Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Bugaloos: "Lady, You Don't Look Eighty" (October 24, 1970)

In “Lady, You Don’t Look Eighty,” Joy (Caroline Ellis) is upset because it is October 12, and her friends have apparently forgotten that it is her birthday.

In truth, they are planning a surprise party.  The boys also trick Sparky (Billy Barty) into believing that Joy is actually an old woman who is eighty years old.  They also claim they are seventy years old!

Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) overhears this practical joke, and believes that the Bugaloos have discovered a fountain of youth. She wants it for herself, and captures Sparky. She will make a trade: the firefly for the elixir of youth.

The Bugaloos make a fake elixir of honey and water, and then, to demonstrate that it works, pretend to be old, themselves.

It’s pretty much business as usual on The Bugaloos (1970-1971) for this installment. The Bugaloos have something that Benita Bizarre thinks she wants -- this time the Fountain of Youth -- and captures one of the gang (Sparky) to get it.  To rescue their friend, the Bugaloos must get in disguise, and outsmart their nemesis.

One intriguing element about “Lady, You Don’t Look Eighty” is that it is established, as it was in the series’ second episode, that Joy is responsible for household chores in the forest.  Here, she is understandably grumpy about the division of labor. The boys don’t have to chip in?

Even in 1970, in an enchanted forest, the patriarchy was in firm control, apparently.

But this episode shows Joy acting crankily about having to clean up after everyone and the boys respond by calling her “granny,” and saying that she sounds old. Nice.  Yet not one of them lifts a finger to help her.

The song of the week? “Older Woman!”  That’s adding insult to injury, I would say.

Next week: "Benita the Beautiful."

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