Brand New Lame Around the Bend: Who's the Boss?
posted by B on 10/04/01
Everybody's power hungry these days, but it's not easy to be the boss.
Take Boss Hogg for instance, the Hazzard County Commissioner who, at various times, attempted to put a stop to illegal drug and moonshine trafficking, vandalism, destruction of public property (including bales of hay with ramps stored in them), and, most of all, reckless driving. All he wanted was some law and order, and a humorously oversized chicken leg or side of beef to bite into. He could only afford one suit, a bright white suit no less, and wore it all the time. What thanks did he get in return? None. Everybody labeled him as the "evil villain," he had a wife that did nothing but bitch at him constantly, and did business with the undisputed kings of inept service, the Hazzard County Police Department. I can picture him slouched down in his stretch limo with the big horns on the front, chomping a cigar or eating a lard pie and crying himself to sleep. Poor Boss Hogg.
The car has a Confederate Flag on the top...you should hate THEM.
He wasn't the only boss to get a raw deal, though. I can ask a fan of the WWF what their favorite wrestling moment of the past few years has been and they'll tell me things like "The Rock winning the world title!" or "Mick Foley flying off the cage in the Hell in a Cell match!," all the while ignoring the greatest few minutes in not only wrestling, but TELEVISION history; of course, I'm talking about the Big Boss Man raiding Paul Wight's father's funeral and dragging the casket away via police car. I swear to God, it's something I'll tell my grandchildren about. If I woke up every morning to BET's Comic View I STILL wouldn't get as much humor as I did from that scene, even if they point out that black people do things differently than white people.
Don't even get me started on HUGO Boss! I'm simply MAD for their fragrances! Just last week Molly Sims and I were at one of Todd Oldham's private fashion parties and he was all "Molly, I love your pants that aren't shorts but don't go all the way down!" and she was all "You've GOT to get THIS look!" and then I made a joke about how her "look" was like a skeleton and she cried. Then I gave Todd Oldham a jumping high five. Todd Oldham's fashion parties rock.
But are these people even bosses? I've been conditioned my entire life to accept that Bruce Springsteen was "The Boss." Maybe it was just early 1980's MTV (and a feathery, shucking and jiving Courtney Cox) that kept me "dancing in the dark" all these years. Maybe ALL of these people are bosses, and at the end of each stage of life I am forced to fight them. I'm afraid to propose to someone now, for fear that a shirtless Springsteen will burst from a wall and begin kicking at me.
Who am I to even speculate on the nature of bosses? ABC already has that covered...no, I'm not talking about the East Coast Family's "Another Bad Creation" here....all they ever talked about was wanting to play Nintendo with girls they saw at the playground (y'know? Play-grooooound). I'm talking about the television company that broadcast eight successful seasons of "Who's the Boss?" to America from 1984-1992.
Who's the Boss? (plus punctuation, much like Chips Ahoy!) is not a difficult show to explain -- a stereotypical Italian named "Tony" (played by actor Tony Danza and his sensitive sincerity) and his daughter pack their things and move out of Brooklyn, New York, in search of a better life. As we all know, the only things you can grow up to be if you were raised out in Brooklyn are a brawler, a bomber, or LL Cool J. Would you want your daughter to grow up to be LL Cool J? People give Eminem a lot of crap for his angry lyrics, but all his Mom does is do heavy drugs and sue people. LL Cool J's Mom asks him to assault people for her. This explains his role in the upcoming "Rollerball" with Chris Klein, a movie which our very own Paul will be seeing on opening day. Paul likes apples and oranges...but he also likes bananas.
Anyway, Tony and Samantha end up in Fairfield, Connecticut, and manage to meander their way into the lives of Angela Bower, the president of one of America's leading advertising agencies. Perhaps she's never seen a commercial about not letting shady people from the ghetto take care of your children. One thing she HAS seen a commercial for is hairspray...if Tony hadn't gotten the job at the Bower house he could've stowed away in Angela's hair. Thankfully for Angela and her family (but sadly for viewers) Tony is not a homicidal maniac, and the two families instantly form touching bonds backed with tinkling piano music and romantic chemistry that allow them to be witty for at least 22 minutes a week.
