I Miss Soul Train

From the time I was a kid, I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons, all the while anticipating the treat which would come after cartoons were over. The Soul Train theme song would play, and I would settle in for an hour of some of the best music around. I continued this pattern through my early 20’s, and would plan my Saturday around Soul Train, carving out time to watch like the faithful fan I always was. At the 45 minute mark, the Soul Train dance line would form, and I would be glued to the television set, watching all the moves, and looking at all the cool outfits. The Dance Line began as a couples line, then by the 1980’s, it morphed into singlets and the occasional group of dancers moving across the dance floor:

The first Soul Train episode aired on October 2, 1971, and the show ran through March of 2006. That’s 35 years and 1,117 soul, dance, R and B, and funk-filled episodes. Thanks to creator and host Don Cornelius, Soul Train brought black culture into America’s homes, broke down barriers, and wowed people like me. Don Cornelius would close out every episode with a sweeping thrown kiss and a wish to the viewers for “love, peace, and SOUUUUUUUULLLL”, a uniting and loving gesture which became a signature for the show.

For those of you who loved Soul Train as much as I did, you’ll get kick out of the following video, in which former Soul Train dancers share their experiences of being on the show:

Here are two video compilations, one which features the top ten female Soul Train dancers, and the other which showcases the top ten male Soul Train dancers:

The Shows I Have Been Watching

Jim Gaffigan

I am not much of a T.V. person, mainly because I lack the free time to sit in front of the television and watch shows. However, I usually have one or two shows which I will follow for a while, then stop watching. The two new shows which have caught my interest and held it so far are Impastor and the Jim Gaffigan Show. Since I can’t watch them when they originally air, I have my DVR set to record each new episode.

Some of you may be wondering why I became curious about these particular shows. First of all, I tend to watch syndicated sitcoms on TV Land, so I saw previews of both shows there. Here are descriptions of each show:

THE JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW:

Jim Gaffigan stars in this comedy series inspired by his real-life struggles to balance his family life with his stand-up comedy career. Gaffigan plays Jim, who is married to offbeat Catholic wife Jeannie, whose ex-boyfriend and confidante Daniel is Jim’s biggest critic. Also in Jim’s life are friend Dave, a single, aggressive comedian, and the family’s priest, Father Nicholas. The New York-based comedy series features a lengthy list of celebrity cameos, including comedian Chris Rock, actor Steve Buscemi, TV host Keith Olbermann and actress Janeane Garofalo.

After watching several episodes of The Jim Gaffigan Show, I am intrigued enough to keep watching. Jim Gaffigan is such a likeable guy, and I have always liked his stand-up comedy, which is completely clean most of the time (a rarity in the stand-up comedy world). His show has good writers, and the cast is filled with comedic actors. I love the fact that Jim has such a big problem with food, and the dynamic with his T.V. wife is amusing to watch.

Impastor

IMPASTOR:

New series Impastor centers around Buddy Dobbs, who is in a rut. The slacker has a gambling debt that he’s trying to escape, which leads him to a bridge that he is getting ready to jump off. Before he does, however, a reverend shows up and talks him down. Things take a turn after the reverend slips off the bridge and falls to his death, leaving Buddy the opportunity to steal the man’s identity. Buddy begins to settle in to his new life as a pastor in a small, tight-knit town with the help of his preppy new assistant, Dora, alluring church treasurer Alexa and enthusiastic secretary Russell. He takes to the new gig quickly, because curing sex-crazed teenagers and stealing weed from young people are right up his alley. Despite Buddy’s quick assimilation into the role, church president Alden Schmidt senses something isn’t right. Back home, Buddy’s ex-girlfriend, Leanne, is forced to clean up the mess he left behind.

The premise and the first episode of Impastor grabbed me, and though I am not as riveted with subsequent episodes, the plot twists are so outlandish and hilarious that I will keep watching this show as well. I thoroughly enjoy how irreverent and blasphemous this series is, and am curious to see where this series goes. The writers definitely push the envelope with delicate subject matter and strange social juxtapositions.