Monday, August 31, 2009


Long before Eric Idle decided to make the Rutles, he briefly flirted with the idea of turning Pommy- his Tommy parody- into a feature length motion picture. History has ultimately smiled on his decision but part of me still wants to see Pommy. Sure, the idea is paper thin and lacks the timeless quality of the Rutles but the Neil Innes soundtrack would've been outstanding.

Below you'll find the original sketch that played on Rutland Weekend Television.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Only Funny Mentos Parody to Star a Non-Belgian

Unless you happen to be old footage from Bloodsport, you should never attempt to make fun of a Mentos ad. Those ads are so stilted, strange and exaggerated that parody is ultimately made redundant.

Yet,there are exceptions to every rule. Take for example this spoof from the Australian sketch comedy show Full Frontal. What sells this sketch isn't the weak punchline but rather Shaun Micallef's grotesque reaction shots.

I like the fact that his character seems to be getting turned on by the whole situation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Opinions are Worthless: Why I Like MadTV Part 1

Unless you're fourteen years old, defending MadTV is a losing proposition. But I'm finally going to come out of the closet and just admit that I like the show. Even if it means my opinions are now null and void in the eyes of comedy nerds (While I'm at it, I might as well confess to the fact that I never understood the appeal of Achewood, I find Demetri Martin to be insufferably smug and Wes Anderson's films are comedies for people who find laughter to be dirty and needless. There, now go ahead and invalidate any opinion I have. I fucking deserve it).

Admittedly, the show does beat annoying concepts into the ground and their pop-cultural parodies only reinforce most people's negative views of parody. But more often than not, some funny characters and ideas do materialize in between the endless Stewart sketches. This flailing stand-up comedian - as portrayed by the severely underrated Crista Flanagan - is one of those funny characters. In fact, it's too good for MadTV. It's a character that's probably better suited for the darker and weirder sensibilities of Tim and Eric's Awesome Show: Great Job!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Darling Slave

The only women who could be called ideal is a slave
and nothing but a slave. Obedient, always available
and completely trained to submit…

-Demetrio Cultura on the subject of
gender equality from the Italian
misogyn-omedy “My Darling Slave”

What makes a woman? The ability to bear children? Sugar and spice and so many, far too many, goddamned shoes? An emotion addled, math-hating brain? Is it their inability to throw a baseball or cast a shadow? Could it be their instinct to protect their joey within their marsupiam- or pouch – during postnatal development? Crimping irons? Or is it something that has to do with appletinis, glass ceilings and menstruation? Being a shut-in whose only exposure to the fairer sex (or should I say unfairer sex? Am I right guys? Who’s with me?) has been a handful of reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, I really couldn’t say. But what I lack in knowledge I more than make up in fear. Fear that one day women might somehow gain a soul and all of our laundry related needs will go unfulfilled. But in the meantime, I can assuage this fear with My Darling Slave a chucklebration of searing hatred that finally puts those damnable women in their place (i.e. in front of a rickshaw).

Long forgotten funnyman Lando Buzzanca plays Demetrio Cultura a pratfall prone shlub who makes a grave miscalculation when he marries a self-assured heiress named Rosalba (Catherine Spaak). Although initially charmed by her candor, Rosalba reveals herself to be an overbearing shrew immediately following the wedding. It isn’t long before every aspect of Demetrio’s life is being controlled by Rosalba. If she isn’t forcing him to wear the latest ill-advised fashions (which, incidentally, make him resemble a gay farmer from the future) she’s redecorating his apartment with furniture that isn’t furniture but in actuality expensive sculptures that are intended to symbolize furniture or something (Yeah! Up your dick modern art!). If that wasn’t enough she even demands to borrow Demetrio’s car. Whatta bitch! Women can’t drive cars! They don’t know how to reverse and their boobs get all tangled up in the steering wheel.

Unable to deal with his control freak of a spouse or the vicious pack of feral, Depression era newsboys she adopted behind his back, Demetrio takes a mistress. However, being that all women everywhere are hateful misery beasts, his mistress (Euro-art house mainstay Adriana Asti) not only turns out to be a shrieking, perpetually paranoid baby-woman but the wife of the local police commissioner as well. Granted, Asti’s unstable personality does excite Demetrio at first. But her kinkiness (particularly her desire to make love in front of her niece’s baby dolls so they could “watch”) quickly wears thin. It also doesn’t help that during one of their demented rendezvous, Demetrio experiences the worst thing that could ever happen to a man: an indifferent bank teller questions his sexuality. Luckily, Demetrio manages to get himself off the hook when he claims to be an undercover cop looking to catch gay bankers in the act of gay banking.