Ay oh...oh ay. T-shirt Sunday gets Tony the broads!
Tony Micelli, two words on the show he could not utter without following them up with "I played second base for the Cards" and looking sensitive and sincere. If I wrote for Who's the Boss? I would've named him Salvatore Sincere. And I would've had him rub the back of his hand under his chin and shout "VAFFANCULO!" at everybody that pissed him off.
Catch Phrase: "Ay oh! Oh ay!" Tony never mastered E, I, or U. He did get "Y" though, but only sometimes.
Pop Culture Achievements:
- Tony is best known for playing someone named "Tony" on everything he's ever been in. I'm guessing this is like the Witness Protection Program not being able to convince Homer Simpson that he's "Homer Sampson" now. If his name on Who's the Boss? was "Enrique" or something equally douchebaggy Tony would've have ever answered, and after a while would've just started tap-dancing around, obliviously. Tony loves tap-dancing, and manages to sneak that (and his love for/impression of Frank Sinatra) into every conversation. You can see Tony as "Tony" on "Taxi," "Who's the Boss?" "Hudson Street," and "The Tony Danza Show."
Ay oh, oh ay, no more gang rape!
- Simultaneously destroying the magical world of Disney and my love of organized sports with the made for TV "The Garbage Picking (Ass Licking) Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon." It is Disney's best attempt at the "mammal covered in refuse becomes football superstar" epic since their 1976 classic "Gus," about a field goal kicking mule. If I was a real field kicker I would get all my foreign refugee friends together and storm Disney World, regardless of how many men in foam heads I'd have to slaughter. Danza also killed my love of baseball with "Angels in the Outfield," about real angels with nothing better to do than fix baseball games. Now I know why so many babies die every day...because Tim Salmon has trouble keeping his eye on the ball.
- The movie "She's Out of Control," where he played an overprotective dad. The thing about the movie I don't get is that she wasn't really very out of control, she just wasn't ugly anymore. Her stopmom gives her a makeover so she can get dates, it's not like she's getting into switchblade fights or driving her car off of cliffs into the sea. To be truely "out of control," of course, she would have to say "cut it out" a lot and make the hilarious accompanying hand gestures.
Greatest Who's the Boss? Moments: Though the romantic chemistry between Tony and Angela is why most people liked the show so much, it is a sad fact that all of Tony's greatest moments came in the bathroom. Just like Judge Reinhold. Moments such as:
- In the episode cleverly titled "A Rash Decision," Tony visits Angela on the set of a soap commercial for "Machismo" soap, and since he's
greasy and needs the soap a hunky Italian he gets cast as the star. Unfortunately the soap gives Tony a bad rash, which he walks around scratching at going "ay oh, oh ay" with a distressed look on his face. Angela learns a powerful lesson about not marketing a product that has bad side effects. Tony learns a powerful lesson about showering, and begins cleaning himself with alfredo sauce.
- In the moment every person who's ever seen Who's the Boss? remembers (and the butt of a Family Guy joke no less), a series of mix-ups leads to Tony walking into the bathroom just as Angela is getting out of the bathtub. There are two amazing things that happen: One, it sparks the sexual interest of Tony in Angela, and Angela in Tony, and Two, Tony manages to see Angela naked and not notice her schlong.
Ay oh, oh ay, I'm blind!
And then there's my favorite episode of the show ever:
"My Fair Tony." In an effort to improve himself, Tony takes some classes...one of which is run by a real bitchy instructor who basically tells Tony that every time he speaks he sounds like Chef Boyardee. Tony takes Captain Obvious's advice and learns proper English...what's the moral of this story, you ask? That people who speak proper English are hateful. Everybody thinks Tony's a dick for not being a walking stereotype so he goes back to saying "ay oh oh ay!" in times of utmost importance and admiring spicy meatballs.
