So it's been a few days since I've posted. I've been working a lot, and haven't really felt inspired. But what did I find yesterday before going in for a closing shift?
That's right -- Duckman on Youtube. In case you don't recognize it, that's Jason Alexander at the height of his Seinfeld fame as the eponymous character, with Nancy Travis as Bernice and Dweezil Zappa as Ajax. Tim Curry played King Chicken, but he didn't appear in the pilot episode linked to above.
The show ran on USA from 1994-1997, and I think it probably influenced me way more than a show like that should have. Nowadays USA is known for Monk and endless reruns of the Law and Order spinoffs (all of which is fine, and I enjoy greatly), but back in the nineties it was the place for cheesy eighties movies (good and bad) and made-for-TV schlock like Silk Stalkings. Duckman was a show that celebrated that kind of lowbrow sex and violence even while savagely satirizing it, got points for being having the anti-PC Duckman while showing his views to be just as flawed as those that he criticized (mainly through Duckman's own stupidity and the moderating influence of Cornfed), and even included highminded criticism of its own structure occasionally.
In later episodes of the show, organized religion came under pretty harsh criticism (the creators of the show are all strong atheists so far as I know) and Duckman himself is shown as an enthusiast of kinky BDSM-style sex. The show did a science fiction episode, a film noir episode, a "Vietnam movie" episode, even an "end of the world" episode. If at times the satire seemed to be more of a broadsword than a rapier, even that was part of the fun -- not until South Park would more sacred cows be toppled in a single half-hour cable program.
Yeah, it had its weak episodes. But it deserves better than to languish in obscurity, and it's right up there with Daria on my list of TV shows that should get the season-box-set DVD treatment soon.
So go watch the pilot, already!