Sunday, June 27, 2004

On the box
‘Mad TV’
This show was killer the first two or three years it was on (kicking the sh*t out of ‘Saturday Night Live’) - spot-on parodies (‘Raging Rudolph’) and a funny and talented cast (best: Phil Lamarr, who can play anything from a street wack - tramp to UK readers - and the demanding physical comedy of Jack the UPS guy to a well-spoken CEO credibly; oh, yes, and 'Funky Walker, Dirty Talker', along with Jack one of the show's only funny original characters*) but those days are long gone with most of the original players.

I could tell it had died when all the black actors were marginalized. In the beginning you could tell this was a hip show because the acting team not only had a good number of black actors but they were assigned parts in sketches that didn't have to do with race - interchangeable with the white players. But they also did things that faced race head on: remember the very funny Artie Lange in ‘That’s My White Mama’? I wonder if the show got a new producer and/or a new, inferior team of writers (who display perhaps unconscious racism?) because now the show does neither: the only time you see Aries Spears or original cast member Debra Wilson (before she probably finally got fed up and left) is when they need(ed) somebody to impersonate a black celebrity, such as Shaq or Whitney Houston.

The other horrible thing the show did re: race was former cast member Alex Borstein (also the voice of wife Lois in the very funny ‘Family Guy’) with her godawful Ms Swan character - the worst caricature of Asians on film or video since Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I love this woman - I'm sure her husband is very happy

Oh, well. ‘SNL’ is shite but at least it’s got easy-on-the-eyes Tina Fey using humour (remember that?) to speak truth to power and teach the masses what’s really going on re: Bush and Iraq. A recent quip: when Colin Powell apparently slipped and admitted there might be no connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda... remember that, world: 'if you're not involved with al-Qaeda, we're gonna get you'.

*Sample: 'Baby, I wanna come into your church and speak in tongues.'

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