The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

MR. MIKE’S MONDO VIDEO (1979) *** ½

Michael O’Donoghue was the funniest of the original Saturday Night Live writers and his acerbic wit and random WTF-ness made his sketches stand out from the rest of the pack.  O’Donoghue also performed sporadically on the show (he even starred in the very first SNL sketch) and when he did, it was often hilarious.  O’Donoghue later adopted the moniker Mr. Mike and starred in a series bizarre sketches where he would tell “Least Loved Bedtime Stories” like “The Little Engine That Died”.  Mr. Mike became such a cultish figure on the vastly popular SNL that he was able to parlay his fame into this comedy special, which was intended to be a pilot for an SNL spin-off.  The network hated it and sold it off to New Line who released it to a handful of theaters, often inciting appalled theater patrons to demand their money back.  Now that Mr. Mike's Mondo Video is finally on DVD (thanks to the good people at Shout Factory), Mr. Mike is back in all of his glory.

 

The show is more or less a parody of Mondo movies (Mondo Cane in particular), with O’Donoghue narrating and/or introducing clips.  Some of the weird sights include cats who learn how to swim (and hang glide), a cult that worships Jack Lord, a training film for the government’s new top secret weapon called Laserbra 2000, Christmas on Other Planets, and Gig Young’s Groceries.  The best scene is when musical guest Sid Vicious sings “My Way”, but unfortunately the music publisher refused the rights to the song, so we get a crawl explaining why there’s no music.  (Oddly enough, the Vicious biopic Sid and Nancy features the song.)

 

There are lots of cameos by SNL folk like Dan Aykroyd (who is in two sketches and gets the most screen time), Bill Murray, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman, that make it fun for SNL fans, but there are also a lot of random cameos in there too.  Deborah Harry, Margot Kidder, Teri Garr and Carrie Fisher are in a hilarious bit called “Women Who Love Creeps”.  This segment is also responsible for the show’s best line:  “When I reach down and feel a firm colostomy bag, I know I’m with a real man!”  Not all of the sketches work (the “Dream Sequences” are especially weak), but for the most part, Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video is the purest hit of O’Donoghue humor you’re likely to get in this lifetime.  For that, it’s highly recommended.

Tags: comedy, m
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