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Bob Saget 2.0 145

Posted by Zonk
from the robo-saget-desires-your-funny-movies dept.
theodp writes "Slate makes a pretty convincing argument that YouTube and its knock-offs can trace their roots back to America's Funniest Home Videos." From the article: "The show's stock in trade was to find the lowest common denominator and then hit it in the crotch. Consider this list of select highlights from the show's 'Best of Kids & Animals' DVD: a kid doing a cannonball onto his dad's groin, a baby running into a church pew, a dog peeing on a wedding dress, and a kid clocking his dad in the nuts with a helmet. While these clips are all certainly lowbrow, they've also got something else in common: They're oozing with family values."
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Bob Saget 2.0

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  • by iogan (943605) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @01:54PM (#15990443) Homepage
    At its height, viewers sent America's Funniest Home Videos 2,000 VHS tapes a day, and at least 1,800 of those, it seemed, showed some kind of trampoline mishap.
    Wouldn't that seem a bit high? What are all these people doing on trampolines? What am I missing here?
  • by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Sunday August 27, 2006 @01:57PM (#15990457) Homepage Journal
    Now if most of youtube's content could be somewhat funny, or even "slightly more funny than bland humor" I would see comparing it to funniest home videos. Like it is, youtube is painful to endure. I would venture to say countless people singing into a qvga camera isn't exactly entertaining for most of us.
    • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:12PM (#15990533)
      "America's Funniest Home Videos" culled out probably 99% of the tapes they received. On Youtube, you get to see all the rejects.
      • by legoburner (702695) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:26PM (#15990605) Homepage Journal
        "America's Funniest Home Videos" culled out probably 99% of the tapes they received

        The department which did that must have a higher suicide rate than the russian military!
      • by timeOday (582209)
        And that is why YouTube != "Funniest Home Videos" - because it's more directly audience driven. I don't think YouTube has a crotch-driven "formula" at all... people upload what they want, then other people watch what they want. YouTube supplies various viewship statistics to help the process along. The result may be that YouTube is lowbrow, but the blame has to be far wider than whoever is providing the bandwidth. It's just usenet for videos.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shadowbearer (554144)
        On Youtube, you get to see all the rejects.

          Pretty much quantifies Stossel-20/20s piece on American education. :=(

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfRUMmTs0ZA [youtube.com]

        SB
    • Isn't there a rating system? The good ones seem to have a higher than four star rating. Anything less probably isn't worthwhile.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27, 2006 @04:18PM (#15990965)
      Funny? "America's Funniest Home Videos" rivals Japanese extreme gore for the title of most concerning social development of the past 20 years. Visual media with no other discernable purpose than enjoying the infliction of pain have been increasing in popularity for decades but those are all make-believe. Week after week of a dim, smarmy host fronting videos of real personal home injuries and harrowing narrow calls crossing over to healthy family entertainment says more about the general public than violent video games ever could.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ClamIAm (926466)
        Um yeah, and these shows are totally different than Roman arenas, bullfighting, etc.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sagachi (986501)
      Like it is, youtube is painful to endure.
      Are you saying that's somehow different from america's funniest home videos???
  • Well duh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drfishy (634081)
    Anyone who hasn't already made that connection must be a bit out of touch... Heck, some of those places are even paying the submitters of the most popular videos... $10,000 grand prize anyone?
  • Youtube Wins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by potpie (706881) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @01:58PM (#15990464) Journal
    Youtube may have some low-brow physical humor, but America's "Funniest" Home Videos doesn't have TV clips and music videos. The variety alone places Youtube in an entirely different category. Plus, Youtube doesn't have those annoying voice-overs.
    • by cashman73 (855518)
      Plus, Youtube doesn't have those annoying voice-overs.

      I don't know about that. I've seen some videos on YouTube with worse voice-overs done by someone with far less talent than Bob Saget himself,...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Hangin10 (704729)
      Annoying perhaps, but some of few videos that were funny, wouldn't have without the voiceover.
    • ...but America's "Funniest" Home Videos doesn't have TV clips and music videos.

      No, it didn't. Instead you had to wait for the special "Funniest TV Moments" or "Bestest Music Video" shows that seemed to air every few weeks.
    • Youtube is just a video collection site.

        The collection is determined by the submitters and voted upon by the viewers.

        So any attributes we would apply to youtube, should be applied to the public at large. It's like that Carlin skit about voters and politicians...

      SB
    • by colmore (56499)
      You guys should go read the article. It's a good little essay

      One of the points he makes is that without the goofy voiceover and quick cut to a shot of mom hugging the kid, you're really just watching a video of a toddler hurting himself. AFHV upped the dorky and the bland because otherwise you're watching real life, in which people get hurt and their friends stand around laughing with a video camera.

