MMM... Tim Curry With A Side Of Meatloaf
First off, I was very excited to watch this show the moment I saw it in the queue. Though I was never a huge fan of Rocky Horror, there are plenty of other Tim Curry roles that I loved, and I've always considered myself a fan. Meatloaf, on the other hand, was a performer that I only liked as a reference in jokes but have grown to genuinely enjoy him over the years.
I figured that with Curry at the wheel while knowing of Meatloaf's future acting bug, I was expecting this episode to blow my mind, only to realize quickly why this episode was never popular enough to get a rerun ratio that was big enough to stink out as something I've seen.
The big problem with this episode is the fact that they are back to the long sketch format that just doesn't work in my book. To add to that, the long sketches were extra-extra long to where a couple of the shorter sketches lasted less than a minute which is rough where there were only fourteen segments to begin with.
Let's breakdown my problem with the long sketch once again.
The show opens with a fifteen second shot of a company logo until we get the reveal of said companies ever-changing slug line so I wouldn't count this as anything that counts bringing out segment countdown to thirteen. We then get this new opening bit where the host and cast stand in a yearbook-style pose for a second before starting the show and once again, I wouldn't count it, making the segment count twelve.
They do actually give us a monolog this week which is funny but goes on way too long, and I only count the monolog if it's really really good or if I'm just desperate to find my third favorite moment of the night and this monolog was neither dropping the countdown to eleven.
This is followed by the Mick! Sketch that goes on even longer. The next sketch is a decent length that was in and out at just the right amount of time, but this is followed by a minute long short that wasn't even close to being interesting enough to count so now we are at ten.
Next, we went to a sketch that was both unfunny and long, but I could still use it as a favorite if I got desperate. Even the news rambled on way too long, but like the monolog, I rarely go to it as a favorite since it is a staple to the show that is pretty consistent. With that, the count is now down to nine with one sketch I like, one I didn't mind, and one that I didn't find funny.
Meatloaf then performs twice by the end of the show which means two fewer sketches for me to choose from as far as my favorite moments go bringing the potential favorites countdown to seven. I also rarely find the host comedic singing funny enough to count so, we are now looking at six sketches to choose from.
Before I forget, I also don't count the goodnights, so we’re now down to five, five sketches to choose from with only one that I actually like, three that I didn't mind and one that made no sense at all. Which is precisely why I can't stand the long sketch format at least during this stage of the show's history.
So, there you have my disappointment for the day when I was really expecting to love it. With that, I'm going to give up and move on as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's episode starts with yet another lame sponsor announcement from Texxon that shares the message, "We Got Karen Silkwood And We'll Get The Creep At Saturday Night Live Who Writes These Things." I wouldn't mind these if they led into to an actual opening sketch, but I hate that it continues to highlight how this season got rid of the "Live from New York..." intro.
Once again, Tim Curry and the cast rush out to the stage to perform this season's dumb yearbook pose that replaced the opening monolog.
I take that back, this week Tim Curry runs from the group pose to the center stage to open the show with a monolog only to be interrupted by Eddie Murphy who's playing some kind of Stepin Fetchin janitor character because of typecasting limitation. Tim Curry then explains how he can relate because following The Rocky Horror Picture Show he was only offered roles that involved him being in drag. His solution was to never be seen in drag in public to solidify that he is not the actual character from the movie and then advised Eddie to do the same as he slaps on some white face makeup and speaks in the weird black guy doing a white guy tone.
Mick! is a variety show hosted by Tim Curry as Mick Jagger where he sings and dances and does a newsstand routine featuring Frank Nelson, who I remember from black and white TV. He also has a segment with "Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop," where he totally makes out with them both before singing another song as the sketch starts to evolve from being conceptually funny to where it starts to drag on and on and on. We also get a drop in from Buckwheat who's promoting his album Buh-Weet Sings. Then "Rip Taylor" makes an appearance to do his prop comedy act which is actually winning me back. I then get lost again as Frank Sinatra comes out to sing a song as the sketch continues to steal time from other sketches being that this sketch is fun, but the references didn't really age that well with time.
We then go to a basement man cave from the time where Frank And Papa drink wine and watch TV. This is another one of those sketches that are accent based because other than Tony Rosato's exaggerated Italian accent and a few cultural cliches I don't really see the comedy. It also doesn't help that can't even understand half the things being said between the accent, outdated slang, and actual Italian being used.
Once again, Brian Doyle-Murray gives us the news with the return of Mary Gross who spent the last two weeks, "Away on special assignment." This week, Mary Gross expresses her gripe about how this isn't an equal partnership and the two go on to pick each other's delivery of the news apart. We also go to London to get caught up with Diane and Charles about the upcoming birth of their child. Again the main focus being on the fact that she so far advanced in her pregnancy that it's impossible to have happened post marriage. Joe Piscopo gives us the news with a drop in from Bryant Gumble, and Eddie Murphy stops by to express his anger toward the moral majority and how they are stopping him from seeing sex on TV when that's how he wants to end his day. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)
Meatloaf And The Neverland Express then hit the stage to perform Promised Land.
Tim And Meat's One-Stop Rocky Horror Shop is a shop run by Tim Curry and Meatloaf to use the profits from merchandising to make up for how little money they made for actually working on the film. This sketch makes me want to see Meatloaf as a host because he's the most enthusiastic of the actors even including the cast
Tim Curry then takes the stage to sing The Zucchini Song.
If Reagan Had Survived The Assassination is a CBS special hosted by Dan Rather that must take place in a parallel universe where Reagan was actually assassinated, and we get to hear about a world that was run by Bush.
Meatloaf And The Neverland Express then return to the stage to perform Bat Out Of Hell.
Finally, Tim Curry closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Due to the limited amount of content that I've already bitched about above, these are the best moments that I could come up it. First, I actually did love the sketch where Eddie Murphy claims to be Reagan's illegitimate because it's just a silly premise. Next, I really liked the Tim And Meats One-Stop Rocky Horror Shop sketch, not because I'm a fan of the movie but because I was impressed with Meatloaf's commitment to the bit. Finally, I was a fan of If Reagan Had Survived The Assassination because it was fascinating to see how the satirists of the time saw the threat of Bush way before he actually became the president.