Coming to you live, and in color!!!
With a flair for words and a colorful voice, Chick Lit Central's "Go-To-Gay" once again creates a magical escape for us. This month he leads us on a journey through the world of television, exposing its power to entertain, educate and heal our soul with a dose of laugh, all within a 30 minute time frame.
So, find your favorite spot the on the sofa, grab your favorite snack and sit back and relax as Wade Rouse takes you on a tour of television, "Go-To-Gay" style!
|Gary & Wade show-off their Ellen VIP tickets|
The writings of bestselling humorist Wade Rouse – called “wise, witty and wicked” by USA Today and the lovechild of Erma Bombeck and David Sedaris – have been featured multiple times on NBC’s Today Show as well as on Chelsea Lately on E! and People.com. His latest memoir, "It’s All Relative: 2 Families, 3 Dogs, 34 Holidays and 50 Boxes of Wine," just launched in paperback February 1st from Broadway, and he is creator and editor of the humorous dog anthology, "I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales about Man’s Best from America’s Favorite Humorists" (NAL). The book features a Foreword by Chelsea Handler’s dog, Chunk, essays by such beloved chick lit authors as Jane Green, and 50 percent of the book’s net royalties go to the Humane Society of the United States. His first memoir, "America's Boy," has been re-published by Magnus Books for paperback and Kindle. For more, visit his website, or friend him on Facebook or Twitter.
Growing up in the 1970s, I spent inordinate amounts of time in front of the television after school ended.
In addition to Funyons, Little Debbies and Jeno’s pizza rolls, I feasted on the sitcoms and cartoons that seem to unite most children of that generation: The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, The Partridge Family, The Munsters, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Beverly Hillbillies, Batman, I Dream of Jeannie and Green Acres.
Every day after school, I rushed home to watch my favorite shows – while sitting in my beat-up beanbag – postponing my homework until after dinner, when my father ruled the Zenith and watched sports or cop shows.
My favorite shows – like many of my favorite chick-lit books – had memorable female leads, from popular, long haired “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” to the skunk-haired drag Dracula, Lily Munster. I adored the women stranded on Gilligan’s Island: Of course, I always wanted to be as glamorous as Ginger, as rich as Mrs. Howell but felt most like Mary Ann (or Granny Clampett) considering my Ozarks upbringing.
Instead of my awful school bus that bumped along dusty, gravel back roads, I wanted to ride the bus with the Partridges (I so could have played the triangle), and I yearned to possess some super-powerful alter ego like the villains in Batman to combat the bullies on my school bus (“You have been frozen into ice blocks!”)
Looking back, none of these shows were, by critics’ standards, groundbreaking series, but they were great escapism, and that’s exactly what I needed as a chubby, artistic kid growing up in the Ozarks.
I needed to escape. I needed to laugh, to smile, to forget, to be in someone else’s world for a while.
|Wade with Donna Mills from Knots Landing|
Fast-forwarding a few decades, I guess that same theory explains the popularity of reality shows today, such as The Real Housewives of Wherever: Life is tough. Give us something to escape into for just a little while.
Forgive me for sounding like my father (and I swore I would never repeat his standard phrases), but “it may have been better when I was a kid.”
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, for saying that, but – when it comes to TV – but there still seems to be something more magical about escaping into the simplicity of the Brady’s split-level than escaping into other folks’ dysfunction. When I get immersed into the Housewives, I find my pulse racing more than myself laughing. I find myself screaming at the TV rather than relaxing.
And, back in the day, there was a lesson to be learned from the dysfunction: You paid a price for lying, for cheating on a test, for trying to harm Gotham City. And you learned that lesson while laughing typically.
I first began to write – a la Erma Bombeck – in the 1970s, and still apply the same theory to my humorous memoirs: You learn while laughing. You grow while guffawing. You change while you chuckle. You learn from my dysfunction.
I am a humorist because I know that – for many – the Rouse House is exactly the place in which they need to escape, just like I once longed to be sitting on a brightly-painted, mod bus wearing bell bottoms and an ascot while being transported to my next musical gig.
There is an art to mainstream escapism that has been lost in this country. Books that are carefully, painstakingly written to make readers laugh, or escape, are typically not as lauded as those that are intentionally written to anger or confound. The same applies to today’s TV.
Sometimes, I just need a laugh, or a peek into someone’s else’s life to make me feel sane again. I mean, I enjoy watching a documentary or undercover expose. I relish reading a heavy biography or literary novel. But it’s not typically what I rush to when I need to escape from the grind of daily life. Doesn’t make me dumber. Just makes me human.
Which is why I may watch 60 Minutes one hour but then be glued to my old favorites on TV Land the rest of the night. It is why I may read a Franzen novel one week and Lauren Weisberger the next.
Sometimes – despite what “critics” may say – groundbreaking things occur in the simplest of moments, that time when – just for a moment – we can laugh, smile, forget and escape.
And we should never forget there is great art in great escapism.