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Traumafession:: Brian Joynt On You Can’t Do That On Television & Slumber Party Massacre 2

November 28th, 2012 by unkle lancifer · 12 Comments

Dear Kindertrauma,

I love your site! I came across it while searching the web for a good list of Christmas-themed horror movies. I have to say, the one thing that truly creeped me out as a kid was a certain TV show. I don’t know if anyone else fears this “kid show” the way I did, but there was something about it that just didn’t work with me.

The show was “You Can’t Do That On Television,” which came on Nickelodeon. I don’t remember a whole lot about it, because I never wanted to watch it, and because maybe I’ve chosen to forget it. It was just too bizarre. It was like all these normal kids were trapped in some kind of alternate dimension. The kids were the only sane ones. You had a bum named Barth who cooked rats and garbage into his hamburgers, and the kids had to eat it. You had these clueless parents–I remember the mom of one kid as this strange, pale-looking thing that seemed like she was heavily drugged, or had just walked out of some hellish landscape beyond anyone’s comprehension. Worse of all, it seemed like there was no escape. The kids were trapped in this world. There was no way out. And if you said certain things, slime splattered down on your head out of nowhere. I hated this show. To this day, I don’t want to see clips of it, or even hear about it. Anyone else have these same feelings?

Something else I remember from an early age: waking up in the middle of the night and wandering into the living room to get something to drink, where my dad was asleep on the couch and an HBO movie was on the TV. In the movie, a guy had a large drillbit on the end of his guitar, and when he played it the bit started whurring away. I watched in horror as this psychopath strummed chords and thrust that drill into screaming women. The movie, I later came to discover, was “Slumber Party Massacre 2“. I thought about that maniac for many long, sleepless nights. And I could hear that drill in my nightmares.

Brian Joynt,
Author of Blind Date

Tags: Traumafessions

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric EddyNo Gravatar // Nov 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    You Can’t Do That on Television was a pretty funny show. I loved watching it growing up. Alanis Morrisette, eat your heart out.

  • 2 gillmanNo Gravatar // Nov 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I actually love love love YCDToTV and was lucky enough to find a torrent where I was able to download the entire series. Would you believe it was on for 10 seasons? It’s so interesting how one kid’s pint-sized “Laugh In” is another kid’s portal to terror. Don’t get me started on what mimes Shields and Yarnell did to me in my formative years. -and yep, the show is probably best known now for featuring a tween Alanis Morrisette (not singing). I can see how it might disturb you. There’s no way Barth Burger sketches would ever make it on the air today as “kids’ fare.” (“Whaddaya’ think’s IN THE BURGERS?”)

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Nov 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Love this Traumafession and the unbeatable combo of YCDTOT and Slumber Party Massacre 2! I can see how both could freak a kid out. Weren’t the kids on YCDT always being put in front of a firing squad as well?

  • 4 Eric EddyNo Gravatar // Nov 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Yeah, the firing squad scenes were always my favorite. The dictator would always get shot instead.

  • 5 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Nov 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Yeah, I watched “You can’t do that” back in the early 80s – it was on back-to back with The Third Eye for a while if I recall correctly. That was a good hour of very whacked-out kids’ entertainment. I stopped watching around ’85 or so when they booted off Moose and Alisdair.

  • 6 gillmanNo Gravatar // Nov 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    MOOSE! Yeah… they had kids in front of firing squads (“Stop the execution!”), chained up in dungeons, eating burgers made out of dead rats … So great.

  • 7 sob317No Gravatar // Nov 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I lived in a small town in the early 80’s and this was the Saturday highlight of the 2 (or sometimes 3, depending on the weather) channels that were available. I loved the Monty Pythonesque intro and I think I assumed they were in some sort of reform school run by lunatics.
    This was always followed by Polka Time which ran through the 80’s and I’m sure also traumatized more than a few young Canadian kids. The opening theme was enoug–EIEIEIO, EIEIEIO, EIEIEIO, EIEIEIO.
    God, please make it sto-
    I’m sorry, Please, just make it stop…I can’t, I can’t take the voic- EIEIEIO, EIEIEIO, EIEIEIO, EIEIEIO.
    God, stop it!!! please stop ittttttttt………
    E I E I E I O.
    I await your command, sir, I am at your service.

  • 8 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Nov 30, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Weird factoid. The Driller Killer in Slumber Party Massacre 2 is Atanas Illitch – son of Mike Illitch who owns Little Ceasars and the Red Wings. Around the time that this film was released, he was an accomplished song and dance performer. In the 99s he was president of one his the Illitch family’s corporations until he stepped down to deal with a diagnosis of bone cancer. He survived the cancer and from what I hear he went back into music on the production side. Seems like a pretty interesting guy……

  • 9 scarlettbeesNo Gravatar // Dec 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I grew up watching “You Can’t Do That…” and I loved every moment of it. It was sketch comedy 101 for kids! Note the absence of political correctness, the bullying (adults on kids, kids on adults, kids on kids), the pranks the kids pulled on each other…you chose to focus on the weirdness of the situations and didn’t see the humor. Meanwhile, I’m laughing my butt off as Christine and Lisa trade fat jokes.

  • 10 bjkatcherNo Gravatar // Feb 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I remember one episode where the boy was removing his father’s appendix. Freaked me the hell out.

  • 11 MandyBearNo Gravatar // Oct 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    For some reason I used to love YCDTOT. I think it was because it was funny and I loved the opening to it. I probably wouldn’t be able to watch it now, I get grossed out pretty easily (I did back then too, but for some reason Barth didn’t phase me too much). My mom hated the show xD. I don’t blame her.

  • 12 marthatyroneNo Gravatar // May 25, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I knew Alanis Morissette started out doing new jack swing (my neighbor had her first two albums even though we both lived in the US, and this was BEFORE Jagged Little Pill), so imagine my surprise when I found out this is where she debuted to the masses and to America everywhere. I vaguely remember the intro, but I may be confusing it with a Rocko episode. Otherwise, I have no idea if I’d ever seen this show in my childhood. However, I do remember Pinwheel; I was born during its third to last year and it was one of the first things I watched on TV as a child, next to Sesame Street and Shining Time Station. I remember the worm, Curious George, and the “Sally” cartoon (known to most as “Clockman”) and perhaps other stuff. I also remember Nickelodeon’s game show Think Fast! from that era (I don’t know how), which was like a kids’ version of Minute to Win It.

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