Exhibit 2: As To How
The Hater Of This Cast Was Unwarranted
Keeping in mind that I fully understand why the welcoming may not have been as warm as it could have/should have been back in the days when this season initially aired. A majority of this cast have remained strangers to me to this day, so they apparently didn't all have the same greatness. That said, I can already see an improvement in performance in this second episode, which even took some of the original cast at least half of the first season to achieve.
I also understand how this first transition may have been extra rough because I don't think that audiences of the day were as used to the idea of a revolving cast because they seemed to be more used to spins off with similar names whenever there was a shakeup with casting. I just wish they would have given this initial cast, just a little bit more time because I've seen a spoiler while double checking cast mates names that there is actually a midseason overhaul where we lose a couple of my favorite new Not Ready For Prime Time Players.
Other than my observation about the overall show, I had a somewhat shocking realization about the host of this episode. Where I firmly know the name Malcolm McDowell, I don't instantly see his face. I think I get too distracted thinking of Andie MacDowell that I end up losing my place.
In this episode, he hit the stage and though his face looked familiar I had to look him up to reassure that I was right. It turns out that during this visit he was at just the right age that he didn't quick look like the young man I saw in A Clock Work Orange. He also wasn't old enough to look like the white-haired man that I'm more familiar with from a Star Trek movie commercial that inspired me to bleach my hair for the first time in 94 because at the time I thought he was Sting.
Okay, so this is going to take some more explaining. First off, though all of my friends in high school loved A Clock Work Orange, I hated it because I thought the violence against women was too realistic and glamorized, though I didn't have the words to express it that ways, I remember that being the case. Because of this lack of interest in the cult classic, his name isn't as apparent to me as it might be to some of my peers.
As for the Sting (the singer, not the wrestler) misidentification, it's not that I saw the Star Trek movie and actually thought it was Sting to later be corrected. By this point in my life, I had stopped following Star Trek so, I just saw a commercial, and in a quick glance, I saw this white-haired villain who dressed in an outfit similar to the one Sting wore in the movie Dune. So I put zero and one together to get the wrong answer. It wasn't until that I was explaining to the person at the beauty supply store that I was explaining the look I was going for that I was informed of my mistake.
Now, if you want to hear something twice as shocking, it wasn't until today when I looked up the name Malcolm McDowell that I discovered that these two people were the same and they, being he, are the reason, I am familiar with his name, when I used to just refer to him as the guy from Tank Girl.
Alright, so that's what this episode triggered, now it's time to share what I saw. So, with that, I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
There is an ominous start to the show as Gilbert walks down a makeshift "Green Mile" and Rocket reads him his last rights. They get to the end of the hallway, and Gilbert gets strapped into an electric chair when we hear his mom yelling, "No, no, not my son..." She then makes it past the guards to get in her last words with her son, which she uses to yell at him about his posture as the executioner flips the switch. As Gilbert is getting electrocuted to death, he blurts out, "Live from New York..."
Malcolm McDowell then opens the show with a monolog about how the night almost didn't happen as he shares a story about how he almost got sent back to England for trying to act with an expired work visa. He then goes on to thank NBC for expediting the process and then jokingly admits that this help in renewing his visa is why he accepted the gig in the first place.
Mutually Omaha's: Wild Kingdom is a parody of the show with such a close name that I'm not going to bother to retype it. Rocket, as the host, talks about how tonight we are going to study a very rare breed. Then we see the title of this week's "episode" In Search Of The Negro Republican. Other than the outdated use of the word "negro" the sentiment is the same as any modern sketch or video questioning the gay or black republican. In it, Piscopo plays the waiter/guide as he tries to find a black Republican at a party by asking each person questions to find answers that are stereotypically white and conservative. He finds a "specimen" through these questioning techniques, then drugs and tags him as they would an animal that a scientist would like to track. I didn't spot Eddie Murphy in the crowd, but he didn't end up getting any airtime.
Then we go to the White House where we see Nancy and Ronald's first night as residents following the inauguration. For some reason, they've adopted Amy Carter who's freaked out about the idea of nuclear proliferation to which the president and first lady have to comfort her enough to be able to go to sleep.
