Single Man vs. The Sitcom Man

If you haven’t had the pleasure of happening on Jason Vana’s fun, funny and fundamentally challenging blog, you’re losing out. I’ve only recently had the pleasure of knowing Jason, but you’ll find he’s the world’s youngest grandpa, has a passion for college ministry, missions and all things Czech. You should read his stuff while munching on kolaches. If you’re on Twitter, give him a follow. You will not regret this.

Ladies, he’s single. He cooks. He sews. He cleans. He knows the difference between there and their and they’re (and now, while I’m still singing “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” I’ll turn it over to his guest post!)

——————————————————————————————-

As a single man in my 30’s, I have a natural born nemesis.

It’s not the nagging thought that I will be single the rest of my life, or the growing piles of dirty laundry around my laundry basket (though I’m pretty sure I was created to HATE doing laundry), or even the occasional missing button or ripped seam on my clothes (I did master the sewing machine after all).

No, my nemesis is a lot worse than any of that. He likes to sneak into your homes, woo you with his funny ways, and convince you to think less of me.

He is none other than the Sitcom Man.

Sure, guys like Tim Taylor (Home Improvement), Ray Barone (Everyone Loves Raymond), Charlie and Alan Harper (Two and a Half Men), Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother) and countless other male sitcom characters make us laugh. They bring joy and humor into our night time line-up. They might even help us forget about some of the stress going on in our lives.

But don’t be fooled! They are up to something more devious than just making you laugh…

They are out to make every man look like a helpless idiot.

Think about it. Each show is roughly the same: idiot husband does something idiotic, tries to hide it from his nanny of a wife who eventually finds out and confronts him, and ends with him having to apologize and promising to do better. Or the eternal bachelor spends night after night after night seducing women, treating them like objects, and never learning his lesson.

These men are helpless, don’t know how to be open and vulnerable, are always doing the stupidest things, and would probably be a dirty, starving, ungroomed hobo if it weren’t for their wife.

And while that might make for a great sitcom, the worst part is…

That’s how a lot of people see the male gender.

We’re helpless.
We don’t know how to take care of ourselves.
And if we don’t have a woman in our lives, we’re nothing but gross slobs playing video games all day in clothes that haven’t been washed in months.

I have an uphill battle to fight.

‘Cause you see, not all men are helpless idiots.

I like to think that I’m a pretty good, independent kind of guy. I know how to take care of myself. I know how to cook a real meal (and not just microwave dinners). I know how to do laundry. I know how to keep a fairly clean house. I’m motivated, hard working, treat the ladies with honor and respect, don’t need to be told to take the garbage out, or do the dishes or mow the lawn. I try to be generous, caring, loving. I share my thoughts,  when I have them (yes ladies, it’s actually possible for us guys to be thinking about nothing), and feelings with others and like to think I’m fairly intelligent.

My momma didn’t raise a fool.

And so I will continue to fight against my natural-born nemesis. When he tries to convince you that all men are slobs, I’ll show you my well kept house. When he tries to make you believe that we are all womanizers, I’ll show you a man who respects women. When he tries to show you that men are helpless, idiotic, selfish and only think with their little head, I’ll show you a man who doesn’t need a woman to take care of him like a mother, but a man who wants a woman to share his life with.

Sitcom Man…you are going down!

Who’s your favorite Sitcom Man and what image does he portray of men?

Advertisements

73 responses to “Single Man vs. The Sitcom Man

  1. fight the good fight! I’m going to go make some raman.

    homer simpson is my fav, of course.

  2. I totally agree with you here. Sitcoms, though funny to watch, do have a large portion of people thinking men are idiots and women are either nagging or slutty. I am single as well and a mother as well, so I feel your pain. Hang in there, not all of us believe this.
    Great guest post! Funny too

    • On my first trip to Europe, I spoke at a church and hung out with their pastor who believed that all Americans were wealthy, because of what is portrayed on our TV, and what most of the world thinks about us. I know sitcoms are entertainment and I’m not about to try and bring down the system, but it’s interesting to see how often our mindsets are shaped by what we see on TV.

  3. My fav is Michael off of the office. Why? because he is totally oblivious to everything.

  4. Well, I don’t know if you can go up against….the one and only….Mr. Huxtable!!!! He is the MAN!!! lol…

    Really good post…

  5. Pingback: The Single Man vs The Sitcom Man | Jason Vana

  6. I think I still surprise people fairly often when they find out that I cook my own meals and am generally able to take care of myself. What am I supposed to do, live with my mommy until I get married? Somehow, I think that would be somewhat of a deterrent to the ladies….

