I miss the days when we were privileged to see Mike Myers morph into one bizarro-genius character after another on a weekly basis back in his Saturday Night Life days.
Sure, the guy has helped to spawn several movie mega-franchises over the last few decades, but it's somehow not the same (and on a side yet related note: I recently re-watched the original Wayne's World movie and while it's certainly decent, I marveled at how much better the original SNL skits were in terms of looseness and chemistry and energy.
I thought about all of this while browsing around YouTube and checking out some of Myers' classic Sprockets bits. Much like The Kids in the Hall when they were at their experimental and creative peak, Sprockets works in that it is really odd yet somehow accessible and certainly hilarious at the same time.
What's great too is that Sprockets is able to play into the geopolitical dynamics of the era: the Berlin Wall fell followed by German reunification, which produced (along with the full of the former eastern bloc) a former Soviet-occupied country freshly able to yearn for and seek out the culture and comforts of the west.
Instead of a history lesson though, this particular edition of Sprockets gives us guest host Woody Harrelson as Gregor Voss, "the most brilliant countercultural filmmaker from the east," who is only now able to appear on German television. Instead of delivering a Dieter-esque dissertation on esoteric European art forms however, Voss is now instead a Western Culture superfan #1 who only wants to show off that he's able to now drink Mountain Dew and use Remington Microscreen ("they say it shaves as close as a blade").
We reach a true level of comic genius then when this is interrupted by Dieter (Myers) cutting in to show a clip of one of Voss' "masterpieces," which basically is black-and-white footage of Voss, a strange man in a wife beater t-shirt, and a rooster looking back and forth at one another. It culminates with a hand crushing an egg and the sound of a jail cell slamming closed, followed by a cut back to Dieter and Voss, the latter of whom is enjoying two Budweisers by way of a beer helmet. "I would never drink from head gear," Dieter says, disgusted. Alas, Voss is pointedly advised not to touch his monkey.
And as a final aside, I love that Dieter mentions the fall of the wall in the same breath as some kind of "performance in wax" at the Theater of Unhappiness. That's just good stuff.
Check out the skit here: