It was just a quick second ago when America’s deep fried sweetheart was just a sketti sauce-covered cornish game hen of cuteness who made fart jokes and gave her heart to a drag queen pig. But now Honey Boo Boo is slowly entering that constant eye roll phase of life, and one audience member who watched her taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week said she has turned into a “dimpled monster.” It really isn’t right calling Honey Boo Boo a “dimpled monster.” That’s the copyrighted nickname for John Travolta’s butt.
Salon published an article from Christy O’Shoney who writes that she sat in the audience for Mama June and Honey Boo Boo’s appearance on The Tonight Show and she thought she was going to get some light-hearted, artery-clogging fun, but instead she got Honey Boo Boo not wanting to be there. After this generation’s Shirley Temple came out in an exquisitely elegant leopard and bedazzled ensemble, she sat down and wasn’t into any of it. Christy writes that Mama June had to either answer the questions for her or mumble the answers to her. Christy says that a lot of awkwardness was cut out of the television broadcast including a moment that would make the veins in every abuelita’s forehead throb and explode:
But the most notable moment to be left out of Honey Boo Boo’s appearance on “The Tonight Show” was when she became so fed up that she actually struck Mama June. Up until this point, Fallon had been doing a great job of navigating Alana’s weird behavior, but it was at this moment when he became positively awesome. “NEVER hit your mother!” he exclaimed, in a voice that was serious with just a hint of a joke, and the studio audience erupted in applause. Finally, we thought, someone is addressing this child’s attitude.
But really, it’s television, so instead of getting a timeout for hitting her mom, Alana was handed pompoms and asked to lead the audience in a cheer. We reluctantly played along for Jimmy’s sake, but it felt strange, like we were giving her some kind of reward for her behavior.
When I watched the episode that night and I saw how much had been cut out, it made me wonder how much of Alana’s life is itself left on the cutting-room floor. Where do the producers of “Toddlers & Tiaras” or “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” have to draw the line? There must come a point where they say: This is not good TV, it’s just sad. Let’s cut it
If I was on TV with my abuelita and I slapped her, it would be game over for everyone involved. A curtain, that wasn’t there before, would magically fall in front of the audience, the camera people would unplug their cameras and my abuelita would calmly ask a producer to call the nearest mortuary home and tell them to prepare two tiny coffins that can fit two tiny 8-year-old hands, because we will be having a funeral for my hands later that day. I’m surprised Mama June’s Jabba the Hutt chins didn’t immediately wrap its mouth (yes, her chins have a mouth) around Honey Boo Boo and swallow her whole.
Christy ends her piece with a shocking revelation: the Honey Boo Boo we see on TV might be an act.
So this edited version of Honey Boo Boo becomes what we celebrate. We laugh at this kid with the funny catchphrases, the quirky dances, the affinity for go-go juice, but I suspect that she might not actually exist. The Honey Boo Boo we know is a compilation of shticky moments in what has clearly been a strange, tough childhood. The Alana I saw on “The Tonight Show” set was visibly troubled: disrespectful, defiant, entitled. Of course, with a bit of editing, “disrespectful” becomes “precocious,” “defiant” becomes “sassy,” and “entitled” becomes “confident.”
Who knew that when you take a little child, push them out onto a stage and tell them to dance, monkey, sing, monkey, be cute, monkey, that one day when they get a little older they’ll get tired of that shit and rebel. This has never happened before! But really, besides the hitting your mom foolery, aren’t most 8-year-olds like that? That’s why I say when they turn 6, we drop them all on some isolated island where they can roll their eyes and sass each other all day long. We can bring them back when they’re 16, but only because we need a teenager to buy tickets to Fault In Our Stars for us so we don’t look truly pathetic. I’ve done a lot of shameful things in my life, but nothing is more shameful than me going up to a movie theater box office and saying, “I’d like one ticket to Fault In Our Stars please.”