I honestly don’t know how families without TiVo or a DVR watch television together in the evenings anymore. The other night, with a tornado watch keeping my family confined to the basement, VH and I found ourselves flipping through channels in search of a show we could watch with our Big-Eyed Boy. Oh, sure, there’s always the cartoon channel, but even that has its own dangers: all of the commercials trying to push cross-marketed merchandise on kids. (“Mommy, can I have Hulk Hands?” “Honey, do you even know who The Hulk is?” “No, but I need them anyway!”)
What we really hoped to find was a sitcom the whole family could relate to, one that wouldn’t introduce concepts or words that our son doesn’t need to know about, like the menage a trois frequently mentioned on Two and a Half Men, a show that VH and I enjoy when our son isn’t around. Unfortunately, there’s just not a whole lot of good, wholesome programming anymore. Come to think of it, there’s not a whole lot of good programming, period.
During tonight’s tornado watch — which, let’s face it, is pretty much a given if you’ve been paying attention to the weather in my area of late — we’ll be watching The Bill Engvall Show. (Season premier is tonight on TBS at 9 p.m. Eastern). I admit, we’re big fans of Bill Engvall around here, although I’ve yet to live down the night I laughed so hard while watching “Here’s Your Sign” that I wound up peeing a little.
In a recent interview (check it out below), Bill Engvall said that one of his goals for the show is to make it a template for the families that want to come back to watching television together in the evenings. That’s almost exactly what VH and I had said about the show last season when we caught the first episodes: that we’d been waiting since The Cosby Show for a program that would appeal to us as well as to our kids, one which is funny without being filthy, and which focused on inherently good, normal people living lives much like ours.
So, given my anticipation of yet more severe weather tonight, I’ve re-stocked our supplies in the basement and ensured that we have fresh batteries for the flashlights just in case the tornado sirens go off yet again. And, since we’ll be watching The Bill Engvall Show on TBS, I made sure to put a couple of spare pairs of underwear downstairs, too.
Like I said, the man is funny.