Summer School Meets Saturday Night Live
I've only randomly seen a handful of episodes of NCIS when someone else was watching it but thanks to the intense marketing over the decades, I've always been fully aware that Mark Harmon is involved with the show. Whether I saw him popping up on the corner of the screen to advertise the upcoming season, or just watch a regular NCIS commercial, I've probably seen more Mark Harmon on my screen than actors on shows that I actually watch.
This is more of an observation than a complaint because as I looked at his IMDB resume, I saw that Mark was on a whole bunch of shows with great reputations that I've always intended to watch but never got around to doing so. It's also not a complaint because I've always been a big fan of Mark Harmon because of his role in the movie Summer School.
I couldn't tell you what that movie is about, other than what the title implies but this movie seemed to be on every single time there was a free HBO weekend which had my pre-internet pre-teen eyes glued to the screen no matter what movie was on. I think this is why when the show opened up with Mark Harmon talking about winning People's Sexiest Man Of The Year, I didn't just roll my eyes because unlike the hot guy/girl of the week hosts who look great but are not really funny, I knew that Mark Harmon had a funny side so I wasn't all that concerned.
It turns out that I didn't need to be concerned at all because I think this is the most consistent show of the season. Even though not every sketch had a big laugh, this was the first episode in a really long time where other than one sketch running a little long, I never felt like I was getting bored.
Where I wasn't surprised that I didn't hate this episode, as this season has been ending on an upswing, I do have to say that I am surprised that I like it as much as I do which is actually my same feeling toward the movie Summer School, at least from what I can recall.
Alright, now that I'm done praising this episode, it's not time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a parody of The New Charlie's Angels this new team of Angels is made of from the gorgeous women who were involved in sex scandals from around that time. Mark Harmon eventually joins the squad when we learn that the new target is a Republican woman. After looking pretty on screen for a moment, Mark then turned to the camera to announce, "Live from New York..."
Mark Harmon then officially opened the show in nothing but a towel as he delivers his monolog about being treated like meat after winning People Magazine's Sexiest Man Of The Year which leads to a flashback where we got to see the pageant when Mark had to beat out the competition in order to win the title. This flashback goes on for so long, I'm half tempted to consider it a sketch on its own but that's not saying it isn't funny because Lovitz in a Speedo and fake mustache playing the competition was enough to get an audible laugh.
Very Smart Theatre starts out like a PBS style show with Lovitz in a library introducing the story of Attila the Hun before we see the story play out where we witness Mark Harmon as a young Attila who is too emotional and lonely to take over the crown so he runs off to be alone where he eventually bursts into song.
We then went to Washington D.C. for the Iran Contra Hearings where the hearing is more gossipy about the sex scandal than the actual matter at hand.
Einstein Express was a parody ad that makes fun of a FedEx ad campaign from the time, only this ad isn't bragging about overnight deliveries because they are boasting about their Einstein based technology that can deliver packages back in time.
Suzanne Vega then took to the stage to perform Luka.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, A. Whitney Brown dropped in for another Big Picture segment about diversity in the USA while exploring the American Dream in that A. Whitney jaded but honest delivery.
We then got an educational sketch about Salmon where it starts with a school film introduction before seeing the cast members acting like fish and Salmon Mark is struggling to mate with Salmon Victoria before going off to die.
Dave's Party was a short film of a sketch where we see children at a party kid's party with the adult cast members provide the voices and have them talking about grown up things.
Mark Harmon, the Perfect Spokesman is another commercial sketch that I can't find anywhere on the internet.
Ching Chang then returned for another offensive Chicken Pet Store sketch that again, if it wasn't for the horrifying accent-based joke, the story of this character who won't sell his favorite animal as food is actually kind of adorable. However, this installment of the sketch gets even worse when they bring in a West Side Story style Asian gang whose leader is dating Ching Chang's sister and have no respect for the chickens.
Suzanne Vega then returned to the stage to perform Marlene On The Wall.
Myowling Bible was a fake ad for an edition of the bible for old cat ladies to share with their favorite pets.
We then went to the Boardwalk in Atlantic City where we met a Novice Sketch Artist played by Kevin Nealon who takes on Victoria Jackson as his first customer and does a horrible job at sketching her and an even worse job at listening to what she has to say in his efforts to make small talk.
Finally, Mark Harmon closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Another sign that this was a great episode is that it was actually a little hard to come up with these three favorite moments because I had too much to work with which is not a bad problem to have. First, I loved the Dave's Party sketch because I always find it funny when people make little kids act like a mundane adult especially when they keep it from going filthy. Next, I really liked the Novice Sketch Artist sketch because the energy between Kevin Nealon and Victoria Jackson was enough to make me laugh. Finally, I was a fan of the Sexiest Man Alive sketch that hijacked the opening monolog because I couldn't look at Lovitz in his Speedo and fake mustach without there being an audible laugh.