Not A Bad Show From Bizzaro Betty Rubble
Alright, so the Betty Rubble tag might be a hack of a jab but back personally at the time, I felt the entire casting for the first Flintstone flick was all pretty bad. I was such a fan of the cartoon as a kid that I felt disappointed by the lot of cartoon cavemen and cavewomen in their non-animated forms. That, and I was desperate to come up with a subtitle.
As far as her other acting roles go, I’ve seen several of Rosie’s films but she’s another one of these people who I have never actively sought out a movie specifically based on her involvement. Other than that, I don’t think I ever watched Rosie’s talk show but as a young stand-up comedy nerd, I was a pretty big fan of her early career as a comedian.
That said, I always thought that she was a funny person and because of that, I was excited to see how she handled the world of sketch comedy since most comedians that transition into acting usually make for pretty good hosts of the show and I don’t recall this episode from its original airing.
Though I don’t see this episode being a highlight of the year, I did think that it was pretty funny. I loved how she was able to make fun of herself in the opening monolog even though looking back, I think she was more attractive than she gave herself credit for, which also goes back to the Betty Rubble joke that started this whole thing off. I say this as a self-deprecating person myself whose always had an issue with my own appearance who’s always related to this type of humor and always felt that I was joining in even though it may come across as being hypocritical and rude.
The rest of the night fell a little flat but mainly because there were a lot of references to things going on in politics and the news. Even though I remember most of the events being referenced again, just like the Betty Rubble jokes, most of the jokes about these events were already beaten to death at the time. Either that, or they went on to have no significance at all.
Then again, there was also the cold opening that may be more significant now that things are actually being done about sexual harassment in politics. It’s sketches like this that have had me questioning whether or not satire is all that influential when it comes to change as many people often claim. I remember back in school when they would say that political comic strips brought politics to the common man. Meanwhile, this sketch is close to thirty years old yet other than the laughs leading to up to the intro it seemed to lighten the mood over inspiring a call to action.
Oh well, I don’t’ want to get political so with that, I will now sift my gears and move on to share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a sketch about The Packwood Diaries where Phil Hartman played Senator Bob Packwood to parody a self-dictated diary entry into a mini tape recorder about his sexual harassment/assault exploits that he was involved in throughout the day as if he was fully entitled and that the women actually wanted this attention from such a powerful man. Of course, this being the opening sketch it eventually built to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Rosie O'Donnell then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy she is to host as a native New Yorker before going on to promote all of her recent films. She then went on to claim how none of this success has changed her only to be interrupted by a cellphone call from Madonna, who was her best friend at the time. She then went on to take questions from the audience who humbled her right away by confusing her with other girls her size who were successful around that time, ending of Dave Attell confusing her for Cindy Crawford which led Rosie to quit while the getting was good.
This was followed by a segment that was introduced by the real Casey Kasem who introduced behind the scenes footage of the making of the Frank Sinatra: Duets album that was near the top of his top hits list at the time. The behind the scenes footage was another chance for the cast to impersonate various famous musical performers from the time while Phil Hartman portrayed the blue-eyed curmudgeon.
Mexican Stereotype was a fake Anti-NAFTA political ad that shared the conservative view of how excited Mexicans were about the policies because not only would they be getting all of our jobs but they would be taking our women as well, leaving us with nothing but street merchant jobs in exchange.
Daily Affirmation then returned for another installment where host, Stuart Smalley, tried to mend the mental wounds between Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt following the incident where she cut off his penis and throw it out her car window while treating the whole ordeal as if it were a common spat. The sketch ended with Stuart getting Lorena to apologize to John Wayne’s penis.
Phil Hartman's Real Views was a follow up sketch to the Anti-NAFTA sketch from earlier in the night where Phil Hartman rebutted the Anti-NAFTA ad by claiming that NAFTA would actually create more jobs for Americans which would allow us to “stick it to those Mexicans” by making things even worse South of the border while claiming that Canada will not be safe from our reach either.
James Taylor then took to the stage to perform Memphis and the song Slap Leather back to back.
Once again, Kevin Nealon then gave us the news. This week, Mike Myers portrayed the Canadian Prime Minister to add his two cents on the controversial NAFTA deal who was apparently also against it. Opera Man also dropped in to sing a tune about the top stories of the week.
Kevin Nealon then returned for a sketch where he played a Forgetful Waiter who could not remember Rosie O’Donnell and Phil Hartman’s order even though he worked at a restaurant where the waiters were supposed to be trained well enough not to have to write things down, ruining the couple’s lunch break meal since they were both pressed for time.
The Tomboy And The Sissy was a sketch where Rosie played the titular tomboy with David Spade in the sissy role where the two gave each other pointers on how to better live up to the expected gender roles in an effort to fit in only to end up the best of friends. That is until Rosie beats up Spade in order to impress the jock she was interested in who was pissed at Spade for stealing his spot as the Quarterback after she trained him out to throw. Only it turned out that she didn’t actually beat him up but instead he used his makeup expertise to create a fake black-eye in order to keep the façade alive.
James Taylor then returned to the stage to perform Secret O' Life.
David Spade then revisited his character of Dick Clark’s arrogant receptionist during The Malibu Fires only now he is working as a volunteer assistant to the firemen who will not let anyone into the gated community no matter how famous they are or whether or not their houses were in danger of being burnt down.
We then got a Schiller's Reel silent short film called Will Work For Food with Norm MacDonald as a homeless man carrying a cardboard signs asking for food in exchange for work and gets picked up by a strange but rich man and given tons of paperwork to fill out as well as various other tasks to complete in exchange for a simple hot dog which he shared with a homeless friend.
Homegirls a sketch where half the girls from the cast played urban girls who got invited to a party held by the preppy girls who were played by the second half of the female cast but the urban girls don’t want to go and there is no change which led me to miss what was supposed to be the joke.
Finally, Rosie O'Donnell closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
As I said, other than the played out references, this was a pretty fun episode thanks to these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The Tomboy And The Sissy sketch because as a male with four sisters and no real male role models, I wouldn’t say that I was a sissy, would say that I relate because I’ve always got along pretty better with tomboys than I have with alpha males. Next, I really liked the Will Work For Food short film because it should have been one of those last sketches of the night that was more charming than funny instead of rushing through the last sketch which made it come across convoluted. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s Daily Affirmation because even though the Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt story has been done to death, it was still funny to see Stuart Smalley get Lorena apologize to John Wayne’s penis since I’m still that immature.