July 5, 2011, - 10:52 pm

HILARIOUS Video: What The Hell Happened to the History Channel?

By Debbie Schlussel

I still like most of these shows (even though I don’t have cable, I’ve seen them all), but this video on the “transformation” of The History Channel is funny and spot on. There is no history left on The History Channel. No offense to Dan Whitney a/k/a “Larry the Cable Guy,” who is a reader and friend of this site and who is very smart (and expounded for hours on various news topicsĀ  during several hours of hanging out with him and his family on the Git’R’Done Tour Bus). I like his show a lot and–full disclosure–gave him some ideas for the show before it began taping. However, the programming on The History Channel is Americana, not American History.


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27 Responses

Couldn’t agree more. It’s like MTV – hey, where’s the music? History Channel – hey, where’s the history?

gmartinz on July 6, 2011 at 2:11 am

The closest to the old History Channel is its sister outlet, History International (formerly History Channel International) – but they too are going the same road, alas not to the same extent as the main channel. HI still has shows that have some semblance of actual history, as opposed to so-called “reality” shows like “Ice Road Truckers,” or pop-culture shows on the cultural significance of, say, the “Star Wars” movies or the “Indiana Jones” franchise.

But it’s not just with this channel, it’s with other cable channels as well. Remember when TLC was The Learning Channel? And AMC stood for American Movie Classics? And of course, TV Land has gone a full 180 degrees away from what IT was originally founded for.

ConcernedPatriot on July 6, 2011 at 3:13 am

It does seem to subsist on programming related to pawn shops, antique restoration, and extreme trucking, I would expect much of this fare to appear on TRUTV or Spike, rather than on a networked called The History Channel, As Concerned Patriot has noted, you can find topic delusion on other channels as well, such as the Science Channel. The content on these channels is gradually becoming more and more random, and I am not sure if this is a marketing strategy to increase the number of viewers, or undisciplined management. The risk to all of these channels is that as they drift ever further from their content origins, the reasons for viewing a particular channel and audience loyalty diminish. Advertisers examine viewership data constantly, and typically look at patterns of audience retention for various channels. Dissimilar or incompatible programming on a subject based channel leads to audience drop-offs or channel switching, which actually defeats the whole purpose of audience expansion. With regard to the History Channel, I suspect that there is a desire to avoid controversy, while avoiding politically correct accounts of history that would be unwatchable. So, the alternative for the History Channel is to put on more and more reality based programming that has at best only a superficial relationship to history. Frankly, much of the reality based programming is alright, such as Top Gun or Pawn Stars. It is simply its placement and distribution across various channels that is objectionable. Also, when such reality based programming pushes out more substantive programming related to the channels purported mission, that becomes very problematic. I am actually surprised that cable companies and advertisers have not expressed alarm over these trends, since they have the most to lose from their channels watering down their content, as well as mixing and matching program content in the manner described above

Worry01 on July 6, 2011 at 7:42 am

i called my satellite provider and told them the same 3 weeks ago. that is no longer the same history channel and i had them drop it and i added another channel instead.

then i noticed there was a channel called the military channel on my on screen channel list. this channel has all those videos about history. most of it great documentaries about world war 2, and some on world war 1 and some on other history. but obviously there was no video until the 20t century.

that military channel is more history channel than it is military channel but it does also focus on that topic and also shows some war movies too.

Bill C. on July 6, 2011 at 8:43 am

I do not have cable. Most people think that is odd, but every time I tune in to cable all I see is commercials and shows in an irritating format about different people and their jobs. I can’t wait for next week’s episode of “Elementary School Janitors.” Even the guides from some providers feature ads plastered across them. Really the only thing I miss out on is baseball, but due to nonsense blackout restrictions and my location, I would not be able to watch my team that much anyway. All this for $100/mo.? No thanks.

Network TV is not much better – it is mostly shows in an irritating format featuring singing and/or dancing, or game shows that don’t know how to keep the game moving.

