The Diceman Hosteth
I've always been extremely fascinated with persona-based performers where it's hard to tell where the person and character begin and end. I think this stems from the fact that I've spent most of my life as an introvert wearing an extrovert's disguise. That's not to say that I feel all these performers use said persona to conquer their shyness but I do feel that they all live double lives. This is the aspect that's even more interesting to me than any material that these people perform.
I don't think this is why I was such a fan of Andrew Dice Clay around the time this episode originally aired because I openly admit that, at the time, I was more impressed with the way that he painted with curse words and how taboo it was to be aware of his work as a kid. Again, being the young of my sister and cousins I was ahead of the curve with what I was allowed to watch when compared to most of my peers.
Since I was a fan when this episode originally aired, I clearly remember that it was controversial even though I forget the specific MTV performance that actually triggered the protest. Looking back I now see this as a truly offensive show but not for the reasons you might think.
Sure, Dice had and still has sexist overtones to this persona that I speak of but I don't remember ever hearing any controversy with this offensive comedian that involved more than just words that were openly said on stage. This is why I find it offensive that this episode was both boycotted by a cast member and a musical guest and also interrupted by a protesting fan, while no one said a word during Rob Lowes visit which kick-started his comeback after videotaping himself having sex with a sixteen-year-old girl.
Not only did no one say a negative word during the Rob Lowe visit, the entire night felt they were treating this sex crime as if it weren't even that big of a deal as it was the driving force to the comedy throughout the entire night. Meanwhile, they treated they treated this comedian who is known for openly using offensive words as if he were the Anti-Christ.
Then again, my issue is only with those who complained because the rest of the cast who played along help to create what I feel is unquestionably the best episode of this entire season to the point where I wouldn't even consider it to be on the good side of so-so because I felt that it was genuinely good.
Based on my build up, I could see how this positive review might come across as bias because I am a fan of the host but that's not the case at all. In fact, you can go back and look at the reviews for this entire season where other than Al Bundy, I felt let down by a majority of the hosts when I genuinely adore their work and would do the exact same thing if this turned out to be a lame episode.
So, now that I've shared my views on the Dice Man, it's time to move on and share what I viewed in the show, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with an announcement that The Pat Stevens Show would not be seen tonight due to a special program called It's A Wonderful Dice. This sketch started by showing news clippings about how people were outraged by the fact that the Dice Man was hosting SNL while also pointing out that both Nora Dunn and Sinead O'Connor dropped out of the show in protest, then went on to say that Dice had disappeared. This led to the It's A Wonderful Life parody that the title of the sketch implied, where Andrew is about to jump off a bridge until the devil grants him the wish to see what life would be if he was never born where Frank Zappa was the host in this alternate world, who bored the audience with his first amendment rants causing the show to be canceled. We also learn of other changes, both positive and negative, that stemmed from Dice's nonexistence leading up to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
Andrew Dice Clay then had to argue with some protesters before officially opening the show with a monolog about all of the attention he's been getting thanks to his controversial performance on MTV. He then went on to perform a bit of a stand-up routine about almost getting mugged on the way to the show by a bus driver who was on his break, in a much funnier telling than my summary.
Diceman Employment Agency was a sketch where Andrew Dice Clay is an employment agent who's blunt and to the point in placing his clients in shady careers like crack dealing, fencing, and performing as a criminal look out when they are actually there to land more traditionally acceptable jobs.
The above sketch was instantly followed by TV Guide Jeers where Don Pardo reads a predictive negative review of the sketch saying how sexist it was being that Victoria Jackson was offered a job as a hooker while Kevin Nealon was offered the higher paying gig as a drug dealer simply because he's a man.
Cooking With the Anal-Retentive Chef returned for another installment where Phil Hartman attempts to share another cooking tutorial but gets too caught up in cleaning to get past the very first step. This week, being that this was the Saturday before Mother's Day, Phil Hartman makes this attempt with Jan Hook as his mom who also acts as his sidekick and shares his desire to clean.
Spanic Boys then took to the stage to perform Keep On Walking.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Jon Lovitz dropped in as annoying man to conduct an annoying symphony which was just him being super annoying while humming the tune to a song. "Michael J. Fox" then checked in via satellite where he was "on set" in Vietnam while recording parts two and three of the movie Casualties Of War, making fun of the back to back filming of Back To The Future two and three.
"Dad, What's Sex?" was an "After School Special" parody where Andrew Dice Clay teaches his son about the birds and the bees where they have to bleep every other word.
WPLI was a sketch where Kevin Nealon played a morning radio DJ who interrupts the music every two seconds with the weather, traffic, and news, making it impossible to enjoy even the best of songs. Not only does he constantly chime in during the music but his guests get the same treatment as well.
Jan Hooks' Personal Protest was a segment where Jan explains that she wanted to join in on Nora Dunn's boycott but didn't have the courage to stick to her guns. She then went on to claim, in a very joking tone, that her personal protest was to put in a half-assed performance during the two sketches that she was actually in.
Cool Mite felt like the inspiration for Tiny Elvis where Andrew Dice Clay plays a tiny version of himself to talk chicks with his fellow greaser friends.
Julee Cruise then took to the stage to perform Falling.
Ridiculous Bull was a parody of Raging Bull only instead of the story being about a boxer it's the story of a slapstick comedian as played by Andrew Dice Clay.
Kevin Nealon's Personal Protest was a follow up to Jan's segment where Kevin claims that he was only in three sketches out of protest and not due to the fact that he just wasn't written into them all.
Finally, The Dice Man closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Hopefully, this season will turn out to end on a strong note with the help of this episode and my three favorite moments from the night that I am about to share. First, I loved the "Dad, What's Sex?" "After School Special" because it was funny how they had to bleep every other word in this educational conversation between a father and his son. Next, I was a fan of Cool Mite because the Tiny Dice reminded me of the future Tiny Elvis character that I know will make a future top three list. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Cooking With the Anal-Retentive Chef because I can't get enough of this Phil Hartman character even if he is pretty repetitive.