News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Surprise, surprise, surprise: List snubs Gomerís catchphrase

The great thing about "top 10" or "top 100" lists is not that they provide the final word, but that they can begin lively conversation and debate. One need only turn to The Associated Press' weekly college football or basketball polls for evidence that such subjective listings create controversy more than they definitively settle disputes.

The TV Land cable television network recently compiled a list of what it considers the 100 greatest TV quotes and catchphrases, and will air a countdown special over five days beginning Dec. 11.

A story in Friday's Daily listed the mostly familiar quotes alphabetically, so the only suspense left for the broadcast is the order in which they will be ranked.

Still, there's plenty of room for debate. And one's position probably depends more on one's age than anything else.

While some of the catchphrases come from an earlier, more innocent era of television (Jackie Gleason's "How sweet it is!" and Laugh-In's "Sock it to me," for example), several are from the current decade and, thus, have not yet withstood the test of time. Others are less than original (Donald Trump was not the first to utter the phrase, "You're fired!", but he made the list).

Conspicuously missing: Gomer Pyle's inimitable "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"

The folks at TV Land who compiled the list have, in the immortal works of Ricky Ricardo, "got some splainin' to do" — which also, by the way, failed to make the cut.

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