Follow TV Tropes

Following

What Do You Mean It Wasnt Made On Drugs / Live-Action TV

Go To

  • Many production logos from the 60's and 70's, especially NBC's Psychedelic Peacock of Doom.
  • In the late 1960s-early 1970s, when a lot of mainstream film and TV was going trippy, the style filtered down to kiddie entertainment. Sid and Marty Krofft's works are prime examples of this trope in action as a result.
  • Bananas in Pyjamas. Even the title sounds like it was made on drugs.
  • The preschool show Boohbah likewise seems like LSD in the form of a TV show. Some people like to leave the TV on when that show comes on "because it's trippy". In Cracked's "The 5 Most Aggressively Crazy Websites on the Internet", Mark Hill compares Boohbah to "the findings of a scientist adding LSD to baby food."
    • Such TV is merely live cartoons: cheaper.
  • The Brady Bunch: Even an iconic, white bread program from the early 1970s had its share of trippy episodes ... literally, but these were real-life incidents associated with two episodes, both of which have been recounted by Barry Williams (who played Greg) and Lloyd Schwartz, the son of series creator Sherwood Schwartz, in various recaps and autobiographies:
      Advertisement:
    • Season 2's "The Practical Joker," where Robert Reed was supposedly very drunk when he showed up to film a scene of Mike and Greg trying to coax a mouse to run through a maze (as part of a science project); depending on the source, this was the final scene needed to complete filming of the episode and was a retake. "Mike being drunk on film" averted when Lloyd Schwartz causes a spotlight to break, stopping production for the day and allowing time for Reed to sober up before production resumed.
    • Season 4's "Law and Disorder" – by Williams' admission, he was stoned when filming a scene for this episode. (It took place in the driveway, where Mike brings home a sailboat hull and announces they're going to fix it up and go sailing).
  • Doctor Who
    • Particularly the early surreal adventures "The Celestial Toymaker" (1966) and "The Mind Robber" (1968).
    • Advertisement:
    • Even the various opening titles of the programme over the years can make you wonder what substances the effects team have previously experienced.
    • The early regeneration sequences in the classic series were modeled after LSD trips.
  • Some people believe that Double Dare was so surreal it had to be inspired by drugs. Some fans also believe that Jay Wolpert has to have been on something when creating some of his tough or just plain weird series and pilots, including Whew!, the 1981 pilot Duel in the Daytime, and Hit Man. (Oddly enough, he was the creator of the other Double Dare, back in 1976 for Goodson-Todman and CBS.)
  • The 1980s sketch show Fridays on ABC. For those who've never heard of the show, think Saturday Night Live, then move the show out to Los Angeles and add sketches where characters smoke weed, abuse prescription drugs, sniff glue, or make references to snorting cocaine, drinking alcohol, or taking Quaaludes. Not all of Fridays sketches featured characters doing drugs, but a lot had ideas that made you wonder if the writers were users themselves (or were so obsessed with being the Spiritual Successor to SNL that they simply made batshit insane sketches), like the seventeen-minute Rocky Horror Picture Show parody with John Roarke as Ronald Reagan dressed as Tim Curry's Dr. Frank N. Furter.
  • Advertisement:
  • Green Acres had so many oddities, but everyone (except Oliver Wendell Douglas) acted like there was nothing unusual. Some examples: Arnold Ziffel, the pig that was treated (and acted like) a person; farmhand Eb, who instantly started acting like he was Oliver's son (and Lisa supported his claims) to the extent that Oliver ended up buying him a convertible and sent him to college; Ralph, the obviously female handyman who showed no feminine qualities and acted like a guy; Lisa's incredibly horrible cooking (which was so bad that she was able to make a gasket for Oliver's car out of her pancake batter); and all of the structural problems in the house, such as the hidden cellar, the phone at the top of the telephone pole, and the closet that opened out into the yard.
  • While the role of drugs in the conceptualization of H.R. Pufnstuf is pretty easy to assume, the Brothers Krofft swear that it was not made on drugs, and did at one point fire a crew member for showing up stoned.
  • Several creations by J. J. Abrams. Most notably Lost and Fringe. It probably doesn't help that one of the main characters on Fringe is a regular and enthusiastic user of LSD, pot, peyote, mescaline, and various mind-altering prescription drugs. It got to the point where they devoted one episode a season to doing something completely bonkers; notable results have included corpses singing a Willy Wonka song, an episode in which the characters enter a drug trip and become cartoons, and a stop-motion drug/dream sequence
  • LazyTown is an excellent modern example. Its creator is a teetotaler for Pete's sake.
    • ... And its message is not even "don't do drugs"; it's "don't do sugar"!
  • "Magic, Magic E" and the less well-known "Drop That E" were two songs from the British educational series Look and Read. Though today they both look like obvious attempts to get one past the radar, they actually have a fairly watertight alibi, as they were written almost a decade before the rave era took off.
  • Magnum, P.I.: The seventh season finale — which was intended to be the Series Finale — seemed more like a hallucination than a story with an actual plot line.
  • The early 70s Saturday morning kid's show, Make a Wish and its closing credits.
  • The Mighty Boosh: Noel Fielding and Julian Baratt have refuted this claim by saying they attempted to write on acid once, only to end up staring at a spider on the floor for six hours.
  • The Monday Night Football intro used during the mid-1970s could easily give the impression someone had snuck some contraband to the animators.
  • According to Monty Python Speaks, the writing team have been accused of drug-taking during the series, when aside from Graham Chapman's booze they were as sober as any 1970s British office worker. That isn't to say they never partook (the book doesn't delve that much into their personal lives), just that their writing was not informed by it.
