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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Television  |  Maniac Mansion « previous next »
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Author Topic: Maniac Mansion  (Read 701 times)
Flick James
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« on: April 11, 2011, 02:28:53 PM »

Anybody remember this show?

It was fairly short-lived (3 seasons), and very unconventional. Joe Flaherty of SCTV fame headed this very unusual family sitcom about an eccentric scientist father, his wife, three children, and some additional extended family who inherit a mansion with an extraterrestrial meteor in the basement that wreaks supernatural havoc that the family is constantly dealing with. The show used extensive meta-referencing and "breaking the fourth wall." One episode that comes to mind is with Jose Ferrer guest-starring as himself and Joe Flaherty periodically and randomly stopping, looking at the camera/audience and saying "Jose Ferrer, ladies and gentlemen." I also liked the names of the kids, Ike, Tina, and toddler Turner, whom the meteor turns into a rather large adult but who still acts like toddler, portrayed in exaggerated infantile fashion by George Buza.

The show had frequent visits from old SCTV cast memeber such as Dave Thomas, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, and Andrea Martin. It even had David Cronenberg, beloved by many on this site, guest-starring as himself. It was a quirky show and I loved it. I looked it up on Wikipedia and was amused by the Los Angeles Times blurb that called the show "a bit like David Lynch on helium." That is a better description of the feel of the show than I could ever come up with.
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Mr. DS
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 08:25:41 PM »

I recall the video game but not the show.
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Couchtr26
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 09:04:09 PM »

I recall it vaguely.  I didn't watch but remember it being considered being quirky.  I also think it was on a family channel or something similar. 
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 10:13:03 PM »

Never knew there was a show, but I did play the video games. I liked how you can play the first game inside the second one.
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Flick James
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 05:52:32 PM »

I never played the game. In fact, never knew about the game or that the show was based on one. From what I've read, there was no resemblance to the video game in terms of the plot and characterization. The similarities are more superficial.

The show was quite wierd and silly, and it was very clearly influenced by some of the more surreal qualities of SCTV.

Anyone who is a fan of SCTV, and especially of Joe Flaherty's brand of humor, would probably like Maniac Mansion.
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AndyC
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 11:03:58 AM »

I remember it, but I only watched a couple of episodes. Seemed to be too much of a kids' show for me at that time. I'd like to check it out again, now that you've reminded me of it.

I've been taking a renewed interest in SCTV, since it's started airing more frequently again. Partly because my daughter loves the new Cat in the Hat cartoon, with the cat voiced by Martin Short. We've tried showing Ro some old SCTV and pointing him out, to see if she recognizes the voice. No dice. I think she's still getting her head around the idea of actors being in lots of different things, and real-world actors being behind cartoon characters. I've entertained the thought of showing her a clip from Highlander, and pointing out Mr. Krabs, but common sense always prevails.

Back to Maniac Mansion, I did get a kick out of Uncle Harry, with the body of a fly. Nice nod to the b-movies, and I've always found John Hemphill funny.

Strange that of the SCTV alums, Joe Flaherty is somebody I haven't seen much of in recent years. Seems he's been working steadily, but mostly playing small guest roles on TV.
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Flick James
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 11:35:38 AM »

Quote
Strange that of the SCTV alums, Joe Flaherty is somebody I haven't seen much of in recent years. Seems he's been working steadily, but mostly playing small guest roles on TV.

I love Joe Flaherty. His humor doesn't appeal to a wide audience, however. I loved his role in Billy Madison. That was classic Flaherty.
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