Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:24 PM
MR. MIKE'S MONDO VIDEO (7/10)
Michael O'Donoghue was a writer at the "National Lampoon" before being recruited as one of the original scribes for "Saturday Night Live". The first person seen on-screen in the first sketch of the first episode, he quickly made a name for himself with his odd, dark sketches and occasional appearances, usually as the urbane dilettante "Mr. Mike". He also had a huge ego and a quick temper, and it wasn't long before he left the show. After signing a deal to create a one-off tv special, he submitted the original version of MONDO VIDEO, which was summarily rejected as being too outrageous for broadcast. He added more footage and eventually it saw a limited theatrical release, before appearing in edited form on Showtime and home video.
This one will not appeal to most viewers. Consisting of filmed and videotaped sketches mixed with bizarre stock footage, bits include a Dutch swimming school for cats, a Hawaiian church dedicated to worshipping Jack Lord, a close-up of Dan Aykroyd's real webbed toes, old footage from Thomas Edison electrocuting an elephant, random topless native girls, old nudie film, ex-bassist of the Sex Pistols Sid Vicious performing "My Way" shortly before his infamous murder-suicide (the dvd omits the audio on the order of Paul Anka, who wrote the song), strange man-on-the-street interviews, and much, much more.
Quite a few big names participate, including SNL friends Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner and Paul Shaffer, as well as Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Wendie Malick, Deborah Harry, Margot Kidder and a photo of Joan Hackett.
I found it amusing, original, weird even by today's standards, and very uneven.
Recommended for adventurous viewers, but not for the meek.
Postscript: O'Donoghue returned to SNL as headwriter for a short time in the 80's before leaving again, eventually dying of cancer in 1994 at the age of 54. He was a fascinating character, and those interested should read the excellent book "Live from New York".
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