Did you stay up late on a work night to watch those crazy-pants closing ceremonies on Sunday? Couldn’t wait for the big finale with The Who? Well, then I hope you were patient, because NBC decided to make one last final epic screw up of their Olympic coverage by delaying the end of the ceremonies by one hour so they could tease you with Animal Practice, a show that I’m having a hard time believing is not a fake show.
Now, I’m not here to review Animal Practice. I didn’t watch it because I have a 9-month-old who just learned how to crawl and staying up past 10:30 would require Lohan-strength PCP, but, after seeing all of the commercials and promotion that ran for this show during the Olympics, I’m convinced it’s a fake show. You know what I’m talking about: it looks like one of those shows that’s on TVs in the background of real TV shows. It’s something that serves as an inside joke that characters in other shows pretend to enjoy. It’s usually something ridiculous with a premise that would never fly on real-life TV, like, oh, I don’t know, a wacky comedy in a veterinary hospital complete with sexy hi-jinks and monkey doctors. So, now that fake shows are bleeding over into real life, it’s got me contemplating the best fake shows of them all.
The Palinode made a list a few months ago of the best fictional TV shows, but in honor of Animal Practice—a real fake show—today I present to you with even more awesome fake TV!
*Note, I tried to stay away from shows within shows that were a daily plot point of said show, like Tool Time from Home Improvement or Wake Up San Francisco! from Full House.
Los Dias y Las Noches de Monsignor Martinez from King of the Hill
To quote Hank, “I’ve never seen such a good cop turn into such a bad priest.” This riff on a badass telenovella was almost made into a real live-action show which would have probably been the greatest thing ever. Vaya, con dios.
Pawnee Today from Parks and Recreation
Pawnee Today, anchored by the incomparable Joan Calamezzo, is always there to spin any story, no matter how banal, into a sensational piece of journalism.
Sick Sad World from Daria
Sick Sad World was a genius running gag on Daria. This fear-based info-tainment program was constantly there to remind us that there is always, ALWAYS something to be terrified of.
All My Circuits from Futurama
All My Circuits is a fictitious soap opera, like Invitation to Love on Twin Peaks, only from the year 3000. Like the clip above indicates, Calculon, the show’s star, gets a stellar performance out of his operating system every time.
Psycho Dad from Married With Children
Psycho Dad, a western featuring a homicidal patriarch, was the TV of choice for Al Bundy. Undeniably disturbing, it also managed to be funny and dark glimpse into Al’s ideal fantasy world.
Dancing Guy from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Just try to stop watching. It’s impossible.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. What are your favorite fake shows within shows?