Thursday, April 10, 2008


Courtesy Jonah Goldberg at the Corner (scroll down), The Fifty Funniest TV Sketches of All Time.

I could quibble with a few omissions (such as SCTV's extended "Godfather" Sketch, with John Flaherty, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas and John Candy at the top of their games), but one holds a place in my heart: #11, "Land Shark," from the first season of Saturday Night Live.

I've seen the sketch twice--the last time, maybe twenty-eight years ago. And I'm laughing right now thinking about it.

Not that Astro-Girl would understand.

"It's based on Jaws," I explained. "Except the Land Shark swims up on shore, goes to women's apartments and rings the bell. And then when the woman answers the door, he eats her."

"O-kay," she said.

"Sometimes he says he has a telegram," I said. "Another time, he says he's a plumber. But when Larained Newman says, 'We didn't order a plumber,' he then says, 'Candygram.' And then she opens the door and he eats her." (Spasm of uncontrollable laughter.)

"That's good, sweetie."

"Well," I said. "The writers back then were notorious for all the pot they smoked."

"Um, you think?"

One mistake the writers of the list make is identifying Belushi as Police Chief Matt Hooper. The chief was named Brody of course, played by Roy Scheider in the movie and I forget who in the skit, and their best moment in the skit is when they undrape what appears to be the remains of the girl in a plastic bucket. One of them looks down.

"Oh God," he says. "Tunafish again!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hooper was the Richard Dreyfuss character.

My favorite part of the Land Shark sketch is when instead of "candygram" he says "Land Shark" and the victim laughs and opens the door. No, wait, my favorite part is "I'm just a dolphin."