Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW: MR. MIKE'S MONDO VIDEO (dunno who actually put it out, 1979)

This un's a lender from Brad Kohler, a human being of a man who was pretty sick 'n durn tired of hearing about me writing reviews of  long-stashed away booty and, DEMANDED that I devote some precious blog space to something other'n old cassettes fished out of torn shoeboxes and discarded apple crates. And fresh this 'un is in my mind even though I am ancient enough to remember the mini-brouhaha over this proposed SNL weekend filler (for the one week in the month when the show wasn't being aired...usually filled with the lucrative youth market news magazine show WEEKEND hosted by the terminally hip Lloyd Dobyns) and how NBC thought it was too hot for tee-vee! That's why it went straight to theaters where many an irate customer demanded his $1 back after seeing the sleeziness unfold on the screen, as if these guys didn't know what they were getting into with a production masterminded by former NATIONAL LAMPOON writer Michael O'Donoghue  I also remember that this one didn't run anywhere in the tri-state area which is why I'm getting to finally see this mondo moom spoof 32 years after the fact (the fact being that humor like this sure took a nosedive once 1980 clocked in and those Not Ready For Prime Time Players and old 'POON hands just weren't cutting it like they used to, but maybe you remember that just as much as I unfortunately do).

MONDO VIDEO actually is good enough in a typically late-seventies  snide humor way which only goes to show you how far  O'Donoghue went from writing those Charles Atlas subscription page spoofs for EVERGREEN REVIEW to coast-to-coast tee-vee within a good ten or so years. Smarmy as hell yet a whole lot more back-brain stimulating than the chic spawn of this humor which comes off more like a fart at a funeral than anything even remotely enlightening.

Now,  I could see NBC's concern over the occasional usage of thirties peep show gals in the "Uncle Sy and the Sirens" clip, though frankly most of this coulda passed the censors sans much editing (well, other'n maybe the part about looking up Cheryl Tiegs' dress which ain't that titty-lating to begin with). The collection of perfectly-slimy vignettes from the Church of Jack Lord to the Cafe No American are up there in the pantheon of prime SNL fodder which I know would have lit my pitted butt fire at the time, and although all of this (and more) pretty much began to look like a relic once 1983 rolled around and the once-radicals of the SNL camp revealed themselves to be Hubert Humphreyites after all it's sure nice to go back to them days when offensive bad taste wasn't just limited to people outside the realms of Modern Amerigan Enlightened Kultur, and I do mean it!

Favorite spoofs include the one where a guy teaches cats to swim by tossing 'em in the aqua pura (boffo for cat haters even if none of 'em drown like you kinda thought they would), "Laserbra" and especially the show closer dealing with this Cargo Cult that lives on long-gone American fads. Lotsa good one-line zingers that go by so fast you almost miss 'em too, like that riddle about Scotsmen, women and sheep which still has me chortling to no end! And although there ain't anything as hotcha as O'Donoghue doing his Mike Douglas with knitting needles jammed into his eyes impression you couldn't say it was anything I wouldn't have at least caught a peek at, in between the old movies and stodgy English comedies that were running on the other channels!

Well, I know at least """""I""""" woulda gotten a kick outta it had I given it an eyeballing on late-night tee-vee back then. Of course luck would have it that a parental supervisor would come strolling in thus doing the instant tee-vee flick off routine (once done while watching the SNL with Michael Sarrazin hosting, not forgetting MONTY PYTHON during the animated "Full Frontal Nudity" segment as well as THE IMPOSSIBLE YEARS during the part where David Niven asks the biker to tell him all he knows about sex!) thus making me have to wait until a more clandestine time to do some serious viewing. Or at least a time when nobody would be home like I shoulda thunk of in the first place! But hey, them wuz the perils of seventies tee-vee watching back when an uncut R-rated movie was the closest we could come to the days when the boys would grab a sneak peek at Miss Murgatroid when she forgot to put the shade down some hot Summer evening. Who sez we're better of in these overtly libertine times anyway???

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