Thanks For All Of The Laughs, Frank Drebin

You Really Have Been Missed


I think if I were being honest when it comes to movies, Leslie Nielsen may have been my favorite comedic actor when I was a kid. Sure there may be stand-up comedians or sketch comedy actors that crossed over into film that I would probably credit first but between the Airplane movies and all of the Naked Guns, I'd have to say that this white-haired man was responsible for a bulk of my childhood laughs at the movies. 

That said, I was a bit nervous about this appearance because in the wrong hands he can sometimes be poorly utilized due to his non-comedic past. Even in his monolog, Leslie points out that he never intended to be funny and he just fell into that aspect of his career after decades of doing dramatic work. 

Though the hit to miss ratio was heavily in the hit realm during this period of his career, the hit to miss ratio of this season is almost a 50/50 split leaving me afraid to be let down, but I never thought that it would be Leslie Nielsen's fault. Luckily, this season's quality has been on a steady incline since switching thing up during the New Year's break because this was almost a perfect show.

I say almost in the same way that one never gets a perfect ten during a job review because there is always room for improvement. My only issue with this episode is that they could have been even sillier in some of the sketches that didn't feel host specific.

Either way, I liked this episode and found it to be a really nice start to my day and now that I've shared my opinion, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Iran's Most Wanted which parodied America's Most Wanted in its profile of Salman Rushdie who was considers the most wanted man in Iran at the time because of his book The Satanic Verses, treating his education and desire to write like criminal activities where Lucifer literally helped him to author his book. Of course being that this is the opening sketch it ended with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."

  2. Leslie Nielsen then officially opened the show with a monolog about his early dramatic acting career and how he accidentally landed in comedy. Even though his explanation is pretty there's still something funny about the way that he carries himself which is the entire point of his story.

  3. We then got a repeat of the fake Neuburg's Bleu Cheese Cooler from earlier in the season which was a fake ad for a cheese flavored sparkling wine.

  4. We then went to a bar with Mr. Subliminal for his first sketch outside of the news. Leslie Nielsen plays his apprentice who is there to learn Kevin Nealon's subliminal ways but is horrible at putting it to practice as he ends up subliminally flirting with a cop who hears the hidden messages quite well.

  5. Snap Decision was a game show sketch hosted by Leslie Nielsen who is extremely confused but his confidence leads the contestant to think that they are the ones who are lost. There is so much confusion throughout the sketch that points and control are distributed randomly while the contestants continually struggle to figure out what the hell is going on.

  6. The Pat Stevens Show then returned for yet another installment of more of the same from this series that I've yet to be a fan of because I don't know enough about the real Pat Stevens or the show being reference which seems to be required because the audience always gives a positive response every time it airs. This week she interviews a group of legitimate supermodels from the time along with Leslie Nielsen who played a former model who posed in a Sears catalog. The concept of this sketch had me ready to laugh but as it played out I had the same reaction to every Pat Stevens sketch from the past.

  7. Cowboy Junkies then took to the stage to perform Sweet Jane.

  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Al Franken dropped in for a new segment called, Jokes For Macneil-Lehrer Viewers where he tells political jokes that are so steeped in political jargon it's almost impossible to follow along.

  9. The 1960s Movie was a sketch that made fun of movies from that time complete with the '60s style animated opening sequence random car driving transitions and random segments from a cavalcade of stars that don't seem like they will ever connect but everything does manage to come together in the end.

  10. Leslie Nielsen then did what seemed to be an impromptu ad for Geritech products for old people with solutions for everything from people suffering from liver spots to people who are incontinent. They also have products for hemorrhoids and diarrhea all with silly names

  11. Cowboy Junkies then returned to the stage to perform Misguided Angel.

  12. We then went to a fancy restaurant with Leslie Nielsen and Jan Hooks on a date. In the world of the sketch, Leslie's wife just died and he's returning to the dating game and is terrified that it's been so long since entertaining a potential mate that he might end up Saying The Wrong Things and then spends the rest of the evening breaking every single faux pas that he can while being oblivious to offensive he is.

  13. Wayne's World then made its show debut where Wayne and Garth host their cable access show with Phil Hartman as the first guest as Garth's Father/convenient store owner where Wayne and Garth hang out. They interview him a bit about the store then go on to do a top ten list of the things Hartman yells at kids whenever they're in the store. They also interview Jan Hooks about being a hot babe, pretty much using the show as an excuse to flirt.

  14. Finally, Leslie Nielsen closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This episode was so fun that it may land in my top ten favorites overall with the help of these three moments that were my favorite from the night. First, I loved the Snap Decision gameshow sketch because in tapped into Leslie Nielsen's brand of confusion that makes me such a fan. Next, I really like the sketch with Leslie as Mr. Subliminal's Apprentice because not only am I a fan of Kevin Nealon's character but Leslie's failed attempt to follow along actually got me to laugh. Finally, I was a fan of the Wayne's World sketch especially since this episode was the night of its debut.


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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.