Controversial Heil Honey I'm Home! (1990)

Discussion in 'Best & Worst' started by Doctor Omega, Mar 12, 2017.

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Should This Show Have Ever Even Existed?

  1. Absolutely not! It is in terrible taste! Whoever thought this would be a good idea?

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. Yes. We should be laughing at Hitler. He would have hated being made made into a figure of fun!

    3 vote(s)
    75.0%
  1. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

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    [​IMG]




    Heil Honey I'm Home! is a British sitcom, written by Geoff Atkinson and produced in 1990, that was cancelled after one episode.

    It centres on fictionalised versions of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, who live next door to a Jewish couple, Arny and Rosa Goldenstein. The show spoofs elements of mid-20th century American sitcoms and is driven by Hitler's inability to get along with his neighbours. It caused controversy when broadcast and has been called "perhaps the world's most tasteless situation comedy"

    The Plot of The Pilot Episode:

    In 1937, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun live in Berlin, next door to a Jewish couple, Arny and Rosa Goldenstein. Hitler and Braun have little in common with their historical counterparts, acting more like a stock sitcom husband and wife. Hitler, for example, appears in a golfing sweater and cravat as well as military garb.[5] The Goldensteins are similarly hackneyed characters. The show is a spoof—not of the Third Reich, but of the sort of sitcoms produced in the United States between the 1950s and 1970s "that would embrace any idea, no matter how stupid". In this spirit the title, plot and dialogue are deliberately vapid and corny and characters are applauded whenever they arrive on set. Patterned after I Love Lucy, the actors have New York accents.

    The first episode (the only one ever broadcast) opens with a caption card explaining Heil Honey's fictional back-story: it supposedly comprises the rediscovered "lost tapes" of an abandoned, never-aired American sitcom created by "Brandon Thalburg Jnr". The episode's plot centres on the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain coming to the Hitler house. Not wanting the Goldensteins to interrupt the visit, Hitler instructs Braun to keep it from Rosa, but this she fails to do. Rosa duly invites herself over with hopes of matching Chamberlain with her dull niece Ruth. Hitler gets the Goldensteins drunk in an attempt to make them leave before Chamberlain arrives, but they stay. Arny and Eva end up leading the visiting Prime Minister in a conga line around the living room while Hitler hides the "peace for our time" agreement in the icebox.

    [​IMG]


    The programme was written by Geoff Atkinson and commissioned by the satellite television channel Galaxy, part of British Satellite Broadcasting (which later became part of BSkyB). It was shown at 9.30pm on a Sunday night, after an episode of Dad's Army.

    During the credits of Dad's Army, Galaxy's announcer said "And unless Arthur Lowe defeats him, it's the man himself in a few moments in Heil Honey, I'm Home!, as the Galaxy Comedy Weekend continues."

    The programme proved controversial, with Hayim Pinner, secretary general of the Board of Deputies of British Jews describing the pilot as "in very bad taste", adding that: "We are against any trivialisation of the Second World War, Hitler or the Holocaust, and this certainly trivialises those things. It's very distasteful and even offensive".

    The television historian Marian Calabro described it as "perhaps the world's most tasteless situation comedy". It was accused of crassly trivialising Nazism, although some have defended it as being in the same tradition of Third Reich parodies such as 'Allo 'Allo! and Hogan's Heroes, or along similar lines to the portrayal of Hitler as a domestic fool in The Producers. Some also point out the crassness was intentional, and part of the parody anyway. For instance, David Hawkes (professor of English) cites Heil Honey, I'm Home! as a "heavy-handed concept", and argues that the show was a failure as a comedy because it "disastrously exceeded" the limits of irony.

    Only the pilot was ever screened, although eight episodes were planned and a number were recorded in which a story arc was about Adolf and Eva's attempt to kill the Goldensteins without the Goldensteins knowing it is Adolf and Eva. A video called "GARETH MARKS COMEDY SHOWREEL" contains clips from unshown episodes. Arthur Mathews has said that the production company sent him a copy of the entire series. The filming of the series was cancelled immediately by Sky (BSkyB) on its acquisition of British Satellite Broadcasting. The show is one of the most controversial programmes ever to have been screened in the UK; it was listed at #61 on Channel 4's 100 Greatest TV Moments from Hell.

    Geoff Atkinson maintains that the aim of the show was not to shock, but to examine the appeasement surrounding Hitler in 1938. He concedes that the satire of this appeasement did not translate as well as he intended. Discussing the furore around the show, Atkinson has also stated that three quarters of the cast were Jewish and did not consider the concept controversial.





    Further clips from unbroadcast episodes can be found here....




    In your opinion, should this show have ever even existed?
     
    #1 Doctor Omega, Mar 12, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. Hux

    Hux Member: Rank 6

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    It's kinda genius.
     
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  3. Carol

    Carol Member: Rank 5

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    Good grief - I had no idea this even existed (and have never before heard of a Galaxy channel - how dare they profane my favourite brand of chocolate?)
    Please tell me, someone, that Mel Brooks sued for nicking the idea for Springtime for Hitler, while completely missing the point?
     
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  4. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

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    • Love it! Love it! x 1
  5. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

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    No sign of a reboot of this show yet, which is unusual nowadays. :emoji_confused:
     
    #5 Doctor Omega, Oct 10, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017

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