This week's Short Shot was directed by Ken Friedman who eventually went on to write Cadillac Man, which is the only credit of his that I was able to recognize. The short is called Showdown, and it features two cowboys who just got back into town, and both want to make the same woman their wife. The two start fighting right away before Rose can say she is interested in either. The shot handguns, rifles, and Gatling guns shooting up everything in sight except for one another. They finally get to the point where Rose speaks up to announce she's not interested in either man. I wish they would have ended it with it being due to the fact that she's strong, but instead, they let us know that it's because she's the village whore and is not worthy of settling in.
Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band then hit the stage to perform Hot Head, though I kind of liked this band now, I could see a point in my life where I would have been a huge fan because of how dark and quirky the sound is, like an early version of the Shockabilly genre.
Once again, Charles Rocket gives us the news. He's already ten times better than last week, and I have faith that he will continue to improve. This week, he interviews "John and Yoko," Joe Piscopo discusses the upcoming fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran where he uses Rock Em Sock Em Robots to predict the outcome, and finally, Gilbert does a crazy impersonation of some psychiatrist who gives a spot-on critical breakdown of the flaws from last week's show. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)
Next, we go to a Gothic Romance Bookstore where a customer enters looking for a particular recommendation for her next book to read. Malcolm plays the shop owner who seems a bit turned on by her challenge especially when she displays how well she knows the genre who's either already read everything that he suggests or she just isn't interested for very detailed reasons. She finally gives in and tells her ultimate idea of the main character she wants to read about causing Malcolm to rush off to find it. He returns bookless dressed as the character she described and the two embrace before falling to the ground to have sex.
Next, we go to a small town where a bunch of, what looks to be, hunters have all gathered around. It does turn out to be the dawn of a hunting season, and the locals are anticipating the hunt. Only animals aren't their targets as this is the start to Commie Season where everyone is allowed to kill five Commies as Reagan starts to reignite yet another Red Scare. Everyone is so excited to start, but they have to wait until the sun is fully up before they can begin. That is until Piscopo accidentally shoots the sheriff causing everyone to start early without the law to get in their way.
This is followed by the first installment of The Rocket Report where Charles Rocket hits the city streets to randomly interview the pedestrians of New York. I think the funniest part is how he complains about everyone who ignores him then makes fun of anyone who gives him any time.
Jack The Stripper is a parody of Jack The Ripper, of course. In it, Gilbert is playing an old lady sitting on the streets of London who gets flashed by someone who is dressed at the king. Gilbert's hilarious impersonation of a screaming lady causes Denny and a female Malcolm to step in to see what is going on. I'm not sure if they are detectives or just concerned citizens, but they take on the case to find this stripper to take back the streets for women. It doesn't take long before another stripper arrives, but it's a different stripper than the first. Though he is still dressed as a king, it turns out he's the kind of Sweden just out and about stripping for no reason. He wonders off and Jack the Stripper returns, and it turns out he's actually Prince Charles, and that's pretty much it.
Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band then return to the stage to perform Ashtray Heart.
This was followed by a non-Short Shots short film called Someone Is Hiding In My Apartment. This short featured a guy who talks about living with what seems to be a ghost. He shares stories of strange events where things are moved, and food is eaten, but this shouldn't happen because he lives alone. Then, as they pull back we see there is a woman behind him who rolls her eye in a way that conveys she is his ignored girlfriend... at least that's how I read it.
Finally, Malcolm McDowell closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Though I love how many sketches they cram into a show, I hate it when it's getting late in the night because this leads to so much more writing. So now, that I rushing to finish, here are my favorite moments. First, I loved the opening sketch but mainly because I'm such a fan of Gilbert, and I can totally see him joking about getting this type of treatment from his mother and genuinely meaning it. Next, I was a fan of Someone Is Hiding In My Apartment because it is very reminiscent of my style of writing that you can check out in my short film The Infinite Flu. Finally, I was a fan of the Jack The Stripper sketch. Again, this has to do with my fandom of Gilbert Gottfried because his woman voice totally reminds me of my favorite moments with him when he was a guest on Howard Stern where he made fun of Amy Heckerling's live-in babysitter.