HOST: BOB AND DOUG MCKENZIE
Strange Brew was one of my favorite movies growing up despite my rocky relationship with beer during the early days of my existence. Unlike a lot of my peers who seemed to be drawn to the substance very early on, I was afraid of alcohol because of how just one beer would turn what eventually became my stepdad into a complete monster. That said, my real dad was a fun loving drunk which may be why I still loved the vice when it came to pop culture references.
Not only was Strange Brew one of my favorite movies as a kid but it also eventually led to one of my biggest disappointments. After turning 18 and moving out on my own, I found that I inherited my father's fun-loving gene and beer became my best friend.
About a decade and a half later I earned a partial scholarship and moved up to Canada to attend a year-long immersive screenwriting course. Other than the fact that I was living in Seattle at the time and knew a hand full of Canucks, my primary knowledge of the country was built on what I've seen in the movies with the McKenzie Brothers guiding the tour.
Because of the McKenzie Brothers, I was so excited to call my neighbor to the north my new home, especially since I was under the impression that they had a beer based economy and part of me thought it would pour from the sink.
Of course, this is an exaggeration, but I did have high expectations that I'd be living amongst a drinking bunch only to find myself extremely disappointed. For one, the beer was so overpriced that a twelve pack of Bud cost around twenty-five bucks at a time when you could still get it in America for under ten, and I was only buying it because it was the cheapest stuff.
Not only was I disappointed by the price but the locals all seemed to be lightweights, and I spent most of my nights hanging out with the ex-pats and the Brits. I was eventually informed that this was due to the fact that I attended school on the west coast and there are areas of the country that are still filled with McKenzies which eased some of the issues I had.
Actually, other than the localized drinking issue, I genuinely loved the country as much as I loved this episode only I still wish that both were even more inspired by the McKenzie.
Alright, now it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts with Dave Thomas as Bob Hope who is hosting a Super Bowl party. Rick Moranis plays Woodie Allen and shows up as the first guest, followed by Piscopo as Frank Sinatra. It turns out this party is a ploy to get Woody Allen to trick the liberals into voting for Reagan to keep him in the office for another four years and we find out the Sinatra is also fixing the big game just to show Woody his power. Woody shamefully gives in before announcing, "Live from New York..."
We then went down to the street where Bob and Doug explored the streets of New York as they visit landmarks and talk to the man on the street and continue to McKenzie it up.
I'll Be The Judge Of That is a PBS style game show hosted by "Dick Cavett" where he asks contestants questions and then judges their answer based on his personal opinion which seems impossible to figure out, however, Eddie's "Kill My Landlord," poet character gets every question right partially due to intimidation but sometimes he's just correct.
The Bus Boys then took to the stage to perform The Boys Are Back In Town.
We then get a black and white sketch where we are at some sort of hotel. It seems a bit like the Watergate break-in with a Hitchcock feel to it. The person doing the break-in drops some blood on one of the documents. We then go to a dentist who is furious with the thief as it turns out the blood came from his gums, and this was actually a PSA about dental hygiene.
Guy Talk is a talk show hosted by Piscopo where he interviews "Liberace" and "Michael Jackson" about manly stuff and gets manly answers in very effeminate tones.
Gerry Todd's Porta-Dish is an infomercial of a sketch to promote the portable satellite dish that is actually made out of fine China, and we get to see all of the bizarre channels that are available.
Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Joe Piscopo gives us the sports and focuses on the next day's Super Bowl. We see footage of Barbie the Nazi, "Dr. Ruth" drops in for a segment to discuss sexual dysfunction, Eddie discussed the issues with Reagan denying a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr, and "Walter Cronkite" drops in to judge Brad Hall's sign off.
Hell Bent For Glory is another black and white sketch that takes place during one of the World Wars. In it, a soldier's been shot and is about to die when a blind French local arrives and aids the medics to help him. When the soldiers hear that the injury is worse than the medic is putting on, Eddie gets more concerned than the actual injured soldier. He knows as the only black guy that he's the next in line to die and the captain confirms these fears as if he knows the future which he does because he's actually read the script.
We then went to a house party where Gary Kroeger tries to tell a joke, but it completely bombs. The sketch then turned into a fake ad for Ed McMahon For Rent where he'll laugh at every dumb joke to help make you the star of the party.
Five Minutes To Reflect is a religious show hosted by Rick Moranis as a rabbi who shares some of the missing books from the Old Testament but gets cut off before he can get into the details and complains the entire time the camera pans out.
The Bus Boys then returned to the stage to perform New Shoes.
We then got a repeat of the Don't Hitch-Hike PSA where Sweetchuck gets picked up by a beautiful woman who makes out with him as they drive over a cliff.
Finally, Rick and Dave close the show by thanking the audience and saying their goodnights.
Those this show lacked the Hoser talk that I was expecting it's still one of my favorites from the season with these three of my favorite moments. First, I loved Seeing Bob and Doug McKenzie out on the streets of New York because I love these characters so much, I could watch them read the phone book. Next, I really liked Guy Talk because I still find humor in obviously closeted men especially when they are barely trying to hide it to keep their female fan base from losing their romantic interest. Finally, I was a fan of Ed McMahon being for rent because I've totally been in a situation where either my obnoxious laugh saved a joke or someone else's obnoxious laugh save mine so I can see how this would actually work.