During my brief blogging hiatus, I was introduced to a concept that had heretofore flown below my radar. The issue came to my notice thanks to a tweet by the great Frank “TV’s Frank” Conniff, but I soon discovered via Twitter that many other Disney fans were well aware of the phenomenon in question. It truly shocks me that this had been allowed to go on so long without some sort of public notification process, or perhaps a class action lawsuit.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about BLAM!
If you have not yet accepted BLAM! into your life, take a moment and watch this. I only wish that I were there, wherever you are, to watch you face.
Take a moment, and collect your jaw from the floor.
I’m not a violent person, and to my recollection I’ve never been in a fight. Yet watching this left me with a distinct desire to punch something or someone. Of course, its unfathomable badness was also hilarious, in that it is so beyond any possible level of self-parody that its mere existence becomes unfathomable. And so I found myself in the rare situation of laughing hysterically while also wanting to beat someone senseless. BLAM!
How can this exist? I mean, I know the Disney Channel is a cesspool of unwatchable nonsense anymore, but… this? It’s so insanely over-the-top that I would have never believed it real; it really felt like one of the “SNL Digital Shorts” from Saturday Night Live. Not only does it not seem like something targeted at kids, but it seems like something made by adults for adults to mock children’s programming. In fact, I’m not certain that it isn’t. Is its total insanity on purpose – a self-aware awfulness?
BLAM! isn’t the first time that the classic Disney shorts have been re-purposed. It was done, with some skill, by legendary animator Ward Kimball in his 1970s television series The Mouse Factory:
It was done again in the 1980s, with the somewhat cheesy but occasionally amusing DTV shorts on the Disney Channel:
But nothing – nothing – could have prepared us for BLAM! The Disney Channel seems to have become anathema to any Disney fan over the age of 10, so perhaps it’s no surprise that people I speak to regularly weren’t exactly talking up BLAM! And it’s been years since I’ve watched the channel, which I used to do daily, so I certainly haven’t seen it. But apparently BLAM! and this “Disney Have A Laugh” business are actually a “thing”, with DVDs even coming out soon.
My question: would it kill them to have one hour a day – say, 3AM to 4AM – where they show some real unsullied Disney programming? Just something for us old people?
If you have a little bit of your soul that didn’t die after that first BLAM!, here are some more:
Of course, when something ventures into the realm of self-parody, it’s really difficult to effectively parody it intentionally. This fact was underlined when someone created a BLAM! parody so perfect, so spot-on, that it actually fooled a lot of people into thinking that it was real. I would love to ask a Disney Channel executive what they think it means that so many people in a discussion at Cartoon Brew didn’t even question that the channel would produce something this callous:
This is funny on so many levels. First, it’s a masterfully produced and impeccably executed imitation of authentic BLAM! Second, its jokes, while satirical, are still funnier than TruBLAM! Third, as I said, despite the fact that it’s so over-the-top, the Disney Channel is so awful these days that people thought it was actually real.
Kudos to whomever was responsible.
I’m only sad that no one has yet to take up my challenge and BLAM! Education for Death. Someday…