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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Crockpot Churns back to Itself Once More

"Seriously, Blossom and Six as names for two teenage girls on one show. Did we ever learn what Six was short for? Because what is that abbreviating? Sixfanie? Sixmantha? Margaret? Come on.
Boner Stabone is a more believable and lovable sitcom best friend nickname (and, frankly, a far better character). Yep, I just checked to see if Stabone was spelled with one B or two, and let's just say it looks like joining the army worked out ok for Boner. And don't get me started on how great that episode was. Literal growing pains. His character was all grown up and had to leave. That will choke you up thinking back! The hug in the driveway...
Show me that smile again!"
March 2, 2009 - Fishcrockpot entry on day six of Lent crockpotting

February 22, 2010 - Facebook status prior to writing sixth day of Lent crockpot on same topic:
"I don't know what's most amazing - that I didn't know Boner lived in my neighborhood, that I didn't know Boner is related to Checkov, or that a USA Today story has made me flashback to the poignant episode when Boner Stabone left Mike Seaver for the army. Boner, show us that smile again!"

While at work today perusing the internet for one reason or another (procrastination?), I noticed that "Growing Pains" was a top 10 search on Yahoo!. As noted by my assertion a few days ago that I might figure skate in the Olympics to the Growing Pains theme song if given the chance, and my general love of the sitcoms of my childhood, that was one link I could not resist clicking. The story that followed was decidedly sad.

Apparently Boner has taken to Vancouver, which - fine, so have a lot of the world's citizenry. Vancouver is kinda a big deal right now. But he's depressed and he's missing. Not wanting to be found is one thing, but not wanting to be found because you're very much depressed and trying to disappear entirely is another. Not good at all.

As demonstrated by my near identical responses to Andrew Koenig's character Boner Stabone, a little less than a full year apart from one another, I really liked Boner. And, as you can tell by my referencing his departure episode both times, that episode really got me. Boner was leaving me at the same time he left Mike Seaver. Boner was all grown up! It was the end of an era in our mutual television maturation. And a flashback to young Boner and young Mikey Seaver at the bus stop meeting each other for the first time? Come on! I remember the hell out of that. Because it left a mark. Because I cared about Boner. Because I grew up while he did.

Looking up the story about his character this time, I see that the Growing Pains writers were even funnier than we thought. Boner's full name was Richard "Boner" Stabone. Dick Boner Stabone? Zing, indeed. Even Maggie Malone couldn't get a clean quote from a writer on how that one came to be.

The USA Today article taught me that Andrew Koenig, who played Boner, is in fact descended from television royalty, being the son of Chekov from Star Trek. What was more shocking to me? Boner, before fleeing to Canada, lived in the same neighborhood I do! Boner could have been MY LITERAL goofy, good-hearted, unintentionally funny next door neighbor. We could have gotten into hijinx! Bikes, babes, basketball, breaking stuff - good old fashioned sitcom hijinx. Someone to say hilarious things and not know they're hilarious - if only.

Boner from Growing Pains, Skippy from Family Ties, Vinnie to Doogie Howser, M.D.! Six to Blossom. Kimmy Gibbler. The list goes on and on. But it is the really lovable goofball best friends of the t.v. families I grew up with that really mean the most to me. I do believe Boner may be tops among them. He was a kind of goofy lovable that was a cut above the rest. I wonder if being unable to live down his time as Boner has had an effect on his current depression. I certainly hope not, as the Boner I remember is beloved. A silly, dirty name? Yes. But a character of my personal childhood sitcom lore.

Hopefully - whether being found by media and authorities or just being found by someone who can help him - Andrew Koenig will find the help he needs and the life he wants. Maybe it is in Canada. Could be.
His work and worth is certainly not lost on me. And it's taking all my reserve not to quote the entire theme song here. It kind of fits.

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