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Memories of ‘good’ TV sitcoms make growing old easier

Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 12:01 am

I went to an oldies concert a few years ago where the headline performer was Domingo Samudio. Name doesn't sound familiar? Maybe you would recognize him dressed as a sheik singing “Wooly Bully” or “Li'l Red Riding Hood.” Yes, Mr. Samudio is none other than Sam the Sham.

Even more entertaining than his music were his ramblings on growing old. No longer is he trooping around the country with a caravan of Pharaohs. There comes a time in every man's life, he says, when you have to ditch the dancing girls and camels. His basic premise was, “Old age is not for wimps.”

Lack of dancing girls not withstanding, I really don't think getting older is all that tough.

For one thing, my reflexes are getting better. When telemarketers call, I am now able to slam the phone down somewhere between “Please don't ...” and “... hang up.” Reaction time must have some connection to hunger because it seems the closer I am to sitting down to dinner, the quicker they get.

Another big advantage of being on this Earth for such a long time is I remember television shows where the characters weren't all young, dumb and whiny. Thank goodness for '70s and '80s TV sitcoms with mature actors and actual storylines in them. “Modern Family” aside, it is unlikely young people these days will ever see new shows with writing and characters as memorable as those found in classic comedies.

Jim Ignatowski of “Taxi” asking, “What does a yellow light mean?” is as timeless as Abbott & Costello's “Who's on First” routine. Then there's Louie De Palma's response to a woman telling him she had to break a date with Alex Rieger because she had a 104-degree temperature and projectile vomiting: “He's had worse dates!”

At least she didn't have two big horns and a woolly jaw.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.