    My favorite sitcom man would have to be Bill Cosby. Sure, he was goofy, and he got into trouble for cheating on his diet fairly often, but he was a pretty good husband and father overall.

    • Yea, I get that a lot, too. People who don’t know me are surprised that I can feed myself something other than take-out food, groom myself and keep a clean house. It’s like – I’m a grown man. I know how to take care of myself.

      I think the best part though is, unlike some of my friends who NEED a woman to survive, I don’t. Which means when i do get married, it won’t be because I need a nanny, but I love a woman.

      I’m awesome that way 😀

      • A couple of years ago, one of our pastors invited me to his house for Easter dinner. It was a semi-pot-luck kind of deal, so I volunteered to bring a casserole. The casserole itself was ridiculously easy to make (combine a few packages of ingredients, toss it in a pan, and cook it), but based on everyone’s reactions, you would’ve thought I was a gourmet chef! The pastor’s wife was the best; she kept talking to the single girls there, saying “Isn’t that casserole good? Logan made it, did you know he could cook?” Very subtle….

  7. Andy Taylor (Opie’s dad in Mayberry).

    I think we’d all feel better if we watched TVLand more.

  8. Great post. I enjoyed reading it 🙂

  9. “and only think with their little head” LOL. Yes, I’m immature!

    My favorite sitcom character is George from Seinfeld. He is funny, weird, and just plain awesome. The summer of George. How I wish I had a summer of Moe. LOL.

    • I figured you would be the one to copy the little head comment. LOL

      Ah yes, the summer of George. I kind of had a winter of Jason when I first was unemployed. I didn’t get to do much cause I had no money, but it was nice sleeping in and being a bum for a while.

  10. Now for Tool Time, the character I get compared to (even by the old who are you tests) is Wilson. And my friends think it’s fairly accurate. I’m the slightly odd, even-tempered neighbor with a long-suffering listening ear and wisdom to offer for your problems. And possibly a long story.

  11. I can definitely go along with the votes for Mr. Huxtable of the Cosby Show. Sure, he got in trouble at times, but he loved his wife, loved his kids, and kept them generally under control. He was smart enough that they couldn’t put much past him for long.

  12. Michael Scott from The Office. He is hilarious. Sad to see him go…

  13. Kristin! Your blog just yelled at me for commenting too quickly. lol

    Oh, and you forgot to mention in your little blurb at the top that I’m really Superman in disguise. Let’s be honest, I am that awesome. LOL
    (yes people, I am just joking. I’m not really that cocky).

    • yeah, slow down there, buddy. We take things easy on blogs down here in the South.

      I did forget that. I apologize.

      **Retraction: In an earlier sentence, I said Jason Vana was the world’s youngest grandpa. I retract that statement and replace with “Jason Vana is the world’s cockiest grandpa”

  14. “yes ladies, it’s actually possible for us guys to be thinking about nothing” – Thank so much for getting this out there. Usually when I get asked that question, If I was thinking about something, it goes right out the window when I start listening to her.

  15. Kristen,

    You’re single, right?

    Am I the only one who isn’t blind here?

    Ya, that’s what I thought.

    -DS

  16. Awesome post Jason! You are God’s hero.

    Phil Dunphy from Modern Family embodies everything that you wrote about here and more. I wonder why I find him so hilarious. It’s sad actually, but he is my favorite right now.

  17. I have much love for Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and Leonard, but mostly Sheldon.

    He’s smart. I dig smart guys. Mia calls him a “handsome dork.” but, he does feed into the self-absorbed male archetype.

    Bazinga!

    I really appreciate you guest posting here. This rocks.

  18. I think some of my favorite sitcom characters are Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster. They are stinkin’ clever and hilarious although I will admit that Shawn’s character tends (at least in the first two or three seasons) to be womanizer type figure. Another thing about these two guys, who are supposed to be in their late twenties, I guess, is that they are portrayed, in some ways, as grown-up boys. While I don’t have a problem with men acting child-like at times, I sure wouldn’t want to marry a grown-up boy.

    • I LOVE Psych…and Shawn and Gus crack me up. Definitely one of my favorite shows out there, but I agree with you, they do act like little boys in mens bodies. The sad thing is, there really are quite a few guys out there who are still just little boys – spending more time playing video games than with their wives or children, or being completely irresponsible and blaming others for their actions.

      I frequently want to hit those guys upside the head. In Christ, of course. lol

  19. And no, gentlemen, it really isn’t possibly for us girls to think of nothing. That’s why your claim is so hard to accept. : )

    I think that the entertainment industry grabbed the man stereotype to be the butt of all jokes because, as the figure with the most power in our country, it was “harmless” to mock men.

