American’s have always loved taking pictures of their families. The traditional snap shot soon gave way to 8mm movies and now many homes include a digital camera to record the antics at home.
Back in 1990 the ABC network came up with a simple, inexpensive but great idea, have people send in funny or embarrassing home videos to compete for a cash prize. Each week the best video would win $10,000 and at the end of the season those winners would go against each other for the $100,000 grand prize.
Nothing to it, right, but Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 has been a staple for viewing for many households for the last 15 years.
The production costs are almost nil for Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 after all the home viewers do all the real work of taping the segments. All the studios had to do was add some witty comments and a few sound effects.
Since the first episode of Americas Funniest Home Videos there has been several actors that have taken the helm as the host but the episodes featured in Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 features the wit of Tom Bergeron, also the host of another American favorite, Hollywood Squares.
There are five major categories for these little vignettes of everyday life; animals, embarrassing moments, children, stupid men and the ever popular groin hit.
Clips that feature animals in all their glory are perhaps my personal favorite. Both wild animals and household pets get into the action here.
In one scene there is a basset hound that is determined to keep a young girl in the swimming pool, pushing her back in every time she tries to exit the water. Then there is the wild duck that decided to bit the tale of a follow mallard, being pulled along the water as his fowl friend tries to take flight.
One little moment showed a parakeet turning the key that locked his cage, remove the lock, open the door and get out. Another has the family dog playing hockey doing a better job as goalie than most professional can manage.
There is even a flock of geese that upon hearing the siren call of the ice cream truck leave the pond en masse and follow it in single file. One man trying to take a close up of a turtle was surprised when the creature suddenly snapped, grabbing the lens in its jaws.
In one of the funniest Americas Funniest Home Videos, a cat takes on a chicken in battle, each snapping playfully at each other.
It would appear almost axiomatic that if you are about to do something extremely embarrassing one of your friends or family members will have a camera rolling. Actions like patting a puppy turn awry when the dog grabs your bikini top, pulls it off and runs away.
A teenage girl thinks she is lip synching into her hair brush in private, a normal enough activity until she realizes her brother as a camera recording every moment.
A group of cheerleaders are giving their all in support of their team but unfortunately are standing right in front of the banner that the football team breaks through spilling players and girls all over the gym.
Grandpa just wants to slide into the new pool only to have the slide fall over on top of him. In each of these clips something always happens to mortify someone but it is all on good fun.
Children are always good for a laugh. There is the curious little boy on stage for his first school play and wonders what the girl next to him has on under her dress.
Babies are a great source of film in this category especially when mommy is trying to feed the little tike something that he just doesn’t want to eat. This typically results in a mess all over mother.
One clip showed a pair of twins sitting in the bath tub. Each has a pacifier which the constantly exchange to the delight of their parents.
A little girl comes in from playing outside with a tiny cut to her finger. She goes into a dramatic performance that is every bit worthy of the next Oscar.
A little boy loves his pet cat, he tries to give the feline a little kiss as the kitty reclines in one of those carpeted cat houses. Junior immediately gets his head stuck. Dad tries to extract the cat who is feverishly trying to get out as the boy is attempting to free himself.
As with all videos in Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 all turns out well and both gain their freedom.
I may be betraying my own gender here but one constant, never ending source of amusement is the stupid man. Watching these clips one has to wonder how man has accomplished anything.
The weekend repairman is one source of such stupid actions that you have to wonder why the man involved would ever sign the consent form. A man tries to fix the roof of a shack only to have a mis-step on the ladder, grab the roof and pull it on him as he tumbles to the ground.
A man wants to use his snowmobile but there is no snow to be found. While logic would suggest waiting for winter this particular man has what he thought was a better idea, take it on the water. As the clip ends we see him and his expensive vehicle sinking fast.
During an innocent back yard cookout a man finds a snake and teases his friend with it. His friend, forsaking any hopes of respect in the neighborhood, runs like a frightened little girls and climbs a fence to get away. Yes, men seem to act way more than they think and there is always someone near by to record the mishaps for the ages.
Lastly there is the type of clip that will make everyone laugh but also result in all men watching cross their legs, the groin hit. Clip after a man is standing by only to have someone or something hit him where it hurts the most. Dad is trying to teach his young son the American pastime of baseball. Junior holds the bat and immediately hits dad in the crouch.
Being the goalie in hockey is a demanding position. It really helps if you bother to use the proper padding, if not it is certain where the next puck will wind up.
Even the animals get into this as a disgruntle goose displays his ire but biting a man in the groin as the man tries to pat the animal.
All of the clips are done for laughs and there is an assurance that no one gets seriously injured.
Tom Bergeron is the best host Americas Funniest Home Videos has seen his banter and quips adding to the amusement of the clips and keep the pace between clips lively.
Vin Di Bona came up with a real winner all those years ago and now we have a great DVD set with Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 to keep the family laughing for many hours.
Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 is composed of three discs with four episodes on each. A special four bonus disc is included celebrating 300 episodes of Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 and featuring the best clips from over the years.
Americas Funniest Home Videos: Volume 1 is one type of reality television everyone can enjoy together.
by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com
Click Here To Return To The DVD Reviews Page