It was a heck of a lot of fun, which is saying a lot because I've never been a huge fan of Pee-wee or his classic CBS Saturday-morning show Pee-wee's Playhouse. But most of the people who were there were die-hard fans, many of whom either caught Pee-wee's original stage show in the mid '80s, grew up watching his movies or Playhouse, or likely spent their Saturday mornings in college working on their first weekend high while watching his show.
For fans, it was pure comfort food. The stage was set up exactly like the set of Playhouse, complete with his complement of talking household items: Chairry, Magic Screen, Clocky, Pterri, Fish, etc. Jambi was also there to grant Pee-wee his wishes.
Suffice it to say, the number of women who became famous on Saturday Night Live before graduating to solo success is few and far between. Sure, Gilda Radner can be considered a pioneer in the art of sketch comedy. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus undoubtedly honed her comedic skills before becoming a sitcom icon on Seinfeld. And, yes, Tina Fey can easily be considered a heroine to comedy nerds everywhere who have witnessed her climb from Weekend Update anchor to Mean Girls scribe to single-handedly decimating the vice presidential chances of one certain gun-wieldin', six-pack-totin' Alaskan governor.
But, sadly, the number of men who left Studio 8 for the superstardom of Planet Hollywood (not the theme restaurant) easily outnumbers the ladies. For every Amy Poehler, there's a Will Ferrell. And a Bill Murray. And a Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler (although, to be fair, there's also a
As AOL Television continues their look at the 50 Best TV Comedies -- Ever with numbers 20-11, we here at TV Squad are also looking at television comedy, but with a slightly skewed difference. Last week, we took a look at the Saturday Night Live cast members from 1975-1985 that made it to the big time. This week, we focus on the SNL casts from 1986 to 2006.
Aside from the first season of Lorne Michaels' return to the show he created and the 1994-95 season, this period was a very successful one for SNL, introducing a slew of characters and sketches that fans of the show still talk about today. It also produced a good number of Not Ready for Prime-Time Players who went on to bigger things in television and the movies (and some theater as well). Sometimes those bigger things were movies or television shows based on characters developed on SNL.
I'm feeling a little melancholy today. This past Friday, a friend of mine lost two daughters in a senseless automobile accident. They were thirteen and eighteen; one having just started college and the other just entering the magical teen years. It was so sudden and insane that I can't really wrap my brain around it. As a parent, I can only begin to understand what he and the girls' mother are going through, but even then I'm sure it pales in comparison to the reality.
As I thought about this blog and things to post on television, I was struck by how death can have a dramatic and instant impact on a fictional show as well. Sometimes when an actor dies, the show is able to move on with relative smoothness, but other times there is an irreplaceable hole that just never seems to be filled.
For two reasons. The obvious reason is because Phil Hartman isn't in the picture. Instead, we get Jon Lovitz, who pretty much made the last season of the show unwatchable (except for a couple of episodes). He was really out of place as a regular cast member on the show (though he was great in the guest roles he had earlier in the series), and his character was completely unlikable.
But the second reason I'm not thrilled with the pic is that the original artwork on the box actually had Phil Hartman on it (you can see it here). The cast was standing in front of a picture of Hartman. In the new version, the cast is standing in front of a picture of New York City. Yeah, Hartman wasn't in the last season, but wouldn't that have been a nice nod to Hartman in the final set? The first episode of the season is about Bill McNeal's death, after all.
The fifth season set will be released on March 20.
- Gag reel
- Commentaries on several episodes
- The "One Man's Newsradio" short film.
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