[visual humor] Kids’ television with adult fun

Sometimes you see television that makes you wonder.
This morning I watched, from the corner of my eye, a television cartoon my children were watching. The main character, Andy, is a highschool kid who likes to set up practical jokes. As one of these jokes fails in preparation, his punishment is to spend a day in a kindergarten class. He is obviously not happy with that situation. After a break (commercial?) we see him and the kids lying on the floor resting. We see them from above, through the blades of an ceiling fan.

His line is: “Kindergarten, shit, still in Kindergarten.”

This is a reference to the opening scene from Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now!” movie on Vietnam. Captain Willard’s mission starts with him waking up from a dream on helicopters, looking at a fan in a hotel room, and saying: “Saigon, shit, still only in Saigon.” I could rant on for hours on this movie alone, but I digress.

Now why in the world would the creator of this Andy story put in this reference? It is absolutely incomprehensible to children, the primary audience. Heck, I even have colleagues who weren’t born at the time (the movie is from 1979, well over 25 years ago).

I have a few ideas, but please share yours.

One possibility is that it is a joke of the creator, for his peers. This is not uncommon, even software writers do this (they call such a hidden joke an Easter egg). Another hypothesis is that this is a way to keep kids movies interesting for adults, who find themselves watching this stuff, voluntarily or not. Disney family movies are known for this, for example by having a soundtrack with music that cannot have meaning to the kids, but brings back memories to their parents (think sixties music).
So, what are your ideas?

One Comment on “[visual humor] Kids’ television with adult fun

9 May 2005 at 06:31

>1) Of course children’s stuff must be “good” for the kids “but” seen through the parents’ eyes. (and norms!)

2) The Kindergarten joke most probably has deeper (human) roots than 1979 and Apocalyps Now!

Leave a Reply