My Introduction To The Loveable Loser
Looking back, Bob Uecker kind of reminds me of a modern day celebrity where you are never fully sure why they are always on TV especially in this time period just before the release of Mr. Belvedere made him understandably a household name.
I've always been a big fan of Mr. Uecker because the way he fully embraced his failures making him one of the first lovable losers who I could actually relate to his insecurities while feeling highly entertained at the same time, especially during his appearances on Letterman which I was definitely starting to watch at this point in my life and is certainly why I knew of Uecker so early on in his transition into an acting career.
All of that said, I was really excited about this episode when I saw that it was next in my queue but once again, I felt a little let down because of how many prerecorded sketches there were and even though there were a lot of segments some of them still seemed to run long.
And with that said, it's still episode two with a mostly new cast who I like so I'm willing to give them the time. So, now that my thoughts on Uecker are out there, it's time to move on to share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts with a parody of the game show Password where Dr. Joyce Brothers takes on Robin Williams who is too high energy to focus on the game, opting to make jokes over guesses based on every single clue, ending with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
Bob Uecker then officially opened the show with a monolog about hosting during the World Series which gives him an excuse to talk about his baseball career and how is old team seems to hate him even after all these years. Eventually, a stagehand enters the scene with a phone and it turns out to be Reagan with encouraging words as a fellow former baseball announcer but ends up hijacking the show to promote his agenda which is when Uecker realizes it's a "prerecorded call" and give up on trying to talk back.
We then went to a night club where Snap, Crackle, and Pop of Rice Krispies fame, attempt to make a comeback as a three person band, while the audience seems completely uninterested in their horrible performance of a song about their lives but love when they played their famous song from the classic commercial.
"Cyndi Lauper" then hosted the segment An American Portrait where she discusses the late poet Dylan Thomas. The sketch starts with a real profile of his life in Cyndi's quirky voice and ends with her singing about him to the beat of She Bop in this weird attempt to show off an impression that wasn't even all that good.
Bob Uecker then plays a little league coach who has to release his son from the team following a simple error and goes on to release him from the family because he is such a letdown at sports.
"Tom Brokaw" then got a segment where he meets with a network executive about his plans to build ratings and expresses his concerns that the writers are sabotaging him by adding too many "L"s to his reports that he just can't handle due to his speech impediment.
Mamie Eisenhower Center For The Dull was a parody ad about the former first lady's charitable organization for extremely dull people just like her.
7 x 4 was a game show sketch with one simple question that everyone keeps rushing to answer before the game even begins because unlike the expectation that they would struggle with such a simple task, they are all normal people who can do the simple math and just want to answer first for the win.
Negro Leaguers was a bit of a documentary sketch with stock footage as they talk about the Negro League days of baseball and with an all-white cast this ends up being a sketch where two white people get to do a bit of a black face routine which I don't think can be done today even if they were over the top promoting stereotypes.
Peter Wolf then took to the stage to perform Lights Out.
This week, Bob Uecker sits in as the special host of the news. "Geraldine Ferraro" also got a segment to rebut a statement made by Nancy Reagan, and Billy Crystal almost played his old man character from The Princess Bride to give us the weather. Though Uecker does a perfectly fine job as news anchor, I'm just not a fan of the revolving door news team in general.
We then went to a Lost and Found Department where Christopher Guest claims to have lost the most valuable thing to be found without having any idea what's available as he clears out every lost and found item on the shelf including a huge stack of cash, multiple cameras, and even a real diamond tiara.
Tippi Turtle was an animated bit featuring Tippi Turtle with tips on how to really annoy postal workers by adding helium balloons to his packaging to lighten the shipment so much that he demands to be paid for the difference.
Peter Wolf then returned to the stage to perform I Need You Tonight.
SNL Mailbag was a segment where Mary Gross and Julia Louis-Dreyfus answer viewer mail and it turns out that a bulk of the notes are from a prisoner who is obsessed with Julia and follows his journey from being locked up, then release, then on the road to visit the show to see her in person and when he does arrive Julia hides and Mary tries to hook up.
Bob Uecker then plays to the pitchman for Baseball Juice which is made up of squeezed baseballs and is what Uecker drinks where he's not drinking beer.
Finally, we got a quick parody of the final World Series announce before the play by play anchors throw to Bob Uecker to close the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
As with most of the episodes that I find disappointing after having high expectations, it's not that I don't like these shows, it's just that I usually want more because heightened expectations usually stem from the fact that I'm a fan of the host. So, even though I felt this show was a little slow, it was still easy to find these three favorite moments.
First, I loved the Lost And Found sketch because of the "What do you got," approach to "recovering items" was hilarious as was the cops helpful approach even though he was basically being robbed. Next, I really liked the 7X4 game show sketch, especially since the contestants weren't idiots and were extremely anxious to be the first to answer such a simple question that everyone knew without even having to be asked. Finally, I was a fan of the Tippi Turtle cartoon because I forgot all about this character and found him to be rather charming.