      YouTube is to a much greater degree about that depressing reality.
      • C'mon, everyone things that watching someone they know misstep and whack their shin exceptionally hard into the immobile edge of a low coffie table is comedy gold. It's perfect, because we all have done it and know it's hideously painful, and know nobody is going to need a trip to the emergency room.
  • Or I hope so, anyway. Here are some good ones. http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/videos.html [comcast.net]
  • speaking of... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chasingporsches (659844) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:00PM (#15990475)
    speaking of bob saget and youtube...

    THIS is bob saget 2.0! [youtube.com] (NSFW)
  • by Chaffar (670874) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:01PM (#15990478)
    For all its black eyes and unplanned water landings, America's Funniest Home Videos always reinforced the nuclear family as this country's central institution. A child hitting his dad in the groin is a child who's spending quality time with his dad.
    Remind me to kick my dad in the balls next time he wants to spend quality time playing Scrabble with me...
  • Illest first post in a cardigan sweater.
  • Makes sense to me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dividedsky319 (907852) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:01PM (#15990482) Homepage
    I'm 24 years old, and I gotta admit... AFV (America's Funniest Videos) is still one of my favorite shows to watch. Sure, it's mindless content, but no other show on tv packs more laughs per minute.

    Maybe it's a bit juvenile laughing at old people falling over, people getting hit in the crotch, or just general stupidity of people with too much time on your hands, but... AFV is basically a bunch of youtube videos strung together, and is funny no matter what age you are. (Just ignore the lame jokes by the host...)

    Sure, there's other content on Youtube that isn't of the "funny video" variety, but... I'd say that the majority of the "viral videos" that get spread around the internet are of the funny variety, and what drives the majority of the site.
    • Just out of curiosity, do you laugh at "Everybody loves Raymond"? Does anybody? I have recently watched a full episode of that show, and on only one occasion cracked the faintest smile. It is so incredibly not funny, I am honestly surprised that even the laughter-tape can keep laughing. Yet, apparently, it does reasonably well in the US.

      While some clips in AFV were funny, I wouldn't say it was wet-your-pants hilarious. Is it American humor?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cubicledrone (681598)
        Is it American humor?

        American television executive humor. About as funny as applying for a dog license.

      • by Bluesman (104513) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @03:22PM (#15990797) Homepage
        You're not alone. I think these shows survive by attracting a ridiculously small minority of people who think they're funny.

        A *really* popular sitcom might get a few million people to watch it every night. Out of a population of 400 million, the actual ratio of people who enjoy that humor regularly is tiny.

        My guess is that's it's much easier and cheaper to produce crap and get 30% of an already small audience simply by being slightly less crappy than the competition, than it would be to produce something great and attract more people who would usually do something else.

        To get a really huge audience, you would need not only to win over the people who think TV sucks, but also the kind of people who watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" religiously. What kind of show would appeal to both sets of people? I certainly don't know.

        And as far as AFV goes, the first show ever was hysterical, and it was all downhill from there. Now you're really lucky if it's as funny as a "Cathy" cartoon.

      • Just out of curiosity, do you laugh at "Everybody loves Raymond"? Does anybody?

        I laugh at Everybody Loves Eric Raymond [geekz.co.uk], does that count?

      • by DrKyle (818035)
        Just out of curiosity, do you laugh at "Everybody loves Raymond"? Does anybody?

        From what I could tell, with my wife and I being married young (19 & 20), and most of our friends up til a couple years ago being single. You have to be married for years to get the jokes, because only after being married for years do you get the reality of the jokes (because you've been there), even if the situations are a bit exaggerated.
        • You have to be married for years to get the jokes, because only after being married for years do you get the reality of the jokes (because you've been there)

          I agree. I never really found it funny when the show was first on the air... but watching reruns with my fiance, we suddenly find it funny. We've been together for over 7 years, and even though we're not married (yet... a month and a half to go), becuase we've been together so long we can see the humor in certain situations becuase we've experienced

          • by elrous0 (869638) *
            If you're single or never have been in a long term relationship, you wouldn't see the humor in the show.

            Well, that rules out most of us on /.

            -Eric

      • by fuzzix (700457)

        Just out of curiosity, do you laugh at "Everybody loves Raymond"? Does anybody?

        Apparently not [ruthlessreviews.com]...

        There are a lot of really shitty sitcoms out there. King of Queens anyone? Two and a Half Men? Oh man... Will and Grace?

