Not A Bad Batch
For Another Bakers Dozen Episode
Not only was this episode way better than Dudley Moore's first appearance as host with Peter Cook where the two made the show seem like it was better fit for British television but not in an American crossover way. I think this may be due to the fact that he played Arthur since that early episode and was more tapped into an American brand of humor.
Not only was I more impressed by this follow-up show, I think this episode proves the point that I made yesterday about this season issue with convoluted sketches where the convolution doesn't really add to the comedy. The evidence for this is how this episode suffered from many of the same flaws that I've been griping about during the past few episodes.
Where this episode still had the longer but fewer sketch format that I hate, as well as a couple repeat sketches, and another installment of The Pat Stevens Show which is a reference I don't get or find funny, despite having these flaws where I still got bored, they seemed to have toned down the convoluted writing that has been leaving me more annoyed than entertained and confused which is what I want from this style of writing.
No, the sketches from tonight were pretty straight forward and entertaining enough that I didn't really mind when they started to drag on for a couple moments. If they finish off this season at this pace, I'll be a much happier person while writing about my disappointment.
Damn it... I just realized how the fact they cut the Teen Pregnancy sketch and replaced it with another sketch from dressed rehearsal, in the re-aired episode I used for the viewing, invalidates the Baker's Dozen aspect of my title. That said, I did still only see thirteen segments so I'm going to stick with the sentiment.
So now that my findings and hopes are out of my system, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a bunch of monks entering a convent to talk about business during their annual break from their vow of silence. When it gets to the point where they discuss what to do with the profits, Monk Lovits suggest that they put all of their money on the Patriots to win that year Super Bowl. Everyone moans as if this is a poor financial plan but it turns out they just want to bet on the Bears. Finally, before reinstating the vow of silence, Monk Downey Jr. fits in a few more words by announcing, "Live from New York..."
Dudley Moore then officially opened the show with a monolog about hosting Saturday Night Live just ten years before this appearance and then goes on to play a piece from Beethoven on the piano, only he sprinkles in the tune from the Colonel Bogey March song in with the actual Beethoven song.
Miss Pregnant Teenage America Pageant was a sketch that no longer feels all that far-fetched considering the programming that you can find on America's "Learning" Channel, at least that's what I assume, being that I couldn't find this sketch anywhere on the internet.
Al Green then took to the stage to sing Going Away.
The Pat Stevens Show returns and once again, Nora Dunn starts by answering viewer mail and then continuing on to interview her guest, Jackie Stewart, who was apparently a Scottish race car driver from the time who shared Nora's modeling concerns of getting out of a car while wearing a skirt. Again, I don't know who Pat Steven's is and never saw the show being referenced so might not get some of the subtle jokes which makes me annoyed that this sketch has been featured almost every week so far this season.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, the Pathological Liar drops by the news for the first time to discuss how Ferdinand Marcos was actually a good man having spent time with him in a prisoner's camp during one of the wars where the Philippines helped to play a role in a US effort to win.
The Limits of the Imagination the returned for another installment of the Twilight Zone parody show that introduction is as long as the actual sketch. During this installment, we go to a comedy club to meet Dudley Moore who is playing a stand-up comedian who reminded me of my time on the stage as he stammered throughout his entire performance unable to catch the attention of the crowd. We then go back stage to see him almost get fired but begs for another chance claiming he'd do anything to succeed. The club owner then leaves and the Devil Lovitz appears to buy Dudley's soul in exchange for a better appearance where the audience will actually pay attention to his words. With the crowd now listening to his every word the twist kicks in and they start to care about more than just the fictional punchlines and start responding to his hypothetical calls to the audience with a much deeper psychological response that what any comedian would want to deal with.
Name That Tune was a parody of a revised version of the old show with the same name, only the contestants get to hear the entire tune before finally getting to chime in with their guess but both Dudley Moore and Joan Cusack are still terrible and can't name a single tune even with blatant clues from Lovitz who played the host.
Al Green then returned to the stage to sing True Love.
Master Thespian then returned where he and Dudley Moore have and act-off while both bragging about their abilities when it comes to "ACTING!"
We then went to a laundromat where Dudley Moore and his wife Joan Cusack were doing laundry with their kid when Dudley's ex then entered the scene where we learn that all of his efforts toward his marriage stem from Dudley's attempt to recapture his past failed relationship.
We then got a repeat of Die Foreigner Die! from a couple weeks ago.
Dudley Moore and the SNL Band then took to the stage to mix Tchaikovsky with James Brown's I Feel Good.
Finally, Dudley Moore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Another sign that this was a pretty good episode is how there were actually four segments that I like enough to even consider for my top three list when the past few list have been made up from the only three sketches that I liked from the night. So, here is what I managed to come up with after carefully deciding which of the four moments to leave out.
First, I loved this week's The Limits of the Imagination sketch with Dudley Moore selling his soul to the devil to win over the crowd as a horrible stand-up comedian because of how his before soul selling stand-up reminded me of how bad I was on the stage back when I tried stand-up for a month. Next, I really liked this week's Master Thespian because this character never fails to amuse me. Finally, I was a fan of the opening sketch where the monks break their vow of silence in order to discuss their bets on the Super Bowl because it's just a silly idea that got me to chuckle when I pieced together what was going on after a slow build to the actual joke.