8 Black TV Moments That Belong in a Museum

by jhill1010

September 23, 2016

With the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., we couldn’t help but think that among the artifacts from slavery, the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, there needs to be some space dedicated to Black TV.

Some of these shows got us through hard times. Whether it was surviving a whooping or a heartbreak, these shows brought us together in really profound and very different ways. Now, some of you maybe saying “hey, isn’t this just another installment of my favorite TVOne.tv franchise ‘The Breakdown?'” Well, yes. Yes it is. But it’s also a serious (sorta) look at the moments that remain etched in our collective memories.

So without further ado, we offer five keen observations from The Doobie Brothers episode of “What’s Happening?!”

  1. While it’s not captured in this clip, watching ReRun trying to illegally tape the Doobie Brothers gave us legit anxiety. Like, we needed a bottle of Pepto and a several hits of . . .  tobacco . . . just to calm down. Because you KNOW he’s gonna get caught, and he IS breaking the law, but man, we just want him to get away with it and go home.
  2. Is it us or does this scene feel like the end of a Scooby Doo episode? In fact, the whole episode feels like one — from how it just takes a break from telling a story to showcase a performance to how chummy these superstars were with these no-name regular folks. We half expected the police to pull Al Dunbar’s mask off and reveal Old Man Cratchet who would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for these meddlin’ kids.
  3. Exactly how much free time did the Doobie Brothers have? These guys were on top of the world in 1978 (don’t act like you don’t still sing “he came from somewhere back in her long ago!”), so it’s hard for us to believe they would skip all the free booze, groupies and . . . tobacco . . . to organize a sting based on the word of some kid.
  4. Sorry, we can’t let this go — imagine you’re a cop and the ENTIRE Doobie Brothers band shows up saying “hey, this kid says he was strong-armed into illegally taping our concert. Can you organize a team to go down to Rob’s and strategically hide behind all the exits so we can catch him?” I mean, maybe if it was Kanye, but we’re just not buying it.
  5. You know how we look back at the 70s with all the chest hair and lack of plastic surgery as a more body-positive time? Yeah, tell that to ReRun. After all is said and done, this episode ends up being a long-winded fat joke because “ol’ tubby” can’t control his cravings?!?! For shame, late 70s, for shame!

Got a TV moment you’d love to see us break down? Leave a comment below or hit us up @tvonetv

Want more Breakdowns?

1. “A Different World’s” Wedding Scene

2. “Good Times” Damn, Damn, Damn Moment

3. Max and Kyle Sleep Together on “Living Single”

4. The opening to “What’s Happening!!”

5. Penny Gets Burned on “Good Times”

6. When Dwayne Put Whitley in Check on “A Different World”

7. The Black Jesus Episode of “Good Times”

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