        It's fine that all these shows have unispired contrivances and stolen jokes - we expect nothing else from TV - but all the lines are stolen from Who's The Boss?!

        I think every episode of these shows has exactly the same type of set up in it too... You know the line:

        $wacky_cousin_or_neighbour ente

        • by mgblst (80109)
          All the while great shows like Arrested Development get canned. To original? To complicated? Involves paying attention - too bad, your outta here.
          • by SydBarrett (65592)
            Yeah. It's the really great shows that have some guy explaining the jokes while you watch. Kinda like a laughtrack, but it lets people watching pretend they are like, really smart and stuff.
  • I have yet to see a video on YouTube that has any aspect of "family values".
    • by kertong (179136)
      "You think American's Funniest Videos is bad? Ever suck dick for coke?"
      "I seen him!"
  • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:15PM (#15990549)
    Sometimes, someone will send me a link to a video on YouTube that's pretty funny. From there, the "similar videos" function lets me find other humorous videos in the same vein (e.g. Stephen Colbert clips, MST3K clips, whatever).

    However, when I approach the site's front-end, the "most X" (where X is popular, viewed, voted on, or whatever) lineups are jammed full of webcam clips, in-jokes, and episodes of anime. It's a bizarre disconnect.
  • Do they know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by in2mind (988476) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:17PM (#15990560) Homepage
    While it may not have encouraged child abuse, America's Funniest Home Videos did encourage child exploitation.

    I have wondered how many parents know that their teenage kids are dancing in front of the camera for youtube's global audience.

  • YouTube is nothing like America's Home Videos. What a stupid analogy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "YouTube is nothing like America's Home Videos. What a stupid analogy."

      Nothing's a strong word. People have a clip they think is funny. They submit it. An audience watches it. The same part of us that finds AFV interesting is the same part that wants us to sift through the YouTube vids and find something funny.

      You can find plenty of differences between AFV and YouTube, but to say they have nothing in common is absurd.

      •   The main thing they don't have in common is that youtube's content isn't decided upon by a small bunch of Hollywood television show producers. It's just there for the viewing. I'm not saying that makes most of it better, but it certainly is more diverse.

        SB
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The reason AFV & Youtube can thrive is because although they deliver low quality material, they have even lower costs. They survive because they have a viable business model, not because of any deep inner meaning of their content, or because of any particular aspect of modern culture. TFA just doesn't get it.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:26PM (#15990604)
    YouTube has vast amouns of AFV material. REAL AFV material. I just saw today footage of a mother surrounded by her quadruplets and the babies wer eall laughing thier fool heads off. That was from AFV. In fact, some people don't even bother to remove the ABC, Superstation or other bugs on the bottom of the video. Sure, there is some great original stuf out there, but there's a tone of copyrighted material out there. Bab Saget 2.0 is more like Bob Saget 1.0.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by cubicledrone (681598)
      but there's a tone of copyrighted material out there

      All of the videos on America's Funniest Home Videos were copyrighted too. Like before they were submitted even. Amazing, huh?

      Yes copyright is one of the few things left that regular people can have without a board of directors approval.

      For now.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        All of the videos on America's Funniest Home Videos were copyrighted too. Like before they were submitted even. Amazing, huh?

        I can guarantee you they gave up every single right in their video when they submitted it to AFV.
    • I just saw today footage of a mother surrounded by her quadruplets and the babies wer eall laughing thier fool heads off.

      ..and the article links to, errr, exactly this video.

      That was from AFV.

      The point was that home-video voyeurism started off with America's Funniest Videos, and that YouTube is a "natural" successor to its crown.

      • But it's not. This video is incredibly old and IS from AFV. It's not at all new. It was stupid then and it's stupid now. The first time you see it, it's mildly funny. The second time, not so funny. The third? Stupid. NOT saying it ain't family friendly but it sure as heck isn't new. This is probably why it's popular.....there's always new mouth breathing internet users who have to learn somehow. They learn by forwarding YouTube links and chain e-mails and e-mails warning me about gettign AIDS from
  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hoppelainen (969375) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @02:31PM (#15990623)
    You can do the same comparison for just about everything, how the car has it's roots in the horsewagon, how the internet has it's root in just about any other media distribution etc...

