Hot Hero Sandwich, Episode 3: Andy Breckman,“Tommy Two,” with the Hot Hero Band
by G. Jack Urso
Andy Breckman, backed up by the Hot Hero Band, performs “Tommy Two.”
In Aeolus 13 Umbra’s further exploration
of the 1979-1980 children’s educational television show, Hot Hero Sandwich, we
turn our attention to a music clip demonstrating the show’s approach to exploring the issues young people deal with growing up — in this case, the sense of loneliness and difficulty making friends. The video of the performance is provided above, and the lyrics below, in this article.
Andy Breckman performs his song “Tommy
Two” in Episode 3 of Hot Hero Sandwich.Breckman was a writer on Hot Hero
Sandwich (and also played the Puberty Fairy), and later for Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday
Night Live, and created the TV series Monk.
I'm not exactly sure who the child actor is, but it may be the show’s resident child actor Adam
Ross as Breckman’s mini-me, Tommy Two. Ross is now an author and currently editor of the literary journal, The Sewanee Review.
The song, using a Country and
Western touch, details the plight of a bored young man who decides to build
himself a computerized pal. On the surface, it’s a funny song meant to elicit
laughs, but there is deeper, sadder, current underneath. This is lonely boy with
no friends. It’s easy to forget this part of adolescence. The social
awkwardness when trying to find a group of peers where you feel accepted — and the
rejection that comes when you aren’t. How much easier would it be to be able to create our own friends?
Ironically, in the age of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and robotics, such a scenario, however farcical, may not be so far-farfetched anymore.
This type of messaging was later followed by interviews with Dr. Tom Cottle interviewing celebrities to
touch on some of the topics (this episode featured interviews with Leonard
Nimoy, Donna Pescow, Richard Pryor, and Sally Struthers). This approach was
typical of the show, exploring common themes in the episode though song, skits,
A behind-the-scenes photo of the performance (credit: Sherry Coben).
“Tommy Two” by Andy
[Note, the text in
italics is the robot Tommy Two’s responses in the song]
Well, making friends was always kind of difficult for me
Friday nights, I used to be so blue
But now I know that making friends is easy as can be
All you need is some wire and some glue
You take a small computer, you put it in a mold
Then close it up, that’s all you have to do
Like this kid standing here, he’s only seven hours old
I plugged him in and called him Tommy Two
Would you clean my room?
And would you do my homework when you’re through?
Then would you mow the lawn?
Making friends is so much fun to do
The other kids they never want to play with me enough
I used to be so lonesome and so bored
But now I take my Tommy with me everywhere I go
All I need is a long extension cord
Tommy Two, I want to go outside
and play some basketball with you
You better let me win
I always win when I play Tommy Two
Holy cow! I never been so popular before
I swear I never felt so confident
Someday I’ll build a factory and make ten million more
and then I’m gonna run for president!
Come here and scratch my back
You can make my dinner when you’re through
A little lower to the right
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tommy Two
Yeah, making friends is so much fun to do
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Good job breaking down how HHS dealt with issues and feelings kids experience. Kind of makes me want to be that kid again and start over.ReplyDelete
Music is pretty good!ReplyDelete