Dan Fielding Doing A Damn Good Job
As I said back when Harry Anderson hosted the show, I was always a fan of Night Court because it was the one sit-com that aired after my bedtime due to its adult content. That didn't stop me from watching the show because I had a little black and white TV in my room and that I used to sneak in viewing by turning down the brightness and volume to where I could barely make out what I was seeing or hearing but I still found this better than going to bed.
Not only was I a fan of Night Court but I also liked John Larroquette's own personal show but I was also a huge fan of the movie Mad House, with him and Kirstie Alley where the two have to put up with their obnoxious family and a cat that wouldn't die because it literally had nine lives.
Since I am so familiar with this host's comedy career and comedic voice, I was looking forward to this episode and was perfectly satisfied by the end of the episode even though I was a little nervous at the very start. Even though I was fully prepared for Larroquette to come out with an arrogant tone, I'm still not fully onboard with this as an approach to an introduction because I barely heard any laugh making me fear that he lost the audience, which I've witness, multiple times, be enough to ruin the energy of an otherwise perfectly good show.
We then got a fake commercial followed by Larroquette's first full sketch that also started a little slow but I was fully on board with the episode by the time they got to the punchline which actually got me to laugh out loud. After that, this became a pretty good episode that boosted my confidence that I will enjoy the next three episodes and end this season on a high note as opposed to the letdown I've felt for the past two or three seasons.
So, now that I've got my tale of hopes turned to doubts ending on satisfaction all written out, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started "in Las Vegas" with a Pagan Easter Special aimed at the heathens that actually points out the true reason for the holiday season while including a few jokes thrown in at the Christians while keeping it light-hearted and also keeping the Pagan practices the main butt of the joke even though they are just as valid as the tale of the Easter Bunny and all the other religious nonsense that's involved. In the sketch, Dana Carvey plays Casey Kasem who breaks the Vegas illusion by announcing, "Live from New York..."
John Larroquette then officially opened the show with a monolog about feeling lucky to host the show due to his low standing in Hollywood before humbly bragging about the two Emmys that he has won. His humble tones turn to arrogance as he carries on about his career and exploits in his personal life. Again, though I found this to be kind of funny and fully got what Dan Fielding was going for but this attempt to joke about being arrogant rarely wins over the crowd, who were uncomfortably silent throughout the entire routine.
Sold Out Gold was a fake ad for an album filled with popular songs from the past that are now used in commercials during a time when this type of commercialization wasn't tolerated by music fans.
We then went to a nice suburban house where John Larroquette is in the living room trying to fix their broken toaster. Jan Hooks plays his wife who asks him to take his work to another room because her mom is coming over which leads the two to bicker about the visit. Phil Hartman then shows up as the mother/mother-in-law and she and Larroquette get into a full-out brawl after she reveals that she is actually horrible by plugging in the toaster while he's still working on it. Where I was starting to get bored by this point from the sketch running long, this brawl is so over the top that it got me laughing out loud while also getting the characters to set aside their differences and finally get along.
This was followed by a sketch that took place at a crime scene where Larroquette played a Homicide Detective who has to talk to the common cops as to whether or not they found any clues. At first, the cops say no, but then after simply looking around the room, they start finding evidence everywhere even if it was physically possible for said item to be involved at all. It turns out that Larroquette is so good at picking up evidence with a pencil to avoid evidence contamination that this "evidence" they are pointing out does stem from ineptness but instead it's just a game that the officers like to play. It turns out that the victim wasn't even dead until Larroquette stabbed him in the back with his special pencil in an effort to turn him over to find another piece of "evidence."
Instant Coffee was a talk show sketch that took place in a coffeehouse booth where early adopters of the coffee trend talk pretentiously over their cups of Folger's Instant Coffee.
Timbuk 3 then took to the stage to perform Just Another Movie.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, "Robin Leach" dropped in to talk baseball and he didn't even know why he was chosen for the segment, I guess they were just trying out an impersonation. Nora Dunn's French model character also dropped in to ramble on using accent based humor to discuss tax preparation because this episode originally aired around that time of the year.
We then saw John Larroquette discussing what seemed to be a near-death experience only to find out he is actually already dead and sitting up in heaven with a welcoming angel who is there to help him ease into the afterlife and answer all of his questions about what was and what could have been Heaven's Database
Showbiz Agents was an "informative" sketch that shared the history of Hollywood, before turning into more of a disaster sketch when we learn that L.A. was swallowed by an earthquake and America was left with nothing but New York based talent agents who were left to work things out.
Timbuk 3 then returned to the stage to perform Hairstyles And Attitudes.
In the version of the show I got, this was followed by a short film where I guy created a workout routine using nothing but a toilet plunger. I'm not sure if this was what aired on the original night because the sketch two sketch list sites that I reference didn't agree with one another and neither of them sounded like they were describing the scene that I saw but this is what I saw so this is what I'm sharing.
Finally, John Larroquette closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. This was followed by a special segment highlighting the career of a cameraman who was retiring at the end of the night.
Even though I said this episode started slow, that slowness was more due to a personal choice that I disagree with because other than the initial stumble this was a better than average episode with these three of my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved John Larroquette as the Homicide Detective who has the mad ability to pick up every piece of evidence with his pencil to avoid adding his fingerprints to the scene, because I loved how at first it seemed that the cops were being inept only to find out they were actually playing a game. Next, I really liked the Brawl With The Mother-In-Law sketch, especially how I started out very unsure about the segment only to end up laughing out loud by how over the top the sketch grew to become. Finally, I was a fan of the fake ad for Sold Out Gold because I miss the days when selling out was considered a bad thing and not the only viable goal which only buries talent that is not business savvy and promotes only products that guarantee profit right out of the gate.