As America’s Got Lettuce ends its run, it’s the perfect time to look back at the contestant performances and judge reactions that made it the world’s top-rated show for thirty-seven consecutive seasons—and reminded us that, through it all, America does got lettuce.
When the Mean Judge couldn’t help admitting, “You, ma’am, have got lettuce” to Lisa Cabinet.
As Lisa Cabinet stood on stage nervously cradling a head of lettuce, none of us watching could be confident that she would be judged to got lettuce. But the Mean Judge proclaimed that she did, indeed, got lettuce, and we all stood up and cheered loudly, in the studio audience and at home. She had got that lettuce, for sure.
When the Nice Judge said, quietly, “I’m sorry to tell you that you don’t got lettuce” to Larry Vehicle.
We thought Larry Vehicle had got lettuce, because he was juggling three heads of the stuff, but the Nice Judge let us know: uh-uh. Maybe Larry didn’t got it because he was juggling it and thus wasn’t fully in possession of the lettuce, or maybe we don’t understand what it is to got lettuce. There’s no arguing with the judges, that much is certain.
When Lena Fixture had got lettuce but then ate the lettuce, and we couldn’t believe what happened next.
The Old Judge told Lena Fixture, “Oh, yeah, you got lettuce,” and then Lena celebrated by taking bite after bite of the lettuce until it was all gone inside of her stomach. The Mean Judge looked right at her and screamed, “DON’T WORRY, LENA, YOU STILL GOT LETTUCE.” That was a close one. It was still there, just not visible.
When the Nice Judge stared at Lettuce for a whole hour.
Lettuce was alone on stage, and the Nice Judge asked Lettuce the traditional opening question, “What brings you on the show and what’s your backstory and what will you do with the money if you win today on America’s Got Lettuce and what is your name and where are you from?” Lettuce didn’t say anything, and the Nice Judge didn’t say anything to follow up. The Nice Judge stared for the whole hour, and we never found out from any of the judges whether Lettuce had got lettuce.
When the Old Judge defiantly vowed to fight the big lawsuit against America’s Got Lettuce.
Two seasons into its run, America’s Got Lettuce faced a lawsuit for being so captivating that it had cost the American economy trillions of dollars by stopping all work as Americans watched the show day and night and listened to it while they slept. The Old Judge said that this wasn’t America’s Got Lettuce’s problem, not even if its hypnotic power had ground to a halt the activities of the nation’s lettuce growers—threatening the supply of the very vegetable that made the series possible. Viewers were making their own choices, he said. Also, the contestant on stage at that moment did not got lettuce. Sorry, but he didn’t got lettuce, no matter how much he wanted to got it.
When the whole studio was filled with so much lettuce that it blocked the cameras and the microphones, and we didn’t know who got and didn’t got lettuce, and who was lettuce themselves.
It was lettuce lettuce lettuce everywhere. You knew you were looking at lettuce and hearing lettuce—but its obscuring of the cameras made the screen go black, and its contact with the microphones produced a cacophony of crinkles and thumps.
When the Judges announced in unison that the show was going to end—and we were scared, because all we know now is wondering and finding out who’s got lettuce.
What are we going to do when we don’t got America’s Got Lettuce? After all these years, how can we go on? We stopped working. We have no kids. We have no hobbies. We only know got lettuce and not got lettuce. We want to sue America’s Got Lettuce again, this time for going away, but it won’t work. In our hearts, we know that. The despair was and is all-encompassing. What a television moment.