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Rob Reiner hosts a showing of the long-lost films of that wacky old comedy team 'Morton & Hayes'... which is really just an excuse for Christopher Guest, Joe Flaherty & Dick Blasucci to make their own comedy shorts a la Abbott & Costello. Written by
I remember seeing "The Lost Comedies of Chick Morton and Eddie Hayes" during the Summer of 1991. These were newly-produced shows, shot in black and white (complete with scratches) to look like the comedy "short subjects" that would have played at the local movie house back in the late 1930s-early 1940s, sandwiched in between a newsreel, cartoon, and feature film. Sort of a cross between an Abbot and Costello movie and an old Honeymooners episode. Each week, Rob Reiner, would introduce one of these comedies as a "newly discovered" film. My personal favorite was "Society Saps", where Morton and Hayes decide to break into high society by crashing a fancy party and cozying up to a couple of débutantes. In the best tradition of the 1930s movie musical, deadpan crooner Augie Gibbons (Christopher Guest) and His Orchestra introduce the latest dance craze -- "The Cold Potato"-- the steps of which involve the motions of digging up invisible potatoes with an invisible shovel (at one point, bandleader Gibbons exhorts his drummer to, "take it" and it cuts to a shot of the drummer just tapping on the cymbal with a blank expression on his face). If I remember correctly, each episode would end with Chick and Eddie singing their theme song, "We're Morton and Hayes, we'll always be friends..." while doing a little vaudeville shuffle. This was followed by a little "interview" at the Reiner would have with one of the "actors" from that week's episode (in the case of the aforementioned show, Reiner interviews bandleader Augie Gibbons, now a surly octogenarian who keeps telling Reiner to shut up and ends the interview showing Reiner how to do the Cold Potato while whizzing in and out of camera frame in his electric wheelchair). Guest appeared in most (if not all) of the episodes -- sometimes as the villain. It looked like he (and everybody else in the series) was really enjoying themselves. A single DVD reissue containing all six episodes would definitely find space on my shelf.
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