Pop Culture Gadabout
Thursday, September 23, 2010
      ( 9/23/2010 07:27:00 AM ) Bill S.  

THAT MAGIC TWANGER: Call me childish, but there are days I really wish Froggy the Gremlin was real.

For those who don’t remember, Froggy was a character from early children’s programming: as a kid, I remember seeing him on Andy’s Gang, a series featuring raspy voiced character actor Andy Devine, though he first debuted on a radio show in the forties entitled Smilin’ Ed’s Gang. Befitting his name, Froggy was a magical creature who appeared when host and audience shouted the evocative phrase, “Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy!” On TV, he was repped by a frog puppet, natch.

The character was a mischief-maker who loved messing around with figures of adult authority. He’d take these folks — typically presented as full of themselves — and humiliate them by making them do something against their will. Intoning, “You will, you will,” he forced them to go against the high-flown images of themselves that they’d been working so hard to maintain. Sometimes it was by making them admit something deflating about themselves; other times it was through the simple slapstick expedience of a self-inflicted pie in the mush. . .

As we’re inundated with obnoxious political ads this time of year, I can’t help daydreaming about an invasion of Froggies popping up on television to prick all the nonsense. So that when spokesfolk for a pharmaceutical company pretending to be part of a senior’s organization attacking health care reform, Froggy’d show up on their shoulder and make them say, “I’m paid to deliver this b.s.!” Or when any politician tried to sell us on the fact that they’re “independent from influence and the Washington mainstream,” they’d be forced to pull out a long rolling list of all the lobbying money they’ve received — then hit themselves in the face with a cream puff.

I know I’d stop muting campaign ads if this happened.

(First published on Blogcritics.)


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Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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