A Perfectly Fine Night Of Flat Entertainment


I've come to this conclusion time and time again, but I hate how I feel when I try to identify how I feel about an average episode. I feel like each time that I do this that it comes across as a negative review when average is completely passable and I don't mean it as a harsh criticism.

It sucks because, by definition, a majority of all the episodes that I will ever watch should fall into the average range. It's just so much easy to write with conviction when sharing episodes on the extremes of the like to dislike range.

This episode was perfectly fine though it mirrored my take on Ed Begley Jr. as an actor that I don't mind, but has never really stood out to me for any of his starring roles... that is unless you count his portrayal of Gil Turner in Transylvania 6-5000. 

I really need to figure out a way to review an average episode without sounding like it's flawed but until then, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The week's show starts with A Message From The Adopted Son Of The President Of The United States where Jim Belushi plays the titular character as shares a message about how he's better than Reagan's real son because he actually supports the president and doesn't tell tales out of school, of course ending with an excuse to announce, "Live from New York..."

  2. Ed Begley Jr. then officially opened the show by wheeling out in roller skates before going into his monolog about how excited he was to get a break from Saint Elsewhere in order to host the show, then rambles on about Trivial Pursuit until he gets paged from work and has to call in from a landline to see what's going on due to the fact that they want him to stay in character as an ever ready doctor.

  3. Kate & Ali was a parody of Kate and Allie only the characters were Katherine Hepburn and Muhammad Ali, where again, Billy Crystal has to awkwardly portray Ali because this entire cast was white.

  4. We then got a repeat of the Strategic Airborne Contraceptive from just a couple weeks ago.

  5. Book Beat then returned where this week host, Rich Hall interview two mystery authors both promoting books with the same title as well as the exact same content and it turns out that there's been an ongoing feud, then out of the blue a time traveler arrives looking for Julia Louis-Dreyfus who he tricks into getting tickled.

  6. The couple sites that I use for reference as to which sketches appear on a given night both have "Time Traveler" listed here, but I'm not sure if it's referring to the second half of the last sketch or if this was something that was cut out from the version I was able to find. I would say it was the combined sketch but they don't normally split them unless there is a commercial break, but then again, the version I found contained everything else plus an added Eddie Murphy sketch so they didn't have much fudge room to cut anything out.

  7. Grim Reaper Trivial Pursuit is a sketch where Martin Short drinks the worm from a glass of tequila triggering death to arrive leading Martin to challenge him to a game of Trivial Pursuit ala the movie The Seventh Seal.

  8. We then got another repeat of the Refrigerator Magnets sketch from earlier on in the season.

  9. Let's Watch TV is a talk show hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mary Gross's Russian characters from a couple weeks ago, that's mainly an accent based sketch where the two talk about what they watch on TV, but again, their accents aren't so over the top that I find them offensive but I'm not sure if it's because it's tame or if it's just the culture involved that make it less cringe worthy.

  10. Marty was a parody of a black and white film where Billy Crystal and Jim Belushi discuss taking this Concord to Paris as if it were a common event which would be impossible considering the time they are supposed to be living in as the two try to come up with what to do to kill some time. This theme of overly advanced technology for B&W days continues as the two try to find something to do.

  11. This week, Christopher Guest was given his shot at hosting the news. Rich Hall also got a segment where he debunks the claim that "There is no such thing as a free sample," by sharing frugal/criminal ways to obtain a lot of free stuff, Gary Kroeger shares a message to suicidal teens while giving them reasons to live, and Martin Short gets interviews as his sleazy attorney character from the novelty prank company from a couple weeks ago that utilizes sweatshop labor.

  12. Billy Squier then took to the stage to perform Rock Me Tonight.

  13. We then went to a shared funeral for two deceased vaudeville actors whose sons, Short and Crystal pay tribute to them by singing a song called Meshugana that explains the late comedian's careers and relationship leading up to their deaths. This seems like it should be one of those final more sentimental than funny sketches that feel a little weird if they happen too early but it's still an interesting bit.

  14. Eyeball To Eyeball was a talk show hosted by Martin Short who examines the Metropolitan Museum Of Art by interviewing the Operations Manager about some sort of scam but it turns out that he's more interested in learning about how Museums work in general and that Short is not actually the host but a "simple person" who has hijacked the show only the real host takes over with an even crazier line of questioning.

  15. Billy Squier then returned to the stage to perform All Night Long.

  16. We then met with a group of architects with an amazing building design the only thing that they disagree with is an Elevator Stool that is built in for the elevator operator as if this is the top concern for their design.

  17. Finally, Ed Begley Jr. closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Again, this was a perfectly fine average episode with these as my favorite moments. First, I loved, and when I say loved, I'm only sticking to my favorite format because I didn't love anything tonight but I did find the Grim Reaper sketch funny because it reminded me of the sequel to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Next, I really liked this week's Book Beat because of the random Meta interruption from the host who plays a Robocop-like time traveler. Finally, I was a fan of Katie and Ali, more because of the reference over the actual content.


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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.