    And while I'm at it, why say "YouTube and its knock-offs", YouTube wasn't exactly the first site where one can post homevideos. YouTube is a knock-off which just happens to be the biggest.
    • You can do the same comparison for just about everything,

      The purpose of historical analyses such as the ones you mention is to demonstrate that, a) it isn't a recent phenomenon, and b) understand why we do certain things. That is, I think the real insight here is on analysing what home-videos "sell" (ie, become popular) and why, and not in merely saying that AFV was the first.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    David Hasselhoff is a General Officer in his Army... Read more here [thebestpag...iverse.net]
  • Did they get around to implementing the "funny" feature in this version? Or was it pulled at the last minute again cos it still didn't work right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EReidJ (551124)
      I've got to tell you, Bob Saget is one of the most respected comedians working today. He's adored by many of the greats, passed on (Rodney Dangerfield was famously one of Bob Saget's best friends) and Penn Gillette (who featured him in "The Aristocrats"). Yes, "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Full House" were terrible examples of what he would do. But go see him in stand-up sometime; he is one of the vilest, funniest, grossest, hysterical comedians you will ever see on stage.
    • by tedrlord (95173)
      If you don't think Saget is funny, watch him on the Aristocrats. I've seen him live, and his bit in the movie is tame compared to that. Seriously, you'd think he has Tourette's.

      Actually, he has a bit about the various snuff movies he enjoyed that were sent in to America's Funniest. There's some seriously messed up stuff in there.
    • by MattHawk (215818)
      They had to disable it for TV due to large quantities of NSFW content. See his standup comedy routine sometime - given the roles he played on TV, it is somewhat shocking how crude his material is.
  • As the german private TV sector struggles to save money wherever it can (having recently survived an almost complete crash) shows such as "clip charts" have sprung up, sampling the silliness that people put up on the likes of youtube.
  • by pimpimpim (811140) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @03:57PM (#15990903)
    he is, just look at the proof [bobsagetisgod.com]
  • by symbolic (11752) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @03:58PM (#15990908)
    I'm not sure I agree that it can be traced "back to" a TV show like AFV. That's like saying that because Christianity decries murder and adultery, that any system of morals that incorporate these same values, has its Christian roots. What we're talking about here is universal appeal: they are elements within our social makeup that inspire a natural interest.

    However, the interesting thing about youtube is that with few exceptions, it is a relatively unfiltered medium. There is no marketing department behind the scenes deciding what it thinks you'll like. You pick the stuff you do find interesting, and ignore the stuff you don't. I would agree that it's a somewhat tedious process sometimes, but what's nice about the way that youtube is structured is that what started out as a dead end (something uninteresting), can sometimes lead you to something very worthwhile via the associated links that show up, or responses that people other members have posted.

    My only gripe really is that I wish people would observe a bare minimum of what makes a watchable video - shooting in near-complete darkness isn't one of them, nor is movement that makes it look like the one holding the camera is having a grand mal seizure.
  • "YouTube: Everything Slashdotters hate about MySpace rendered as a low quality video"
    • Most people who avoid myspace are either old farts who criticize anyone under 30, or nerds living with their parents


      Or people who recognize it as Geocities/Angelfire 2.0

      The concept is good. The execution is horrible. Myspace gives users far too much freedom to destroy their pages with animated backgrounds, unreadable color schemes, and 50 different videos all set to automatically start playing when the page is opened.
      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        The freedom is one of the reasons MySpace is popular. It allows people, as Geocities and Angelfire did (and still do) a great amount of freedom to express themselves. If they express themselves through clashing colours and shitty HTML, that's their business and nobody elses.

        I find it quite funny that people (not specifically talking about you) who talk about freedom in software consider freedom a bad thing when applied to normal people making web pages.
  • by smoondog (85133) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @04:10PM (#15990943)
    Everything I learned about America I learned from watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Antiques Roadshow"

    Think about it.

  • a kid doing a cannonball onto his dad's groin, a baby running into a church pew, a dog peeing on a wedding dress, and a kid clocking his dad in the nuts with a helmet.

    Links?

  • You can rate videos (not just funny ones) on Web sites like VideoSift [videosift.com], VideoBomb [videobomb.com], etc.
  • If Video Killed the Radio Star [wikipedia.org]...

    Then has Internet Killed the Video [TV] Star?

    Of course, radio and television haven't been killed off. What does one listen to in the car? Streaming audio from the internet? Some do, perhaps, but a lot just listen to a local radio station, or XM. When one gets home after a long day and wants to unwind, do they fire up the computer and surf youtube or other sites? An increasing number do, myself included sometimes, but probably not more than the number of folks who
  • You tube does tap into the "AFHV" vein. Go fish is tapping into a much more interesting conceptual space, where they ar edeveloping online Reality TV. Right now they have a thing called America's Dream Date. People are sending in videos to contend for the prize of going to Paris for a week.

    Most of the videos suck. Most of them are

    "Hi! My name is Bennifer and I have a great sense of humor, and like to have fun."

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZ Z Z

    But some are really amazing.

    One woma

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