Friday, August 6, 2010

Investigate this for me, would you?

I have written before about my weakness for true-crime television, which I still indulge from time to time. I'm getting to the point, though, where I recognize people on the Investigation Discovery ads that show clips from the programs, and that's never a good feeling. "Oh, I've seen this brutal murder before."

Anyway, last time I wrote about how the host of 48 Hours: Hard Evidence, Maureen Maher, is always narrating from some incipient crime scene (sometimes it's just a green-screen projection, I'm pretty sure) and asked: What's up with that? I still don't know, but every once in a while someone ends up here because they have the same question. So now I would like to bring up something else that's been bothering me -- and is another indicator that I'm spending too much time watching reruns of 48 Hours.

If you're Catholic, you probably know the Marty Haugen song "Shepherd Me, O God." It's a setting of the 23rd Psalm in very wide use in American Catholic parishes (and probably beyond). If you don't know it, it sounds like this. So here's the crazy part: more than once, while watching 48 Hours, I have heard them use this very Marty Haugen tune as spooky background music. And no, it doesn't just sound like "Shepherd Me, O God" (the way this one song the organist at my old parish used to play sounded just like "Frosty the Snowman" for the first few notes) -- it is "Shepherd Me, O God."

So here's my theory: the arrangement was originally used on a churchy episode of 48 Hours, one where the murdered person was a church cantor or something like that. And then they just kept using it, unaware that it would make every Catholic/churchgoing viewer go, "Wait, what?"

I don't know how plausible that is. All I really know is, they're using a tune by Marty Haugen as background music on 48 Hours, and I really hope he's getting paid, but I also wonder: Why would he give them permission to do that? Why would they even ask? Another possibility, I guess, is that the person who writes incidental music for 48 Hours accidentally "wrote" a song he'd heard at church. In which case, whoops, looks like there aren't enough Catholics behind the scenes at 48 Hours.

I also sometimes watch Dateline on ID, but one surefire way to get me to change the channel -- aside from the uncomfortable realization that I've seen this episode, and gawked at this murder, before -- is to air an episode featuring Keith Morrison. Man does that guy drive me up a wall. Which is why I was delighted to learn that Saturday Night Live has aired a number of sketches featuring Bill Hader as Keith Morrison.

Of course, like almost everything on SNL, the sketches are underwritten, and I'm annoyed at the way they degenerate into a gag about a guy who says "Ooooooo" and "Ohhhhhhh" a lot (because he doesn't, really). But they start out strong, and that impression is dead on. Rarely have I enjoyed a SNL sketch built around a cast member's random celebrity impression quite so much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also, why are maureen's hands so creepy still? It seems like the only thing animated is her head. The rest is either still or swivels like some Disney ride of days past.