Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wife Swap Jerk- Brilliant Performance Artist, or Just a Jerk?, or, Is Stephen Fowler Andy Kaufman?

A few weeks ago on the television program "Wife Swap," a man named Stephen Fowler appeared and, well, he acted like a jerk. Here is a sample of him in action:



"If you live in a podunk town, your worldview is going to be restricted..."

Fowler lives in San Francisco, California, which is of course a beautiful town full of snobby people and Fowler, with his "sophisticated" Euro accent embodies everything you'd expect from a left coast jerk. He oozes contempt for the miserable Missouri woman he agreed to "swap" for, and takes every opportunity to insult her.

There's been a fairly serious backlash that has continued to this day. Here is a website devoted to just how much the foul Stephen Fowler "sucks."

I wonder why he agreed to such a swap, if he truly despises middle Americans. I mean, "Wife Swap" is definitely a flyover country program, he had to know what he was getting into, being so sophisticated and educated and all. That's why I suspect the whole thing was just a put-on, a sort of Andy Kaufman-esque goof. Compare Fowler in the above video to the great Andy Kaufman in the below:



True, Fowler didn't actually wrestle his swapped wife to the ground, not physically anyway, but the language Kaufman uses is almost interchangeable with that of Kaufman.

As an aside: I'm an avid watcher of the E! television program "The Soup," and they often show clips of some of "Wife Swap's" more colorful characters. I wonder why Mr Fowler's antics weren't deemed worthy of derision?

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