Darn hippies - Macleans.ca

Darn hippies


Television of the ’60s is notorious for either ignoring what was going in the outside world or caricaturing it in the most patronizing way. But for pure surrealism, nothing quite beats the legendary September 27, 1969 season opener of The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC. “Don’t you cats know this polka jazz is strictly from squaresville?” (It turns out some of Welk’s viewers didn’t realize it was a joke. “Some of the elderly people,” he remarked in an interview, “thought I had changed my style.”) You have to give him this, though: unlike other shows that try and keep up with the latest trends, he’s not trying to be with-it; he’s displaying his open contempt and hatred for people who don’t watch his show. In a way it’s the bizarro-world version of Conan O’Brien’s bitter caricatures of old people.

Filed under: