[i]I am a real American.[/i] Come on, sing it with me. [i]Fight for the rights of every man.[/i] You know you want to. [i] I am a real American.[/i] Don’t pretend that you don’t know the words. [i]Fight for what’s right.[/i] Now sing it loud. [i]Fight for your life!!![/i]
Okay, so who knows what I’m singing about? If you ever watched wrestling when it was known as the WWF, not to be confused with the very panda-friendly W. W. F. of World Wildlife Fund/Foundation—not really sure what the F is for. I’m talking about the World Wrestling Federation. Before it became completely oversexed and completely unbelievable, it was completely funny in a more athletic way. It’s always offered complete cheese, but no one was cheesier than the man in the yellow tights who wore the shoe-string-skinny headband over the straw-yellow-receding hair and had a year-round fakey-bake tan that glistened slick with a gallon of baby oil. Yes, folks, let’s talk about Hulk Hogan.
He is the king of the American dream. He’s the real American, as his theme song goes, and you know you know the words even if you didn’t sing along. Even when he grew out a very fake looking black beard, stripped off the yellow speedo for black tights, and covered up his baldness with a bandana, trying to be all tough and mean, he was still King Cheesy American.
And as the ultimate sign of cheese, he signed on to have a reality show. Hulk Hogan Has Arrived!!!
I have to admit, I find it hard to watch the once All-American Hero stomp around the family mansion, involving himself with things such as being an overprotective dad and less-than-macho husband. I haven’t gotten through an entire episode of Hogan Knows Best. But what I have seen, is pure brilliance. Brilliance in that oh-my-God-I-can’t-look-away reality tv way.
Much like the Osbournes, the Hogans love their animals. They have dogs galore. And don’t mess with em. Even if they bark until the wee hours of the morning and you get no sleep, don’t even think of calling the police. Why not? Because Mrs. Hogan will hunt you down, rip your phone out of the wall, and make you do nine hundred push-ups into a pile of doggy doo. As with the Osbournes again, the wife here is the scary one. And I don’t mean scary in that Bride of Chucky kind of way; I mean scary in the get things done kind of way. She also has a heart of gold.
The heart of gold shines through whenever she interacts with the dogs or with her son and daughter. She reprimands them, sure, but she obviously loves them. So much so that when the son takes the car without having a license her face shows her concern, a concern that says the minute he sets foot in the house again, he’s getting a pummeling with a ladle. She also is incredibly encouraging to her daughter who has to go on a crash diet for her video shoot when her single comes out. The single isn’t all that bad; however, it has a lot of that Cher-like techno computer help going on so I’d like to hear her sing without all that stuff before making a final judgment.
The heart of gold also comes out when the Hogans get a monkey. Okay, it’s a chimpanzee; I learned in Anthropology class that monkeys have tails and chimpanzees don’t and orangutan has no “g” at the end of it. But monkey is a lot of fun to say so that’s what I’m calling it. The best part about the monkey is that it wears a baby diaper. How friggin awesome is that? Everyone should own a monkey that wears a diaper. And all hearts of gold break when they need to give the monkey away because they can’t care for it and all the dogs at once. And since they’ve had the dogs longer, it’s bon voyage to Mr. Chimpanzee.
Hulk himself is a minor concern in this show because he acts as everyone assumes he would. He’s the man of the house. He loves his wife. He’s overprotective of both his children, especially his daughter. He’s highly supportive in all that they do. He too wants to kick some sense into his son when his son takes the car. He also wants his daughter to be careful on her anorexia crash diet before the video shoot. Thank goodness she asks for a cheeseburger when all is said and done.
The clips of Hogan at work are also how everyone sees him. Long gone is the new bad boy image he took on when he switched to the rival wrestling group and then came back as the rebel. He’s back to wearing his yellow and red complete with yellow hair, a yellow bandana covering his balding head. He wears white framed sunglasses. And he wears a boa to the ring. Yellow and red feathers fly as he prances around at work. He runs down the ramp pointing and flexing, his handlebar mustache filling with the sweat of anticipation and excitement. He slides into the ring, being beaten at first, but then winning out in the end. He does his call of the wrestler wild, prompting the crowd to scream and shout. His family gets into it too, cheering him on as he cheers them on back at home. The entire arena is in a frenzy so loud that eardrums no longer work. Banners and signs wave and shake. Hands claps. Feet stomp. Some people are even moved to tears. Hogan stands in the middle of the ring gleaming with sweat, triumph, and a never fading tan.
Back at home, our all-American hero wears a fanny pack.
Let me say that again. The truest, toughest, greatest, all-American hero who fights for the rights of every man wears a fanny pack. Often. I dare say daily. No offense to fanny pack wearers across the world, but the look is not exactly heroic. Think of our other heroes—Batman has a utility belt that blends into his outfit; Spiderman and Superman have bodily superpowers and don’t need luggage to tote them around; the X-men are mutants. Even when Superman is Clark Kent, he doesn’t wear a fanny pack. Yet Hogan does. Because he’s no different from anyone else. Which is what the show is really all about. That and I’m sure he’s making a pretty penny for it.
[b]And THIS is why I love reality TV[/b]: Monkeys.
I’ve already expressed through other shows how reality tv is so great because it shows that celebrities are normal people. Hogan does that too. But no other show has given us a monkey also. And that makes Hogan Knows Best pretty gosh darn special.