Friday, April 30, 2021

Hogan's Heroes

Hogan's Heroes, a comedy that made Nazis in general look like buffoons, began its run in 1965--20 years after the end of World War II and, incidentally, the year I was born.

20 years ago this year was the September 11th terrorist attack.  I can't imagine today making a tv show in which we laugh about al-Qaeda terrorists.  Have we lost something as a society?  Or is it that we haven't completely defeated and humiliated them yet?  But even if we had, do you think such a show, mocking people who aren't White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, would fly in today's culture?

It's wild to think that I was born as close to World War II as we are today to 9/11.  I was born as close to World War II as my current students were to New Coke and the Reagan Era.


Ellen K said...

Unfortunately, Joe Biden has made a punchline out of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 by setting it as the deadline for troops to be out of Afghanistan. This is NOT a coincidence. This is an intentional slight to all the military and civilian casualties as the result of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Even more sickening is that prior to Biden's ascendency, several Middle Eastern nations were on a path and made accords with historic enemies. Now the Biden Administration, under perpetual traitor John Kerry, are giving Iran back millions after they funded the attempted destruction of New York City and Washington DC. That Joe Biden seems to view the January 6th protests as more dire than 9/11 proves how utterly uninformed and insulated Biden is from reality. Iran is now on the verge of producing weapons grade unranium. With a Biden facilitated sieve border, it's not a matter of IF, but WHEN, the next 9/11 event occurs.

Jean said...

Ooo, fun question. I think a) they aren't defeated and b) Nazis thought that 'Aryans' were the supreme race, and at the time, a lot of Americans thought the same -- just to a lesser extent. I think seeing the Nazis take eugenics to the extreme made a lot of Americans see where their own racial assumptions could be taken. The Nazis were closer to us, culturally speaking, than was very comfortable; lots of people thought Hitler was fine for a while there. Compared to the possibility of portraying radical Islamists as buffoons, it's much more 'in the family,' if you see what I mean. Americans have mostly seen Muslims/Arabs as pretty alien, so I think it would be a very different prospect. The historical background is very different.

Anna A said...

I think that there are several reasons why we are not seeing that kind of comedy. 1) Muslims are not defeated yet. 2) right now they will kill you if you make fun of them. 3) we have gone away from good natured humor as a country, we are afraid of offending someone, with the major exception of Christians 4) We are more divided as a country, with being able to individualize what we see, and hear. Back during "Hogan's Hero's time" there were 3 or 4 TV channels so everyone was watching the same thing. Now, I am clueless about how many channels each person can get. (I haven't had a TV set for at least 15 years now)

Ellen K said...

In regards to the German actors in "Hogan's Heroes" many of them were Jewish actors and felt making the Germans into buffoons was a fitting revenge. Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink) was the son of a famous symphony orchestra conductor and a few times he conducted orchestras around the nation.