With his oily masculinity quickly slipping away, Demetrio comes up with a brilliant plan to salvage what remains of his virility: he’ll divorce his wife and travel to the jungles of South America (along with Gordon Mitchell as a wacky Nazi) and acquire a gorgeous, eerily submissive slave (Veronica Merin). However, once they’re back in civilization, his friends and neighbors don’t cotton to this whole “white slavery” thing or Demetrio’s assertion that Merin is little more than “a possession.” But he doesn’t seem to care what they think because he’s finally found a woman who will gladly cook his meals, carry his luggage and is unfamiliar with the concept of sass mouth. Yet not everything is as it seems and even though Demetrio seems to enjoy treating Merin like a dog in front of his leering pals, he’s also starting to look beyond her tendency to bite people without warning and finally notice her warm and understanding tits.

I really don’t want to call My Darling Slave sexist. It’s not because it isn’t, it’s just because it would be a gross understatement. It would be akin to calling Hitler a big jerk. My Darling Slave hates women to such a crazed, single-minded degree that it goes beyond mere misogyny and enters a strange new realm of revulsion that could only be called “Dave Sim-like”. Granted, unlike most Italian sex comedies the female characters found here are actually, sort-of, kind-of, smart(ish) but on the other hand they’re also depicted as monstrous, succubuses hell-bent on destroying men’s lives and draining the life-force from their wallets. If anything, My Darling Slave suggests what would happen if The Promise Keepers staged a production of My Fair Lady.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Excerpts From Miley Cyrus' Auto-Bio Miles to Go

On screen we were the best of friends but in real life Emily [Osment] was difficult to work with. Often on the set of Hanna Montana, Emily would stick a pair of scissors in the back of an extra, twist it and pull it out, then dare them to go to the studio clinic to have it treated.
There were always deaths from blood poisoning or loss of blood because the kids who got stabbed with scissors or knives were afraid to tell the director or go to the clinic. They knew they'd be killed when they got back.


In the hallway of the house where I lived with my father (Billy Ray Cyrus), Demi Lovato had made me stand at attention and salute her in a military fashion and proclaim her as the one and only God and to vow to follow her blindly a few days after she had made her appearance. Demi had used her powers to create the barbeque in our back yard as a power source which is why I called her a bitch at the Teen Choice awards in 2007.

Miley's remembrances of things past are property of Miley Cyrus and her ghost writers Florrie Fisher and Dan Scott Ashwander.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jeff Hitler and Roger Explosion

I'm a sucker for intentionally bad acting. Here are two of my current favorites.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

End of Part One

Much like the brilliant Chris Morris, Andrew Marshall and David Renwick are two great British comedians who have sadly gone unrecognized in North America. Somewhat better known for writing both versions of Whoops Apocalypse (the television series and the movie which had a somewhat prophetic scene in which Michael Richards walked around in black-face) they're greatest achievement remains End of Part One a long forgotten sketch comedy series that was based on their popular radio program The Burkiss Way.

Imagine if SCTV was heavily influenced by Monty Python's Flying Circus (and I mean heavily influenced) and you'll understand just how weird End of Part One could be. Sure the references are bit oblique but the writing is strong and kind of nasty. It's a great show that doesn't deserve its current obscurity.

Like what you've seen? Here's more:
My current favorites are The Gag Trade, Stiff Actors Five-O, Quiz of the Week, Mike Der-Da-Da and Return of The Doughnut which seems to owe a heavy debt to Monty Python's The Pantomime Horse is a Spy Movie.

Fast Forward Does The Brady Bunch

If you're American (or practically any other nationality for that matter) you've probably never heard of Australia's sketch comedy series Fast Forward and there's a very good reason for that: it's terrible. Nonetheless, the show was extremely popular in its homeland. It not only won several Logies (the Aussie equivalent of the Emmies) but it was also responsible for launching the careers of Gina Riley, Jane Turner, Magda Szubanski and Eric Bana.

To give you an idea of just how bad the show was, here was they're parody of The Brady Bunch. It's not just grimly unfunny but you get the impression that the writers never bothered to actually watch the show they were making fun of (as my brother noted, why do the Brady kids make stereotypical Indian noises as they move from room to room?) My favorite part of the sketch is the final twist that probably made more sense to Australian audiences in the early '90s. Enjoy?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Hitler Rap

I like Hitler jokes as much as the next latent racist but when said joke involves a leering Mel Brooks in an SS uniform as he fake-raps to the screeching strains of Taco styled synthesizers that's where I draw the line.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tender Fella

I can understand why most people find Martin Short obnoxious but the man could be surprisngly funny at times. Take for example this parody of Tender Mercies that appeared on one of his television specials. Granted, it's something of an inferior sequel to his earlier SCTV sketch Scenes from an Idiot's Marriage but Short's impression of Jerry Lewis is always fun to watch mainly because it isn't just accurate it's kind of devastating.

Oh, and for those who hated the above sketch and felt it couldn't get any worse, here's proof that it could.