Hopewell on July 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

The only History on the History Channel now is the occasional artifact on Pawn Stars. Larry the Cable Guy may be your friend and he may actually have a brain. But he’s part of the dumbing down of America. The guy is a tool who has all the talent of the “Hey, Vern” guy, Jim Varney. I know he has to make a living. But as a Southerner I resent his portrayal of a Southern boy, considering he isn’t from the South, and he makes us all look like cretins. Truthfully, I hate the SOB. And to see him on the once-great History Channel is galling. That network is one step from having Snooki host a roundtable on the Industrial Revolution.

fleiter on July 6, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Fleiter, there are some sentiments in your message that I agree with and there some sentiments in your message that I disagree with as well. I don’t think Larry the Cable Guy is part-in-parcel of the dumbing down of this country, when he’s doing his comic shows, he never maid ethnic/racial jokes, sexist jokes, never put down people of faith (spiritual people and religious people), never attacked and trashed this country. Now let’s not throw words around like “SOB” (as you called him), that’s an equivilant of the far-left loons calling people, “racist”, “sexist”, “islamophobe”, “homophobe”, etc. whenever they have a different point of view.

    There are some comedians who are the complete opposite of Larry the Cable Guy, ie, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman, Larry David, Jeanne Garofalo, etc. Those folks are part-in-parcel of the dumbing down and meltdown of this country, NOT Larry the Cable Guy Fleiter!

    “A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

    Sean R. on July 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

all those documentaries that used to be on history channel are now shown on the military channel which i believe is owned by the same people.

they are probably in the midst of changing the current name of history channel but sometimes even after they say so it still takes months until they do.

example oln – outdoor life network acquired nhl hockey telecasts and televised for a year but ratings terrible and people laughed at them that hockey even on such a network SO they said they would change their name to versus BUT again took a long while until they did. now comcast bought nbc and they again are to change the versus name BUT it still hasnt been done.

everything that was on history channel is now on military channel – lately if im not watching news or sports events that is the channel ive watched the most.

Bill C. on July 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

Several things have happened the History channel has been hijacked by the liberals in that it is owned (until recently)by GE therefore real History which shows a argument or a point in history has been canceled so they can bring us programing that would be better served on another channel. They also seem not to have enough programing to serve all the “history” or history like channels so we on the basic end are given little history and lots of entertainment passing for it(I make no judgement on the programs just they do not belong on this channel)

Jonathan Gartner on July 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

We forgot about the History Channel’s biggest loser “Monster Quest”. Chasing giant pigs across the Georgia hills has nothing to do with History and worse yet the announcer for this terrible program is abyssmal.

Tim on July 6, 2011 at 10:41 am

I like all those shows he just made fun of BUT, they do show our country in reality based light. Our country isn’t made up of just retarded inbred fools like you see on Jerry Springer, nor is it made up of a bunch of rocket scientists. It’s mostly the people in the middle.

I had a beef with the way they started, a couple of years ago, showing a lot of slavery documentaries around the 4th of July. It’s a part of our history but came across as liberal bashing of the founders and the south. I’ve certainly never seen a program showing just how many white people died terribly in the civil war. They’ll inform but not to show the true magnitude of the amount of blood and guts. That’s the price we paid long ago for that chapter in our history. Here’s a novel idea: maybe publicize the fact that only a country as great as ours had the idea to BAN slavery. In the history of the world we actually stopped it while it still goes on in most notably Africa.

samurai on July 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

LMAO! Yeah I’ve been wondering about the History Channel for a while. Since when is a bunch of cajuns killing gators HISTORY? I do enjoy Larry’s show because it’s so pro-America. Did you notice that they got the actual guy who does the voice-over for many of their shows?

Sean M. on July 6, 2011 at 11:26 am

What next? Lifetime running repeats of “The Man Show” and its sister channel LMN showing Three Stooges and/or Little Rascals shorts?

KT: Now that would be an improvement! DS

Kurt Toy on July 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hey Kurt,

    All channels should show “The Three Stooges.” Well, at least the ones with Curly. No Shemps or Joe Bessers.

    Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk.

