Sitcoms are incredibly hit and miss. The world of TV comedy has produced as many offensive steaming turds as it has solid gold classics. For every Friends, there’s a Two and a Half Men. Every Arrested Development is met with a Homeboys in Outer Space, every Fawlty Towers with My Mother the Car.
However, every once in a while, there comes a sitcom so distasteful, so poorly written and acted, so misguided, that it blows any other Charlie Sheen-fronted or faux-quirky groanfest out of the water. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you such an effort: Heil Honey, I’m Home.
The year was 1990. Somebody at what is now BSkyB didn’t seem to realise this, and, possibly whilst wondering why water fountains weren’t segregated anymore, decided that they would greenlight an idea for a show centred around Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun living in a flat next door to a Jewish couple called the Goldensteins. Presumably people assumed that hijinks would ensue from this premise. Presumably these people also dribbled a lot and found the comedy of Adam Sandler to be a bit highbrow.
Just to clarify before anybody calls me up on this, I know what the creators were intending to do. Or, more accurately, I read about what the creators said they intended to do and I still think they’re batshit insane. The idea, supposedly, was to create a satire of 1950s and 60s American sitcoms like Leave it to Beaver by deliberately including absurdly cheesy dialogue, locations and scenarios. They then added Hitler. The title sequence even claimed that this was a ‘lost’ sitcom from that era, and it had been revived to showcase it’s ‘unsung comic vision’. Makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it?
Oh wait. Of course it bloody doesn’t.
There is nothing even close to redemptive about Heil Honey. The episode begins with a jaunty theme tune, mainly consisting of chirpy Aryans singing ‘heil honey’ in loving, sycophantic tones, before zooming on Hitler’s charming apartment building.
Then the horror truly begins. Hitler is applauded vigorously by the audience when he enters. Both him and Braun have inexplicable Brooklyn accents, and an argument begins as he’s too busy being the Fuhrer to make it home in time for schnitzel. We are introduced to the pair’s nosy, boorish Jewish neighbours, Arny and Rosa, and are supposed to feel sympathy for Adolf when the two ruin his dinner plans with Neville Chamberlain.
There is no way that this show could ever have worked, but at least solid writing would’ve been a step in the right direction. Choice ‘jokes’ from this episode include Hitler saying “I need to think nice thoughts…Poland, the Sudetenland, France” and following most adjectives with his own name (i.e. “I’m a bad Hitler”, “I’m a lucky Hitler”, etc.). It was revealed that in the next seven planned episodes, a storyline would be introduced where Hitler and Eva planned to murder the Goldensteins without ever having them find out it was them that ordered them killed. Now if that doesn’t scream light-hearted whimsy I don’t know what does.
If after this you still feel like subjecting yourself to the full episode, the whole thing can be found in three parts here: