Thursday, May 20, 2010

Must See Thursday

I don't know if NBC still uses that slogan. They did back in the days of Cheers and Seinfeld. And they still have a pretty strong Thursday comedy lineup: Community, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and The Office (although I hear that's in the Ken Griffey phase of its career.)

Chevy Chase is in Community. He's had a varied career. He was a municipality in Maryland at one point. He played drums in an early version of Steely Dan. Steely Dan were named after a dildo in William S. Burrough's Naked Lunch and were a very idiosyncratic group. Later on Michael McDonald sang backup for them. McDonald went on to join the Doobie Brothers. The Doobies were one of those groups like Fleetwood Mac who reinvented themselves so radically, that their later output sounds totally different from their earlier stuff. This would all be germane if Skunk Baxter was making a guest appearance on Parks and Rec. But, as far as I can tell, he isn't.

Chase became a movie star, appearing in such flicks as Caddyshack (a highpoint of Western Civilization), Fletch, and the Vacation series. But he got his big break on Saturday Night Live. You can make a chain of castmembers from 1975 to the present day. One such chain goes like this: Chase was a castmember with John Belushi who worked with Brian Doyle-Murray, who worked with Mary Gross, who worked with Jon Lovitz, who worked with Chris Farley, who worked with Colin Quinn, who worked with Tina Fey. Gross is really helpful here because she was on the show from '81 to '85 when there was mondo turnover.

Fey, of course is on 30 Rock. So is Alec Baldwin. Baldwin was in the atrocious Pearl Harbor movie directed by Michael Bay. In it he portrayed Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. Doolittle's best known for his daring raid on Tokyo in 1942 where he led long range bombers over the capital of Japan from the USS Hornet. Doolittle was assisted by an admiral named Miles Browning in planning and executing the raid. Aircraft carriers were in their infancy back then and Browning was a pioneer in developing strategy and tactics for them. He also had a daughter who's son got into show business. That boy's name was Chevy Chase.

This is for Devin McC, by the way.


  1. Small teeny, tiny nit pick-

    Tina Fey left SNL in 2006 (although she has hosted and appeared since then, including this season).

    Great one though, I love it.

  2. Thanks! And great post.

    Unfortunately, I need to nitpick. Mary Gross & Jon Lovitz weren't on SNL at the same time. Gross left after the 1984-85 season, when Lorne Michaels came back as executive producer and cleaned house. Lovitz was part of the new cast for the 1985-86 season.

    On the other hand, you can just skip over the Dick Ebersol years by using Al Franken.

  3. Damn, I forgot about seasons changing in September. Well, I'm glad you guys liked it!

    I was looking over the list of SNL castmembers at Whiskeypedia and forgot about some folks being associated with the show. Anthony Michael Hall? I could have worked him into this and I may if I ever retell this saga.

  4. Skunk Baxter doesn't have time for Must See TV. He is a self-taught and respected expert on ballistic missile defense. He chaired some Congressional Advisory Panel on the subject. Maybe they could get somebody from Foghat to guest star.

  5. I threw out Skunk's name just because I liked it and didn't think "I wonder what Baxter is up to these days" until afterwards. I clicked on his Whiskeypedia page and saw the stuff about missile defense and thought it might be an elaborate hoax, but there were links to legitimate sites confirming that he is an expert.

    I was wondering if someone would catch that. It reminds me of Bruce Dickinson airlifting Brits who were stranded by the Israel/Hezbollah conflict a couple of years back.