September 19, 2011: Mailbag Monday #2
Because of time constraints, today’s edition of Mailbag Monday features only one email. Off to a good start!
I couldn’t help but notice on your board games article (http://ekarj.com/boardgames.htm) that entertainment was said to have been invented in the early ’90s. I was wondering if you might please pin-point the exact moment for us – was it the opening of “Terminator 2”?
Perhaps the release of the Super NES console? My guess is the world tour of Vanilla Ice. That was a good one.
Please get back to me and let me know the exact moment that entertainment came into existence. Thanks for your time!
Entertainment made huge advancements with Super Soakers (in 1990), Super Mario Kart (1992), and Jurassic Park (1993), overcoming a huge setback from Pogs in the early 90s. Its arrival in the states, however, can ultimately be traced back to the premier of America’s Funniest Videos in January of 1990 (though the Japanese had a working prototype of entertainment as early as 1975).
America’s Funniest Videos offered a barrage of 30-second home video clips featuring toddlers smearing peas over their faces, abusive fathers knocking over Christmas trees, children careening off sleds and into the woods—it was all hilarious, and inexplicably Bob Saget’s obnoxious high-pitched inner monologues only made it better. “Oh, look at me, I’m a baby crawling around in the snow! Oh boy, this snow sure looks like a nice snack, I think I’ll have a bite or two! Oh, shit, here comes a dog.” Bob Saget could narrate the inner monologues of characters in Schindler’s List and it would become hilarious. “La-da-da, I wonder where this train is going? Uh-oh!”