11 July 2011

Talk of the Town

VCII boxes have these cool double side flaps, but they are a bit awkward to scan
Talk of the Town: Shows 1 and 2
United States - 1982
Director - Doug Raymond
VCII Incorporated, 1983/'84, VHS
Run Time - 1 horrific hour per show

You will hear these jokes over and over!
The fiction of time travel plays on idealized notions of history and historical moments. It is a fantasy that needs temporal distance, because the actual experience of those moments we would like to visit were really just as mundane as the ones we’re stuck in now. Given the choice a lot of people would probably choose to travel to the 40’s or the 1920’s or something even older, something with “heroism” or “style”. I would go back into the bad old days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. That era appeals to me because through the fog of time and oversimplification it looks like a badly dressed and desperate exercise in cheap self-indulgence. It appears to be a cultural void, without direction or identity, and it is because of this lack of any redeeming qualities that it appears, from this distance to have been tackier, louder, and shallower than anything before or since. Talk of the Town is exactly the sort of eye-popping time travel experience I’ve always wanted to take.

Hostess with mostest makeup.
Produced by VCX, one of video porn’s oldest names and distributed by their in-house non-porn label VCII, Talk of the Town is a procession of desperate posturing set to the worst musical genre (and a bad example at that) to have ever been shat out the sour infected anus of American pop culture. The guests are the dregs, the tail-draggingest end-throes of late70’s entertainment culture at its diveyest. Co-host Pat Cooper, Murray Langston and Rip Taylor provide a fine cross section of the sleaziest in male interpretation of the Aquarian sexual liberation ethic. Hostess Jaye P. Morgan’s repeated crowing about the “unscripted and uncensored” nature of the show (read off of cue cards) gives her male guests in both episodes license to “liberate” and openly express their ever present lecherous objectification.

The classy nicotine stained lingerie of the Talk of the Town Showgirls

Fortunately, things rarely go as planned in Vegas, and since their jokes have been so mind numbingly shitty up to this point, the most amusing part of this exercise in stamina is watching it self destruct. VCX was apparently unaware of the profound contradiction in hiring both boorish male comics and self-identified feminists to have a casual “adult” chat. In the first show, like hungry dogs chewing at their leashes in the presence of raw meat, the men unleash steady stream of childish innuendoes as soon as 23 year old Linda Blair walks on stage. As soon as adult film star Samantha Fox arrives however, the dick jokes of a few minutes ago transform instantly into embarrassed questions about “thingies” and “doing it”. They talk a big game but blood rushes back to their heads when confronted with a nonplussed and confident woman. Whoa, it turns out that liberation is actually pretty intimidating. The second show’s guests include Redd Foxx, Larry Storch and Jack Carter who in good form generally pour on the vitriol until the godmother of feminist comedy Rusty Warren arrives. On second thought maybe VCX did know what they were doing. By putting these women on last we have to consume some forty five minutes of manly non-comedy before the women arrive to get talked over by earlier guests and then cut short by time constraints.

One of the appealing things about time travel fantasies is the unstated and often unacknowledged assumption that one would be so much smarter than those coarse primitive bastards back then. But this is of course predicated on our present ability to know what they did right or wrong and pick it apart. Hindsight is 20/20 after all, and that’s what makes history and laughing at old and/or dead people so much fun. Talk of the Town is imminently mockable, from Jaye P. Morgan’s embalming makeup to the profoundly tacky ranch-style lingerie fashion show that staggers into the middle of both episodes. I only hope that some yet to be born future asshole has the spare time point out how full of shit I will have been.

Shut the fuck up Pat Cooper! SHUT UP!

One of the things I like about VCII tapes is the label on the cassette itself:

VCII had two logos at the beginning of their tapes. This clip is courtesy of LogicSmash

1 comment:

Marc Edward Heuck said...

"Hey, you can't tell Pat Cooper to shut up! He's on medication! HE'S ON MEDICATION!"