    Jonathan E. Grant on July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Actually, they were one of the most sophisticated and successful entertainment ensembles ever conceived. Harry Moses Horowitz was indeed a genius. Also, unlike the Hollywood types around now, they were about as pro-American as they came.

      Worry01 on July 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        Apparently, after the Stooges died, the families had a fight over their estate. The Plaintiff attorney was Bela Lugosi, Jr. I cannot make this up, folks.

        Occam's Tool on July 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

          Actually, the dispute did not arise until recently. For many years, they all worked together. The dispute was apparently finally settled.

          Jonathan Grant on July 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Jon, please don’t be baggin’ on Shemp. Shemp was a fine stooge. I’ll grant you that Joe was lame, but Shemp was good.

      Richard on July 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Why in Portugal we cannot see the hulu videos?

Augusto Sousa on July 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

@ Jonathen Grant, the Three Stooges is shown on AMC or IFC now. I think IFC

Oh yes has the History channel gone to hell. Gone are the days of History’s Mysteries and every now and then you’ll get a Modern Marvel. I really loved the History Channel’s presentation styles & bumps from the late 90’s early 2000’s.

But… Guilty pleasure, I was a sucker for MonsterQuest when they were still making episodes. The one on the colonial American vampire scare was actually interesting.

I will admit it, as a lover of all things macabre, I always watch the History Channel in October when they do all the shows talking about the ‘scary’ things from history. The documentary on Bram Stoker was very interesting as was The Haunted History of Halloween. Some other great history-horror pieces included tracing the cultural concept of lycanthropy (and the not-sure-if-urban-or-not, I asked a friend who is a cop and he said yes, legend that crime goes up during the full moon)and Modern Marvels did one on Halloween candy.

Jared on July 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

It’s television 1st, history 2nd…at best.

P. Aaron on July 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    “That’s not history.”

    “It LOOKS like history.”

    “O.K., let’s run it.”

    Solomon2 on July 7, 2011 at 12:27 am

The “History” Channel should have changed it’s name after it aired the Matt Damon/J.J. Abrams produced “documentary” The People Speak based America-hating Leftist Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States. And of course we all know or should know who “The People” are. Zinn’s, Damon’s,Josh Brolin’s and apparently J.J. Abrams’ Communist brothers. I would love to have a talk with that wretched woman who runs that channel, but I’m sure that would be a big waste of time because I’m pretty sure she is a Left-wing ideologue.

Daniel Middleman on July 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

LOL!! Some friends and I were just talking about that! I love history, and the History Channel had some terrific shows, but for the last few years its been, well, crap. I don’t see any “history” about truckers on ice; killing gators; people who pick through junk. Even “Heavy Metal” or the “History of Food” isn’t worth the effort. Seriously, is this “history”? Edward Hermann please come back!!

Paul on July 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I don’t have cable either (haven’t been able to afford it in years), but — in January I was hospitalized so I thought I’d watch the history channel one night. At first I watched something kind of interesting about President Kennedy, but then, there was a show where they followed these guys around in swamps (I think they were in Louisiana). The guys were shooting aligators. It was much more graphic than it needed to be and was not at all the caliber programming I remembered from the History Channel 15 years ago (when I last had cable TV). WTF?

MOMINMINNESOTA on July 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Out of all the “non-history” shows on the History Channel, I do like to watch “Ice Road Truckers”. That being said, I’ve also been asking lately “Where are the history shows?”. Obviously, IRT should be on some other channel along with all those other shows. How about “Ancient Aliens”?

An occasional “Shemp” is acceptable, just so long as a large majority of the episodes are “Curlys”.

CornCoLeo on July 8, 2011 at 1:35 am

Programmers at the History Channel have decided that shows about killing animals are more attractive then, ummm….history? Swamp People’s gator-gunning will be soon joined by another show that shows a Texas family shooting wild hogs. Gee, what a fun evening for the family. As far as the animals go, who cares about their rights and humane treatment. This is America! We get to do what we want! Let’s go out and kill until everything is dead!

Barbara on October 5, 2011 at 1:00 am

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