Last week in our Community season recap (and Dan Harmon era post-mortem) we listed our top five episodes from the series’s three seasons. We included on that list “Contemporary American Poultry” because, besides being brilliant, it was the first episode to truly bring it all together and show what that series could be, the way that it could play with genre but still be entirely Community. But if we had to identify when we fell in love with the show, that would have to be “Comparative Religion,” just a few episodes earlier. While not as strong of an episode, certainly not as ambitious, it was the first episode we were excited to watch again (and we did). If “Poultry” was the promise of what was to come, “Religion” was the promise of the promise of what was to come. Which is why we were so pleased to see “anthony michael hall on community” as one of today’s top search terms.
That could be one of the top search terms for as long as this blog exists and we would never complain.
Well, it’s back to the grind after a long, boozy, enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. But so much happened! And all while Lauren was away. Hard to believe.
(sorry, we just never get tired of this)
That’s cold, 7-11.
Back in March Gallagher suffered three separate heart attacks and it seemed like the very appropriate time to post a long-gestating Gallagher piece we had been planning to write. Well, obviously, two months have passed, but during that interim we kept this tab open in our browser, a reminder that, eventually, we needed to get to it, to talk about Gallagher, to try to make some sense of this fallen from grace comedian in the twilight of career, and possibly of his life.
We should preface this by detailing our own personal history with Gallagher. We very clearly recall watching his cable specials as a child, filling time slots in the early years of Comedy Central and possibly even on VH1, before they had Celebrity Rehab to occupy the bulk of their schedule. Of course we remember the watermelon smashing – the Sledge-O-Matic – but we also vividly remember a giant couch, outfitted with a trampoline under the giant cushions, and as an eight year-old that seemed like the coolest thing ever. It was like Lily Tomlin’s Edith Ann, but crossed with a playground, with a purpose. We wanted one. The stage, with its oversized props, was quite literally a giant toy store, and Gallagher was the wily proprietor, with a sparkle in his eye and a mischievous grin. We’re not sure at the time that we really understood “comedy,” but we liked whatever he was doing. It may not have been comedy, but it sure as fuck was entertaining to a kid still five-years shy of his Bar Mitzvah.
Read on: Our journey with Gallagher continues and we look back at one of those early specials…
Editors note: We have a Google Tasks list of potential blog posts that dates back to 2009, and the oldest entry on the list is this post. It’s not topical, nor is it very interesting, but it’s just something we needed to do to move on. This is our closure.
If you’re like us, and why wouldn’t you be, you spend several hours a day listening to The Fan 660AM, New York’s flagship station for the Mets, Giants, Nets and Devils, and the grandaddy of sports talk radio stations. And, if you’re like us, and, again, why wouldn’t you be, there’s one commercial that they’ve been airing – what seems like ever hour – for years now, Kars for Kidz. Yes, the jingle is the kind of thing that is best used when dousing a bound and gagged hostage with kerosene, complementing the perfect nightmarish Hellscape, but what has been a greater mystery to us is the concept. Kars for Kidz? Are you trading in a convertible for orphaned children? Donating money to provide Power Wheels for toddlers? Auctioning off your own son for a 1992 Nissan Stanza? We just don’t know. And we never will. Because we refuse to do any research.
If you know how Kars for Kids actually works, please do not tell us. In the words of Joey Pants, ignorance is bliss.
Today we bring you the final entry in our “Must Flee TV” series, our thoughts on the end of ‘Community’ Season Three, and, well, the end of an era.
Full disclosure: when we wrote our Dan Harmon obituary earlier this week we had not yet had the chance to view the final three Season Three Community episodes. We felt comfortable going ahead with the in memorial post because there would be nothing in those final episodes of the Harmon run to change our opinion of his work and influence on Community. Unless one of the episodes was a shot-by-shot remake of an unremarkable episode of Friends, he could do nothing to tarnish his legacy, and, actually, they probably could pull that episode off (and by Season Six he probably would have gotten to that too). But, as it turned out, the show had still yet another level to go, there were still recesses of our mind left to blow.
Perhaps only when Fox burned off the last four Arrested Developments against the Olympics has viewing a block of episodes felt so bittersweet, such a painful joy. But unlike the Arrested finale night, the last three episodes of Community left us with little closure, and much uncertainty. If anything, we’re sadder now than we were at the end of Arrested (obviously we could not know that it would eventually come back on Netflix, and we would have been foolish to pin our hopes on such a thing, especially since Netflix was in its nascent stages then). We know our show is coming back, but we don’t know in what form, if it’ll continue on the same genius path, if it’ll forge something new and different, or if it’ll be a morbid a shadow of itself, a crushing reminder of what was.
Up far ahead: Our top 5 episodes of the Dan Harmon Era…
This is that time of the year when blogs across the countryweb sit down and decide on the top five or ten or seventeen sketches from the recently concluded season of Saturday Night Live (and we’ve done this too). But, for us, there was one sketch from the 2011-2012 season that stood head and shoulders above the rest.* It was simultaneously the best political satire and pop culture parody and was damn near perfect. And it made us so happy.
*Obviously any Stefon segment is exempt because he’s already been granted emeritus status.
This is the penultimate entry in our series of posts looking back at the NBC’s Thursday Night comedies. Still to come is a brief review of the ‘Community’ finale (not to be confused with our already published thoughts on the show’s move to Friday nights and the exiling of Dan Harmon), but today we check-in on ’30 Rock.’
30 Rock is a curious case. We’ve contended for years that it often is the funniest show on NBC Thursday nights. That is to say that it contains the most laughs per minute ratio (lpms) of the four programs. However, that has never necessarily been a compliment. In fact – and you might be smelling a “but” coming – that proclamation has frequently preceded our criticism of the show, or, more often, been the central tenet of our negative remarks. For much of the show’s six seasons it’s felt as if Tina Fey’s creation valued the laugh above all else, and sometimes praying at the altar of the almighty chuckle does not pay the dividends one expects.
More: Does ’30 Rock’ use Idea Balls?
Boy, you people sure are insatiable. We’ve spent the last week writing about Community and The Office and Kristen Wiig, and yet all everyone seems to want to see on here is Chelsea from Survivor: ONE WORLD!, with queries for the South Carolina native dominating the top search terms bringing readers to Jump the Snark. So, fine, you win. One last time, here’s Chelsea:
For the last week we’ve been taking a look at NBC’s Thursday night comedies, but with Kristen Wiig’s sendoff on ‘SNL’ this past weekend we decided to add her departure to the conversation.
It’s not worth going into detail about how the season finale of SNL – and the season as a whole – was middling. The Mick Jagger-hosted episode was a hit-or-miss mixed bag which typifies nearly every episode and every season. As we’ve learned from several seasons of recaps and now over a decade-and-a-half of religious viewing, that’s the show. It will never be too far up or too far down, so just try to enjoy it. What is worth discussing, as all of the internet has been doing for the past two days, is the exit of Kristen Wiig after seven stellar seasons, leaving behind a body of work that positions her as arguably the strongest female cast member of all-time.
More: Kristen’s gone and we feel fine…