With the Super Bowl this weekend, where my Patriots are going to beat the Giants, I thought I would take a minute to discuss the sitcom episodes which have done super bowl episodes. This trend seemed especially big in the 90’s. Usually this happened because the network showing the game wanted a little plugging. Sometimes they would air right after the game, other times the week before. So, here is a look at these shows.

 

Full House-Not sure what the title of this ep is, but I call it the “Michelle is a spoiled brat” episode. The plot is Joey wants to watch the game, but has committed to spending the day with Michelle’s science group. Long story short, the group ends up watching the game and everyone is fine with it, except Michelle who pouts because they didn’t do what she was hoping for. Um, Michelle, we can’t always do everything we want, why not stop being a little witch and go and have fun? I have said good things about Full House and Michelle, but this episode isn’t a good one. So anxious to cram a message in, they make the character seem like a spoiled brat.

 

Seinfeld-“The Label Maker” will be discussed more in my episode guide, but one of the stories had Jerry trying to give away Super Bowl tickets. After the tickets change hands a few times, he winds up at the game with Newman!

 

Everybody Loves Raymond-Ray is assigned to cover the Super Bowl and is allowed to bring one person, so he invites his friend Gianni. His whole family is mad at him. Then when he sees other wives he gets Debra down there, promising Gianni he will still take him to the game. However, being typical Debra she is too good to do what every other wife is doing and ends up in a fight with Ray. The result is him destroying the tickets to prove a point, and no one gets to go to the game because Debra is so mean (have I mentioned I don’t like her?).

 

Home Improvement-This is a funny episode. Tim has planned a big Super Bowl bash; unfortunately Jill is sick and needs to be taken care of. Tim tries to have the party anyway, dividing his time between the game and Jill, but when his new sound system blows the TV the guys crash Tim and Jill’s bedroom, with her sick in bed! I do love how when women are sick they expect to be taken care of, but when men want that they are mocked and made fun of as being babies. Anyway, this is a good Super Bowl episode and has typical Home Improvement hijinks, in the Tool Tim segment some real Detroit Lions players make cameos.

 

King of Queens-After trying to get the newest kind of Hi-Def for the big game and failing, Doug finds out that his wife Carrie has a boss who has a brand new hi-def TV (these were more rare when this show was first on). He arranges to have his sister start to date him in an attempt to worm an invitation to a Super Bowl gathering. The plan goes pretty well until his sister and Carrie compare notes and figure out the way Doug has been manipulating them. In the end, the TV gets changed to the movie Heidi and Doug misses the game.

 

Roseanne-Roseanne’s mother Bev has vowed to give up drinking, right before Super Bowl Sunday. So Dan is forced to have an alcohol free Super Bowl party. This doesn’t work very well. This is a very short description of this episode, which I never really liked. Is it really a bad thing to not have beer when watching the big game? I am not a beer drinker, so maybe it is.

 

Empty Nest-This Golden Girls spin-off has a Super Bowl episode which was really just a clip show. Not much more to say about it than that. It was followed by an episode of Nurse’s which also had a Super Bowl story. The plot involved a party ending up with no TV and one of the characters injured trying to hook up illegal cable.

 

3rd Rock From the Sun-In doing research for this I discovered this episode is generally despised. I liked it, but then again I wasn’t a loyal fan of the show so that may have something to do with it. The plot involved super models from Venus trying to take over the Earth (hmmm, did I really type that?). Their plan is to use a super bowl commercial to take over the world, so Dick, Harry, Tommy, and Sally have to stop them. That does sound like a bad B movie. However, I think the episode is pretty good. The best part was the beginning, the episode started with a live feed of Greg Gumbel recapping the game, when John Lithgow storms into the shot screaming about the crazy women. The shot then fades into the episode, and I always that was a clever way to kick the show off.

 

The Simpsons-Homer is hired by sports superstars to help with their victory dances and is subsequently tapped to choreograph the Super Bowl XXXIX halftime show. Guest voice cast includes Warren Sapp, Tom Brady, Yao Ming, Lebron James and Michelle Kwan.

 

George Lopez Show- The Lopez family finds out that Benny’s estranged brother, Joe, is dying. However, Benny refuses to speak to him due to her losing a bet with him. However, George and Angie convince Benny to reconcile with Joe, and Benny agrees to, but to try and get his Super Bowl tickets. However, she changes her mind when she sees him. Never a fan of this show, and never saw this episode.

 

Still Standing- After Bill and Judy catch Brian, Lauren and their friends drinking in the basement, they decide to set an example and abstain from drinking for an entire month. Unfortunately, Bill and Judy’s infamously wild Super Bowl party takes place during that time. When the day comes the adults give in to temptation. I know what people say about this show, and they’re right. This episode has the same message Roseanne did, that football without alcohol is unacceptable.

 

Friends-In 1996 NBC decided to have the sitcom Friends do an episode following the Super Bowl. The show, called “The one after the Super Bowl”, is stuffed with celebrities like Brooke Shields and Julia Roberts and is generally considered one of the weakest episodes of the series. The celebrities and the length do stretch the show a bit thin, but I think it ultimately works. The biggest mistake may have been Jean Claude Van Damme, not only is he wooden in the show but the whole story with Monica and Rachel feels like a high school story and is just dumb. We also get reunited with Marcel the monkey, and in another article I will discuss how much I hated that little simian.True, this episode really doesn’t have anything to do with the Super Bowl past the title, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

 

Those are the only ones I could remember, If I missed any please let me know.

 

Well, that’s enough about sitcoms. Time for a little football, go PATS!!!

By richb

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