Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ladies’ Polio

Sure, most of us instantly forgot about Mad TV the moment it went off the air — you know, in the same way we forgot about it a half-hour into each airing, when we changed the channel to SNL. But we don’t have to pretend that folks like Ike Barinholtz or Mo Collins just magically materialized where they are now without having spent their formative years on late-night Fox. Mad TV was a thing, and maybe they spent a little too long trying to make Ms. Swan happen, but they had a few good sketches.

One of them I just re-encountered for the first time since I originally saw it: “Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! 98!” It’s a perfectly odd little sketch that is very Mad TV, yes, but it’s also very funny in a way that I couldn’t imagine being on SNL. It’s responsible for the phrase ladies’ polio entering my vocabulary. I still use it today in casual conversation.

Please enjoy before it gets pulled from YouTube, which it almost certainly will:

Points of interest:
  • Please note that Josh Meyers = Seth Meyers + Patrick Bateman.
  • “Hello? Boss speaking.”
  • “Now we’ll never get to the amusement park. I wish you were dead.”
  • Debra Wilson’s delivery of “Who’s there with you?” reminds me a lot of angry Tracey Jordan.
  • “Welcome to church. Love, Jesus.”
  • The fact that when everyone dances around the table, they each play a different invisible instrument.
  • “A bleedy bleedy blood in your stool!”
In closing, I would just like to point out that Debra Wilson should be doing stuff. She is as funny as Mo Collins. She deserves more. And while we’re begrudgingly naming off the virtues of Mad TV, can we also admit that the show’s best era was ushered in by Wilson, Collins, Nicole Sullivan, Alex Borstein and Stephnie Weir? And that this actually preceded the Dratch-Rudolph-Fey-Poehler-Wiig era on SNL? That’s worth something, I feel.

Related posts (and yeah, they’re all about SNL because I’ve never written about Mad TV before):

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