Five Minutes of Murder

Here's an animated short by Jozef Nepp that plays like the greatest title sequence Saul Bass never made. Hopefully one these days I'll be able to find a subtitled print of Nepp's bizarre feature length deconstruction of Disney's Snow White.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mary Worth: The Motion Picture

Chances are you've already seen this a billion and seven times already but it deserves to seen again. I wish every live action adaptation of a comic was this funny and creepy.

Anti-Comedy or just Unfunny?

For some reason or another I recently became obsessed with Australian sketch comedy specifically Fast Forward. And again, I really don't know why. Fast Forward was very similar to SCTV except that it was not as smart or as funny. In fact, Fast Forward was pretty hacky and lame. It seemed as if the writers were stealing their material from old issues of Cracked. But the sketch below is something of an exception. Sure, the performances are strident, it relies way too much on ZAZ styled visual puns and it's kind of racist but it all seems intentional. So, is this a clever bit of anti-comedy or is it merely just unfunny?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Random Excerpts from Miley Cyrus' Autobiography "Miles to Go"

Some people treat me differently but I just want to be treated like anyone else. Everybody is born in different ways. I just happened to be born with an extra chromosome, but it doesn’t make me feel any different. I think it’s great to have an extra chromosome and I like talking about it. It doesn’t make me feel “Down”. Actually, I call it “Up Syndrome” because I am happy and excited about my life.


The Hannah Montana Movie for Disney Studios: I must go on location to Holland and Czechoslovakia, all the way into the Tatra Mountains on the Russo-Polish border. I wear my wig for the first time in a long time. I feel exposed, deserted, defenseless, not only physically – my head is as sensitive as an open wound – but especially spiritually. It’s as if my soul had been exposed to the sun’s piercing light. The metamorphosis has begun: I am becoming Hannah, neither girl nor animal, neither dead nor alive, an indescribable creature suffering its existence in full consciousness.


During the filming of The Hannah Montana Movie I bought Nick [Jonas] a pair of white pants from Saint Laurent because I couldn’t bear to see him in the same fart-infested, unwashed, shit-colored rags any longer – rags that that reminded me of a penitentiary or mental institution clothing. Who knows what he did with the pants from St. Laurent; he’s dressed in his vile clothes again.

Miley's fond memories are property of Miley Cyrus and her ghost writers Chris Burke and Klaus Kinski.

Never Mind: The Lost Saturday Night Live Movie

Contrary to popular belief, The Blues Brothers was not the first film to be based on a reoccurring Saturday Night Live sketch. That honor goes to Never Mind an unfinished and ill-conceived take on Gilda Radner’s doddering Emily Litella character.

In Never Mind, Emily Litella has outgrown her welcome at Weekend Update but because her brother (Garrett Morris, ha, ha, get it?) is one of the show’s producers she’s promoted as a news correspondent and sent to Munich to cover Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, thanks to one of Emily’s classic misunderstandings, she sparks a civil war between East and West Germany. Occasionally, the film digresses from this storyline and focuses on several tertiary characters such as Nick the Lounge Singer (Bill Murray) who struggles with his foreign audience at Oktoberfest, Beldar Conehead (Dan Aykroyd) as a French UN delegate who hates his job and Larry and Bobbi Farber (John Belushi and Radner) who are taken hostage by a rogue KGB agent played by Klaus Kinski.

Originally intended to be released during the fourth quarter of 1977, Never Mind boasted most of the original Saturday Night Live cast (Chevy Chase was conspicuously absent) in supporting roles and cameos. With SNL’s popularity peaking during this time it’s more than likely that Never Mind would’ve been a huge hit. So what happened? Why wasn’t the film ever finished?

Well, part of problem can be traced back to Lorne Michaels’ wrongheaded decision to hire Rainer Werner Fassbinder as the film’s director. Reportedly, Michaels was a big fan of Fassbinder’s comedy Satan’s Brew and felt that he was the best person for the job. Unfortunately, Fassbinder’s unique directorial style (e.g. verbally abusing anyone within earshot) didn’t ingratiate himself with the cast or crew. Fassbinder’s creative decisions only made things worse. The pacing was sluggish and odd while the cast was made to look as ugly as possible (particularly Radner whose neck was covered in gaping sores). The film also suffered from a downbeat ending in which Emily was accidentally shot to death by American troops. Things eventually came to a head during a scene between Radner and Kinski. When Radner was unable to convincingly portray hunger, Kinski kicked her in the stomach. Radner was then carried off the set and never came back. Producers briefly flirted with the idea of replacing Radner with Loraine Newman but quickly realized that it wouldn’t work. Shortly thereafter, Paramount pulled the plug on Never Mind.

Strangely, in spite of SNL’s status as an American institution, not much is known or has been written about Never Mind. In fact it’s not even mentioned in either Jeff Weingrad and Doug Hill’s A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live or in James Miller and Tom Shales’ Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Hopefully in the years to come more information will come out about this film.