Feck Yeah, They Referenced River's Edge!!!
Last time Dennis Hopper was the host, I pointed out how I could see people confusing his Frank Booth character from Blue Velvet with his Character Feck from River's Edge. At the time, I was aware that both movies came out the same exact year but didn't realize their names were Feck and Frank making the two even more confusing.
Speaking of confusion, I mention this because as the time Hopper hosted four years ago, I could have sworn that I remembered there being a sketch that referenced Feck's infatuation with an inflatable doll and was a bit disappointed when all that I saw was a sketch that referenced Frank Booth.
At first, I chalked this up to being a false memory because even though I'm a bigger fan of River's Edge, I feel that it's a much more obscure movie than Blue Velvet so I couldn't imagine the show going back four years for this random old reference especially since Hopper performed in a baker's dozen worth of roles since his original visit.
Then again, my memory is strong so I shouldn't have second guessed this recollection because sure enough, the Feck reference involving the inflatable dolls was actually in this episode and I was excited to see it since I'm such a big River's Edge Fan. I was also excited by several other sketches and was able to write about a quarter of my sketch summaries based on the titles alone because apparently this episode really stuck with me over time.
Other than that, this episode makes six in a row where I've had very little to complain about, making me an extremely happy man and now that I've shared my connection to the episode, it's now time to move on and share what I actually saw, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with Live With Regis And Kathie Lee where the morning talk show hosts check in from Saudi Arabia where they are entertaining the troops from the first Persian Gulf War, keeping in mind that this first Gulf conflict was treated like it was frivolous and fun since the battle was so lopsided with distinct goals to where we knew when the war was done. In the actual sketch "Regis" and "Kathie Lee" just goof around in the Middle East in the playful tone that they were known for, building up to the announcement or, "Live from New York..."
Dennis Hopper then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he was to host the show for the second time but was unsure why they had him back. Before he could get too deep into his question he got interrupted by the host of This Is Your Life as the monolog turned into more of a sketch that explored Dennis' life through this through this bait and switch booking/surprise, only Dennis doesn't remember anything due to all the drugs.
This was followed by a fake ad for the Nikey Turkey from the time where pump-able shoes were all the crazy so this was a Thanksgiving Turkey that pumped up using Nikes shoe tongue pump technology.
Toonces then returned for a sketch that shared his Dreams where the driving cat dreams about supervising a bunch of baby chicks, only to be woken in a dream within a dream right before his final driving test. He then takes his owners out for a drive where they learn he can also talk. As always, even in the dream Toonces eventually drives the car over a cliff, this time while avoiding the local bully, who was played by Chris Farley who was chasing the car with a bomb.
We then got a parody of Dennis Hopper's The River's Edge character only instead of having just one inflatable lover he has a house full of Inflatable Dolls and has invited a bunch of friends over in an effort to hook them all up with dates only everyone is mainly interested in Dennis' Doll. Fortunately, he's not the same exact psychopath from The River's Edge or he may have killed Kevin Nealon for popping the doll of his dreams.
Paul Simon then took to the stage to perform The Obvious Child.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Chris Rock dropped in for another segment where he discussed the problems with minimum wage highlighting that it means companies would pay you less if they legally could meanwhile it's still not a livable source of income only to have taxes added on top.
Liaison Mocking was a sketch where Julia Sweeney and Jan Hooks have a water cooler chat about Julia's crazy antics at the company party where she hooked up with one of her coworkers. It turns out that Paul Simon is the coworker in question and when Jan leaves the two alone to talk the entire staff ends up in the breakroom, including Jan to mock the secret couple behind their backs as they discuss how they want to handle it. Eventually, Victoria Jackson and Dennis Hopper also enter the room and Victoria announces to the entire room that she hooked up with Dennis at the same event and no one treats this like it any big deal at all.
This was followed by a Civil War sketch where we see what really went down just prior to a famous photo filled with Southern Soldiers, where we learn the photo shoot was as unorganized as a casual family photo where the photographer has to herd a bunch of cats who all have different views on how they wanted to pose.
Paul Simon then returned to the stage to perform Proof.
What Animal Were You Raised By? was a talk show sketch where Phil Hartman interviews Dennis Hopper who was raised by apes and flamingos but not at the same time. It turns out his plane crashed in the jungle when he was a kid and he was the sole survivor. The apes were the first to take him in only they decided to build a plane that also crashed and once again he was the only one to live. This is when he was adopted by the flamingos who also tried to build a plane but their engineering was so poor they barely were able to get off the ground but they still all died because Hopper was originally raised by a bunch of hunters and was instinctually driven to kill any bird that he happened to see fly by. This is when we learn that he was also raised by Dung Beetles but is too ashamed to delve all that deep into the details. Keep in mind, we learn all this while Dennis Hopper show absolutely zero traits that he had even ever been out in the wild, let alone had been raised by various groups of animals.
Schillervision Theater then made its debut taking over the Schiller Reel series of short films. This week's short film called Sudden Pressure that is quickly interrupted by a fake ad for the man bra. We return to the movie to see the actual scene play out where a man rushes to the restroom after being struck by a sudden urge. This scene is even shorter than the ad and is followed by a preview of next week's installment where we are promised a film called Gandhi With The Wind.
Stan Duffy's Gambling To Win was an infomercial of a sketch where Kevin Nealon taught us the tricks of making money at gambling where you set a limit of the maximum amount that your willing to lose as well as a walk away amount to stick to if you do manage to find that you're winning. He also introduces the idea of free casino drinks and after that, it doesn't take long for him to break from his original conservative/valid plan to either walk away a winner or lose an acceptable amount. The sketch continues on until Nealon has taken out a shady loan and is betting the bare minimum just to keep getting free drinks as the infomercial evolves to be more of a PSA against gambling while intoxicated.
Paul Simon then returned to the stage once again to perform Late in the Evening.
Finally, Dennis Hopper closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Once again, this was another solid show especially thanks to these three of my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the Inflatable Dolls sketch because I'm glad it corrected what I was thinking was a false memory while making reference to one of my favorite Hopper films. Next, I really liked the Nikey Turkey ad because I have a vivid memory of this classic fake ad and I also think that it genuinely has a pretty catchy rap song. Finally, I was a fan of What Animal Were You Raised By? because this is the type of convoluted sketch that I can really get behind.