Back in the middle ages, when I was in elementary school, word of mouth was how we learned of new TV shows we *had* to watch. Of course, there were only three channels back then, or at least only three with any shows we would have been discussing on the playground. I'm pretty sure we didn't waste much breath on PBS programming. In our house, at least, we were already plenty familiar with the lineup: Sesame Street, Electric Company, Mister Rogers, ZOOM. It was time to move beyond that. I remember feeling particularly rebellious about wanting to watch CHIPS. I had to see what all the talk was about. Who was this Ponch guy, anyway?
My son doesn't come home talking about TV shows. It's YouTube videos these days. I'm not sure which of his pals I can thank for turning him on to Dude Perfect (though I have a guess). If you're so fortunate as to not be on first name terms with Coby, Cody, Cory, Stinky, and Clyde (okay, I can't remember the last two at the moment, but give me a minute and they'll come to me), let me ruin it for you. Dude Perfect isn't one guy, it's five. Five human cartoon characters who spend all day filming trick shots and bottle flips, and screaming like ninnies when they pull one off. Which is every shot in the videos they post, because why bother showing the 999 fuckups that came beforehand?
Apparently, they've been at it for at least four years now. I know this, because when I googled "Is Dude Perfect Fake," the first links that came up were from 2013 and 2014, by which point people were already skeptical. (Interesting aside: I only typed in "Is Dude" when the first option on Google's autofill suggested "Is Dude Perfect Fake," so I'm not the first to have wondered.) In the dudes' defense, the consensus seems to be that most of their stunts are likely legit, though there is the question of how many times they tried something before getting it right. I mean, I could stand on my neighbor's roof and kick a soccer ball at my basketball hoop and if I try it enough times, eventually I'll make it. I might even jump and shout in celebration, too, though hopefully with enough caution I wouldn't fall off the neighbor's roof and break my neck.
It's the jumping and shouting after accomplishing any trick, simple or otherwise, that is now driving me up the wall. My son, of course, spends most of his free time emulating the dudes, and when he perfects a shot, or just gets lucky, or even simply manages to knock a Pringles can over with a tennis ball on the eighth try, he celebrates like he just won the Super Bowl.
And guess what he wants to be when he grows up now? He's calculated that the dudes will all be about my age by the time he's their age (mid-20s is his guess, though the beardy one looks a little older to me), and they might be ready to move on by then, or at least be edged out by a new trick wizard. Which is where he comes in. I'm hoping this dream will soon go the way of his previous career choices: super hero, ninja, and Premier League footballer (which, truth be told, I would love, but since he's "retired" from soccer at the tender age of 7, this will require a comeback). I'm still working on selling scientist as an appealing option, and he's mildly receptive, so there's hope. If I could just nudge him toward some Bill Nye videos, we'd be in business.