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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yo, Do You Remember?: Hardcore TV

I'm throwing you a curve ball today and decided to write a little piece about one of the most obscure but funniest sketch shows I have ever seen. Back in 1994 if you wanted to see some female skin, you either had to hope your dad had a Playboy collection in his closet or you had premium cable. Lucky for the Hersh family, we had HBO!! Back when TV Guide was actually used to determine what programs you needed to watch, I picked up on some random show called Hardcore TV that was airing during the wee hours of the morning on HBO. There was no information whatsoever about the premise of the show but the only indication that it could be worth watching was that it was rated M for mature audiences. So like a perverted high schooler, I taped this show hoping it could either A) be a show about pornography or B) could be a show featuring nudity. Once I had the time to watch it, I was blown away. Sure there was some nudity on the show but that stuff didn't really matter. What made the show interesting were the various satires and sexual humor on the show.

Hardcore TV was a low budget comedy show which had a lot of original and recurring sketches focusing on sexual situations. Some of my favorites included: Rastapiece Theatre in which a Jamaican guy used vulgar language to describe television shows, Sports Lady in which an older Jewish woman asked professional athletes random questions about sports and sex, Fly Fishing Jam in which two hip-hop urban guys out on the lake trying to catch some fish, and Fairy Tales From The Darkside in which a Fairy Princess reads fairy tales that have been altered to now include sex and violence, dirty illustrations included!!! Hardcore TV was able to get away with the vulgar sexual humor thanks in part to being on premium cable. Sadly though, after only 13 episodes the show was pulled from the network and never mentioned again.

Wikipedia has no data at all on Hardcore TV, and there is very little information on-line about it. What's fascinating is that the writers David Kolin and Steve Kerper never went on to do anything else. You would think that with their ability to write some pretty hilarious sketches Saturday Night Live or MAD TV would have added them to their writing staff. Not the case at all. The only person from the show who had any future success was Susie Essman, who is best known as Susie Greene from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Keep in mind that this was before HBO really dove into original programming although you will never hear of any credit given to the show. Maybe because the subject matter didn't appeal to a lot of people. Hardcore TV was never released on DVD, or ever shown again on HBO or any other premium channel for that matter. Considering the lack of star power Hardcore TV had, I think it's safe to say we'll never see a special edition DVD ever hit the market. Thank the heavens for Youtube!! Below are some of the great clips:

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