Tuesday, April 11, 2017

TV Review: The Merrill Howard Kalin Show

Public access television is one of the more intriguing things to look at for viewing programs. Sure, we hope things are like Wayne's World, but that's not the case at times. I don't know who had the bright idea of having someone with developmental issues host a cooking show, The Merrill Howard Kalin Show ran on public access at some point between 1990 and 1992 in Illinois. Produced in cooperation with the Little City Foundation in Palatine, this is one of those shows that started off promising, but quickly headed for disaster. I heard a few bits from Opie and Anthony and The Lazlow Show (the GTA guy), but for the sake of this, I'm gonna pretend that I didn't watch those two's videos and look at the entire video of Kalin.

I do advise anyone reading to wash their hands before, during, and after preparation of food. Not to mention cleaning utensils and other stuff between prepping food. From the intro up until the first set of commercials, Kalin prepares chicken and salad. I'm not sure if I agree with the idea of tearing the skin off chicken with your own hands. A knife would have been useful. Then comes the barbecue sauce which he only puts on one side of each chicken he had on the cutting board. After that came the salad. Outside of the lettuce, Kalin did a good job with cutting cucumbers and tomatoes. He kind of babbles on about cooking and saying that his method is the right thing. Really, the only thing to complain is not cleaning the cutting board. Contamination of food is one thing that puts certain eateries and restaurants out of business. Other than that, this was the best part of the show.

After the first set of commercials came the Jello. With this part, Kalin looked out of touch and was slow to adapt to different things. However, this is where you see things head for disaster. He cut a banana fine, but this is where he starts doing impressions. I'm not the best impersonator on the planet, but this guy does it so horribly. No matter what celebrity he does, it's his voice but with a different pitch. That's what ruins the second part and third part which we'll get to. He overloads his Jello with apples and the banana, which he doesn't even do a good effort and still contaminates it by not cleaning his utensils and cutting board. He is focused completely on that, even when he starts doing the stuffing. That's an example of how not to make food.

The third part seemed like Kalin ran out of things to discuss. He showed off the finishing product of chicken and stuffing, along with getting some salad. That's the only thing he really had. He took a bite of salad and a piece of tomato. He still has that focus on the Jello. Even with that, he doesn't try any of the chicken or stuffing. Not even the Jello. Kalin goes on about telling people to not cook alone, leaving that impression that he thinks everybody still lives with their parents, which wouldn't surprise me if he did at that time. Then he goes on about where people can write to him and then does more awful impersonations. After that is talking about the next show talking about Motorola and expectations for the show (if there were any episodes after that) and concluding the show.

Anybody's guess is as good as mine as to how many episodes there were for this. There was at least three, considering the end credits mentioned about staying tuned for a fourth Merrill Howard Kalin Show. How many of these actually made it to public access, I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if Kalin's family did not want people outside of Palatine to see these kind of disastrous shows. The idea seems nice on paper, but my goodness. I'm gonna assume someone regretted doing this after noticing how he made it look like a joke.

If it wasn't for that first 10 or so minutes, this would be a 1 out of 10. But with how competent Kalin was with the chicken, salad, and to a certain extent the Jello, this is a 3 out of 10. Honestly, this shouldn't have even been filmed in the first place.

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