    • And it's not like with Chapman his alcoholism was his muse or anything; it was thoroughly debilitating and made him less and less productive, until by all accounts most of the reason he finally quit was so that he could play Brian properly and they wouldn't run into problems like they had filming Holy Grail, when he was constantly either drunk or suffering from withdrawal and initially couldn't do the Bridge of Death scene because his delirium tremens were too bad. The others have said that he was naturally random when writing and was responsible for many of the weirdest elements in Monty Python, but it wasn't because of the drinking.
    • In Monty Python Speaks Eric Idle talks about how they kept an "office hours" work ethic, without any drugs. He openly muses how one can even find the keys of their typewriter while high.
    • Terry Gilliam has said that people were always coming up to him saying they loved Monty Python because they would get high with their friends, watch it and laugh their heads off... and how he didn't consider this much of a compliment because they could have gotten the same result with just the pot.
  • Mr. Show parodies this trope in "Druggachusetts," a blatant take on H.R. Pufnstuf that is explicitly all about drugs. Co-creator and admitted pot-smoker David Cross has commented on how frustrated he gets when stoners assume that writers for the show were perpetually stoned, rather than simply hard-working and creative.
  • My Mother the Car. Premise: An attorney buys a 1920s jalopy that (1) talks and (2) turns out to be the reincarnation of his dead mother. How can anyone not think there was considerable consumption of mind-altering substances by the creators of this show (or at least by the NBC executives who greenlighted it)?
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. Joel Hodgson in particular has been thought to be a stoner due to his sleepy eyes. Hodgson has repeated in interviews that the idea that his character was a stoner was his own fault, as he had stayed up all night the night before the taping of the pilot building the robots, and as a result, he was sleepy when they filmed it. It can be especially bad during Season 1, when the staff were working 12-hour days 7 days a week. Hodgson has also mentioned pretending to be sleepy helped him manage his stage fright, which he slowly managed to alleviate (but never get 100% over) as the show progressed.
  • Danish The New Talkshow with Anders Lund Madsen. The show relies on Anders Lund Madsen's weirdness and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse, especially the theme. When reviewing it, The Nostalgia Critic casually remarks that Pee-Wee's House looks like it belongs to the richest stoner in the world.
  • PJ Katie's Farm, a children's show, is seriously bizarre.
  • The Prisoner (1967). Patrick McGoohan was a devout Catholic, but you'd probably never guess it by watching his series, especially the final episode.
  • The BBC's Robin Hood. No really. It has Robin hang-gliding from the parapets of a castle, Maid Marian practicing Tai Chi outside her house, a mangy old lion set loose on Sherwood Forest, costumes that were apparently bought at The 11th century Gap, arrows that defy physics, berets, a black Friar Tuck, hair gel, a man who throws ninja stars, a casino (complete with show-girls), and a plug in the cellar of Nottingham Castle that is somehow able to stop the flow of the River Trent.
  • Charlie Brooker viciously rips into this trope in a Screenwipe episode covering children's television, in reaction to the common invocation of this trope in regard to surreal animations such as The Clangers.
  • A good amount of SCTV sketches seem to fall under this category, such as "Wet Nurse" and "The Vikings and the Beekeepers". The former is a parody of medical dramas featuring a nurse with comically large breasts, and the latter is... Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Also invoked in-universe with "The Doctor Braino Hour", featuring John Candy as a The Grateful Dead-loving hippie hosting a drug-oriented talk show. Except his "drug use" turns out to be sticking pills in his nose and spraying perfume into a paper bag over his head.
  • Space Sheriff Shaider was particularly known for its rather... odd moments throughout the series. A small collection of trippy moments can be seen on YouTube.
  • Supernatural started off as a perfectly normal show, with dark undertones and occasionally humorous episodes. And then came season 5, with giant men dressed up as the Tooth Fairy, the characters starring in a Japanese quiz show and Paris Hilton as a pagan god.
  • In Super Sentai, the Monsters Of The Week can be basically themed around anything; some can get VERY surreal, with some monsters being themed around food or harmless inanimate objects.
  • Spoofed on Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. During an interview-style sketch, the interviewer (Michael Ian Black) asks them if they use drugs as inspiration for the show, as if it's some clever revelation, and Tim says they do (and calls it "marijuano").
    • Word of God says they aren't high while performing or while writing (generally speaking). This isn't to say they don't smoke and don't get inspiration out of it...it's just that the actual production process is done sober. Subverted, then?
    • Also, its spinoff Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule. To a slightly lesser extent.
  • Teletubbies. Giggling, squeaking, rainbow coloured creatures that had TV screens in the middle of their abdomens. Also the sun was a giggling baby face.
  • The Wiggles is an Australian kids show that was apparently played straight though that might be open to interpretation.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba!: Time TV critic and father of young children James Poniewozik said that it would "convince you someone slipped something in your Fruity Pebbles".Nota bene  It was created by Christian Jacobs, who is a practicing Mormon. Mormons are told not to ingest coffee, alcohol or illegal drugs. That means that stuff like this was the product of a sober mind.
    • Christian Jacobs is also MC Bat Commander in The Aquabats. That should explain a lot.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report