The 90s television comedy programme Smack the Pony is, to me, even funnier because my nickname is ‘Pony’. * Yep, hilarity ensues in my household before the opening credits have even ended.
Title aside, it’s a brilliant programme, which I suggest you look up on the 4-OD website and watch immediately – it’s all there. Basically, it’s all ladies being silly and very funny.
It first came out in the late 90s and I dimly remember it from that time. Watching it now, my best bits are the 90s music video spoofs – classics such as Torn by Natalie Imbruglia and Drop Dead Gorgeous by Republica, among others. However, the remarkable thing was that it didn’t seem that remarkable.
I honestly think I was very lucky growing up in the 90s – not least because getting dressed up to go out meant putting on some baggy trousers and Adidas trainers, maybe adding an ironic sparkly hairclip or some blue nail varnish for a special occasion. Also because it was a short and blissful window when the alternative somehow became the mainstream. Sneakily, while no-one was looking.
Kenickie and Echobelly regularly got into the Top 10! Babylon Zoo were on Top of the Pops – with a song about spacemen being a massive pop hit, sung by a gorgeous man from Wolverhampton in a long silver skirt! A comedy programme fronted by a trio of women being hilarious would be on at primetime on a Friday night!
It’s like we’ve gone backwards since then, I swear it. And I don’t think this is me being all ‘ooh, the olden days were better’ now I’m an ancient and grumpy 31-year-old. Loads of good stuff is still out there, it’s just that now it’s a bit buried and thus harder to find. I keep hoping it will come back, that the current climate won’t be able to sustain itself and we will go back to a time when Lush could be a popular band, and a shiny orange shirt and long stretchy skirt was my smartest outfit.
If you don’t believe me that times have changed – in this era when I am reluctantly familiar with the crotch of every female pop star, now watch this video of the All Saints. Bearing in mind that at the time they were the coolest, sexiest and most mainstream pop group. No high heels to stop them doing a cool dance; nothing you would have to feel bad about your young cousins or nieces seeing; one of them is wearing an overcoat, for goodness’ sake. Is it too much to ask my popstars to put on an overcoat, just occasionally? A cool and sexy overcoat, like this. **
* Or ‘Pone’, for short – due to my short, sturdy Shetland-like legs and ‘trotty’ running style.
** And don’t you dare cite Chung as an example to girls for ‘dressing for themselves’. I like her, but I can’t believe she has the gall to claim this title for herself (which she does, all the time) – all she is doing is dressing to suit her own frame (fair enough), by showing loads of leg instead of boob. This does not somehow make her morally superior.