It’s a domestic sitcom. But with Hitler.
I expected any number of things from this show, canceled after only one episode. I expected it to be offensive, subversive, maybe clever. What I didn’t expect was boring. The 25 minute program barely held my attention, with me drifting off to pack another box twice. It literally ends in a conga line involving Neville Chamberlain.
Upon its 1990 release, the show was incredibly controversial, and the outcry caused its early cancellation. I love controversial and banned entertainment, and I’m not easily offended. I had to bite. Expectations were high for this legendary flop.
The plotline is a sitcom standby- Neighbor A (in this case Hitler and Eva Braun) tries to conceal an important dinner guest (Neville Chamberlain) from Neighbor B (the Jewish Goldensteins.) Obviously, the Goldensteins find out because Braun slips up and tells them, and attend the dinner, and Hitler needs to make them leave before Chamberlain turns up. Also, Rosa Goldenstein wants to set Chamberlain up with her niece, Ruth. None of this is done tastefully or creatively, or even all that well.
For instance, none of the characters make any sense. Hitler and Braun are pretty much the standard “sitcom” couple, with her being a loudmouth with no discretion, and him being a bumbling idiot. The Goldensteins don’t fare much better, with Rosa feeling like a dollar-store-brand Ethel Mertz, and Arny not being memorable at all. Instead of placing a slightly more realistic but still cartoonish version of real people into these mundane events, they just slapped a moustache on a random actor and got to it.
Heil, Honey, I’m Home! fails on every conceivable level. Mel Brooks did Nazi satire earlier and better in the Springtime for Hitler sequence of The Producers. Sitcom parodies have been done to death, most recently with Adult Swim’s deeply unsettling Too Many Cooks. It doesn’t even succeed in being shocking or offensive, because it’s not smart enough to be either of those things.
When researching the show, I found that the producers intended the show to come off silly and corny, as it was supposed to be a send-up of the American sitcom and of German appeasement. What results is a nearly unwatchable mess. I have seen some of the worst films of all time. I would rather watch Movie 43 again than watch this garbage.
If you hate yourself, the video is available in its entirety on YouTube. Don’t watch it. It’s 25 minutes of your life you can’t get back.