Good grief. Another Wednesday evening spent watching American Diggers on Spike TV. Why do I torture myself so?
Tonight they went to St. Augustine, Florida and down in the bayou area of Louisiana. There were some neat relics found and I do have to give them kudos for finding a $20 double eagle, St. Gaudens’ design gold coin. They’re rare and worth a LOT of money these days.
I could probably enjoy the show if it weren’t for one thing — the owner/host/announcer/blowhard Ric Savage. He gives history and information about the places they go and the things they find as if he’s rehearsed whatever the production team’s researcher has pulled off the Internet. He yells at the camera during the entire show and heaven help you if your television is accidentally turned-up a bit loud and he finds something he thinks is wonderful ’cause you’re going to hear him scream about it. And not just any scream — the well-rehearsed scream that comes from professional wrestlers.
He fully admits that he used to be a professional wrestler (I still don’t remember ever seeing him in a match). I once had some “professional” wrestlers (they got paid but weren’t on any of the big circuits) come into our store years ago and they talked about how they had to practice their “speeches” that they’d give after every match and there were classes on how to yell at the camera. They also admitted that the hardest thing to do was to keep from laughing when their partner/friend/ally/opponent/enemy/whatever said something incredibly stupid. That’s why when you watch professional wrestling, especially from the 1980s-1990s, you’ll see people gritting their teeth or sucking in their cheeks. They’re not trying to look mean and vicious. They’re just trying to not blow their cover as an actor.
And Ric’s got it down to a science. Every time he yells he throws his arms up in the air and sticks his gut out with a loud howl. And it’s usually a “boo-yah” or “woo-hoo” followed by something either unintelligible or the name of the place where they’re digging. You can predict where every scream is going to happen in a show and they conveniently edit it so that you have to hear it multiple times.
Sadly, every time I watch the show I’m reminded of another show. One that many people watched over the years and caused many parents to complain. There’s an episode of the old Ren & Stimpy Show called “Mad Dog Höek” where the guys have just finished a wrestling match and both the winners and losers get a chance to make their cases. It’s hysterical and I end up quoting it at one point during the show or another because it fits so perfectly.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, I give you the Ending Speech Scene from “Mad Dog Höek” — try to watch American Diggers and not think of this. I dare you.