Abraham Lincoln = Evil
Tony Soprano = A good person
Finishing Move: The Van Danzanator
I'm the whole ay oh oh ayin' show.
Angela Bower is the president of the Wallace & McQuaid advertising agency, who hires Tony to be her housekeeper. Her role on the show is to fondle papers and find stress in day to day activities while Danza does abnormal things like use a vacuum cleaner to clean the curtains. You can recognize Angela by her hair, which Jimmy Carter built in the early 80's to solve Connecticut's homeless problems, or her weird granny-tinted glasses. If I'm ever stranded on a desert island with Judith Light I'll have to remember to crush her head with a rock and use those things to start a fire.
Tony calls her: AN-JA-LER!!!!111
Advertising totally reeks of awesomeness!!
Pop Culture Achievements:
- Playing the single Mom of a tennis prodigy in the short-lived sitcom "Phenom." It was a show before it's time, before people like Venus and Serena Williams (and their hairy armpits) dominated sports media and commercials, before people like Martina Hingis dominated the playing field, before people like Anna Kournikova had online archives of bending over shots. If Phenom aired today, plots would involve the little girl being followed to nude beaches by the paparazzi. Then she would roll her eyes back in the back of her head and tombstone piledrive Judith Light. KEEP ROLLIN ROLLIN ROLLIN ROLLIN
- Judith is the official spokeswoman of ProActive Solution, which is a set of bottles filled with green liquid and a metal prong that supposedly makes pimples vanish by pressing metal into them. Evidently it works, because thousands of kids have been able to replace their unsightly, temporary acne with deep facial scars that will last a lifetime. Judith is the perfect person to pressure you to buy skin care creams, because the last thing a freaky transvestite needs is a monster zit.
- She also won a Pulitzer Prize for her role as an ovarian cancer patient in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play "WIT." My favorite part is when she puts a lightbulb in her mouth and it lights up!!
Whistle while you're low.
Oh come on, lighten up. She doesn't ACTUALLY have ovarian cancer. I hope she wins another Pulitzer for "The Bald Vagina Monologues."
Greatest Who's the Boss? Moments: Angela's car (which gets mentioned a lot) is a Jaguar, and it needed a paint job, so she sent Tony out to get it painted "sandalwood." Tony, being a stereotype, decides that the car should be painted red. When he brings home the red car, Angela gets angry (with all right) and tells Tony that he is to never make another decision for her because he is just the maid. Instead of saying "yes ma'am," Tony puts a huge guilt trip on her by acting like a snotty Mr. Belvedere prim and proper butler. Eventually Angela feels bad about it and forgives him. What kind of justice is that? She should've gotten right in his face and screamed "SCREEEEW YOOOOU....YOOOU'RE FIIIIIIIRED!!!!"
The other great "Tony fucks Angela Over" moment is that one episode where he convinces her that she worries about work too much, and when she agrees and puts the work aside she loses the client and gets fired from her job. But it's okay though, cause Tony's so sincere and her stool-pumping son things he's just the coolest. Way to keep your priorities straight, Angela, you've got a giant house and a jaguar but you make your mother live in a loft above the garage. Can't you see these things? You have giant glasses. You should be able to differentiate astronaut pubic hairs in outer space from where you are.
Finishing Move: The Northern Judith Light Suplex
The Judith Light-Heavyweight Champion, man.
The Northeastern kindred spirit of Blanche Deveraux, Katherine Helmond was Mona, Angela's mother who lived in a loft above her daughter's garage. Mona was always quick to rush into the house, spouting off some sexual diatribe about how 20 year old men want to violently hump one of the giant wrinkles on her face or ass. With a grandmother figure like that, is it any surprise that one of the kids on the show grew up to star in Lesbian vampire movies and the other one is gay? They're pretty lucky, if Mona was my grandmother I'd have the hots for that Red Riding Hood lady from the Pepsi commercial right now. That's a fate worse than death.
Tony calls her: MOAN-ER!!111
Finally, Eternia will be mine!!!
Pop Culture Achievements:
- Helmond rose to television prominence with her role as "Jessica Tate" on the 70's sitcom "Soap." If I made a joke about "Soap" here I'd end up dating myself. In fact, if I was to make a joke about "Soap" here I would be the ONLY person that ended up dating myself.
Mona may be the Boss, but Benson is the Head Nigga in Charge
- One day, the guys who made "Coach" took a bet from the TV execs that they couldn't possibly make it a WORSE show. The producers TOOK that bet, and moved Coach from the college setting to a professional, albeit completely fake football team setting. To make matters even worse, they cast Mona as the sassy team owner. I'd have better jokes about this if I would've watched the show more, but I was too busy driving a butcher knife as far under my fucking toenails as possible.
- Katherine also had roles in both "Time Bandits" and "Brazil," but didn't get that "humor that makes you uneasy" thing down until Who's the Boss?.
Greatest Who's the Boss? Moments: Mona's the only reason Tony even GOT a job as the Bower housekeeper, because it always seems like Mona's main goal in life is to make Angela miserable. Every season there'd be an episode where Angela gets the hots for somebody and then they start dating her mother. Angela would storm away and Mona would do that same mannerism she always does, where she holds her arms out and shrugs indifferently. Frankenfurter got her revenge, though, in an episode where Mona plots a sting operation to end age discrimination -- when the sting is about to go down, Angela pulls some strings and gets Mona hired. Mona's big plan is ruined. In your face old lady, go back to drinking Pepsi One!
Mona was actually set to have a spinoff show where she helps her brother run a hotel, called "Mona." The pilot was never picked up, so it became a really boring episode of Who's the Boss?. This is eerily similar to the Golden Girls spin-off "Golden Palace," where Blanche helped run a hotel. I guess somebody at the head of the network really got their rocks off at the idea of old ladies putting you up for the night. And here I thought every sassy grandma show was supposed to end with said sassy grandma on a motorcycle spouting, "Time to haul ass to Lollapalooza!"
Finishing Move: The Clothesline from Helmond
Mona is Always Pounding Ass
Poor Samantha Micelli had the most problems on the show, possibly because she was a decent kid with a sauntering imbecile for a father. Sam was the daughter of Tony, which must've been like being Dean Martin's kid...your dad and his friends always belting out showtunes and songs about Italy and start tap-dancing out of nowhere.
IN A JOKE NOT REALLY ON TOPIC BUT TOO GOOD FOR OUR FORUMS:
Have you heard "Hit Em Up Style" by Blu Cantrell? Am I the only one who, at the end when she starts breakin' it down with "hey ladies...HEY LADIES...HEY LADIES!!" expects Wakko from Animaniacs to jump in and go "NICE LAY-DEE?"
Tony calls her: SUH-MAN-TER!
Pop Culture Achievements:
- Where to begin? If I climbed the mountain and God spoke to me personally, telling me that he would give me 10 jokes that would not and should not be missed when discussing Alyssa Milano, they would read EXACTLY like her filmography:
Commandment 1: Thou shalt mention her role as Arnold's daughter in "Commando." Terrorists kidnap his daughter, so he breaks into their compound and starts exploding everything with grenades. Way to keep your daughter safe, jackass, toss explosives into every building she could possibly be in and wait for her screams. No...not those screams, Arnold...those are the screams of the people who paid 8 bucks to see "End of Days."
Commandment 2: Thou shalt mention "Alyssa Milano's Teen Steam," the 30 minute workout video about how dancing and stretching can solve all the peer pressure-related problems of teens.
