Episode 13: Airdate: Tuesday January 30, 1990
- Signs of Loneliness
- Lopez parts 1-3
- Fat Hitch-Hiker
- No Regrets/Donut Shop
- The Lamp
- Indian Woman
- Lopez 4
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been lonely at one point or another in our lives. Episode 13 begins with “Signs of Loneliness” a sketch that seeks to be informative while delivering a whopping, weird punchline at the end. If you missed the signs you might honestly believe that it wasn’t a comedy sketch. Although the set-up is a little silly and the audience is laughing (they know what’s coming) it’s not until the baby arrives that we get a good laugh. That’s a sentence I never thought I would write in my life, ever. Mark is narrating, something he does exceptionally well and Dave is playing that soft-spoken gentle guy that I believe is his best persona. The rude, sneering driver we’ll see later in Fat Hitch-hiker is the other one he plays well but this is just so darn, cute. Dave’s cute in this if a little bit whiny and quietly pleading with whomever is on the other end of the phone.
Cut to the reappearance of the Geralds and this time they’re networking! It’s worth noting that although Bruce gives his name as “Nick” he’s referred to as Gerald as well. Mark’s Gerald has apparently done this before and Bruce’s Gerald is new to the business side of things. He plays the role well, as we’ve seen his negotiating tactics in a previous episode and he seems like a fish out of water. How he doesn’t know what a business card is, is beyond me. Their love of professional sports is also legendary.
Dave: I cheer for all the local teams!
Bruce: Really? They’re not as good as they *used* to be, I hear.
The Kids are known for their love-to-taunt feelings towards businessmen and that is plastered all over this sketch like cheap hair product. The “overdoing it” guy, the “merger” guys and the dry line Scott delivers: “I’m going to go stand a few feet over there now” all succinctly hits how foolish networking parties are. Between this and the bird-like businessmen in the Mr. Stevenson sketch we are starting to get an idea that no one in the business world is safe from multiple angles of mocking.
Our linking sketch is Mark playing weird plausibly. One of the reasons I think Bruce and Mark work together so well is they each love big, weird characters and while Mark can play a character that is strange he can also play a normal character like the guy in this sketch in a way that you laugh, but you aren’t really sure why. He’s not doing anything funny, persay, but the repetition and persistence makes you chuckle. While researching for some of the sketches in this episode I found a great article about the Lopez sketch from TV Geek Army called, “The Kids in the hall Seek Out Lopez.” Give a read and let me know if you agree with their thoughts.
I’m of two minds about Fat Hitch-hiker. One, I like the premise but two I don’t like the content. It’s structurally funny but I know if I have to preface the word funny with anything except not or very, it’s not very funny. I’m guessing it’s a Kevin and Dave sketch and I admire Kevin playing a guy getting taunted like this. Kevin used to be the “fat kid” as a teenager and during the 1980s he lost a lot of weight. It was to the point where people were worried he was becoming anorexic, he wasn’t (as he explains on an episode commentary). I know I would have issues playing Kevin’s role in this or even jokingly playing Dave’s role when a very good friend was playing the role next to me. Maybe it’s just not my cup of comedy tea. I do love the face Dave pulls at the end though, a weird kind of non-committed sneer. There’s a great article about Kevin and running that runningmagazine.ca published May 5, 2013 where this sketch was mentioned.
The Donut Shop, whose proper title is No Regrets is a quick little sketch with a pretty simple message. Kevin wants all the donuts, Bruce thinks everyone is a pig, Mark tells him off (in a very absurd way) and Bruce for some strange reason agrees and goes back to his video game. Let’s be honest here, the best part of this sketch is Dave in the background with the strange hair and a small little teacup in his hand. Whoever decided that he should don that wig is a comedic genius.
Amongst the Lopez sketches with solo Mark comes solo Kevin with the Lamp. I’ve said before I don’t really like to say something is very typical of one of the Kids but this is Kevin’s forte. I admire his ability to do this whole monologue as though he’s talking on the phone, first to a woman and then to a child. It’s great to see how his mannerisms change depending on who he’s talking to. As ludacris as the premise is (the guy with only three fingers reached up to pull down a SEVEN FOOT, TWO HUNDRED POUND LAMP?) it’s really about a guy that no one likes and who leans on people too much. When a six year old, incredibly smart child, puts you on hold and then hangs up on you, maybe you have a problem? The fact that this guy is the boss of any group of people is astonishing to me since I can’t picture him moving up the corporate ladder at all.
“Oh, mom, by the way, I’m becoming an Indian woman.”
Indian Woman puts Scott in the spotlight and I watch it and find myself going back and forth between laughing (Johnny and Hadji? Really? I wonder where they got those names from…) and thinking how it reflects on culture today. I’m sure people feel like they grew up in the wrong culture, choosing to adopt the culture of somewhere else instead of what they may have been raised in but that is a choice. Being transgender is not a choice. Does this sketch offend people? Is it mocking being transgender in any way or the ease in which John becomes a woman? This whole sketch is a step beyond drag and into something else. I can’t comment beyond that but I welcome your thoughts. Even if I often don’t find Scott’s sketches as funny as the others they always, without fail, make me think. I applaud that in any performer.
Then we wrap with Lopez, who arrives home to see his house on fire. This is why I’m glad cellphones exist as now it’s easier to just call your friend when you arrive at his home and he doesn’t seem to be there. I do wonder if Mark’s character lost his job though, since he didn’t go to work. A perfect place for fanfiction…
We’ve now finished Disc 2 if you’re playing along at home on your mega-set. Favourite sketch? Opinions or comments? Have a favourite character that still hasn’t been introduced? Leave a comment!