TUFF ENUFF by the Fabulous Thunderbirds is a ‘American’ song. One television program called Married With Children is, well, a very 1990s American “trash,” biting wit and subtle sarcasm— a love-it-or-hate-it show--I loved it. Better than Seinfeld? I think so:the social reflection on Married With Children might have been crude and crass, but same could be said about All In The Family. Seinfeld was a great show--but be honest: which show reflected America, Married with Children and the Al Bundy Theme of Tuff Enuff, or an unemployed Kramer with a huge New York apartment
and the oh-so-hip bass lines between each scene? Both shows were hysterical, and had Seinfeld been on HBO instead of NBC, it might have been able to be more candid. Married With Children was Under the radar with FOX, and as a result can be more candid about how we live as Americans. Al Bundy never
let two shows pass where he did not remind his family that he, in his glory in high school football, had scored a record 4 touchdowns in one game for James Polk High, as Hank Hill of King Of The Hill, also on FOX and brilliant and on the edge for its time, never let a show pass without mentioning his famed single-season rushing record–much like my dad never let a supper pass without reminding us of his MVP year and undefeated season as a division III football player. (true!!!)
In one episode, to earn more money for increased household expenses with a new nephew joining the house (usually a Jump The Shark move), Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill), who played a shoe-salesman applies and lands a job where he assumes he will tend bar for “working stiff’s”–and rather lands in a topless male-tended bar, complete with all women patrons, as Al was required to make drinks sans shirt. Al & his well-worn 40-something year old body screamed into what I thought was one of the funniest scenes in television: instead of refusing to play the part of topless male bartender, Al plays the song by the Fabulous Thunderbirds, takes what he has of a body and tries to be sexy, eventually becoming so crazed with the enthusiastic response of the crowd that he begins to twirl entire bottles of liquor in the air and dance with fun and abandon, reflecting how camp and funny everything was in the scene–O’Neill was so good that he was both playing the part and laughing at himself.
What helped the camp-not-kitsch, absolutely, was the fact that this devastatingly great song, Tuff Enuff, is at the tough speed of foreboding, and next to the absurd idea of Al as a sex symbol bartending topless is up there with any Ted Baxter scene.
song title=Tuff Enuff
mood=foreboding–in a haunting, tough, Halloween style.
mean speed/average expected tempo=116.7 beats per minute.
average beat length, each beat getting 1/4 note=0.514 seconds per beat.
size, whole note=2.057 seconds per measure.
beat frequency=1.945 beats per second.
mean pitch=497.92 Hertz, 15 cents above B4=493.883 Hertz and 85 cents below C5=523.251 Hertz.
tempo graphics=Ian Andrew Schneider, Newman Neumann, James “Jimmy” Manning, Brooklyn “Jackie M” Winters, © 2009. All Rights Reserved. No Re-Use Without Attribution. Thank You.