The Road Runner Sitcom

If you want to quickly grasp the structure of sitcom, go and watch a Road Runner cartoon. Most, if not all, of the best sitcoms feature a main character with a clear desire to do something, usually trapped by their circumstances, but ultimately destined never to escape. It’s that which separates it from drama – a sitcom character should never really learn or evolve.

Wile E. Coyote wants to eat a Road Runner. In fact, he’s trapped in that cycle, because he’s so damn hungry. Look at how thin he is. And while every protagonist is only as good as their antagonist, it’s not always the Road Runner who thwarts Wile’s plans. It’s often himself; he is his own worst enemy.

So, Wile needs to eat. He formulates a plan to catch the Road Runner, and he fails. Reset, and begin again.

That’s a sitcom.

If he ever caught the Road Runner*, it would feel wrong. He would probably eat it in a Tarantino-esque bloodbath, or he would be confused and let it go, perhaps after installing a jet pack on its back.

See also the final episode of Only Fools And Horses – the proper one, where they walk off into the cartoon sunset – Del has got everything he wants; they’re millionaires. And the one thing that makes that ending so satisfying is his final line, ‘this time next year, we’ll be billionaires”. He’s already built himself the same trap again.

*

Wally Wick

I remember the first time I saw Marty McFly say ‘asshole’ to Doc Brown, and the first time I saw John McClane call the Sheriff of Nottingham a ‘motherfucker’; neither time was the first time I’d watched the movie. In fact, I’d watched both of them so many times from their off-air VHS tapes that I could quote them verbatim.

Except I couldn’t.

The telly had been lying to me for years. Now, I knew obviously that these were TV edits, rendered mostly unwatchable by cuts for language and nudity – I only had to watch Axel Foley saying “get the Hell out of here” over and over again to know that – but some films, ones I thought were family films – had been butchered too. Witness:

So, here are five┬ámore excised scenes from movies I didn’t even know were cut.

Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol

There’s a SIX MINUTE scene that was removed from the TV version, that very nearly didn’t even make it into the theatrical version, where Mahoney self-fellates in graphic detail. SIX MINUTES. No wonder he didn’t work much after that.

The Three Amigos

Turns out, after telling the old lady to sew like the wind, Martin Short then screams at her like the Sergeant in Full Metal Jacket, using any number of insults including something about a prolapsed anus.

Coming To America

We all know that Eddie Murphy plays every single role in the film, even Samuel L. Jackson’s debut in a movie, but did any of us know that the BBC removed the entire opening sequence because it featured nothing more harmful than Akeem being tutored by Semmi in the art of Shibari.

Back To The Future 2

Marty McFly has full on sex with his silicon enhanced mother – deemed unsuitable for Christmas afternoon viewing. I think my gran would have enjoyed it though, especially the bit with the soap.

Fletch

In a scene that was in the book, but not the TV version of the movie, Fletch dry humps the entire beach for forty five minutes while looking right down the barrel of the lens and saying Bill Murray’s name over, and over, and over, and over, and over …

But sometimes, they shoot the alternate version themselves … and it’s just as bad.

May The Third Was Yesterday

It’s the fourth of May, which means it’s Star Wars Independence Day, where we celebrate the time Bill Paxton ate the Death Star, and plunged the galaxy into such disorder that a new, more menacing, menace began to menace. So, like all good daily bloggers, I decided to buck the trend and talk about what Star Wars means to me, sharing with you my personal favourite moments from each of the first seven movies.

Episode One: The Motion Picture

That moment when V’Ger reveals to Spock that SPOILER he’s his real dad, informed my prepubescent mind even more than the lady in the shower, who’s not actually having a shower, but is showering in sound waves until her hair falls out.

Episode Two: The Attack Of Khan

Khaaaaaaaaaaan. Possibly the best of all the Star Wars films, not least because the new uniforms are really cool, and we get to learn a whole new use for sunglasses cases. SPOLIER And when Spock reveals he’s really Kirk’s sister after sticking all his brain in Bones’ brain, yet somehow still managing to be himself afterwards in a chamber flooded with nuclear radiation literally blew my mind. It’s still leaking out of my ears, even to this day. And yes, the remake by Rian Johnson a few years ago, starring Watson from Poirot, that’s just as good too.

Episode Three: The Search For Cock

The whole stealing the Millennium Falcon sequence is great, and watching Doctor Spock going through a puberty so strong it’s destroying a planet – at the time I myself was a few years from doing the same thing myself (sorry Pluto), really rang true with me.

I know it's C3-P0 really

I Love K-9

Episode Four: The One With The Whales

After the high drama of the previous two films, it was good when they did a more silly one, and let Xander take front and centre, while the apocalypse happened in the background and he bought doughnuts. Not enough Harpo or Groucho in this one for me though.

Episode Five: The Final Front Ear

Waaaaay ahead of its time this one from Captain Jack Ryan, who directed it. You probably think I’m going to talk about the fan dance, and the blue cat lady like I’m some sort of pervert or something, but it’s that bit when the Captain says he needs his pain that always sticks with me.

Episode Six: Escape To The Country

Probably the second best film in the original trilogy this one. BECAUSE HIS TESTICLES ARE IN HIS KNEEEEEEEEES.

Episode Seven: The Force Generates

Not seen it yet. No spoilers please. I don’t want to know how Captain Kirk loses his hair.

It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day

Everyone with a blog* does it. They sit down one day and declare, quietly and to themselves so that no-one else can hear, that today is the first day of a new regime. A blog* a day. Dammit, I can do that. One short blog* every day.

(*Do people still use the word ‘blog’? It’s been so long since I’ve written one, they might have re-named the internet for all I know. I hope it’s called Kevin.)

Well, here I am, stating it loud and proud, for everyone to hear – I will write something every day, for at least a day, regular as cockwlork, typos and all.

So how to begin? With the declaration? Or with a simple trickle of new posts that build slowly until it becomes so natural to write something that no one even notices? Or with the dawning realisation that whatever one types is like shouting into a hurricane, only to be subsumed by the plethora of bilge that is clogging up the Internet’s pipes, as if just stating a thought is somehow valid so long as it has an emoji attached to it, and the ability to jam a thumb up underneath it?

Maybe I should just shut up.