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?