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Odd Instances Of Cannibalism In Modern Day Pop Culture

Over the past several decades or more, Hollywood has made often and continual efforts to normalize cannibalism. This has been substantiated dozens of times, don’t bother to look it up. But to what end? We can only speculate, although many rumors persist that it has something to do with the unchanging physical appearance of both Tom Cruise and Paul Rudd, not to mention the Illuminati’s apparent ownership of several Ruby Tuesday locations throughout the Midwest. The truth is, we’ll never know the exact details. Here are the examples of this phenomenon we do have, however…


 

Who’s the Boss? broadcast episode 4/23/1985 (never rerun, although referenced on Anniversary Special without cannibalism related material)- Tony comes down hard on Samantha when she brings home a failing algebra test, but will this put a damper on Sam’s weekend sleepover, during which time she and Angela were going to drug her friend Marcy and then eat her left arm? Also, Mona is dating the manager of the bank in order to get a free new waffle iron.


Hollywood Squares, broadcast episode 7/18/83- During repeated shots of Paul Lynde in the center square, the popular comedic actor is seen snacking on loose eyeballs from a small porcelain bowl.


CHiPs, broadcast episode 3/15/79- In a variation of a favorite repeated joke throughout the show’s run, a colleague of the officers walks into their work space with a large bag of potato chips and loudly announces, “Hey, CHiPs, would you like some chips?”. In this particular episode, however, as everyone enjoys a hearty chuckle, the viewer can clearly see that the supposed bag of potato chips contains, not potato chips, but rather a variety of severed ears in a thin honey-glaze sauce.




TV’s Bloopers, Practical Jokes and Random Acts Of Cannibalism, broadcast episode 8/21/80- An apparent effort to test the public’s tolerance for mentions of cannibalism, as there are very few references to the act during the actual episode. The one exception, and something later removed from reruns, is a practical joke wherein an elderly gentleman is tricked into believing that he has accidentally just consumed his late wife (the joke being that the body wasn’t, in fact, his wife’s, but rather the wife of esteemed botanist Ruben Ortiz, Sr.)


Growing Pains, broadcast episode 5/11/83- Hollywood execs were going out on a limb (no pun intended) by introducing a new cannibal character, Boner’s French cousin from out of town, DeBoner, whose character could supposedly debone a human arm or leg and have it prepared for consumption in record time. The character was hastily written out and funds redirected when contract negotiations with actor Alan Thicke began to break down during the same time period. Kirk Kameron later attempted to resurrect the idea by suggesting a Jesus-like character who offers up his flesh and blood to willing sinners, but this was quickly shot down by the network.


The Bachelor, broadcast episode 6/24/11- Several contestants on The Bachelor have been cannibals, but they are usually weeded out fairly quickly, often when members of the crew begin to complain about unsettling near-misses during Bring Your Kid To Work Day.


The Brady Bunch, broadcast episode 3/8/72- With their funds and sanity quickly dwindling, the Brady parents decide to eat one of their children. But which one? They’re all so juicy! Antics ensue when Jan overhears her parent’s preference for Marcia’s tender flesh, which sends her into a spiral of jealously, during which time she makes several attempts to become more savory. The episode was quickly scuttled when Venus suddenly rolled out of it’s orbit, which ABC execs took as a sign from Gornath The Insatiable and his Sondaughter Ornatia.


Webster, broadcast episode 9/16/83- The entire set-up of Webster was originally that his adoptive parents had taken him into their home in order to prepare him as the main course of The Feast Of Arganoth The Betrayor. But both Pepsi and Burger King got nervous about the concept, with the latter also worried about a dip in sales for their lucrative Whopper sandwich, and so the show was quickly reformatted to fit the version of the show that we have now.


illustration by Lance Hansen

by Kit Lively

Kit Lively

Kit has been a regular contributor to MAD magazine for over ten years, and has also been regularly published by National Lampoon, Playboy, The American Bystander, Funny Or Die, SpongeBob Squarepants Comics, Points In Case and many others. His work has been called “sort of like ‘The Far Side’, but more offbeat and often much funnier” by people who should clearly know better. He lives with his wife and two dogs, all of whom do their best to tolerate his presence