By Michael Schreiber at 4:16 pm Tue, Apr 10, 2012
Just imagine if Mike Daisey had connected with Harry Shearer instead of Ira Glass. He might have gotten his story on Saturday Night Live and reached an even bigger audience, without having to lie to anyone.
(P.S. So long, Mike Wallace. Thanks for the memories.)
Netflix on demand has all of these 1980s SNL episodes, featuring Shearer, Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest. Rumor has it that they were given carte blanche to go nuts with the characters and make-up applications, after the horror of the season with Charles Rocket and other forgettables – Martin Short’s characterizations hold up the best, I feel – while Shearer did his best work without the tacky make up. This however is a clumsy classic bit of comedy.
The Ebersol era was what it was, but you don’t have to denigrate the memory of Charles Rocket, a classic NYC personality with more history than you appear to be aware.
History can have him. As can NYC, if it wants him. There’s a reason he went nowhere unlike Crystal, Guest, and the other classic SNL alumni — he just wasn’t funny.
Well, there’s no accounting for taste.
Three things to consider:
1. Rocket got fired from SNL because he dropped a f-bomb on live TV after doing a “who shot JR”/Dallas parody. He said something along the lines of, “I’ve never been shot before and I’d like to know who the F did it.” (Also, I think Ebersol came on after he was fired.)
2. Though Rocket never really hit the big time, he did appear as the villain in Dumb and Dumber, which as far as I can tell is the first move ever to feature a scene with a guy having explosive diarrhea.
3. Rocket committed suicide in 2005 by slitting his own throat.
For these reasons (and the fact that he was a regular on Max Headroom and Moonlighting) I’m going to give him a pass for not being very funny on SNL (which hardly makes him special).
He was a member of the late-70s downtown scene that Glenn O’Brien traveled in.
Rocket’s stint with the post-Classic SNL is widely known as some of the most disastrous TV ever
Argument ad populum? Regardless, the Ebersol era wasn’t Rocket’s fault.
I remember seeing this on SNL when it originally aired. Too bad about the quality of this copy. Harry Shearer does a spot-on Mike Wallace. Unbelievable how far they ran with this concept. It’s the actual length of a real 60 Minutes piece. Genius.
I still have my Johnny Switchblade: Adventure Punk doll!
I mean action figure.
This is a wonderful thing. Awe-inspiring.
I’m not being defensive, YOU’RE the one being defensive!
Yes, Harry Shearer is often the best part of anything he’s in: Simpson’s, Albert Brooks’s Real LIfe, his own Le Show.
Love Martin Short’s sweatly attorney: “They’re not making snozzes!” (instead of “schnozzes”)
Good God, I had forgotten that SNL used to be amazing. Much like The Simpsons…
The lawyer should’ve held his cigarette vertical, à la movie-Nazy style.
Oh, the memories. I remember making a “videotape” with the new “VCR” my parents had gotten of this and other great SNL bits of that era and watching it over and over and over until the quality was even lower than the version above.
And then there was the way my friends and I would incorporate Martin Short’s lawyer into games of D&D. Good times.
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