I was recently having a discussion with someone who does marketing for Pepsi’s website, and I asked them, “Who goes to Pepsi.com?” They didn’t really have an answer, because while I love Pepsi, I have never been to Pepsi.com. Likewise, “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” are two of my favorite TV shows, but I’ve never been to their official websites (the closest I come is watching old episodes on Hulu) because IMDb and Wikipedia can answer for me what Ben called Perd Hapley at the end of “Media Blitz” (correct answer: Turd Crapley). But nearly every show in the Internet era has (or had) one, and thanks to the magic of the Way Back Machine, we can see what, say, the website for “Freaks and Geeks” looked like (way) back in the day.
Here are ten of my favorites.
USA Today: “…hands-down the best sitcom of the new season”? No wonder newspapers are dying. There’s also some hideously outdated “how to survive in Hollywood” tips, like, “No trucker hats or wristbands in auditions. They just make you look like a wang.”Also, just to show the way TV viewership has changed: “Joey” was on at 8 p.m. on Thursday nights, the time slot now owned by “Community,” and it averaged 7.3 million viewers, a huge ratings failure. What did “Community” get in season two? 4.5 million. [Also a ratings failure, but permissible in NBC's decayed state. -Ed.]
There’s a poll on the “Joe Millionaire” website for, “Would you want someone worth $50 Million?” (You’d think a billion dollar network would know not to capitalize million, but whatever.) The results:
There are other polls dating back to 2002, too, including, “Will the final 4 women use sex appeal to win over Evan?” and “Are the girls gold-diggers or love-seekers?” Yes and Kanye.
Another source of entertainment on the website is the Paul the Butler’s recap section (Paul’s actual last name: Hogan), which inexplicably ended on January 27, 2003, three weeks before the finale. WHAT HAPPENED?!?
I couldn’t remember the name of my favorite “Kid Nation” refugee, but I remembered something about her. So I typed in “kid nation bitch” to Google, and the first result gave me who I was looking for: bitchy Taylor, the original Eden, pictured above. On her official bio, when asked, “Who have been some of the worst U.S. presidents, and why?” Taylor responded (sic’d), “Since I’m only 11 & Bush has been Pres. for the last 7 years then I asked my family & friends to tell me about some past presidents and their opinions. This is what we came up with. Bill Clinton because he lowered the country’s moral. Jimmy Carter because he gave away the Panama Canal.”
“Kid Nation” only ran for one season, but the application for season two remains. Sample question: “Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, or do you have a crush on anyone? If so, tell us about him or her.” They also need to know your favorite desert. My kind of application.