Classic Harry; short on time
JimBonig from Omicron Persei VIII
1 September 2013
During the course of his 90s series Dave's World, Harry Anderson
stopped off to bring us this CBS special with all the classic moments
of the format: guest stars, behind the scenes vignettes, a little road
trip (to Owen Magic Supreme, fabricators of magic props/devices/show
pieces for over 100 years), and that odd mix of a little skin and
family friendly fun.
An hour-long special in the 90s equates to about 47 minutes of show
time, which even though longer than today's hour-long programming
(42/43 min) still feels a bit short for all of the great magic Harry is
capable of performing. However he included a nice variety, from card
tricks to bill swaps to the rings and even a little bodily puncturing
(no pins through arms with blood, but a little cringe-inducing talent
with a Bic), plus some home audience participation where he makes your
chosen card disappear.
Also appearing are ventriloquist Jay Johnson and juggler Peter Davison.
Very talented guys even if that isn't your thing, and they add to the
family-friendly carnival theme. Interweaved are some guest appearances
from John Ritter, Brent Spiner, and the cast of Dave's World, who all
have a little run in with Harry the Hat, and let's not forget, playing
his partner in crime, JC Wendel (who played Dave's assistant Mia on
Dave's World, and graciously provides the aforementioned brief moment
of skin). Markie Post fans need not tune in for her flash of an
appearance. Other appearances include Peter Scolari as a carny, and Tim
Stack not playing a welder.
Overall entertaining but a bit short and disappointing if you're a big
fan of Harry the Hat and Games You Can't Lose - simply because you want
more. It doesn't suffer much from age as many of the routines are
classic/timeless, but the 90s-ness seeps in, and the context of some of
the guest stars may be lost on those unfamiliar with the decade. Of
course if you're watching this, you're a fan! This is/was available
from Harry in an autographed DVDR limited run of 500, but I think those
are exhausted. Watch it if you get the chance, buy it if it's cheap
enough, but don't go to the ends of the Earth.
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