Title: "A Toast to Poverty"
Episode Number: 31
Production Date: April 20th, 1993
Running Time: 26:10
Somewhere in the middle of “A Toast to Poverty,” the program takes a random detour from the ostensible topic, wandering through a slightly off-kilter Easter Sunday party before eventually finding its way back to the serious matter of poverty. It seems random and bizarre, and it transforms the show from a diatribe about social inequities into a celebration of life.
You may wonder where I found the inspiration for this bold editing decision.
The truth is that it was a strategy born of desperation. Midway through editing this show, I misplaced one of the tapes. We were on a tight... [More...]
“A Toast To Poverty” (#31) is the point where J&B had not only hit their stride, but wound up totally transcending the original concept.
From a simple statistic - the fact that Bloomington is the 11th poorest city in the USA - J&B go on a sociological exploration of what lies behind it, via a surrealistically circuitous route that includes an Easter celebration and a doggie-doo production facility at work. The episode presents its point both factually and satirically, and pulls both aspects off perfectly (an extremely difficult task)!
Quintessential ROX, and arguably the best episode of the entire series!
Well, what else can you say about a show entirely based around some statistic from a guy whose name Our Heroes immediately bust a gut laughing at when it gets mentioned??
The Johnson Dairy and that entire surrounding area have long since been renovated and turned into office space (along with the Showers building, now largely occupied by the new City Hall). Local economy still sucks giant pitted asteroids though.
SIX DOLLARS! I CAN EAT TOMORROW!!
Addendum added 4/30/2010: The rooming house at 10th and Morton, pictured behind the opening titles of this episode, has now gone down... [More...]
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"A Toast to Poverty" was inspired by Bloomington's ranking as one of the poorest cities in the nation.
These were the best statistics we could find in 1993 for poverty levels in the Midwest.
B expounds yet another point in his endless pursuit of social justice, while J enjoys a cocktail and a cigarette.