Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quincy: Cartoon Coroner

I haven't seen this SCTV sketch since I was a kid and it's not nearly as funny as I remember it. Although I loved this line: "Another drug overdose. When will these ducks ever learn."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yogi Bear: The Original Ending

Usually, I try to avoid posting things that "go viral" but this was really too good to resist. Everything about this is well-executed and smart plus I love the inappropriately upbeat music that plays over the closing credits.





Also, I always wondered was Boo Boo a bear cub or just a really short adult bear? And if Boo Boo was a bear cub was he Yogi's son?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lost Dennis Potter Parody

Here's an odd rarity. It's a sketch spoofing the works of Dennis Potter (most notably The Singing Detective) that was supposed to air on an episode of Spitting Image but was cut for whatever reason.



It's not particularly funny but it's so aggressively jaunty I can't help but love it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mystos!

There have been roughly over 4 million parodies of those once ubiquitous Mentos commercials and only about three of the parodies have actually been funny. This sketch from an episode of MST3K is one of the three.




Two notable things:

(1) The smug face Mike Nelson pulls at the end

(2) This is also one of the three MST3K sketches that was actually funny.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

..And A White Man Set Them Free




Boom. No more racism. Thanks again Fonzie!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mumbly Auf Duetsch

I don't know why the opening for the German version of the long forgotten Mumbly Cartoon Show is creeping me out but it is.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Australia's Flimsiest TV

I can tolerate America's Funniest Videos mainly because it presents slapstick in its purest, most uncontrived form. But I always hated its moderately popular spin-off America's Funniest People which,like America's Funniest Home Videos, was adapted for television all over the world. This parody that ran on the Australian sketch comedy series Full Frontal aptly illustrates everything wrong about this insufferable and long cancelled program.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Ugh.

Here's Exhibit A in why ZAZ styled humor should only be crafted by the ZAZ team.



(Although, the screwdriver gag at least pays off in a moderately clever way.)

Apparently Nielsen made a ton of these Red Rock Cider ads back in the early to mid 90s. They aired in the UK only.

Joe Piscopo's Jerry Lewis's Thriller

I don’t want to be yet another person that takes a shot at a criminally easy target like Joe Piscopo, so I will say that this is surprisingly not horrible. Although it is way too overlong and the idea of an army of undead Jerry Lewises is more terrifying than funny.




Also, at one point in the 80s Joe Piscopo was going to play the son of Julius Kelp in The Nutty Professor 2.

50 Psalms by 50 Stars

At one time K-Tel parodies were ubiquitous fixtures on the comedy landscape. Leave it to SCTV to come up with one of the funniest (which unfortunately isn’t complete)…



Believe it or not, Martin Short’s impression of Jerry Lewis used to creep me out as a kid. I remember being incredibly unnerved by this fake ad. As a side note Jerry’s son Gary performed It Ain’t Me, Babe when they hosted an episode of Hullabaloo.




Speaking of Jerry Lewis, here’s footage of him being an asshole to some teenager.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Closing Theme to Linus The Lion-Hearted

I've never seen an episode of Linus the Lion-Hearted but if it's half as funny as its closing theme then it has to be one of the most unjustly forgotten cartoons of the 60s. I just love the subtle sarcasm and mock solemnity of it. It's surprisingly smart. Particularly the dig at Emmett Kelly at the end.


Friday, August 27, 2010

The New Show

The New Show was the very short-lived (5 episodes) sketch comedy show that Lorne Michaels produced during his self-imposed exile from Saturday Night Live. As in most sketch comedy programs, The New Show was very hit or miss but it did contain an amazing assortment of writers and performers (John Candy, Jeff Goldblum, Dave Thomas, Buck Henry and Catherine O’Hara were some of the regular performers while George Meyer, Jack Handey and (supposedly) John Swartzwelder were just three of the writers). The New Show was very reminiscent of SCTV and should’ve been a success.


This sketch seems like it was wholly improvised by Candy and it’s incredible just how many laughs he can get out of mentioning a bag of flour.



I want to say that Handey wrote this but it’s almost not weird enough.




These two play like lost SCTV sketches. The Twilight Zonettes feels like it was written by Meyer.






If this sketch ever aired on SNL it would be considered a classic. Unfortunately it didn’t. I could’ve sworn I read something about Swartzwelder writing this sketch but Swartzwelder isn’t credited as a writer on IMDB for this show. Maybe Handey? *Update* It was actually written by Meyer (Thanks Sam).





