My Old Kentucky Homesite


Posted by Larry Wallberg on 01/12/2010

If you’ve been reading all the flap about Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and NBC’s Tonight Show, and whether or not it’s still technically tonight if it’s really twelve-oh-five tomorrow morning (or, in the Central Time Zone, a little after eleven p.m. yesterday), then you may have missed a minuscule announcement about another program. The long and the outrageously short of it is that “Whenever … with Larry Wallberg” has been moved to five-fifteen in the morning, sandwiched between “Wall Street Hustle” and “Pray Along with Mitch.”

Mitch’s point – that a religious program makes sense only in the context of the current financial debacle – is well taken, but the idea has sprung up among network execs that the average viewer can’t perform his, her, or its morning ablutions without the background babble of a few bad puns thrown in along with the usual disaster news and entreaties to the deity. As the beatnik banker said, “Man cannot live by bread alone.”

However, an ugly rumor has been bruited about that “Whenever … with Larry Wallberg” will be replaced by a half-hour baking show to follow “Your Dough” and to precede “Christ Is Risen.”  The rest of the network’s programming will, of course, continue to be repeats of “Law and Order S.U.V. I.U.D. L.M.N.O.P.” and “Everybody Loves Seinfeld.”

In other humor news, The Kentucky Encyclopedia continues to insist that “For the most part, Kentucky literary humor, like [its] folk humor, is based on the culture of common people, and thus most of it is rural in nature.” Opie Taylor refuses to comment, except to brag that he finally caught an old shoe. Kentuckians, as everyone knows, find catching-old-shoe jokes hilarious, so I’m hard at work to add some to my repertoire. But I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll hold my tongue.

Which is (to be serious for a moment) why I won’t mention that it’s impossible for me to understand how anyone can give a country rat’s ass about Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, or NBC’s late-night, calendar-confused lineup. Both Leno and O’Brien are dull, unfunny, and just plain dumb. They’re comedians for the rubes, and cheerleaders rather than interviewers. The Tonight Show hasn’t been really witty – urban and urbane – or relevant to anything other than shilling since Jack Paar left.


8 Responses to “Whenever”

  1. “Whenever … with Larry Wallberg” will be replaced by a half-hour baking show to follow “Your Dough” and to precede “Christ Is Risen.”

    What? No yeast jokes? The Pillsbury Doughgirl with a yeast infection?

    Nice blog. I must come back.

  2. SI:
    I thought I’d leave the yeast infection jokes to my crustiest readers. So if you have the itch to tell any others, feel free to add more comments. I look forward to more examples of your rye wit.

    By the way, your blog is nice too, although that’s not necessarily the complimentary adjective I’d have chosen to describe it.

  3. Evie said

    Opie Taylor refuses to comment, except to brag that he finally caught an old shoe.

    What was Opie doing in Kentucky? Aren’t the shoes biting in North Carolina anymore?

  4. Evie:
    Good question. To be honest, I still haven’t learned how to tell the difference between Kentucky and North Carolina. Not to mention Tennessee or West Virginia.

    We New Yawkers are very parochial.

  5. srsny said

    I never lived in Kentucky, but I lived in North Carolina for a couple of years, in probably the one area where there were a lot of New Yawkers. Chapel Hill – part of what is known as the research triangle, which also includes Raleigh and Durham. But I think the largest proportion of New Yawkers probably were in Chapel Hill. Possibly because it was the major campus of the University, and was the home of the law school. Sunday mornings, you could find all of us at Breuggers Bagles, reading our skinny national editions of the New York Times. Jesse Helms, Senator at the time, commented on the evil, subversive, northern, liberal, gay, multi-racial, and – lets face it, Jewish – population in the area by famously saying: “North Carolina doesn’t need a zoo. Just put a fence around Chapel Hill.” I was very proud to be included in that comment. Is there any place in Kentucky that Jesse would have wanted to fence in?

  6. Srsny:
    I’m guessing that ol’ Jesse would have been happy to allow free range throughout the entire state of Kentucky, although the U.K. neighborhood might have made him slightly nervous.

    Maybe I should write to our own senior Senator, Mitch McConnell, and find out where he wants to build a fence. Probably around the entire South, I’m guessing — to keep those commie, homo-loving, baby-killing, god-hating Yankees away.

  7. They remind me of two Twinkies – I am not sure if this be an entirely personal association or one more widely shared.

  8. Percy:
    A lot of things remind me of Twinkies, but not Jesse Helms and Mitch McConnell. They put me more in mind of Devil Dogs.

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