The John And Jim Show
Once again, we have an episode hosted by a comedic legend that I'm sure I would have enjoyed whether it was good or not. Just seeing John Candy's smiling face in his ridiculous Mr. Mambo costume was enough to melt my heart. Not only did his smile light the room but it was early enough in his career that it felt 100% genuine to where each and every sketch felt like everyone was just having fun.
That's not to say that I feel he got bitter with time, at least not any more bitter than anyone gets as they age, but there were sometimes in his later career where I could sense the sorrow of a man course by the trap of being the funny fat man which I also suffer only at a non-famous scale.
I hope this is the episode of the season where the cast and crew find their legs because if the episodes from here on out stick to this caliber of comedy, I will be a very happy blogger. The only slight issue I had with this episode was how it almost felt like Jim Belushi was the cohost and not just his first night in the cast.
That said, I think this new energy from Jim as an additional Not Ready For Prime Time Player might be just what this cast needs as they seemed too comfortable in the first to shows of this season following a very successful season eight. I can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out as the rebalance the focus of the show now that Jim's intro is over.
Speaking of intros, that's all that I have for mine so it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's episode takes us back to the cast locker room which is a concept that I loved, missed, am happy to see that they brought back and miss again in modern day episodes. Anyways, first, we are introduced to Jim Belushi and then told that John Candy is running late. Eddie and Piscopo start to develop a plan to open the show with a Honeymooner's sketch if he doesn't show. They leave to get ready when Mr. Mambo shows up, which is John Candy dressed as part bullfighter part waiter who gets Belushi to drop his worries and join in to announce, "Live from New York..."
Even though Mr. Mambo is obviously one of John Candy's characters, they keep up the facade that he's running late as Eddie and Piscopo open the show with a bit of their Honeymooner's routine until John Candy finally arrives with luggage in hand as if he just stepped off of the plane. He then takes over the show and walks over to the first sketch after acting nervous about performing live because he's used to his prerecorded work on SCTV.
John Candy then walked straight from the main stage following his intro to a set designed to look like a ski lodge where he plays Doc Edmund who is talking with a very "pregnant" Mary Gross. Belushi enters the scene with a broken leg and Candy's geriatric staff try to help using old-timey technique. Mary Gross then goes into labor only to be told to hold off because Eddie doesn't want to deal with the hassle then Mary gives birth on her own while Eddie is busy making a splint for Belushi using an Ace bandage a couple trophy fish that were hanging above the fire.
Village Of The Damned Little Rascals was a parody of the old movie Village Of The Damned only featuring The Little Rascals as the demonically possessed children who literally have some of the town's folk scared to death but it all turns out to be a practical joke by the kids who all bought novelty eye covers at the local prank shop.
This was followed by home video coverage showing Eddie Murphy's suburban life in New Jersey now that he's a superstar.
Next, we went to a church where the confession booths were out of order, for some reason, while Belushi wants to get his sins off his chest. John Candy plays the priest who, thinking on his feet, suggest that they use the phone booths instead. So, the two get in side by side phone booths and Belushi has to borrow a dime to call but then has to fight with the phone company and never gets around to confessing his sins.
Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Julia Louis-Dreyfus drops in as Johnny Carson's ex-wife to brag about the money she made in the divorce and suggests that other women do the same, and Sweetchuck drops in as his doctor character with various names for different types of acne.
John Candy then introduced the SNL world to his character from SCTV who is really into directing 3D movies where he simply moves objects closer to the screen as if it were a special effect. In this sketch/intro to the band, he attempts to bypass Eddie Murphy's agent to pitch Eddie one of his movies.
Men At Work then took to the stage to perform Doctor Heckyll And Mr. Jive.
We then went behind the scenes of a commercial shoot where we saw Ronald McDonald's Nasty Side when he doesn't agree with the script.
Poly-Rock Denture Cream was a fake ad for a denture adhesive for those aging rockstars out there who like to play their guitars with their teeth as a way to show off their skills from back in the day when crazy guitar solos were more of a thing.
Candace's Fantasy Shack is a brothel where Sweetchuck brings Belushi to celebrate his last days as a single man and John Candy plays Candace, the madam of the house who introduces the two men to the ladies. At first, Belushi plans to stay loyal to his wife but eventually gives in only to find out that he was the one millionth customer which triggers a celebration, a story in the news, and even a call from the president on the United States. With so much to-do made the sketch leaves us feeling certain that his fiance will find out.
Belushi and Candy then find themselves in prison. As soon as the guard leaves they go from being scared prisoners to acting like a couple in a resort, excited by their new cozy home.
We then went backstage for a bit where Mr. Mambo's agent and "Ed McMahon" chuckle it up together as they introduce the band for their second performance of the night.
Men At Work then took to the stage to perform It's A Mistake.
Finally, John Candy closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Finally, I have another episode where there are too many favorite moments instead of having to scrounge to put together this list. First, I loved the Village Of The Damned Little Rascals, because I liked how this creepy sketch turned out to be nothing more than a prank that was very fitting to the original Little Rascals show. Next, I really liked the Phone Booth Confessional because I loved John Candy's confusion while treating it like a traditional confessional booth. Finally, I was a fan of John Candy's 3D director character because this was right when Jaws 3D came out which blew my seven-year-old mind and led me to love this character when he originally showed up on SCTV.