|Index||4 reviews in total|
This was a terrific comedy anthology series that aired on CBS in 1985.
Every week, it was something different. It was a half-hour show, with
each episode shot like a movie, without a laugh track.
Two episodes stand out. In one, a town has fallen on hard times. To get money from the federal government, the townspeople fake an earthquake. I can't do it justice, but the idea, and its execution, were absolutely hilarious.
In another one, a guy moves into a neighborhood. He meets the other husbands in the neighborhood, and they talk him into going on a weekend outing with them. Turns out, these bland, middle-class suburban husbands moonlight as Central American mercenaries. They take the new guy to Central America as they hunt for a war criminal. But the funny part is, they never change their "middle-class suburbanite" demeanor. They're firing grenades into a military strongman's compound, while they carry on a conversation about the best way to battle crabgrass.
These were two of the funniest TV programs I've ever seen. I would love it if this show came out on DVD. Unfortunately, I doubt many people would buy it. The show wasn't on the air that long, and I doubt most people remember it.
This was an hysterical episode that starred Howard Hessman as a bitter cartoonist, enslaved by his adorable creations "The HoneyBunnies", and unable to do "serious" work. How he resolves his dilemma was one of the funniest things I've ever seen on network TV. I too wish they would release this show on DVD. It's probably disintegrated by now though. :( I don't have a lot more to say about this show, as I really only remember this episode. But with all the old shows being trotted out for resurrection on DVD, perhaps there is still hope. Maybe someday there will be a George Burns retrospective, and this could becomes part of it. I believe he was actually in a couple of the shows, though mostly he was the host, doing the same kind of commentary he did on the old Burns and Allen Show.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The punchline for the episode "The Assignment" has stayed with me for over 20 years. Elliott Gould plays a legendary big game hunter assigned to track down the one remaining near-mythical "hopsgrisbot," so it can be made into a soufflé. He goes through many Indiana Jones-style perils but finally captures it, bringing it to Paris to the one chef in the world capable of making the soufflé - the chef is so excited he attempts to steal it, but is caught at the back door of the restaurant by Gould. The soufflé is finally made and Gould brings it back to the man who gave him the assignment, who turns out to be the warden of a prison. The warden brings the soufflé into a jail cell, presenting it to a prisoner. "You found it.... I can't believe you found it!", the prisoner says, horrified. The next scene shows the prisoner being led down a corridor towards an execution chamber; in a state of shock, the prisoner keeps saying over and over "I can't believe he found it", as a priest is giving him last rites. The warden turns to Elliott Gould and says "Let's hope the next guy is a meat-and-potatoes man."
This show appeared during the time that the new Twilight Zone and
Spielberg's Amazing Stories were attempting to revive the anthology
genre. It was a comedy version of the above, and was rather well done.
The title confused viewers, many of whom thought the aging Burns had a
new show (he merely introduced each episode, Rod Serling style).
Here's a few comments on some specific episodes: "Home For Dinner" starred SCTV regulars Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty (other episodes featured Catharine O'Hara and Dave Thomas), and the story was a TZ-type tale about a suburbanite who finds himself cast as mercenaries against his will.
"The Couch" was written by Steve Martin and was the pilot for a series starring Carrie Fisher which lasted ONE more episode! "Disaster At Buzz Creek" was directed by John Landis and starred Don Rickles, Don Knotts and Fannie Flagg. Brilliantly bizarre, that's all I can say.
"The Assignment" was written by playwright Bruce Jay Friedman and starred Telly Savalas & Elliott Gould.
"The Honeybunnies" featured Howard Hesseman and SNL's Laraine Newman, and included an animated sequence that at the time would've been considered "sick".
"The Christmas Carol Part 2" was the outright masterpiece of the series, showing the events of the year after Dickens' original, after Scrooge has turned into a complete sucker and everyone -- including Tiny Tim -- has begun taking advantage of him!
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