My Kingdom for The Muppet Show

I don’t know why I remembered, or how I forgot, but last week it came to me. The tweed suit, the lime-green mini, the red tie. And the nostrils.

I’m going to admit something that, if trendy parenting styles are any indication, may land me in the middle of a torch-bearing, pitch fork-wielding mob: we let our son watch television. Movies, too. Please note, this is in addition to, not to the exclusion of, reading, crafts, toys, painting, running, and/or interpretive dance. Ian watches some TV.

We have one television, which means that what Ian watches, we also watch. This is why Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, and Max and Ruby have been banned from our household. And though Kelly and I enjoy (or tolerate) Spongebob Squarepants, Sesame Street, and Noddy, after a long day, the last thing we want is to relax in front of The Goodnight Show. Am I honestly supposed to find that star soothing?

But there’s precious little ‘family’ left in television. When NBC’s Heros first aired, I was watching an episode as I was getting Ian ready for bed, sometime around 8 o’clock. One of the ‘heros’ can paint the future—but only when he’s mainlining heroin. What would Dr. Huxtable say? We thought Everybody Loves Raymond would be relatively safe, and would have been, if not for the Barones’ casual swearing.

Back to the nostrils. Last week I was wondering what we could watch that—as much as we love them—wasn’t Dirty Jobs or MythBusters or Good Eats. And suddenly, for some reason, I remembered…Mr. Bean.

For those who don’t know, Mr. Bean is a British comedy from the ’90s. Think Charlie Chaplin, only in color and with more tea. It’s simply an awkward man being silly, and sticking things up his nose. Right up a three-year-old’s alley.

Ian can’t breathe for laughing. When Mr. Bean stops to take a pebble from his shoe, he puts his shoe on top a parked car…which promptly drives away. And we follow Mr. Bean as he hops after, chasing his shoe though the city center(re).

Last night, we watched the episode just before putting Ian to bed. Upstairs, as I was getting his toothbrush ready, I heard Kelly talking to Ian about ‘silly’ Mr. Bean. And she guffawed. It takes a lot to make my wife guffaw (so unladylike!), and I had to see. ‘Ian,’ she said, ‘show Daddy Mr. Bean.’

Ian bent over, and slid a hand along his foot, grasping something. ‘Bpsh!’ He put the something on the ground. And then he started hopping around the landing, on one foot. Arms splayed, he made exaggerated motions and even did a fair impression or Mr. Bean’s elastic facial expressions. ‘Excuse me,’ he said, voice lowered, ‘I’d like to buy this shoe.’

I couldn’t breathe for laughing.

2 Responses

  1. Phil
    Phil at | | Reply

    My kids love Mr. Bean too. It’s one of the few things that makes my son absolutely hysterical to the point where he can’t control his laughter… I hope that’s a good thing, and doesn’t cause brain damage!

    They also love some of the old Laurel and Hardy shorts, especially the piano movers and the hospital visit.

    Oh…. No “Mr. Roboto” on my blog… I do have the song, but I bought it from iTunes, so it’s protected and can’t be shared.

  2. Tony
    Tony at | | Reply

    My wife and I let our son watch television to. There is nothing wrong with it. We also watch whatever our son watches. I would like to inquire as to why you have banned Dora and Diego. They are two of my son’s favorite shows. He’s learned to count in spanish (1,2,3 and 5) he’s also learned about many different animals beyond cat,dog and cow. He’s learned to share and to have his own adventures when playing on his own. Mr. Bean was funny but I don’t see any more educational value in it, or any LESS harmfull content (such as mr. bean locking himself naked out of his hotel room and walking around with EXIT sign posted to his bum) than Dora and Diego. Just curious as to your choices. Not judging.

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