Special Bonus: Here's the opening credits sequence for The Dave Thomas Comedy Show a summer replacement sketch comedy series from 1990. I've never seen this but from the looks of the opening credits sequence I don't think I missed much.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Norbert Smith: A Life

Harry Enfield is yet another great British comedian who is unfortunately unrecognized in the US. Norbert Smith: A Life is probably the one project he’ll be remembered for. Examining the rise and fall of a fictional actor, Norbert Smith: A Life was a mockumentary made in the days when the mockumentary was still a fresh and funny concept. The film has the right mixture of dryness, gentle absurdity and the period details are sometimes astounding. The film even goes the extra mile by recruiting some of the original Carry-On members to appear in the Carry-On parody.

















Churchill: The Hollywood Years

I'm surprised that I just found out about this. The reviews for this movie have been almost unanimously awful but the cast is interesting and it's directed by Peter Richardson who made similar American action movie spoofs like The Strike and GLC on the old Comic Strip series. With Christian Slater and Neve Campbell headlining, it's weird this hasn't been quietly sent directly to DVD in the US.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Fries Will Never Be Ready

I love Youtube if only because I can finally see stuff like this. These are the scenes that were deleted from Brain Candy and it’s easy to see why: they really don’t work. It’s also easy to see why they eliminated the Zendrik character. Dave Foley’s performance is too broad and it seems like he’s trying to pull off a bad Shatner impression. With that said, “The fries will never be ready” is a great line.




Here’s the original ending. Apart from some great gags and a terrific, downbeat (but far too abrupt) climax, you can see why they rewrote it. I’m guessing the Cats reference was a call back to earlier Zendrik bit.




Also, on an unrelated note, what is it about this site that is so appealing to Chinese spammers?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dead Invisible People

This looks and sounds like a lost Mr. Show sketch but it actually appeared on an episode of The Jenny McCarthy Show. Apparently it was written by Jon Glaser (who appears as an invisible dead body remover).


Blinded By The Light

Believe it or not, The Vacant Lot was a sketch comedy troupe that was once considered to be an heir apparent to the Kids in the Hall’s comedy throne. Their current obscurity speaks for itself. Still, this sketch based around Manfred Mann’s largely incoherent hit Blinded By the Light still works even today. Particularly Rob Gfroerer’s outburst towards the end.




Here’s a remake of the previous sketch. I like this setting better than the poker game. Unfortunately this ending lacks the impact of the original.




Some of the other members of The Vacant Lot were Paul Greenberg who popped up as a cast member on MTV's Jenny McCarthy Show...




Also, notice Jack Plotnick, Brian Posehn and, surprisingly, Jon Glaser.



And finally, Nick McKinney was the brother of The Kids in the Hall's Mark McKinney.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Like Andy Dick (I'm Sorry)

It may be an unpopular opinion but I’ll say it anyway: Andy Dick is underrated. If you’re able to look past his pathetic public persona you’ll find a fearless comedian who isn’t afraid to play desperate, violence prone losers who are completely unaware of just how sad they appear to other people. Just marvel at the pure intensity he brings to these characters below…

This aired on an episode of Comedy Product a short lived Comedy Central program that was hosted by Janeane Garofalo and gave such comedians as David Cross and Will Ferrell their earliest exposure. The fact that Dick’s character is called Van Hammersly indicates that this bit was probably written by Bob Odenkirk.




I hesitate to say this, but I actually prefer this Who’s On First parody to the one The Kids in Hall performed in the ‘90s.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 6

At the time that I write this it is the year of our lord 2010. Our drinking water is 75% petroleum based, Philadelphia residents are routinely murdered by aquatic buses (or “Ducks” as their chillingly dubbed) and our movies still feel the need to reference a scene from a film that’s nearly twenty years old. Yes, in this trailer for the notly anticipated “Cats & Dogs 2: The Search For Kitty’s Gold (or whatever)”, witness as the interrogation scene is reenacted by a cast of adorable animals for some goddamned reason.

By the way, why is this being released to theaters now when it should’ve been released directly to DVD eight years ago?




Special thanks to Cinema Bizarro’s bestest buddy Louis Fowler for suggesting this clip.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Still Not Dead: Friedberg and Seltzer

After a nearly two year sabbatical, Friedberg and Seltzer return to choke the joy and laughter out of anyone stupid enough to watch their films (me and several million 14 year olds). And surprisingly all that time away from making fun of easy, dated targets hasn’t made them better writers. That Lady Gaga joke isn’t even a joke. In fact it barely functions as a reference. Although I am a little surprised, I really thought these guys would have made Avafart or Avatard rather than a parody of Twilight. Besides, I really wanted people with actual talent to tear apart that horrible phenomenon. If there is a bright side to any of this it’s nice to know that Christa Flanagan is getting work. As always, I will be cringing through this on opening day (because I am a terrible person who doesn’t deserve to enjoy nice things).


