“Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

Who could forget those memorable words? I see that Bill has beaten me to the punch and acquired season 1 of the Sledge Hammer! TV show. (Wait–that show went for more than one season?) My first reaction to learning that Sledge is available on DVD was rapturous joy–how many times over the last few years have I wished that show were still around? Now is my chance!
But something inside me is telling me to be cautious. When I was younger, I felt that there was truly nothing in the world funnier than Sledge Hammer. But nostalgia has betrayed me before. Other things that I thought were Totally Rad during my youth include the Dragonlance novels, Mask, Garfield (“Don’t look now, but it’s Monday again!”), and the Thundercats. Without going into the grisly details, let’s just say that these and other relics from the ’80s didn’t stand up terribly well to retrospective analysis.
So what should I do? Should I try to re-capture the awesomeness of Sledge Hammer by watching it, but risk finding out that it’s actually a terrible, terrible show? Or should I resist the impulse to watch it again, and leave Sledge and his crazy antics to rest comfortably on the pillar of Nostalgia?

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5 thoughts on ““Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

  1. Brit

    Never heard of M.A.S.K., so I looked at the link. Had to laugh at the descriptions:
    M.A.S.K. Agents:
    Brad Turner: Expert Motorcycle and Helicopter Pilot.
    Occupation: Rock Musician.
    ( Why don’t we have more expert motorcycle/ helicopter pilot/ rock musicians? )
    Hondo MacLean: Weapons Specialist and Field Strategist.
    Occupation: Teacher.
    ( Well, Weapons Specialist is a good field to know these days if you work as a teacher. )
    Gloria Baker:
    Champion Race Car Driver; Black Belt in Kung Fu; Former Student of Anthropology
    Occupation: Race Car Driver
    ( Clearly she’s an adrenaline junkie: Race car driver? Yup. Black Belt in Kung Fu? Yup. Student of Anthropology? Wait, what? )

  2. pcg

    Dude, I don’t know what you’re going on about. MASK was totally wicked, as was (and is) Dragonlance novels. I never got into the Chundercats, but Cheetara (sp?) was HOT.

  3. jrau

    Brit, you never experienced the awesomeness of MASK? you were missing out. One of my prized possessions was a blue MASK helicopter that transformed into… a jet. OK, so it’s not that exciting to change from one type of air vehicle into another, but I thought it was pretty awesome anyway. MASK, while not quite up to a Transformers level of cool, was at good step above the Go-Bots, at least.
    And Peter, I don’t deny that the Dragonlance and other stuff is Totally Rad. I just have found that they no longer provide the sort of emotional fulfillment they did when I was younger. Are there any nerdy teenage boys in the world who did not idolize Raistlin at some point in junior high/high school? For me, it’s just that after a few years, those loveable kenders and their hilarious antics sort of lost their appeal.
    As for Cheetara, I think I’d better refrain from commenting. (Note: at this point I was going to link to a “furry” website in an attempt to mock you, but heaven help me, in the process of googling for a furry site I’ve seen things that nobody should ever, ever see. Consider yourself lucky.)

  4. Bill

    Andy, I didn’t know you were a Sledge Hammer fan! Of course, it would stand to reason. Mark and I both loved it, and we three were thick as thieves when it was on the air during our late junior high to early high school years. What a great show.
    If you expect Sledge Hammer to be as good as it was back then, you’ll be disappointed. That’s not to say that I haven’t experienced intense nostalgic pleasure watching Sledge talk to his ivory-handled .44 magnum and blaze down scum-sucking mutants.
    It’s the kind of Naked Gun humor which was so popular in the 80s and early 90s but has fallen by the wayside. When I’ve watched episodes with other people who were not Sledge devotees, they smile politely as I watch and laugh. They don’t want to say it, but they’re thinking, “Dude, this isn’t that funny.”
    That’s why I’m glad Mark is going to be coming over for a little Sledge Hammer viewing this weekend. I need another true appreciator of this show to enjoy it with.
    Speaking of hammers, my favorite MASK vehicle was Jackhammer. It changed from an innocent Bronco into an armored attack vehicle. A close runner-up is Gator, one of the few toys marketed to youngsters I can recall featuring a keg in the back of a jeep. (I believe it was a “depth charge” in boat-mode.)
    Jackhammer was one of the bad-guy vehicles in the employ of V.E.N.O.M (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem) against Gator and the other the virtuous forces of M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand).
    All right, that’s enough nostalgia for one day. That’s also enough T.F.A. (Totally Forced Acronyms).

  5. Ed Heil

    Man, I feel really old. By the time Thundercats and the rest came on, I was already old enough to realize how cool they weren’t. That doesn’t mean I didn’t watch them, it just means it was kind of painful. 🙂
    To get the same effect, I’d have to go back to Ultraman, Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot (a show I thought until recently was just a feverish dream memory, but I have recently found out was real), Speed Racer, Battle of the Planets, Star Blazers, Thundarr the Barbarian, and if I reach way way far back, the Adam West Batman series, which I took completely, deadly seriously at age 4.

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