years).  As a child Growing Pains was my favorite show; I would constantly watch it in reruns, instead of playing “house” my friend and I would play “Growing Pains,” and even a secondary character like Boner felt like family to me.  And the idea that Boner was leaving, possibly forever, deeply troubled me.  In fact, I started bawling uncontrollably, consoled only by my sister’s suggestion that perhaps he would resurface in a spin-off, The Boner Show (and, at the time, the idea of a program being called The Boner Show, didn’t seem particularly bawdy or unlikely to me, and if Coach Lubbock got a spin-off, why not Boner?).  But, as you know, that never happened, and Boner never came back to Growing Pains (which is really unfair, as even Julie McCulloch‘s character was granted a degree of closure), and I’ve spent the subsequent years wondering what happened to Private Richard Stabone.  Did he find what he was looking for in the Marines?  Did he flame out and return to the suburbs?  Did he complete his service, move to Seattle and start selling stereos again?  Two Growing Pains reunion movies came and went and didn’t shed any light on his whereabouts.  Like Keyser Soze, he was  gone.  A childhood friend never to be seen again (although, one would assume that Mike and Boner have reconnected over Facebook).

So what does that have to do Andrew Koenig, the actor who played Boner, who took his own life a few days ago?  Nothing, really.  I don’t know Koenig, and I don’t know if Koenig was anything like his character.  He seemed well liked by the acting community, judging by the way that many actors and comedians tweeted their concern, their requests for help, and when his body was found, their sadness.  Maybe Koenig embodied the best parts of Richard Stabone,  the carefree attitude, the innocence, the sweet dorkiness, even the endearing naiveté.  But, hopefully, in his real life, unlike Boner, Koenig was taken seriously and appreciated.

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that he was always known as Boner, and he always will be.  Perhaps it was an ill-advised, myopic, nickname, one that had no choice but to stick permanently.  Would he have been better off with less of a double entendre for an epithet?  Does Mark Price, Family Ties‘ “Skippy,” go through his life unable to escape his character and his character’s name?  I don’t know.  This is just hypothesizing.  But, either way, it’s always a shame that it takes a tragedy for us to start talking about someone whom we had long forgotten.

I recently began re-watching 21 Jump Street (which is a blog post, and hopefully an ongoing series, for another day) and came upon a season 2 episode entitled “Champagne High.”  I was first struck by the presence of a young Peter Berg as a high school jock-bully.  But I was soon even more surprised/intrigued by the subject of his bullying, a likewise young Andrew Koenig.  I don’t think I had seen Koenig in anything other than Growing Pains, and it was interesting to see him get a chance to play a more serious role (and, on 21 Jump Street, there’s no shortage of meaty, if cripplingly melodramatic, parts).  Like Boner, his character, Wally, was a pipsqueak.  But Booner’s space case doofusness was replaced by resentment towards Berg and frustration over his constant abuse.  In fact, Wally hires Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise, undercover as the rough and tumble McQuaid Brothers, as his personal bodyguards.  And the Jump Street officers then turn around and use Wally’s connections to set-up a sting operation, taking advantage of his father’s business as well as his vulnerability.  It’s not fair to assert that this is what it was like for Koenig in real life – that he was bullied, used, mocked –  but in light of his death, and the apparent circumstances that led to it, I don’t think it’s entirely unfair to wonder.

A little over a year ago a friend gave me what at the time was a wonderful, exceptionally thoughtful gift, a framed 8×10 screenshot of Boner with a faux-dedication and signature.   I proudly displayed the photo on my Ikea bookshelf, and upon moving to LA I put it right back up, providing a measure of comfort.   Now, of course, I feel bad that we might have had a good laugh at his expense, and I’m not sure what the etiquette is on displaying forged-autographed headshots of recently deceased semi-celebrities.  When I get settled I’ll probably put it back up.  But not so much as a joke anymore, but as a tribute.  And to remember that while Andrew Koenig might not be with us anymore, there’s still hope that Richard Stabone is living a rich and rewarding life, the life that they both deserved.

Thanks for the memories, Bone.

(and, yes, just teared up watching this)

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Filed under Count Bleh, Growing Pains, Jump Streets Ahead, Nostalgia Corner