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The original Saturday Night Live crew were known as the "Not Ready for Prime Time Players," but when it came to Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video, they weren’t ready for television at all. "Mr. Mike" is Michael O'Donoghue, SNL’s original head writer, and his twisted sensibility concocted this item, which features cast members Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, and Jane Curtin (along with the likes of Carrie Fisher, Margot Kidder, and Debbie Harry) and was intended for NBC; when the network balked at airing it, it was released theatrically. NBC’s objections are understandable--some of this stuff is pretty raunchy--but if you like your humor "vile, degrading, and repulsive," as O’Donoghue proudly describes it, you’ve come to the right place. Produced in 1979, the rag-tag 70-minute collection was apparently intended as a spoof of Mondo Cane, the 1962 Italian "shockumentary" depicting various depraved and bizarre acts, and while it isn’t consistently hilarious, to say the least, Mondo Video has something to offend pretty much everyone. It’s hard to imagine the folks at PETA, for example, being too happy about the "Cat Swimming School" segment, which consists of nothing more than terrified kitties being thrown into a pool; nor will a scene at a hoity-toity French restaurant in which the supercilious waiter offers some dumb Americans "donkey pie or brandied kittens" for dessert (apparently O’Donoghue had it in for felines). Sure, much of it is not only sophomoric and tasteless but also rather amateurish, coming off like outtakes from America’s Funniest Home Videos. But isn’t that the point? Bonus features include a couple of "Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Bedtime Tales" from SNL, as well as Murray’s eulogy for O’Donoghue following the writer-producer’s death in 1994.

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MCM11103 Mr. Mike's Mondo Video DVD (1979/Dan Aykroyd/Jane Curtin)/Robert Vaughn) $19.98 $17.99