If you've got steam...LET IT OUT! Work those implants, girls!
People always blame Marilyn Manson or whoever for the Columbine High School shootings, but I think the Trenchcoat Mafia got a hold of "Teen Steam." After all, if you're a lonely high school boy what's better than Alyssa Milano in stretch pants? I fear the kids took Alyssa's advice to "LET IT OUT!" when you're feeling bad, only she meant exercise your problems away and they took it as "let Cassie Bernall's brains out of the back of her head."
Commandment 3: Thou shalt mention the 1993 made for TV docudrama "Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story." Was she a more convincing Amy Fisher than Drew Barrymore?? YOU DECIDE!
Commandment 4: Thou shalt mention her role as "Marian" in the movie "Double Dragon," which was supposed to convince us that Scott Wolf from Party of Five was kung fu brothers with an Asian guy. Milano donned a bleached blonde pixie haircut like Rachel from this year's Real World, and, just like her video game counterpart (and Rachel from this year's Real World) I envy the bad guys who get to walk up to her and punch her in the stomach.
Commandment 5: Thou shalt mention everyone's favorite Lesbian vampire movie, "Embrace of the Vampire." Here is a funny joke about Lesbian vampires: They DON'T want to suck your blood! LOLOLOLOLOLOL
I VANT to SUCK your BLOOD! And...listen to KD Lang...
Commandment 6: Thou shalt comment on "Poison Ivy II: Lily," the last of Alyssa Milano's "I'm showing you my boobs because I need money to eat" films. Also her second attempt to be Drew Barrymore. Wait until Charlies Angels 2 gets released. It'll be so much fun! So fun that you and fun will have a baby, and you will hire a nanny and the nanny will shake the baby until it is dead because she is having so much fun! It's a fun movie!
Commandment 7: Thou shalt comment on Milano's role in "Fear," the movie famous for Mark Whalberg screaming "LEMME IN THE HOUSE!!11" into the peephole. Alyssa plays Reese Witherspoon's slutty friend, and things go downhill when Mark fingers Witherspoon on, of all places, a roller coaster. How does that work? Wouldn't your fingers start jabbing intestines? FILL ME UP MARKY MARK, FILL ME UP!
Commandment 8: Thou shalt admire how Alyssa Milano's role on Melrose Place could give birth to a sentence never before imagined: "I think she made Melrose Place a BAD SHOW."
Commandment 9: When thou are finished with thine Who's the Boss? article plan to do an article on "Deadly Sins," a movie where Alyssa plays a sexy nun.
Commandment 10: Thou shalt not watch Alyssa on "Charmed," lest thine eyes be forever burned. Charmed is like "Practical Magic...THE SERIES!" Every episode they should dance around the kitchen table, because ALL women in REAL life dance around the kitchen table when they are happy.
Greatest Who's the Boss? Moments: Even though you KNEW she was gonna grow up hot, Samantha was probably the most boring character on the show. I think it's because her role on Who's the Boss? looks like Shakespeare compared to Drew Barrymore 2.0 career navigation and sexy nun movies.
Actually, I take that back...there was one episode where Samantha got boobs, so Tony went out to buy her her first training bra. Samantha got pissed because he bought the normal bra instead of the cute bra with the pink ribbon on the front that all the other girls wore. This proves two wonderful things about life:
1) Tony Danza shopping for women's underwear = comedy
2) Girls admire each others bosoms in the locker room.
Finishing Move: The Milano Dollar Dream
If you can bounce the ball TEN TIMES without stopping, I'll buy you the bra with the pink bow!
Angela's child had it worse than Tony's, but you could never tell. Danny Pintauro, who is not actually the boss before Shao Khan in Mortal Kombat II, was a child actor with the emotion of DJ from "Roseanne" and the charisma of the older, frog-like Macauly Culkin. It is no surprise that the actor playing Jonathan grew up to not only be homosexual, but spend all that money to get into Stanford University JUST so he can major in drama. That's like training to be an astronaut all your life just so you can know what it's like to take a dump in zero gravity.
