July 26, 2009

TV DVDs of the Week: Harvey Birdman and SNL

Usually when we have some down time, we go through our DVR and pick out something to watch (usually an old episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, because there's really not much else to watch during the summer). However a few days ago, we decided instead to watch some old TV episodes on DVD! Of course then the issue becomes, what should we watch? As you can probably tell from our banner, we have many TV shows on DVD, and since that picture was taken, we've accumulated many more. So after much discussion, here's what we decided to watch:

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is a very interesting show. The show, which aired on Cartoon Network's [Adult Swim] segment, is about Harvey Birdman, who was previously a superhero in the old Hannah Barbara cartoon Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, back int he 1960's. (This is a real show. We actually bought the complete series on DVD. It's pretty bad, but it's interesting to see how they evolved the character). So basically, this old superhero is retired, and now he's a lawyer, defending other old Hannah Barbara cartoon characters in their lawsuits. The show is made for adults, so of course the lawsuits are of a more adult nature. (In one example, Shaggy and Scooby get accused of smoking pot and being high all the time, so they need Harvey to defend them). What's especially interesting about the show, is how they often mix old classic footage of these old cartoon series, with new animations of the old characters, with current actors doing the voices. In this particular episode, Fred Flintstone is accused of having mob connections (in an episode that parodies The Sopranos). We didn't actually watch this episode, but we thought since everyone knows The Flintstones, it would be a good one to share with you.

I also wanted to point out the voice casting for the show. The voice of Harvey Birdman is done by Gary Cole (the boss from Office Space "Yeah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday...) and the voice of Harvey's boss Phil Ken Sabben and also the voice of opposing lawyer Reducto is the one and only Stephen Colbert! Here's Harvey (Cole) and Phil, the guy with the eye patch (Colbert)

And here's Reducto (also Colbert). He's the little green guy obsessed with shrinking people.

And in case you were curious what Birdman, Phil Ken Sabben, and Reducto were like in the original 1960's Birdman and the Galazy Trio show, here's the original episode of when Birdman meets Reducto. (You don't have to watch the whole thing, it's pretty slow and cheesey, but still interesting to compare).

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Eddie Murphy
After watching a few episodes of Harvey Birdman, we decided to switch it up and watch some classic SNL. You may remember a while back I blogged about all the TV-related Chanukkah gifts I got, and one of them was a DVD of SNL-The Best of Eddie Murphy. Though I got the DVD back in December, I never actually got around to watching it, so when we were looking for something to watch and realized we never watched it, we popped it right in. What's interesting about Eddie Murphy's run on SNL, is that he's one of the only few big breakout SNL stars who never worked under SNL creator and Executive Producer Lorne Micheals (Micheals left the show for a few years in the 1980's, before he returned back a few years later. He has been with the show ever since). Subsequently, Murphy has never appeared in any SNL reunions or special SNL events, and rarely acknowledges his time on the show.
Regardless, he still starred in some great sketches, and they're all captured in this great DVD. We're only about half way through with it right now, we'll probably watch the rest later tonight, but here's a few of the sketche that we've enjoyed so far:
Mr. Robinson's neighborhood, a parody of Mister Roger's Neighborhood

White Like Me

Velvet Jones School of Technology:

The Little Richard Simmons Show (Little Richard meets Richard Simmons)

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