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Mr. Mike's Mondo Video (1979)

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Mike O'Donoghue's parody of "Mondo Cane" showcases curious performers, strange musicians, celebrity mutations and unusual short films, including Thomas Alva Edison's "Elephant Electrocution".


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael O'Donoghue ...
Church of Jack Lord leader / Himself
Rhonda Coullet ...
Singer at Church of Jack Lord
Herself (voice)
Sarah Holcomb ...
Foster MacKenzie III ...
Root Boy Slim / Himself (as Root Boy Slim)
Edie Baskin ...
Robert Delford Brown ...


Mike O'Donoghue's parody of "Mondo Cane" showcases curious performers, strange musicians, celebrity mutations and unusual short films, including Thomas Alva Edison's "Elephant Electrocution".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The TV show that can't be shown on TV!




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 September 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first cat thrown into the pool was Michael O'Donoghue's cat, Cal. The scene was supervised by armed ASPCA agents. Dirk Wittenborn's chest was scratched heavily by the cats. See more »


Mr. Mike: What you are about to see is not for the weak. It is not even for the strong.
See more »

Crazy Credits

(After the credits): If you enjoyed "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video" you'll love "Mr. Mike's Gandhi" soon to be a major motion picture directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley. See more »


References The Deputy Dawg Show (1959) See more »


My Way
Written by Claude François, Jacques Revaux and Paul Anka (uncredited)
Performed by Sid Vicious
See more »

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User Reviews

"Mondo Video" Is An Ambitious Film Guaranteed Not To Be To Everyone's Taste
29 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For a modern audience to get and appreciate "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video", it would probably help to know its history. Otherwise, you will be totally confused when seeing this film. Then again, while you may understand this film, it may not make you laugh.

The eponymous Mr. Mike is Michael O'Donoghue, who was head writer for "Saturday Night Live" during what many consider to be its best years ever (1975-1980). Indeed, O'Donoghue was a comic genius when it came to writing, and really wrote great comedy bits that fit the on-screen personalities of such comic legends as Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner to a T. However, as this film more than suggests, his genius was most definitely apt to be misunderstood.

"Mr. Mike's Mondo Video" is a random hodgepodge of comedy bits, short films, and bizarre vignettes. Some sketches are mildly amusing, such as Aykroyd parodying Reverend Jim Jones and preaching the gospel of Jack Lord (the actor who played Steve McGarrett on TV's "Hawaii Five-0"). I also liked the bit about beautiful women telling the camera what turned them on about certain men. O'Donoghue was able to round up an impressive roster of women for that sketch, most notably Jane Curtan, Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, Deborah Harry, and Carrie Fisher. Then-unknown Wendie Malick (TV's "Just Shoot Me", "Adventureland" (2009)) also makes an appearance.

Yet a good 80% of the movie was just . . . weird. Sometimes weird can be funny, but most of the film just made me go, "Huh?" Mr. Mike himself even makes a Rod Serling-like introduction about how much the film will shock and offend me. Five minutes later, I was neither.

One such bizarre sketch showed a man teaching cats to swim by throwing them in a pool. I wasn't laughing as much as I was relieved (and surprised, for that matter) that the cats could actually swim. Another sketch showing Dan Aykroyd showing off his foot mutation (some of his toes are webbed, apparently) also left me wondering what the point was of what I was watching.

"Mr. Mike's Mondo Video" is actually a parody of the controversial 1962 film "Mondo Cane", which was an Italian documentary with footage intended to shock and offend its Western audiences. To me, though, it felt more like Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker's underrated "Kentucky Fried Movie" (1977), except not as funny and far more random. While I credit the film for its ambition and brevity in its complete disregard for the status quo, it just felt too random for me. It neither shocked nor offended me particularly, and further presented Mr. Mike as a rebel without a clue.

Apparently I was not the only one who didn't get this movie. According to co-writer Mitch Glazer, a man who went to the movies to see this film upon its original release not only walked out in the middle, but also beat up the ticket person in the box office! While I don't condone the man's reaction, I can't blame him for feeling disappointed.

If, based on the roster of famous comedians in the movie, you are expecting "Animal House", you will be sorely disappointed by "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video". Some people will completely get this film, but I did not.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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