Our Appalachian Studies class viewed over ten excerpts from the television show Squidbillies, written by Jim Fortier and Dave Willis . In these clips several Appalachian stereotypes were portrayed. For example the character “Lil” continuously smokes cigarettes, has large blonde hair and an over excess of makeup. The character Early Cuyler wears tall, mesh baseball caps with humorous logos. The characters often make several references to Jesus and religion, carry shotguns and constantly refer to their lack of wealth.
Within the clips, when the estranged squid Durwood returns to Appalachia for a family visit, his wife tells the children to remember “good touch, bad touch” before they get out of the car. During this visit, the granny squid calls the children who are part squid, part human, half-breeds. The Appalachian squids could not understand the air conditioning in the car, and accused the city folk of “probably paying for water, too.” The older squid, Early, displays a perverse attitude toward the white woman, groping her and using disrespectful language. He also indicates to the out of towners that he is broke and needs a hand out, and admits the money will go toward his addiction. He is surprised that the visitors have shoes, and states that he himself cannot afford shoes because he is an alcoholic. Following this occurrence is a reference to lock-jaw, which is contracted by “running around barefoot among animal feces.”
When the city squid and his family attempt to leave, Early and the other Appalachian squid stole hubcaps and other parts from the family car. Early accepted $20 to let the young squid Rusty leave Appalachia. When Early realized that without Rusty, they may no longer receive the government “free money check,” they stage a kidnapping hoax to solicit donations from strangers that will help bring Russell home. However Early has no intentions on using the money or donations for this purpose. Russell’s full name is a collection...
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