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Downtown

I love to watch comedy from another country mainly because it’s so alien and indecipherable. I like it because I don’t get it. But not all foreign comedy is inexplicable. Take for example these following scenes from Japanese sketch comedy show Downtown. There’s an absurdity that is over-the-top yet quietly subtle. Downtown is yet another foreign show that should be imported to this country.

Apparently Michael Jackson’s Captain EO was known as Captain Jackson in Japan.




This sketch requires a somewhat cursory knowledge of the clich├ęs of Japanese Sentai programs.




The 5 Rangers sketches were essentially the same but this comp reveals that just because something is repetitive doesn’t mean it can’t be inventive in some small way. The funeral one is easily my favorite sketch.






I take back what I said about Downtown earlier because the show does have it's fair share of inexplicable moments. Aho Aho Man (aka Moron Moron Man) and the AfterSchool Magnet Twins sketches only reinforce people’s narrow (but occasionally accurate) views about Japan’s cultural landscape. Nonetheless, enjoy the aggressive weirdness on display in these vaguely off-putting scenarios.





Sunday, April 11, 2010

Now That's What I Call Dated: Fake Made For TV Movies About Tonya Harding

Like Monica Lewinsky, OJ Simpson and John Wayne Bobbit, Tonya Harding was a favorite (and easy) target among talk show hosts and hacky comedy writers. However, unlike her sad peers, Harding was the only one to inspire a trio of faux made for TV movies.

Comedy Central promoted this heavily and at one point ran five of these in a row before finally yanking it off the air for good. Out of the three this is probably my favorite because it’s fairly subtle and mimics the look of a made for TV movie perfectly.




This ran during the very early years of Late Night With Conan O’Brian. Scott Thompson is perfectly creepy as Harding and I like the CIA non-sequitur that Andy mumbles at the very beginning.




Technically National Lampoon’s Attack of the 5’2 Women was a real made for TV movie (it ran on Showtime). However, I’ve included it hear because it is a cheap disposable parody. As a side note the appeal of Julie Brown has always eluded me. Really, I don’t get it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Lighter Side: The Movie

I really don’t know how these people did it. They’ve somehow managed to make Dave Berg’s The Lighter Side less funny. That’s the comedic equivalent to absolute zero. Congratulations people!







Thursday, March 25, 2010

Celebrity Look-A-Likes That Depress Me: Don Mincey

On the surface it may seem glamorous or even fun to be a celebrity look-a-like, especially if you resemble Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley or Angelina Jolie. But what if you look like Rhea Perlman or Phillip Seymour Hoffman? What happens when the celebrity you resemble falls out of favor with the general public? What happens when the now humbled and affordable celebrity usurps the same corporate gigs, casino openings, and children’s birthday parties that used to pay your bills? I really have no idea. But I’m sure Chevy Chase sort-a-look-a-like Don Mincey knows all too well about the perils of riding the coattails of a once beloved celebrity. Hopefully Chase’s current comeback will reignite interest in the man who vaguely resembles him.






Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teenage Fallout Queen

I’m surprised. I thought Sheldon Allman’s Radioactive Mama was the only novelty song ever written about somebody dying slowly from radiation poisoning. Apparently there was another.


Rappin' Ronnie

Without getting too political, I’ve never liked Reagan and I don’t understand this current lionization of his presidency. However, I like Gary Trudeau even less. He’s smug, unfunny and personifies every negative stereotype the right believes about the left. The only time I’ve ever laughed at Doonesbury was when Johnny Ryan was making fun of it. Plus Trudeau’s indirectly responsible for Bloom County and for me that’s reason enough to hate anybody.

At any rate, if you’re not quite sure how to feel about Trudeau, here’s Rappin’ Ronnie a truly excruciating novelty rap number he wrote that features a guy who neither looks nor sounds anything like Reagan stiffly wandering about a clean and well kept ghetto “rappin” about “Nancy sitting on Mr. T’s lap” as a faceless Ed Meese scratches a turntable. I guarantee by the end of it (if you get that far) you’ll be screeching for Trudeau’s shitty head.




Still, I will give Trudeau this much: at least he’s not Bruce Tinsley. That guy can just fuck off to hell.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Screwballs!

I hate the Porky’s series. It’s angry, joyless and the characters are hateful stick figures. With that said, I should probably loathe Screwballs being that it’s a cheap Canadian knock-off of Bob Clark’s inexplicably popular trilogy but I don’t. Screwballs is everything that Porky’s should’ve been. It’s silly, weird and so unselfconsciously stupid that it ultimately wins you over.




I love everything about that title sequence (and I wish the full version was on Youtube) from the opening site gag that doesn’t work to the choreographed prancing the cheerleaders perform on their way to school to the fact that the horny fat guy’s bike has four training wheels, Screwballs really was the greatest sex comedy ever made. Not the funniest mind you, but still the greatest.


