Monday, November 27, 2023

Two Eighties icons score with great guest shots: 227 and The Fall Guy

When we discussed 227, Mike mentioned Pee Wee Herman's appearance on the show, but I hadn't seen it until recently. It's one of the livelier episodes I have seen and a wonderful reminder of what a talented performer Paul Reubens was.

Mary and Lester are seeking toys for a charity drive, and they end up in a DC shop where the apparent proprietor is in a hurry to get them out of there. Turns out it's a burglar played by (lesser, but still) Eighties icon Terry Kiser, and he holds them, Sandra, and Pee Wee (in town for a performance) hostage in the toy store.

His energy is infectious, and the whole cast seems to be having a good time. I mean Pee Wee, not Terry, but Kiser is funny, too, in a nice cartoony (but not too menacing) Eighties sitcom kind of way. Herman inadvertently sabotages several attempts to escape, and he does cause some irritation, but he remains likable and in character the whole time. Didn't we need Pee Wee and Jackee to be together at least once? This episode is a must-see, and the toy theme makes it a good Christmas offering.

Just before Halloween, I watched a Fall Guy with special guest Elvira as basically herself. Colt and the gang are on the set as the horror icon (Am I overusing the word?) shoots a movie in a creepy old house. Another treat in this is the presence of mansion owner John Carradine, who appears in a brief scene with his sons. Orson Bean, Signe Hasso, and Doug McClure also have great roles.

Elvira is the star, though, as always. She is in "self-centered diva" Elvira mode here, and it is hilarious. A running theme is her attempt to seduce Colt. Her charisma steals the whole show, impressive whenever Doug Barr is around. OK, I jest, but there is a loaded cast, and Elvira commands the screen the entire time, even at the beginning when her character is particularly snotty.

She returns to the show for another Halloween episode, and that is something I will have to check out. It may be sooner than next October, though, because "October the 31st" is a funny installment with a nice blend of haunts and seasonal fun.

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