To quote Homer Simpson, television is our “teacher, mother… secret lover.” It bathes us with entertainment whenever we want. TV gives us comedies, dramas, cops, lawyers, mobsters, doctors, variety shows, and just about anything else you could want. It’s time to give something back to TV. Thus, here’s my love letter to it- a listing of 100 things I love about television.
1. Charlie Kelly’s illiteracy…
2. and this letter to Chase Utley from Mac.
3. “I hate every ape I see, from Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Zee…”
4. The relationship between Wu and Al “Swedgin” Swearingen on Deadwood
5. The opening credits of Louie
6. The Saul Bass-inspired opening credits of Mad Men
7. Gob Bluth’s magic act
8. Bill Cosby’s sweaters
9. Grisly murder after grisly murder after grisly murder on The Sopranos, as well as…
10. the surprising humor on the show
11. Omar’s comin’!
12. Two words, Seinfeld fans: The Contest
13. The fact that everyone over the age of 16 assumes that Shaggy from Scooby Doo is a huge stoner
14. Stan, Kenny, Cartman, and Kyle launching a whale to the moon
15. Every single Breaking Bad episode since the middle of the third season
16. The follies of Larry David
17. Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory
18. All of this stuff, and a lot more, that Ralph Wiggum has said:
19. Two fictional characters who share my not-that-common name, John LaRue (Hill Street Blues and SCTV)
20. There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
21. Seymour, the world’s most loyal and lovable dog, from Futurama
22. Barney Fife and his single bullet
23. Daisy Duke wearing her daisy dukes
24. The irreverent wit of Hawkeye Pierce
25. Carol Burnett’s spoof of Sunset Boulevard
26. SNL’s fake ads, including Action Cats…
28. Saturday morning cartoons with a big bowl of cereal, preferably with some kind of marshmallows in it
29. What you talkin’ about, Willis?
30. All the times that Seth MacFarlane and the Family Guy writers remind us that even though he talks, Brian Griffin is still a dog
31. The theme song to The Jeffersons
32. A network dedicated to music despite never playing any music, along with…
33. a network dedicated to history that airs reality TV and programs about aliens
34. Big Bird
35. The last few minutes of the Six Feet Under series finale
36. The whistling intro to The Andy Griffith Show
37. A bunch of old people (Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Tom Bosley) solving mysteries in the 80s and early 90s
38. Fox Mulder’s “I Want to Believe” poster
39. Early Cuyler’s hats
40. The wit and wisdom of Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Leon Black
41. The death of Colonel Henry Blake
42. The planet Melmac, home world of furry cat-eating aliens
43. A whole TV show themed around the classic Universal creature features
44. The existence and continued high quality and value of PBS (so stop trying to cut their funding, you buttholes)
45. Mary Tyler Moore forever frozen with her hat half-flipped in the air
46. Sit, Ubu. Sit. Good dog.
47. The epic, ongoing argument- Ginger or Mary Ann?
48. Homey the Clown
49. Discovering that Sam Malone had a toupée
50. This Week in Baseball, especially the Mel Allen days (suck it, baseball haters)
51.The shocking fate of certain major characters in the first season of Game of Thrones
52. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve
53. Charlie Brown, the Peanuts gang, and their assorted holiday specials
54. The delicious moment before Dexter Morgan murders someone and tells them why he’s killing them
55. Trying to figure out what the hell was going to happen on Lost
56. The “Why We Fight” episode of Band of Brothers…
57. and the “Bastogne” episode of Band of Brothers…
58. and pretty much everything else about Band of Brothers, too.
59. The Bunk Moreland interrogation technique
60. Eric Cartman getting pinkeye from Scott Baio
61. Rob and Laura Petrie’s separate beds
62. The dogs humping outside of Peggy’s window at the end of Mad Men, season 5
63. Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, Bugsy Siegel, and Meyer Lansky all as regular characters on Boardwalk Empire
64. What is Jeopardy?
65. Balki Bartokomous’ “Dance of Joy”
66. Carla Tortelli’s intense hatred for the New York Yankees
68. John Stewart and the Daily Show‘s fake news
69. Mister Peabody and Sherman
70. Watching Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant tease Karl Pilkington on The Ricky Gervais Show…
71. And torture Karl on An Idiot Abroad
72. A Lannister always pays his debts.
73. Mags Bennett’s apple pie moonshine, which is probably even better than…
74. Uncle Jesse’s moonshine
75. Lucille Ball drunk on Vitameatavegamin, which tastes “just like candy”
76. The opening monologues in Alfred Hitchcock Presents
77. Magnum’s ferrari
78. Granny Clampett’s shotgun
79. Ron Swanson
80. Tio and the wheelchair pipebomb. DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!
81. Never hearing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” again without thinking of Tony Soprano
82. Deadwood: Shakespearean dialogue about booze, guns, and prostitutes
83. Dan Fielding’s unyielding sliminess on Night Court
84. Super Bowl ads
85. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them….maybe you can hire The A-Team.
86. The holy triumvirate of 80s sitcom character best friends: Skippy, Cockroach, and Boner
87. The immaculate beauty of Winnie Cooper through the eyes of Kevin Arnold
89. And of course, this:
90. Phil Hartman as the unfrozen caveman lawyer, Frankenstein, Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure, Bill Clinton, Charlton Heston, and all the rest
91. Knowing exactly how Julius Caesar’s character would end on Rome and enjoying it anyway
92. Archie Bunker, bigoted buffoon
93. John Belushi’s endorsement of little chocolate donuts
94. All six episodes of Police Squad ever made
96. Dr. John Zoidberg, lovable loser
97. Shark Week
98. Robert Osborne’s introductions to TCM movies
99. Sam Beckett’s eternal hope that the next leap will be the leap home
100. The PBS American Experience