by G. Jack Urso
Hot Hero Sandwich’s “What In, What’s Out” segments are short clips of young people giving their opinion on the latest crazes, music, and slang. The introduction’s primal drumming and crunchy, screaming guitar work by the Hot Hero Band captures the unbridled teen spirit. What better way to explore what kids feel then letting them speak for themselves?
The children are from local schools on a field trip and coordinated with the show producers. The segments, directed by Gail Frank, wife of Hot Hero Sandwich writer Joe Bailey (who also wrote for Sesame Street and The Muppet Show), also show how difficult it is to pin down the likes and dislikes of the young teen demographic. This is amply demonstrated in the episode 6 segment about the great existential question in 1979, which is better, Rock or Disco music? Every kid seems to have a different answer.
To the historian, these “person on the street” interviews have more significance beyond just the entertainment value. Here, we see a snapshot of the attitudes, fashion, and language of NYC teens in the late 1970s (which were probably similar to teens in other urban areas). Whether it is a historian or a movie production trying to recreate an era, these segments can be invaluable.
All clips are hosted on the Hot Hero Sandwich Central YouTube channel.
What In, What’s Out Segments:
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