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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Sgt. Schultz Knows Nothing

I am a self-professed and obsessed news and information junkie. As an early riser, every morning I switch around television stations to watch all our local newscasts, followed by national morning shows. I read the two newspapers delivered daily, and I have looked at a minimum of five news websites and watched a full hour of rotating network morning shows before leaving for the office at 8 a.m. I subscribe to at least five daily e-newsletters, plus the two we produce weekly at Tucker Publishing Group. My profession requires I have a fairly firm grasp of what is happening in our community at any given time. Combine that with watching two 24/7 cable news stations in the office (without sound), and by the end of the day, it just is … well, enough. It could be where the phrase “information overload” was coined, and my information overload stopped 20 minutes into “Good Morning America,” anyway. After leaving the office at the end of the workday, I go somewhere to exercise (despite all appearance to the contrary). Arriving home every evening, the last thing I want is to process any more news and information coming at me at a high speed.

I like to settle into my chair right at 7 p.m. exhausted from my workout, and like many others, I generally turn on the television. During basketball season, there are nights when my teams — Butler University, University of Evansville, or the University of Louisville — are not playing, or I am root- ing against the University of Kentucky Wildcats (a favorite pastime). So, I turn straight to MeTV (check local listings). The time from 7 to 10 p.m. is golden for me. Let’s face it, people everywhere love nostalgia, and it is delivered in a wonderful heap of feel-good, laugh-out-loud humor with some of the funniest characters and moments that many have ever seen hit the screen. As I have seen almost every show multiple times, this enables me to still do what is required around the house and still keep up with the shows. This isn’t like watching “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report,” after all. “The Andy Griffith Show” begins the evening making me reminisce about much simpler times. The legendary Don Knotts as Barney Fife and Hal Smith as Otis Campbell are two comedy greats at the top of their game. Immediately following, my show of shows, “The Beverly Hillbillies,” comes on following an hour of “The Andy Griffith Show” (loyal fans call it AGS).

Having pets named Jethro, Jethrine, and our current dog, Jed, ought to give you some insight into how my tiny brain works and my love for “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Go back and watch the show now as an adult and see the forward-thinking social satire simmering underneath the surface. The past week has featured Sonny Drysdale courting Elly May. Next up is “Green Acres” with two of the funniest characters ever on television. Pat Buttram is the consummate salesman and swindler, Mr. Haney, “Mr. Douglas, may I have your check please?” and Alvy Moore plays a county agriculture agent Hank Kimball, a very confused man. Some brilliant, yes, brilliant comedic timing that is funny every time, and much funnier than national cable news.

Last but certainly not least, at 9 p.m. is “Hogan’s Heroes,” and if you have never seen John Banner portraying Sgt. Schultz, it just does not get any better. Many people are not aware that all four major actors portraying the bumbling German soldiers in the POW camp are of Jewish heritage.

As the redhead whose office is next door to mine says, “You have to shut it down sometime.” So, sit a spell and take your shoes off. We all need time to relax, laugh, and, for many, revisit the shows of our youth. Go on … lower your blood pressure. No regrets here.

As always, I look forward to hearing from most of you. If you also enjoy these shows, please drop me a line.

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