So Good To See Mr. Warmth
As a fan of stand-up, I've always loved Don Rickles and love him twice as much after watching the episode. Once again, he's one of those hosts whose energy alone is enough to carry an entire hour and a half no matter the quality of the written content.
Right out the gate, Rickles had me laughing out loud even during his opening monolog which is really rare, especially during this season. I particularly like how he jumps in and out of prepared material and ad-libbing whether he was telling jokes or in the middle of the scene.
Just the other day when Jerry Lewis was the host, his first line of the night was an ad-lib jabbing at the costar of the scene for starting early. In that case, I hated it because it felt like the cast admired but feared Jerry's resume. During this episode, Don Rickles does the exact same thing multiple times but it felt like a guy just ribbing a friend and I actually found it endearing.
It didn't matter who Rickles was on stage with, even his introductions where he talked to Billy Idol added to the level of fun. These interactions were twice as fun when he was working with people who knew how to throw it back which would have been fun to see with Eddie Murphy but Piscopo did a great job of keeping up with the pace making me a big fan of when this combo was on the screen.
Alright, enough waxing poetic over Rickles, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show starts with Ronald Reagan offering the viewers a special set of knives as an infomercial life bonus to those who vote to re-elect him as president before proclaiming, "Live from New York..."
- Don Rickles then officially opened the show by roasting the audience, which included John Madden, Brandon Tartikoss, and the show's director.
- We then got a repeat of the Kannon commercial where Stevie Wonder photographs a tennis match.
- This was followed by the return of I Married A Monkey where Sweetchuck asks Don Rickles to try to talk sense to his primate wife over relationship issues only to find that the two have been having an affair since the start of the marriage.
- The Hamlisch Maneuver was a fake PSA to teach the technique of exposing choke victims to Marvin Hamlisch whose personality and singing can get anyone to vomit as least in the world of this sketch.
- Fascinating People And Their Friends then returned where the real Dr. Joyce Brothers and Eddie Murphy's prison poet character discuss his latest book How To Get Girls Using Dynamite. This sketch was apparently pretaped before the first installment of the sketch so that they could pepper in Eddie Murphy sketches throughout the season even when he wasn't actually there.
- We then go to the FBI Witness Relocation Center where Don Rickles doubts the department's ability to hide him after he ratted on the mob. His biggest complaint is that their attempt to hide him was to put on a town drunk style cowboy hat.
- Billy Idol then took to the stage to perform White Wedding.
- In Saint Don Of Verona, Rickles plays a Friar who in on the balcony with Juliet and insulting warns her to stay away from Romeo while also ripping apart the rest of the population of the town.
- Once again, we got the news, only this week, Don Rickles plays the get host which makes two weeks in a row with no Brad Hall even though he's still in sketches throughout the show. This week, Rickles makes fun of people in the news and Sweetchuck got a segment where he plays the President of Standards and Practices who expresses his concerns about the show why roasting Rickles in his own dry British way.
- We then went on a sympathy date between Gary Kroeger as "El Dorko" and Juliet Louis-Dreyfus where Julia stops feeling charitable and makes out with Brad Hall mid-date. This gets Gary to make out this Mary Gross as the waitress and eventual Gary ends up sitting with Brad as they watch Julia and Mary a.
- We then went to the ledge where we would normally find Eddie ready to jump only this time it's Don Rickles contemplating suicide. Gary Kroeger then enters the scene as game show host type who introduces Rickles to dead performers from the past in an attempt to talk him into jumping in a segment called This Is Your After Life.
- Billy Idol then returned to the stage to perform Rebel Yell.
- "David Letterman" then got a chance to promote his upcoming 2nd Anniversary Special that will be aired in place of next week's Saturday Night Live. He has a special guest for the ad in Mary Gross who is dressed as Pee-Wee Herman who makes jokes with a Carson doll.
- Finally, Don Rickles closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
This wasn't only my favorite episode of this season, it's at least toward the top of my all-time favorite list with these as my favorite moment. First, I loved the This Is Your Afterlife sketch which started a little slow but got super silly with the intro of Piscopo. Next, I really liked seeing Rickles host the news because the entire segment kind of reminded me of David Spade's Hollywood Minute or vice versa because this happened first. Finally, was a fan of this week's I Married A Monkey because even though I'm a little burnt out on the soap opera theme, I loved seeing Rickles improv with the monkeys.