Dec 12, 2016
Pink Lady... and Jeff “Episode #1” (part 2 of 2)
This leads to a mock commercial with Jeff playing some schmuck selling priceless artwork at discount prices. You know, just like they would later do in Amazon Women on the Moon, only there, it didn’t… Actually, it still sucked pretty hard, but then they had Jack the Ripper turn out to be the Loch Ness Monster, so it all balanced out.
This, somehow, leads to a sketch within a sketch, as Jeff shows us a clip from a spoof nature documentary, which also stars him, as a setup for a weak jab at the movie 1941. So, we’re watching Jeff on TV while he watches himself on TV. Meta. Believe it or not, this was a recurring sketch, too.
Finally, Blondie comes out. Sort of. They apparently couldn’t be bothered to show up and perform on stage, so they show a music video instead. It’s sort of like SCTV, except it’s an actual music video, which of course, makes no goddamned sense, but it’s a nice enough song, albeit one I don’t recognize. The chapter list just says “Blondie sings”. [The song is “Shayla”. —Albert]
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Smash cut to a dark office for (drum roll please) The Pink Falcon! Yessiree, this detective skit is probably the most famous thing this show ever did, because on the rare occasions Pink Lady and Jeff is ever discussed today, it’s this clip that they show. Let’s watch!
The girls are dressed as cat burglars as they break into Jeff’s office, attempting to steal Jeff’s safe. Jeff gets the drop on them, while doing a bad Bogart impression. In an attempt to escape, Mie and Kei offer him sex and a “nuh-kull sand-o-witch”, respectively.
But Jeff sees through their scheme, which involves wrapping a rope around his safe and signaling their driver to hit the gas. Unfortunately for Jeff, he happens to be holding the rope when they give the signal. Out the window he goes, and we freeze frame on the girls giving their best geisha girl expressions. Bravo, Hollywood. Bravo.
Cut to, oh brother, a Tonight Show spoof, with Jeff as Johnny Carson and the girls as themselves.
They introduce a real-life commercial they did in Japan for god knows what (I think it’s a smoke detector), and then they bring out “Shecky Nakamoto”, who they discovered at “The Comedy Pagoda”. He does a routine in Japanese, and naturally, only the girls think it’s funny, and when he bombs, he starts tap-dancing with a cartoon butterfly [?].
This leads to another recurring sketch, the “letter home to mom”. This is like the Boom Box Dance on steroids, which makes it even less funny, considering they’re in the same episode as each other.
Mie writes to her mother about how she and Kei went to Schwab’s drugstore, and then we see them at Schwab’s being waited on by Bert Parks. This leads to a series of sketches involving “A Salute to Hollywood”. For those who don’t speak variety show, “A Salute to Hollywood” generally means “we’ve run out of ideas”. Oh well, let’s just get this over with…
Bert does a song about silent films, and then we hear Henry Kissinger’s off-screen voice and find out Kissinger is a janitor at the drugstore. The chorus girls sing “Hooray For Hollywood”, and then there’s a mock-Oscar ceremony which brings Sherman Hemsley back for more abuse. Jeff is Howard Cosell hosting a movie premiere, then, oh buddy…
Bert Parks plays a director casting a crowd scene. The crowd in question is a large mass of people smushed together who all act as a single entity. The audition does not go well.
To paraphrase Joel and the Bots: It’s the ‘80s, do a lot of coke, and vote for Ronald Reagan.
To wrap things up, the girls quiz Jeff about how to get to Neil Diamond’s house, since they were invited to a party there… and Jeff wasn’t. To cheer him up, the girls do a medley of songs by James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, and someone I don’t recognize, I think it’s Thelma Houston. [That last song would be “Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd, but they’re doing the Amii Stewart “disco” version. The girls have even got “thunder and lightning” effects just for this song. —Albert]
Then, to really end the show, the girls strip down to bikinis and drag Jeff into a hot tub. The joke being that he’s more concerned about ruining his cheap tux than the fact that two bikini-clad babes are trying to bathe him.
The punch line comes when he finally starts to get with the program, only to have the sumo wrestler bodyguard rise up out of the water.
Jeff: Whoa! I hope we’ve got some extra soap.
And there you have it. An hour wasted, and not a single appearance by Jim Varney to show for it, although he is listed in the credits.
You know, as someone who cut his teeth on stage, I know how it all works. A variety show is just filler between songs, unless it’s Saturday Night Live or SCTV, but the problem with all these shows, whether hosted by Cher, the Starland Vocal Band, or the lady who did “I Am Woman”, is that they really make you work for the musical numbers. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “Sing? What on earth would you want to hear us sing for, old boy? Our real talent is stale gags left over from the vaudeville era!”
Can you imagine the sheer leap of faith it must have taken to invest so much into a dying format? With singers nobody in America listened to? It would have been like giving Nick and Jessica their own variety show. Oh, wait…
It would have been like giving Emeril Lagasse his own sitcom. Oh, wait…
It would have been like giving Steven Seagal his own cop show…
Okay, I give up. There is officially no depth that television won’t sink to in the name of a quick buck. At least in this instance, it left a funny-shaped corpse.