Recent months ago, US political temperature has been risen up due to an upcoming presidential election next year. Hillary Clinton and GOP candidates re-appear in spotlight again since they are public figure who will probably change the history of the whole country and perhaps the world. Nonetheless, there’s one person who makes a come back this year. She’s not a candidate. She’s not a politician, but she will probably effect some candidate since she was the most controversial person in the history of US politics. That’s right. I’m talking about Monica Lewinsky. I won’t go into details about what happened, but she returns to the eyes of public again this year. Although I don’t care about her comeback, I just find out recently that there’s a legendary episode of a TV show in which she appeared 15 years ago surfaces on YouTube. This makes me excite since it’s not only a time capsule to the height of her popularity, it’s also an episode of my all-time favorite TV show. Yep, it’s The Tom Green Show: Monica And Tom Special.
For those that haven’t heard my review of the show or have no idea what the show is all about, The Tom Green Show is a mixture of talk show and on-the-street pranks hosted by Tom Green. The show begins in 1994 at Rogers Television 22, then moved to Comedy Network (a Canadian equivalent of Comedy Central) in 1997, and finally the show hit its peak at MTV in 1999-2000. According to Tom, it was the 2nd most popular show on MTV (the 1st one is The Real World) and this somehow effects the show. Before that, Tom could appear in the street and ask hilarious question to random people or doing hilarious prank* and then the show cuts to comedic interview with famous people in the studio. But since his popular was rising, the show focused more and more on on-the-street parts instead of host segments. Plus, he couldn’t do pranks anymore since ANYBODY knows him, So he was forced to change the victim from random pedestrians to elderly/foreign people. Sometimes, the show changes its format into 1 hour special in which he goes to random town and running wild there**. This is one of them.
According to the premise, Monica became designer of lady handbag. So Tom invited her to Ottawa, Canada in order to not only find a perfect fabric to her new handbag, but also create chaos by spreading weird rumors.
Of course, this is The Tom Green Show (and it’s not The Green Tom Show, BTW). We still have Tom’s trademark of comedy style by doing weird things in public places. For instance, we have a “lightsaber” fight in doughnut shop or Tom loudly screams in an upper-class restaurants. It still has the same charming like the Tom Green Show we know before.
And speaking of doing weird things….
Remember when I said “spreading weird rumors”. Well ,what Tom does in this episode is to spread the news that Tom will have a big announcement with Monica about “something”. He doesn’t reveal any details to anyone, even with his own family or friends. So the prank begins when Tom and Monica appears in Rogers 22 studio. They are asked about what kind of the announcement really is. Tom answers in his own fashion: “Basically, what we are here to talk about today is how we can’t talk about what we are here to talk about today”. Then, there are lots of paparazzi who keep chasing them and trying to get their photos as much as possible.
Believe it or not, Tom actually says in an interview that some of sketches in his show are social commentary bits. For instance, there’s a prank in which he asks elderly question about the way teenagers dress. Then, while that poor guy giving him an answer and looking at camera, Tom is making funny faces towards camera. It shows us how being in the media attracts us from surroundings.
This is another time when his prank gives us something thought-provocative message. It shows us how hilarious the media becomes because not only these paparazzi keep chasing them although Tom and Monica beg them to stay away, everyone also creates hype about this event. I’d love to see their reaction when they find out what the announcement actually is.
The time capsule
As I told you, this was the time when both Tom and Monica are super famous. There are lots of people follow them everywhere. There’s a scene that captures this attitude really well. It’s a scene in which Tom goes to his old high school to announce the “announcement”. Lot of people are cheering him, want his autograph, and some even running behind his car…just like The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night! And although I really love Tom Green Show, it’s pretty sad to say that Tom is considered by many people nowadays as a washed-up comedian. With the advent of Jackass and YouTube channels, Tom is slowly forgotten by many people who used to watch him. Recently, he tries to re-open his online show again and he begs YouTubers to watch this video 100,000 times in order to attract advertisers and sponsors. So far, it attracts only 7000 viewers***. If this had happened in 1999-2001, he would have had TONS of viewers in only few days.
It’s a sad truth that usually happens in showbiz, but that’s how the life works. The popularity is easy come/easy go (it even rises and falls faster nowadays) and sometimes it depends on whether you value it on “amount” of fans out there or how many “loyal” fan base you still have no matter what happens. On the other hand, there are many people who accidentally become celebrity…just like Monica. They may have fun and enjoyment, but sometime it’s better to leave them alone when they fade away since they have ordinary life to live on and get through. Tensions from media may make things worse for them. Who knows?
Overall, this is a fun episode of TGS that I enjoy watching. Although the YouTube copy is an incomplete episode (it lacks 6 minutes of the climatic conference)****, it’s still worthwhile and entertaining.
* I can’t call his prank as “candid camera” since, most of the time, a cameraman just standing right in front of victims. Plus, it has more of the “Come on, let’s have fun attitude” instead of “Let’s humiliate that guy as much as possible. HAHAHAHA” attitude like many candid camera shows, including Jackass. And I HATE that attitude.
**There’s another episode in which he goes to Texas (I guess) and has recurring theme about UFO. I still can’t find that episode elsewhere.
***Do I have to tell you guys to go there and support him? GO THERE AND SUPPORT HIM!
****I’m not sure how long an actual episode is, but since the 1 hour cancer special episode lasts 41 minutes (minus commercial), then that’s an actual duration of this episode as well. Plus, you guys should watch it soon before it was taken down. Why are these Tom Green Show clips (that don’t uploaded by Tom himself) get taken down? Feel free to guess below in a comment section. I’ll reveal possible (and long) answers soon in comment section as well…