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    Wednesday, December 31, 2008

    TV: At Long Last, Morton & Hayes

    What say we mix it up a little for the last post of 2008? I want to keep things interesting for my readers, especially as I now know, having run the year-end stats, how many of you there are. (I’ll just say “record setting numbers” and leave it at that. But my thanks to all of you, and the regulars in particular.)

    I’ve mentioned before the TV series Morton & Hayes, which surfaced during the summer of 1991 and sank without a trace. The brainchild of Rob Reiner and Spinal Tap cohort Christopher Guest, it purported to be a showcase for the films of the forgotten 1930s comedy team of Chick Morton (Kevin Pollak in the role he was born to play) and Eddie Hayes (Bob Amaral). Each week the boys would appear in a “newly rediscovered” two-reel short, meticulously recreated right down to the jump cuts and shoddy effects.

    I watched every episode. And ever since, I have waited in vain for the show to appear somewhere, anywhere else.

    The other day I searched the online outlets for older TV series. AOL Video, Hulu, Fancast, Fanlu. Nothing.

    But Youtube? Youtube had one episode, in three pieces.

    It’s actually one I remembered vividly. Guest himself appears as a bandleader doing the novelty dance “The Cold Potato.” Even better, a then-unknown Allison Janney absolutely nails the period style. The way she says “Pago Pago” kills me. It’s not the best recording – for one thing, you won’t be able to appreciate the show’s look – but it’s better than nothing.

    So end ’08 or start ’09 with “Society Saps.” Part one is below, and here are parts two and three. Here’s wishing everyone a happy new year.



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