Better late than never, right?
These days, General Hospital frequently makes us laugh. But hard though it may be to believe, there was a time when the writers were actually funny on purpose. (Which isn’t to say there wasn’t plenty of unintentional hilarity back then, too — Endgame, anyone? Ricky Martin? Dobson? *shudders*)
Here are a few of the moments that still make us giggle:
Tenillypo: Ah, slapstick.
Okay, ignore the presence of Courtney in these clips (OMG, HATE!). It’s unfortunate, but unavoidable. And yes, the whole reason behind Brenda and Jason’s marriage of convenience was contrived and dumb. And yes, the way Brenda had sort of turned into yet another Jason Morgan cheerleader by the time she left the show again was kind of sickening.
But I’m sorry, I just really love these two together. They’ve had such a long history of mutual exasperation mixed with unwilling fondness; they’re each other’s perfect platonic foil.
Plus, Steve Burton’s trademark blank stare + blink slowly style of acting gets (justifiably) ragged on an awful lot. But when the writers give him something to do other than play the stoic hero, he’s actually a pretty competent straight man, and that is on full display here — to great and hilarious effect.
Nikolas and Emily’s Dance Lesson
Incandescentflower: I don’t remember this, but I found it when I was looking for clips for our best friendships post. This entire scene is utterly delightful! Nikolas and Emily look so silly trying to bust-a-move, but it was obvious that they were both having fun. I can’t remember the last time these characters (or Rebecca now) had a scene that wasn’t full of angst or forced sexual tension. Blech.
But what really makes this clip great is the kickin’ 90’s music, clothes and hair. I know I had a pair of denim overalls and thought I was so cool, didn’t you? *sigh*
Kevin and Lucy Locked in Mac’s Car
Tenillypo: The great thing about these scenes is that they start out a fairly silly piece of fluff, but underneath all the goofiness, we actually get a lot of insight into the characters. Katherine is allowed to show some rare vulnerability, Mac talks about his changing feelings for BFF Kevin. And we get some nicely meta commentary on the differences and similarities between Lucy and Katherine as people.
Of course, without Lynn Herring and Jon Lindstrom’s silent antics, all that dialog would probably have been deadly dull (and in fact, I remember snoozing through most of Mac and Katherine’s relationship). But Lucy and her Doc’s reactions make it perfect. Man, I really miss those two…
Matt, Patrick and a Baby
Incandescentflower: Because I have the memory of a gold fish, I always seem to gravitate toward one or two more recent clips in these posts. I don’t think I would say this was one of the funniest moments of all time, but it was one of the funniest on recent GH and so I feel it is worth noting.
Most comedy in the past few years has included characters that are such over the top caricatures, they mostly just make me cringe. This scenario may be a bit contrived (after Robin left for treatment, Patrick couldn’t handle taking care of Emma, even though he had been basically doing it on his own before?) and stereotypical (no, of course men can’t take care of babies or do housework!). But it allowed Matt and Patrick to show brotherly affection for one another, and both men are extremely cute when they are teasing each other. As I’ve mentioned in before, I especially enjoy Patrick elbowing Liz when giving his brother a hard time about his baby care skills. And as always, my mantra is we could all use more Matt and Patrick.
Tenillypo: I honestly could not choose between these two. I love the bathtub sequences (personally, the one where Jaws music plays while Brenda lures poor, virginal, pre-brain damaged Jason to the tub is my favorite), but Sonny as a mousy accountant is just too good to ignore. So here, have a little of both!
Modern GH has tried to do things like this — remember those truly retch-worthy Boys’ Night Out scenes, during which every man in town fantasized about Carly at Jake’s? Besides the fact that the Brenda sequence is one person fantasizing about many instead of many fantasizing about one, the big difference, of course, is that Carly is a wretched human being, while Brenda was pretty legitimately awesome. Also, Laura Wright is a good looking woman with particularly lovely hair, but she is more soccer mom than sex goddess, and the idea that she would be the prime sexual fantasy of every male character on the show (including even her own cousin, ugh) is kind of ludicrous. But I digress.
Incandescentflower: I spent hours looking at old Nurses Ball clips when trying to decide on funny moments. The fact is, many of the funniest moments on GH came from these episodes. But there were just too many to chose from, so we’ve decided to save those for a future post. For this one, I am including the first time Lucy ever found herself nearly naked at the ball.
Damian and Tony were fighting, and somehow “accidentally” made Lucy lose her dress. This, of course, became a signature event at the Ball, and part of the fun each year was wondering exactly when and how Lucy would end up in her underwear again.
Man, I miss Lucy Coe. She was a great comedic character, but somehow didn’t try to sell it too much like many of the “funny” characters today.
Edward’s Thanksgiving Nightmare
Tenillypo: Boy, GH really did love its fantasy sequences back in the day, didn’t it? I think the best part about this clip may be getting to see the old Faces of the Heart intro — look, Ma, no montage of dead people at the end! I’d totally forgotten that Foster and Annabell got spots in the credits, too. Hah!
Okay, but really, there are too many awesome things about this sequence to count. Quartermaines, alive and squabbling! Hints of ELQ intrigue! Reginald! Original Justus! Hippie, New Age Ned! Jax and Sonny getting along! President AJ! Almost the entire cast interacting in a scenario unrelated to mass tragedy! The show seeming to recognize the utter grossness of Sonny and Emily ever even hinting at being romantically involved!
ALAN: What do you think?<
JASON: [cheerfully blank expression] I don’t know. Sonny? [long pause] What do I think?
(Runner up goes to Emily: “Oh, Alan, can I go, please? I’ve been dying to get ‘Quartermaines Rule!’ tattooed on my thigh.”)
So, then vs. now:
1) I didn’t really notice it until I looked at all of these clips together, but the show really used to have a sense of humor about Sonny being a gangster. He’s striking Godfather poses left and right, and frequently rocking the long trenchcoat/machine gun/fedora combo. It’s . . . rather fetching. Note, too, the lack of long, drawn out pauses in the middle of sentences, and the general sense that Maurice Bernard is actually enjoying himself rather than snoozing through the scenes. So refreshing!
2) Cast interaction! Look at all the different parts of the canvas coming together in different ways. Multi-generational misunderstandings! Light-hearted banter! Characters actually having fun! Hey, don’t they know this show is supposed to be all about death, violence, and hatred of women?
3) The best jokes spring from knowledge of and respect for the show’s history. Alan throwing in a casual reference to Jimmy Lee Holt? Awesome. Mac reminiscing about Ryan, Emily poking fun of Nikolas’ princely ways, Brenda acknowleging her history with Jason, AJ, and Ned? So very nice.