Jul 10, 2019

The Sex and Violence Family Hour (1983)

The Sex and Violence Family Hour was a Playboy Channel produced sketch comedy film.  The initial intent was to have a regular TV series - like an adult version of Saturday Night Live - but I presume it never panned out.  So, the skits were combined into a film resembling something like Kentucky Fried Movie.  It's noteworthy in that it features Jim Carey - hamming it up years before In Living Color.

 This may be the first time Jim Carey was able to go full Jim Carey, if you know what I mean.  In Living Color wasn't for another seven years.  All the cast are introduced via these frames, and Carey hams it up to the max when it's his turn.

 It starts with Carey doing an exaggerated Alistair Cook - warning us of the offensive content that will be forthcoming.

 One of the first skits (we won't go through them all) is "Eyewitness Nudes" - get it?  Nudes?  Yeah that's about the level of comedy you're going to get here.  The topless anchorwoman is played by Laura Dickson.

Laura Dickson's first role was on Bizarre, another adult TV show starring John Byner.  She went on to produce a few shows such as History Detectives.

This skit has an oil sheikh (played by Evan Carter) who's getting a massage.  Referring to oil prices, he keeps saying "go lower" - which the masseuse misinterprets as where she should move her hands.

I’m not sure who plays the topless masseuse.

 In this sketch, a news reporter (Kate Lynch) interviews a sleazebag played by Murray Langston.

 Langston is, of course, The Unknown Comic, and I am a huge fan.  Growing up in the seventies, this guy made me laugh many-a-time.

The joke here is that he's got two sex slaves (Kate Ford and Debbie Denomy). 

I enjoyed seeing Jim Carey do a skit with a topless Kim Morris in the background.

Another random bit that lasts just a few seconds, featuring George Buza and a couple models.

Murray Langston and Evan Carter play struggling comedy writers who are pitching their idea to a rich production company lady played by the gorgeous Laura Dickson.

 The idea is called "The Big Salami".  Langston plays a stereotypical Italian lounge lizard and Terri Austin is a showgirl bimbo.

The skit is definitely not funny, but we do get to ogle Terri Austin a good bit. 

This was Teri Austin's first role.  She went on to great success with Knot's Landing and many more mainstream projects.

Carey does a decent Reagan, but he's just too young looking to really pull it off.

In this skit, everyone at a party is dressed and ready to be kinky - but the punchline is they end up playing bridge.

 A game show skit where a couple of dowdy lady contestants have to watch a skit, and then vote on how they would censor it - and then match it to the score from an actual censor. (It's hard to explain, and really stupid)

 Langston plays a great sleazy game show host.

 The skit the ladies are supposed to watch and vote upon is Little Red Riding Hood, with Terri Austin in a hot outfit.

At the end we meet the dancers (I guess similar to Benny Hill's Angels) - one of them is Jewel Shepard seductively eating a banana.  THE END

First off, none of this was remotely funny. However, it did have a few saving graces:

  • Murray Langston in anything - I'll take it.  He's awesome.
  • It was interesting to see Jim Carey this early in his career, and you can definitely tell there's a major talent there waiting to explode.  Unfortunately, he doesn't interact with the rest of the cast - it's like he was a list minute add to the show once they saw the show wasn't funny and they needed someone to save it.
  • Laura Dickson is my new favorite comedienne.  She was the only cast member to get naked - so big props, and she was actually really good.  I'm going to seek out more of her work.

As mentioned, she was a regular on the John Byner's show Bizarre - where she also bared her boobs on the regular.

Bizarre was great - much, much better than this Sex and Violence Family Hour shit.  It aired on Showtime back in the day, but was originally a Canadian show. You might say it was the last of the sexy and irreverent sketch comedy shows beginning with Benny Hill and Laugh-In. Who knows if The Sex and Violence Family Hour could have been good enough to follow in their footsteps. I think it's a safe bet that, if it had been able to continue, it would have gotten much better.


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