Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mr. Mike


Last night, in tribute to the late George Carlin, NBC aired the first-ever episode of NBC's Saturday Night, as it was known at the time. The show was quite dissimilar to what it would eventually become; Carlin didn't really do anything except come out to do a monologue three times. He didn't appear in any sketches.

As you probably know, Michael O'Donoghue appeared in the series' debut sketch, teaching immigrant John Belushi English phrases about feeding his fingertips to the wolverines. Indeed, O'Donoghue was the first person ever to appear onstage in the show. What I had never realized (or had forgotten) was that O'Donoghue (along with the long-forgotten George Coe, an older actor who never did anything but appear in commercial parodies) was listed onscreen as one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players in that first show.

I don't think that lasted very long; O'Donoghue was also the head writer at that point, and his transgressive smugness was best suited to very limited doses - some would argue that they should have been even more limited than they were.

8 comments:

Pike said...

Who was the cringe-worthy blonde woman who did the terrible monologue?

T. Nawrocki said...

Valri Bromfield. You remember her as the nun on "Angie."

Don't you?

T. Nawrocki said...

Actually, now that I look her up, she started out as Dan Aykroyd's comedy partner in Toronto, which is probably how she got the gig.

Pike said...

Oh, that's great. I spend decades trying to forget "Angie," and you throw it right back into my head.

T. Nawrocki said...

What can I say? We come to each other from different worlds.

Pike said...

Do we?

T. Nawrocki said...

But we're up to the challenge of different worlds. Long as we can do it, life is gonna breeze right through it.

Pike said...

For what it's worth, this is from an old friend of mine: "I worked with Valri Bromfield years ago. She is one of the funniest, most interesting people I've ever met. And does a spot on Ruth Gordon. She got out of show business because she simply hated it. For that and other reasons, I admire her."

(She does a "spot-on Ruth Gordon"!)