Did I Just Watch Chris Farley's Dad???
Of course, the one week where the dumb yearbook huddled start to the show would actually make sense they opt for a whole new way to start the show. This is the perfect example of the endless missed opportunities that makes this such a frustrating season.
First off they barely have any hosts that are known for comedy and one of the few times they do they fill most of the show with musical guest as if it were some sort of sabotage. Hell, this is the season that can have Tim Curry and Meatloaf together and still put out a flop of a show. Hell, even Bill Murray's visit ended up being boring.
As always, I don't blame the host because the problems stem production and writing because I'm beginning to see that this group has the potential to be fun, even though they've yet to fully grow on me.
All of that said, this episode was actually pretty good. A big part of what made this episode average was Madden's playful energy that made even the more mundane sketches seem fun. Then, there was a sketch at the end that introduced two reoccurring characters who I've never seen before. I loved these characters so much that it boosted the episode from average to slightly above average but still with the "for this season" disclaimer.
Now that you know how I feel about this show it's time to move on to share what I saw, so, with that, I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
Once again, this week's show skips the fake word from the sponsor to go right into the opening sketch where John Madden reports from the Bengal's locker room following their Super Bowl loss. Eddie steps up for an interview and claims it was a mafia fix only to get shot as he tries to state his evidence. Piscopo approaches as a second player who claims this was a suicide even though the murder was caught on film. He also interviews Tony Rosato, and again he relies on an accent for his joke. We then get a few more interviews from the rest of the team.
Next is a fake ad for Betty Beer, the beer for women who want to be assertive (AKA Betty Beer: The Bitches Brew.) Near the end of the sketch when the pitchwoman approaches the bar and snatches the first beer in sight, John Madden proclaims, "Hey bitch, that's my Betty," only to quickly be put in his place. Another old guy makes a joke about not knowing why he is in this ad. I have no idea who he is, but the audience seemed to love it.
Poetry Corner is a show where John Madden reads some of his football-themed poetry.
The Lou Grant Show is parody spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Jennifer Holliday then hits the stage to perform And I am Telling You I Am Not Going.
Once again, Brian Doyle-Murray gives us the news with no Mary Gross. This week Tony Rosato has a segment that is once again accent based humor, though she's not a co-anchor, we also get a segment from Mary Gross where she discusses animal control at the rodeo, (Clip 2) (Clip 3)
The Uncle Tom Show is a kid's show hosted by Piscopo as Tom Snyder. He wears a big bow tie and smokes while he hosts with segments from Captain Kangaroo, who tells us a story, and Buckwheat, who sings us several tunes.
John Madden then shares an inside story that he witnessed as a football coach as he tells the tale of a player who dropped some change into the toilet on accident then threw in some bills to justify reaching in to retrieve it all.
Jennifer Holliday then returns to the stage to perform One Night Only.
We then go to a meeting between several mafia types where we get to hear a bunch of mob nicknames including several actors named Don. The rest of the sketch is either making fun of the mob or Italians in general, which is just something that I've never been interested in, whether it's attempting to be funny or not. Eddie Murphy then enters the room as this group's Godfather and rattles off a list of nicknames for the newest member of the gang, who for some reason gets shot during the naming process. I'm sure it was evident in the sketch, but I got bored and zoned out for a second and don't care enough to hit rewind.
Andy Kaufman then returns to the show to do his mid-career Elvis impersonation and finished his routine by clucking like a chicken to sing his second song. He then selects a couple ladies to join him backstage. We then go to "Elvis's" dressing room where he gets the ladies to wrestle. He then breaks character to explain where he got the concept of his bit while bashing the author of the book that he used as a reference, saying he doesn't believe it to be true.
Christine Ebersole then gets her moment on the stage where she talks about the recent and then through to a short documentary called Super Bowl To Saturday Night Live that follows Madden's journey from the big game to the big show since he doesn't fly.
We then go to a bar where we meet Solomon and Pudge. Piscopo is Pudge who's the house piano player while Eddie plays Solomon the local drunk who shares his crazy views on politics but for the most part, it's just two people having a fun interaction that put a smile on my face.
Finally, John Madden closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Now, for my favorite moments of this slightly above average show. First, I loved Solomon and Pudge because as I said up above, I liked them so much that I'm surprised that I don't remember, especially after finding out that they are reoccurring characters. Next, I really liked The Uncle Tom Show but only because of the Buckwheat segment that I also don't remember especially for how much I love the original Buh-Weet Sings sketch. Finally, I was a fan of John Madden's Inside Story because it's a funny tale.