    Not to get all Dr. Laura on you, but I don’t think it was harmless. We’ve had decades of constant deluge of men as incompetents. I think viewing that image of men over and over again has effected our perspective.

    I fight it, honest. But I admit, the biggest laughs in our family always come when Daddy hurts himself doing something that should have been manly.

    As for sit-com men…It’s not exactly the same, but right now I’m fond of Doc Marten from the brit-dramedy of the same name. Talk about complete male stereotype. Doctor afraid of blood and casebook aspergers to boot. But it sure is funny.

    • I’m with you, I definitely don’t see it as harmless. Not only is that the image that boys and young men see of what it means to be a man, but over time, it has shaped how people act and treat men. It says a lot about what is expected of men when people are surprised that I can take care of myself. I remember making fun of one of my buddies in college who still had his mom doing his laundry for him…and folding it! While I hate doing laundry (as I’m sure most people are), it was sad to see that as a guy in his late teens/early twenties, he couldn’t do something as simple as laundry.

  20. ok.. if i were a single… and a lady…. Id be like…”how you doin” but im neither of those so the post was just ok.. 🙂 im kidding im kidding. Dude i was in the same spot as you back in the day. I knew how to pretty much everything for myself.

    So I loved how you ended your post…

    “I’ll show you a man who doesn’t need a woman to take care of him like a mother, but a man who wants a woman to share his life with.”

    that’s is exactly what we men are looking for someone to do life along side with. Great post man.

    • “ok.. if i were a single… and a lady…. Id be like…”how you doin”” – I’m not really sure how to respond to that statement. Are you man-crushing on me again, Adam? lol

      I bet your wife appreciates the fact that you do know how to take care of yourself. I know too many women who have to treat their husbands like big kids – and I can’t imagine that it’s good for the marriage.

  21. Andy Griffith — the UN-sitcom man! Loving, caring, funny, witty…but he smoked…guess what trait would keep him off the air today.

  22. And the other one we fight against is the Romantic Comedy Guy who oozes charm and romance so as to make us mere mortals look like hapless buffoons (of course, most of those movies are written by women). So either way we’re screwed! 🙂

    My favorite sitcom man? Ron and Tom are great from Parks and Recreation, but I don’t know who I would identify as a favorite.

    Great post, Jason!

    • Ooh, good call jasonS! Romantic Comedy Guy is indeed a tough act to keep up with.

    • Ah yes, Romantic Comedy Guy. I hear he’s just as bad as Romance Novel guy. Either way…so not realistic. I like to think of myself as an old-school romantic, and I am a fan of the chick-flick (sorry, I’m not turning in my man card!), but yea, Romantic Comedy Guy is such a fake.

      And I love Parks & Rec!

  23. I was pondering some of the responses on favorite Sitcom guys, and it occurs to me we have two possible interpretations of that:

    1) Sitcom guy you think is the best role model.
    2) Sitcom guy you have the most fun watching and laughing at.

    Cliff Huxtable is definitely pretty high on that #1 list.
    For the #2 list, I don’t know if he’d be the favorite but Steve Urkel would place pretty high. :>

  24. A fantastic post. I often rant about how teachers are portrayed in films (either uptight/incompetent or self-sacrificing to the nth degree), but you’re also right: men aren’t given a great image in sitcoms.

    I’d agree with some of your other commenters: Cliff Huxtable = yup. Phil from Modern Family = yup.

    And Jim Halpert from The Office is quite yummy. (not sure that was one of your requirements, though). But included in the unofficial definition of yumminess is competence, confidence, humour, passion, sensitivity.

    Leanne

    • I’m not gonna lie, if I was a woman, I would find Jim Halpert yummy as well. You have great taste, Leanne!

      *did I seriously just admit to my Office man-crush on here?!*

      • I’m not gonna lie, you did, and, rather than repulsive, your exceeding good taste makes it pretty dang adorable.

        no, more than adorable, adora-bibble

      • In my case, though, it’s because I identify with Jim. I was always the goofy guy at the places I worked. Ask my former coworkers at the newspaper where I worked – they will tell you stories about purple monkeys, me sneaking up behind them to scare them, me doing my T-Rex biting, and just always being weird.

        Yea…I’m the real life Jim. Minus marrying the hot secretary.

  25. I’m with Moe. My favorite is George from Seinfeld – always hilariously trying to find the shortcut, easy way out, and had a ridiculously large wallet.

  26. I’m not sure it really counts as a sitcom, but I also generally feel a certain kinship with Chuck from, well, Chuck. Only I have no involvement with government agencies, no one’s trying to kill me, and I don’t have a stunningly beautiful Australian woman desperately in love with me (kinda sad about that last one).