Oh, and on a vaguely related note, here's Screwballz! the Love Connection parody that ran on an episode of Mr. Show. I'm including this only because I can't think of Screwballs without thinking of Screwballz.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 5

In our current culture, hastily produced parodies of popular and moderately popular films are unavoidable. So The Silence of the Hams was inevitable much in the same way that Avafart (in 1-D!!!!!) will be sadly inevitable. However, The Silence of Hams carries a weird wrinkle; it’s actually a parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Sure, Billy Zane plays Jo Dee Foster (ugh) and Dom Deluise plays Hannibal “Cannibal” Pizza (double ugh) but they’re only there to briefly justify the unfunny title. Below you’ll find one of the few Silence scenes in the movie and, of course, it had to be the interrogation scene.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 4

People that know me are well aware of my embarrassing weakness for parody films. No matter how bad or obscure a parody film may be I must track it down and watch it. Because the need to be annoyed and disappointed is a need that can never be fulfilled. At any rate, Der Wixxer isn’t bad but it is pretty obscure. Released shortly after the surprising record breaking success of The Manitou’s Shoe (a parody of the Winnetou and Old Shatterhand movies), Der Wixxer was a German effort that set out to mock Edgar Wallace krimis. It’s uneven but the film is hard to hate mainly because it’s so eager to please.

Like most parody films released in the past 18 years, Der Wixxer takes the path of least resistance by doing yet another Silence of the Lambs spoof. This is another typical take on Jonathan Demme’s film but with two exceptions: (1.) It’s in German, and (2.) The cinematography is surprisingly good. I mean you never see cinematography this beautiful or expressive in a throwaway spoof. (Actual parody begins at 1:29)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 3

If you’ve ever seen the Extras Christmas special and wondered just who those two guys were that Ricky Gervais snubbed at the fancy restaurant, wonder no longer. They’re Gareth Hale and Norman Pace a once moderately successful comedy duo whose humor seemed to waver in between surprisingly smart and horribly stupid. This clip below encapsulates everything that worked and didn’t work about Hale and Pace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyXIAMyv8KE


Eventually, by the end of the 90s, Hale and Pace finally succumbed to mediocrity. The point of no return happened around the time they recorded the Stonk for Comic Relief. I’ve never been able to sit through the entire video. Try and see if you can.





But before that, Hale and Pace should be honored for the good things they’ve done for comedy such as this “edited for television” bit that anticipated a very similar Mr. Show sketch by at least a decade.




They were even good at putting a new spin on old, worn out concepts. This Silence of the Lambs parody starts out fairly typical (apart from the Multiple Miggs reference. Not many Silence spoofs went down that route) but stick with it. There’s a twist at the end that practically redeems some of the more obvious bits. It’s not a great sketch by any means but stronger than most of the Silence parodies I’ve seen.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dead Parrot(s) Sketch(es)








The Rhetorical Sale of the Century

It’s easy to forget that Eric Bana started out as a comedic actor mainly because Eric Bana doesn’t particularly scream comedy. He might scream “guy who would host a reality show about sports cars on the Discovery Channel” or “supporting lead in a Lifetime movie” but never comedy. But here he is on the Australian sketch comedy show Full Frontal being genuinely amusing in a moderately clever game show parody. Who would have ever thought!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 2

Until recently when comedy writers discovered they could make fun of the Buffalo Bill character, Silence of the Lambs parodies typically made fun of one scene and one scene alone and that’s the scene where Clarice Starling meets Hannibal Lecter for the first time.

It’s not surprising why this scene has been mocked so many times. It’s instantly iconic yet affected and weird. This is the kind of scene that practically begs to be made fun of. What is surprising is that this is the only scene that comedy writers seem to go after. Sure some don’t reference the quid-pro-quo line and some might not mock the fava beans line or the licking thing that Hopkins pulls after the fava beans line but all of them do make fun of that moment where Lecter smells and recognizes Starling’s perfume (or whatever it was).

Below you’ll find the Silence parody from National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1. I’m not sure if this was the first but it’s definitely one of the earliest examples. Parts of it are actually kind of amusing and I should mention that Loaded Weapon 1 actually pulls off a sort-of hack trifecta by referencing the quid-pro-quo line, the fava-bean-tongue thing and the part where he smells her. Congratulations movie (actual Silence parody starts at the 2:58 mark).


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 1

Why is it that practically every Silence of the Lambs parody either contains a reference to eating fava beans or a scene in which somebody is wheeled out in a face mask and strait-jacket? I mean there were other scenes in the movie why just focus on those two?

Here’s a Skippy(Australia’s Lassie)/Silence of the Lambs pastiche that aired on an episode of Fast Forward. Thankfully it foregoes the fava beans thing but settles on the facemask thing.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting similar clips for reasons I’m still not entirely sure. (self-loathing?)