A new look at an old show called The New Show
July 10, 2010 11:42 AM   Subscribe

"Eggs? Yeah, we fix 'em. Well, are they broken all the way or are they just cracked? OK, well that's good, just bring 'em right in..." The year: 1984. The sketch: "Roy's Food Repair". The stars: John Candy, Valri Bromfield, Dave Thomas, Carrie Fisher, and Paul Simon. The show: a short-lived NBC comedy variety program produced by Lorne Michaels called The New Show.

Launched during his five-year hiatus from Saturday Night Live, Michaels's The New Show never achieved anything close to the level of notoriety or success of his previous mega-hit show, and was canceled after only one season. But with a rotating cast of performers that included (along with those already mentioned) Steve Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Buck Henry, Jeff Goldblum, Gilda Radner, Kevin Kline, Raul Julia, Penny Marshall, and Laraine Newman, along with a writing staff boasting the likes of George Meyer, Jim Downey, Jack Handey, Tom Davis, and Al Franken, the show did produce its share of memorable, funny sketches during its short run.

Here are a few of them:

"Time Truck"
"The Twilight Zonettes"
"Mountain Mike"
"The Frightened Family"
"Walter Cronkite's World of Bloopers"
Steve Martin's take on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" video (after all: he was born a poor, black child, too)
"Weekend Tonight" (watch for Dave Thomas's pitch perfect-impression of Sir Laurence Olivier)
posted by Atom Eyes (7 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Also, Laurie Anderson performing "Mach 20" in the final episode.
posted by mykescipark at 12:17 PM on July 10, 2010 [10 favorites]

I love skits like "Roy's Food Repair," that just take a very specific, very particular surreal concept and just disappear down a rabbit hole of sustained, serious, modulated goofiness. John Candy was a genius at that stuff, like Belushi just scarily relentless to the pure looniness of it. What great stuff. Seems like a lost art...

Man, I miss SCTV.
posted by Skygazer at 2:34 PM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Great to see Dave Thomas again. I remember this show but it never occurred to me to look for it on YouTube. Pity it's not available on DVD. SCTV was unavailable for a long time as well for various rights-related reasons, much of it to do with the musical performances on the show. Thankfully you can get it now. The writing here seems much more SCTV than SNL (this is a good thing); The Twilight Zonettes owes something to Monster Chiller Horror Theatre (though the core idea is different), and Time Truck plays like pure SCTV from beginning to end, it's stylistically reminiscent of a number of things they did, notably the legendary Russian episode.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:48 PM on July 10, 2010

Between my brother and I, there are only two acceptable ways to answer a phone: "Hello, Roy's Food Repair!" or "Bula Vinaka, beachside!"
posted by steef at 2:58 PM on July 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

I had totally forgotten about this. Thanks.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2010

This was great. Thanks for the links!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:50 PM on July 10, 2010

Awesome finds. Thanks for posting this.
posted by not_on_display at 11:07 PM on August 2, 2010

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