I’ve written about the ‘punk’ episode of “Quincy” before (the one where Quincy asks, “why anyone would want to listen to music that makes you hate, when you can listen to music that makes you love”) and the classic ‘punk’ episode of “CHiPS” (the one where it’s explained to Ponch and John that, “the suburbs can be a ghetto too”), but, until reading through the comments on this great Metafilter thread, I’d forgotten all about the episode of “WKRP” featuring the band Scum of the Earth. I’m watching it now with Clementine and trying to explain the concept of punksploitation. Hilarious stuff… I could write for days and days on this. Actually, the subject deserves its own website/book, where all of the made-up punk song lyrics could reside, alongside detailed analysis of just how ‘not punk’ the accompanying representations were. (Do yourself a favor and fastforward to the end of the “WKRP” episode to see “Scum of the Earth” perform, and then jump over to watch the band Fear play on “Saturday Night Live”. One is clearly punk, and one isn’t… Scum sound more to me like a Rush-Journey hybrid.)

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  1. mark
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    And what’s up with them never explaining why there

  2. grr
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey, the WKRP link is broken. Bogus!

  3. Sam
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Actually I don’t see any Rush in Scum of the Earth. I was always a fan of WKRP though. It’s too bad that it will probably never be released on dvd thanks to the record industry. I’ve got the first 2 seasons and nine episodes of seasons 3 and 4. It’s fun to watch them on my treo sometimes when I take lunchtime walks. Do you have any of seasons 3-4?

  4. Sam
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Here is the you tube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dez6W4ySt-E

  5. terrygilmer
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t there a punk rock episode of Mama’s Family? For my money you can’t get anymore punk rock than Vicki Lawrence.

  6. mark
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I had an extra space in there. Thanks for the link, Sam. (The link on the front page has now been fixed.)

    I will spend the rest of my life looking for the punk rock episode of Mama’s Family… I hate you for that Terry Gilmer.

    And maybe they didn’t sound like Rush, Sam, but they certainly didn’t sound punk.

  7. mark
    Posted September 3, 2006 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Is there someone out there who could latch-hook me a “Welcome Scum” doormat? I’d pay for it. (I think it would make a great Christmas gift for Linette.)

  8. terrygilmer
    Posted September 4, 2006 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    You can stop hating me now, Mark. I emailed my Mama’s Family contacts and they pointed out the episode to me. You can download it here http://www.sendspace.com/file/ro1foi No punk band real or fake actually plays just Vicki Lawrence doing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” but you do get to see what NBC considered punk style and fashion in the early 80’s.

  9. Dr Cherry
    Posted September 5, 2006 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    In the 80s punks sort of replaced the bikers as pop culture bad-guys.

    It’s too bad they didn’t continue to make biker movies with punks instead of crazy bikers. (Begins scribbling script).

  10. mark
    Posted September 5, 2006 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    What’s next? It seemed for a while that it would be rave enthusiasts, but that never really caught on. I guess we don’t really need an object of fear like that anymore. 9/11, as we’re constantly reminded, “changed everything.”

  11. ol' e cross
    Posted September 6, 2006 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Of course, punks we’re most accurately
    represented in the 80s by Vyvyan
    on BBC’s hit reality show, The Young Ones

  12. Dr Cherry
    Posted September 6, 2006 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Exploding bricks, brilliant!

  13. Greg
    Posted April 6, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Several things. First, about Scum’s music, the lead singer of Scum was Michael Des Barres, the music they are playing is actually his band “Detective”. There’s even a Detective poster in Andy’s office in that episode. Also, if you remember, Scum aren’t punk, they clearly point out they are NOT punk, they are “Hoodlum rock”, which is several cuts below Punk..

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