America is a country of masochists wanting nothing more than to be tied down, beat with fly swatters and be forced to choke down the hot, dripping load of whatever con artist we’re buying into at the moment. I understand that this is as profound a statement as pointing out that the sun rises in the east and automatic doors don’t open for Ron Paul voters, but it is the one solid guaranteed truth out there: we’re going to get screwed and not only take it, but beg for more like the dirty little sluts we are. For a citizenship that exists in a perpetual state of suspicion that the government is going to take away its guns, unread Bibles, and God-given right to be debtor slaves, it seems to welcome the blinders and throw money at snake oil salesmen with a gleeful abandon. In fact, just try and stop us.
The more ludicrous and improbable the idea, the more we buy into it. Affordable insurance and campaign finance reform? Not even on the table. In fact, you and your table can go back to Hippie Land and play bongos or whatever it is you Saul Alinsky reading scumbags do when not selling us out to the Muslims and the queers. Your dead uncle Carl is back and throwing plates at you because he has nothing else to do, on account of being both worm food and not real? Now we’re got something we can sink our teeth into.
Yes, we live in a country where suggesting things like maybe poor people should have access to health care that doesn’t come with tents and snake handling is just plain horrible thinking, but the non-existence of a mythological ape is something we’re always willing to debate. Granted, it’ a show on Animal Planet, and not something being cranked out by some egghead with one of those fancy learning degrees, so one’s expectations should be low. And despite how horrid the show actually is, I can’t help but watch it. It’s why Jesus and Reagan died for us, so that we can watch four idiots stumbling around with night vision cameras in a glorified snipe hunt.
Now, I suppose this is the part where I go on about why looking for Bigfoot is waste of time, and the Monster Squad would be better served huffing gas or replacing loose roof shingles, but yeah, I’m not going to bother. If you need to be convinced that the idea of a giant primate that hides in the woods, maintains enough of a breeding population to sustain itself, and hasn’t managed to be plowed into by a Ford Focus or shot and ate by Ted Nugent might be a little out there, then there isn’t anything I can do. You, however, can do me the small favor of not having children, or if you do, pull an Andrea Yates and knock the little darlings off before they can pass the genetic poison you’ve infected them with to the next generation. Thanks, it means a lot.
Anyway, back to the show. Team Squatch (yes, they have an official name, and no I’m not going to bother looking it up. Unlike the hours of tranny porn and bi orgies that are already there, I don’t want that nonsense to be found on any search history of mine) is led by the World’s Leading Bigfoot Researcher, Matt. He gets results you stupid chief, even if those results are howls edited in during post production. Along for the ride is the Dr. Fink to his Prince, some guy named Chad or Beta Dale or something along those lines. He doesn’t really seem to do all that much, so I never bothered to learn his name. He seems likeable enough guy, despite lacking Matt’s brooding, Heathcliff like intensity.
Next is Renee, bringing a female touch to the show as the lone skeptic. Her job is usually pointing out that the video of a man in an ape costume is more than likely a video of a man in an ape costume. This is usually done while the Price is Right you just lost at Plinko music plays, and the three guys snort with derision while making the jacking off motion behind her, “Yeah, sure. Guy in an ape suit. Sounds reallllllllllllll plausible there Ms. I have a degree.”
Sadly, despite her role as token sane person, Finding Bigfoot dropped the ball with Renee. They had a chance to insert a little sex appeal into the show with the role of sassy female doubter. Unless Gregory Peck: The To Kill a Mockingbird years is your thing, Renee isn’t bringing in much when it comes to the looks department. Picture Aubrey Plaza, rolling her eyes and throwing the guys a lil bass while showing off some leg and you’ll see what I mean by a lost opportunity. If she was willing to voice a mutant cat and be touched by Seth Rogen she has to be down for a little finding of the Bigfoot.
This brings us to the true breakout star of the show; a giant, Eeyore voiced Hippie named Bobo. When he’s not slouching to Bethlehem, Bobo can be found in the woods using all sorts of tricks to find Bigfoot, which range from screaming and beating sticks together to putting out Twinkies and (I wish I was joking) hosting raves and ho downs in attempts to lure the beast into the open. He’s like watching a live action Wile E. Coyote chasing down a non-existent Roadrunner, complete with his habit of falling off of things.
One of my fondest viewing moments of the show was watching the lunk walk off the edge of a porch as he scanned the woods with a night vision camera and missed the railing. The comedy gold of watching him stare into the screen like a gaffed salmon as he laid on the ground was only matched by the rest of the team running around screaming, “Bobo is down!” with an intensity that makes one think that his brains were splattered across Dealey Plaza rather than having taken a five-foot fall. I’m pretty certain he’s fallen off of other stuff on the show as well. He’s also puked on Tibetan monks, spraying them with half-digested meat sticks and Funyuns as they talked to the team about the non-Burl Ives version of the Abominable Snowman.
The structure of the show is as reliable as a Shakespearean sonnet. The gang rolls into a town that’s had a Bigfoot sighting, hot on the scent of the elusive cryptid, pausing only to gather up whatever Wack jobs and extras willing to work for scale they can find to have a sort of Bigfoot’s Anonymous meeting. A handful of people will tell their encounters with the beast, complete with re-enactments of the event and CGI effects somewhere between Anaconda and that old winged toaster screensaver. What makes this part great is there are always giggling jackasses trying to keep a straight face in the background as the cameraman desperately tries to get them out of the shot.
And sure enough, the Finding Bigfoot crew will traipse out to the middle of nowhere to spend their nights howling and screaming in the hopes of luring in a Squatch, all while being filmed in that weird night vision light that makes everyone’s eyes look like those demonic choir boys from the video for Total Eclipse of the Heart. I hope in the years to come, Matt can put on copies of his crowning achievement to show his grandkids their grand pappy out in forest, screaming like a jagaloon with his buddies and say, “This. This is my legacy to you. This is what put your parents through college and fueled my taste in high-cost Russian escorts.” And I, gentle readers, am right there with him to share in his triumphs and heartbreaks.
In the end, despite watching the show to point and laugh, I admit to having a soft spot for the Finding Bigfoot team. Sure, either they actually believe in this gibberish and are morons or they’re con artists looking to make a quick buck off a gullible viewing audience, but they seem to be at least enjoying themselves. How many of us can admit that we actually like our jobs? The only thing keeping me going is the fantasy that when my heart gives out from years of propelling my gelatinous, butter-like mass, I’ll be at work and have just enough strength to wedge myself into some hard-to-reach area so they have a bitch of a time pulling my corpse out. They’ve found themselves a niche, and if we, America, are stupid enough to buy into it, then who are we to judge when they milk that cash cow for all it’s worth.