    • I LOVE Chuck! One of my favorite shows.

      • You know, having spent the last hour or so on and off reading your blog posts, plus comment discussions, I have the impression you and I would get along really well, with occasional bouts of what Jeff Easter refers to as “intense moments of fellowship”.

  27. First timer commenter!! 🙂 “we’re nothing but gross slobs playing video games all day in clothes that haven’t been washed in months.” my dream.. jk
    I’m married but if I were single I feel that I would be in the same boat your in Jason. I think I’m well kept. Michael Scott of “The Office” is my favorite sitcom man. Besides being crazy funny he always wears a suit and keeps his hair groomed. That’s pretty good.

    • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have my gross slob, lay around and do nothing days for sure, but I just don’t LIVE like that 100% of the time.

      And I love the Office. One of my favorite all-time shows. Very sad to see Michael leave.

  28. Can I cite Mork (Robin Williams) from Mork and Mindy? I guess he says that all men should wear a down vest and are from the planet Ork.

    You’re spot on about sitcom men. The converse is that women are portrayed as condescending nags who don’t really love men, just tolerate them for various purposes.

    First time I’ve read your stuff. I likey! This is def gonna be in my next Pop Tops feature. 🙂

    • I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mork and Mindy episode. I’ve seen some ads for it, and know the premise, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched a whole episode before. But, I think he’s right, men are from another planet. lol

      I’m not a fan of how women are portrayed on sitcoms either, or kids, but seeing as I’m not a woman, I thought it better if I just stuck to the sitcom man. He is going down!

  29. LOVE THIS POST!!

    My momma didn’t raise no fool either!

  30. Jason, I have so many thing to say about this… FIRST- there was a study back in like 2002 about men in the media and how it’s okay that we make fun of them and it all came back to this notion that because we’re the majority, power-holders, blah blah blah men are all idiots.

    Second, I am not in my thirties, but just today, I got a forty-five minute lecture about finding a wife. I’m not sure if this human was trying to keep me from potentially skipping the country here, or if they really think that I need to get hitched this very moment.

    Either way, there’s a two-way relationship based on need and we’re all idiots. Thanks for sharing!

    • Don’t you just love it?! I mean, it’s ok to be a woman and proud, it’s ok to be black and proud, it’s ok to be atheist and proud, it’s even ok to be gay and proud. But if you’re a straight, white, Christian man (ahem, US) then you are a chauvinistic, sexist, racist homophobe and should hate yourself.

      And, um, didn’t you get the message? You MUST get married right now, or the universe will implode. Don’t kill us like that, Jake. lol

  31. Raymond. I think it’s because I relate to him more than anyone. And to be honest, that kinda makes me look bad.

  32. Dr. Huxtable. He was the man – and he portrayed a loving, emotionally healthy dad very well. Plus, he was also Fat Albert.

  33. Keviana Elliot

    YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! AMEN!! AMEN!! A-M-E-N!!! AMEN!!! You PREACH it, Brother!!!!

    That is exactly why I can STAND any sitcoms! That’s why I NEVER follow the shows! It bugs me to death that they have a field day with the male gender! Ugh!!! Men should be encouraged to be manly! Every man should have a lady other than their mom encouraging them on toward God-surrendered greatness! PREACH IT!!! Whoooo-hooo! *fistbump* YOU, Prince Jason, have just given one of the GREATEST arguements for men everywhere! You even trumped the Old Spice commercials in my mind, and that’s tough to do!

    …And wow! You are also the first blogger to get me to go on a mini-rant! Kudos!

    • Can I just say that Keviana is a cool name? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

      • Keviana Elliot

        Thank you! It means “Lioness of God.” I’m pretty attatched to it. ^_~
        Jonathan is a great name, too! I TOTALLY love the story of Prince Jon in the Bible fighting with the Lord! 1 Samuel 14!
        God bless your day!

  34. My fave sitcom guy would have to be Ted from How I Met Your Mother (aren’t you glad I didn’t say Barney?). I admit I like the whole cute but slightly nerdy thing he has going on. He seems to be able to take care of himself pretty well. Maybe that’s why I like him.

    Seriously though, I agree about the sitcom thing. It makes for an amusing half hour, but it makes it hard not to think of men that way. People are good at sterotyping. Trust me, I know. People assume all kinds of things about me, as a single mom, that are not true. Some people will think what they want to.

  35. Pingback: Pop Tops, Volume 2: On Death, Sitcoms, and Love | Pop Parables

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s