Tony calls him: JOHN-UH-TEN~!!11
Uh...Mom...how do you expect me to sleep at night?
Pop Culture Achievements:
- Other than starring in "Cujo," Pintauro hasn't really kept himself in the public spotlight. He can currently be seen starring as "Puck" in a performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at a small theater in Ithaca, New York (and sticking his fingers in Philostrate's peanut butter).
- Did the classy thing and "came out" in an interview with the National Enquirer. I'm sure all the paranoid grandmothers reading were shocked to see their favorite bowl-cut child actor admitting his sexual preference between the Page 5 Girl and a story about the fattest baby ever.
Greatest Who's the Boss? Moments: Two big ones that I can remember...
1) Making out with a girl for the first time, and losing his chewing gum in her mouth. I remember this as a kid because the look on his face after the kiss (which was supposed to be "smitten") looked similar to one of Sally Struthers' little starving refugee all-star children. I remember wondering why anybody would want to get a kiss if it made them look so stupid. Later, I went on to date a fat Wiccan. I blame Danny Pintauro.
2) Going into gymnastics. His Mom got mad because of how "dangerous" gymnastics are. Tony, once again usurping her role as leader of her own family, encourages Jonathan and even coaches him in the garage. Jonathan gets a spandex jumpsuit, ankle-warmers, a headband, the whole nine yards. Around this time you'd expect Tony to go "ay oh, oh ay" and, realizing the gayness of it all, take Jonathan hunting or something. But nay, the exercising goes on and Jonathan ends up screwing up and breaking his arm in his first meet.
Jonathan had "Ben Seaver" disease, getting progressively uglier and uglier as the show went on. By the end of the show's run he was about as useful as one of the Home Improvement kids, which explains why he's melding into obscurity and Tony Danza is still around hosting the Miss America Pageant.
Finishing Move: The Meat Grinder
I said a little prayer! For gay theater to be in the Olympics.
So, given the circumstances, who would YOU think would be the boss? The easy answer would be Angela, because she's the one employing Tony and letting his daughter have a roof over her head instead of living in a cardboard box outside Miss Rossini's. BUT THAT'S WHERE THE CLEVER PLAY ON WORDS COMES INTO PLAY! OMG!
Angela is not the boss - she is constantly destroyed morally and mentally by Tony's antics and her mother's promiscuous nature and meddling attitude.
Samantha is not the boss - she can't even get the bra she wants. She's been the most successful since the show ended as far as the general population goes, but that's thanks to 1% talent and 99% righteous boobage.
Jonathan is not the boss - if the Bower household sold independent music and hair dye he might be the boss. Perhaps if Tony and Angela were the Indigo Girls he would be the boss. But since one of Mona's thigh wrinkles has more personality than him he couldn't possibly be the boss.
So it's either Tony or Mona. Tony messes up more than he succeeds, but he keeps a clean household and does all the stereotypical Italian things, like cook, love the Rat Pack, and shower with a soap called "Machismo." Mona gets what she wants and has a weird sexual dominance over everyone, but she lives in a loft above the garage. Does the show EVER clearly state who the boss is?
Of course not. That's why the name of the show is "Who's the Boss?" instead of "The Boss is _______." Thanks to Fox Family we can continue to watch the episodes closely and determine for ourselves who OUR personal boss is...after all, isn't that what REALLY counts?
There is more to life than what you're living.
So take a chance and face the wind.
An open road and a road thatís hidden, brand new life around the bend.
There were times, I lost a dream or two,
found the trail, and at the end was you.
Thereís a path you take and a path not taken.
The choice is up to you my friend.
The nights are long but your mind awakened,
to a brand new life, brand new life, brand new life around the bend.
Information for this article was gathered at the ...yes, it exists...the Who's the Boss? Resource