Italian TV – Vive la differenza

Italian TV – Vive la differenza

Monday, October 4th, 2010

On one of my first trips to Italy many years ago I visited a friend who was living a few miles south of Rome. One evening he said, “You’ve got to see this TV show, you won’t believe it!” Well, he was right, it was hard to believe. On this show women would willingly “pop their tops”, i.e. take off everything above the waist for the world to see. If that happened here the Moral Majority would probably be marching in the streets with pitchforks and torches. This is one of those unique differences between Italian and American TV. Of course Italian TV has a bunch of “spazzatura” (trash) TV, much of which seems to have originated in this country. There are shows that cause confrontations ending in fights – hello, Jerry Springer. They have a show “Grande Fratello” which is, of course, “Big Brother”. Sadly we have exported the trash from here to clutter up Italian TV. Then of course there are the really unique, crazy shows like the one that I described above. I happened across a YouTube video of a similar show. The title says it’s from the 90s. Here’s another pitchfork and torch show. It’s a game show with two couples as contestants. The host asks a question and one of the men answers the question. If wrong, then his spouse has to remove an article of clothing. I don’t know how far this goes but bare breasts are not ruled out. In this clip the couple that is the focus is the couple on the left. I can imagine him as a junior accountant and her as a 2nd grade teacher in the local school. How they get these people to come on the show must be a story in itself.

Of course there are a lot of interesting and amusing commercials in the world, mostly they seem to come from beer companies. I’ve found Italian ones for beer as well but the most amusing is the one below that seems to be for a telephone company.

Italians are, of course, famous for being passionate football fans. I have witnessed this myself when I attended a game (partita) in Rome between Lazio (that’s Rome’s region, i.e. state) and Naples. Lazio lost and it’s hard to describe the expressions of despair and actions (tears, gnashing of teeth, etc.) of the surrounding fans. Fans is short for fanatics of course and this is exhibited more by Italians than anyone else that I’ve ever seen. Of course in Oakland we have the Oakland Raiders fans so we can’t really mock anyone else’s fans. Still, this announcer is really something else. Not only that, the suits in the studio get into the act. You’re not going to see this on ESPN anytime soon.

Surely someone else out there has seen crazy TV, especially amusing foreign commercials and wacko fans. Please share.

2 Responses to “Italian TV – Vive la differenza”

  1. Dana Says:

    Joe! Funny you have this now! I like to watch dancing of all kinds. So a show called Dance Blob caught my eye Saturday evening on my hosts’ TV. It apparently showcases what the producers consider to be great dance acts they have seen over the course of the week. It was not bad. It included a couple of Hollywood/broadway acts, some great Rumba’s and other latino dancing, different types of contemporary and hip hop performances, and…a lap dance and a good quality striptease act. I thought “Only in Italy!”, and also considered the reaction of the bible belt area I live in. I love Italy!


  2. Joe Says:


    I’m glad that you liked that. Did you check the sports announcer? He’s nuts but so are a lot of the “tifosi” (fans) in Italy. Let me know if you see any really different TV.


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