Back in my youth, I naturally was not as savvy in my musical and comedy tastes, but I did trust my instincts. There’s nonsense as in “Alice and Wonderland” and then there’s nonsense as in sheer nuttiness (with many hidden messages) and outer space goofiness. “Lost in Space,” and “Green Acres” come immediately to mind from TV land in the 1960s.
Actually, academics could rightly go back and dissect every one of those “Green Acres” episodes, deconstruct them, and write copious amounts of academic nonsense, and still come away scratching their collective heads. I mean, Arnold the Pig (formally known as Arnold Ziffel) and his “parents,” were brilliant takes on our total disregard for animal intelligence, then and now, but we are improving a bit. Arnold was the smartest one on the show. All the “types” were in that series, all commingling in a countrified, absurdist theater. I used to get headaches watching it! But how zany and appropriate for the crazy times we’re living in now!