Won Over By This Old Timer's Appearance
I was always aware of The Mary Tyler Moore Show but when I was a kid it was more of a show to watch when nothing else was on over being a show that I actually sought out. Other than his connection to Mary Tyler Moore, I only know Ed Asner from random roles, comedic references and possibly some late in life advertising campaign for something that would only be bought by old people.
I have to admit, between this loose connection and the fact that Ed Asner already looked near retirement age at the time of this airing, I had pretty low expectations for this episode, which I'm growing to notice that I end up loving these episodes twice as much as I like the shows where I have super high expectations, which was totally the case today.
Not only was Ed Asner super fun but this mostly new cast seemed to have finally found their comfort zone when working as an entire team. My only problems is still the fact that this season of the show seems to deal with a lot more prerecorded segments that aren't necessarily bad, but definitely gives the show a different feel than the SNL that I'm used to and have grown to love because it feel more like a sketch troop than a sketch show when everything is over produced.
So, now that I've gotten that out of my system, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
- The week's show starts with Lou Grant Rescue Mission is a parody follow-up to Ed's character following the end of The Mary Tyler Moore Show where he plays the head of an A-Team like group who plots to save Mary from the syndicated rerun hell she's been trapped in ever since. We then went to one of "Mary's" parties to see Ed as Lou put his plan into action but she refuses to be saved, leading to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
- Ed Asner then officially opened the show with a monolog where he polls the audience and gets cheers when asked if they found Lou Grant to be a father figure. He then goes on to explain what a real father figure is before sharing other characters he played throughout his career.
- Wing Tips was a short film where Rich Hall played a grocery store employ who discovers that it's the floor mat that actually opens the automatic doors so he glues the mat to the bottom of his wing tip shoes giving him the magic power to automatically open everything. After finding that this power is actually a curse he gives the shoes to his jerk of a boss who ends up falling down an elevator well after the doors automatically opened before the elevator even arrived.
- Ed Grimley then returned to Ed Grimley it up over his excitement about the Thanksgiving holiday party that he is preparing to host later on in the evening. The sketch eventually turns into a parody of Rear Window, which actually saved the sketch for me because I'm only nostalgically interested in this character but have to admit, I continue to like him more than I expected, thinking he was more one dimensional than he's actually turning out to be during these modern day viewings.
- We then got a parody of 60 Minutes where they do an expose on a novelty prank company that uses Chinese sweatshops to create inferior novelty products, while also interviewing the owners of an American Made novelty prank company that takes a little too much pride in their work.
- This was followed by another ad for another duet Me & Julio where Julio Iglesias sings duets with the top singers from the time.
- Ricky Goes Bowling was a one man show of a sketch where Billy Crystal stands on a black stage and acts out a night at the bowling alley.
- Tippi Turtle then returned with another idea of how to mess with people's minds this time he suggests writing, "This is a stick-up," on the back of a deposit slip so the next random customer that goes to use it will get busted for attempting to rob the place.
- This week, Ed Asner sits in as the guest host of the news. Radio host, "Paul Harvey," also dropped in to talk about Reagan's idea for Star Wars using his quirky start and stop talking delivery, and Pamela Stephenson got a chance to apologize for last week's breast stunt claiming she fell for a prank where a writer from the show gave her doctored photos of famous female reporters using their breast to get ahead in the industry.
- The Kinks then took to the stage to perform Do It Again.
- We then went to a nuclear power plant where Ed Asner plays the oldest employee who is retiring leaving behind three younger employees to run the show who have absolutely no idea what they are doing because the old guy did all the heavy lifting.
- National Adopt A Non-Smoker Day is a PSA sketch that advertised just that, a day to adopt a non-smoker following the Adopt A Smoker campaign that was introduced during the great American Smoke-Out which was an attempt to get people to stop.
- The Kinks then returned to the stage to perform Word Of Mouth.
- Ed Asner the played an aged Peter Pan who goes back to revisit Wendy who is shocked that he didn't stick to the plan and grew up to be an old timer and the two go on to share their boring lives now that they've actually grown up in a final sketch that is more sentimental than funny.
- Finally, Ed Asner closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Looking at the lineup I would have never guessed that Ed Asner would be my favorite episode of the season so far with these as my favorite moments. First, I loved the Nuclear Retiree sketch because it reminds me of how older generations these days will undertrain the youth for job security then wonder why we're screwed the moment they have to hand off their job. Next, I really liked Peter Pan, The Later Life, because as a full grown man-child I relate to the regrets of holding onto youth as I get older and start to fall apart. Finally, I was a fan of the Wind Tips short film because as I said, I still like the prerecorded segments, I just don't like how they change the tone of the show.