Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Obama vs. Zack Morris

Okay, more impressive late night feat last night: President Obama coming on "The Colbert Report" to order Stephen Colbert's military haircut, or Jimmy Fallon getting Mark-Paul Gosselaar to come on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" in character as Zack Morris?

I have to go with the latter, myself. President Obama hasn't been media-shy(*), where in all the time I've known Gosselaar (going back to when he joined "NYPD Blue"), he's visibly winced when the phrase "Saved by the Bell" has been mentioned in his presence. He felt it was this huge stumbling block when he tried to transition into an adult career. I guess now that he's on his fourth or fifth show, he can have fun with it a little(**).

(*) It's at this point that I have to remind you about the No Politics rule. Talk about POTUS as comedian/TV presence, not about policy. Period.

(**) Speaking of MPG and having fun with audience perception, I was damn amused that the "Raising the Bar" season premiere was almost entirely devoted to his character's hairstyle, which everybody complained about last year, and featured a haircut as its major plot development.

30 comments:

J.J. said...

Maybe he's taking notes from Neil Patrick Harris, realizing he'll be a lot more likable if he's able to laugh at himself with everybody else.

SteveW said...

JJ - I was thinking the same thing. Not that MPG was un-likable, per se, but it does give him some "cred".

Chuck Nottheshow said...

I always thought the perception (which I shared) was that MPG did a credible job on "Blue"--better than Rick Schroeder, although that may have been due to lessons learned from that character. The Fallon appearance was drop-dead funny. If he visibly winced before, I'd say he's over it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

MPG did a credible job on "Blue"--better than Rick Schroeder, although that may have been due to lessons learned from that character.

Yeah, I'd say that MPG had the easier/better character to play (and played him well). Schroder was pretty good when he wasn't stealing paper clips and rubbing snot in Kim Delaney's hair, but those moments were rare.

Ostiose Vagrant said...

Zach Morris takes the win. Saved by the Bell is much harder to live down, or let's say get out from under of than Doogie Howser. I mean, Doogie was a primetime show of decent quality and Saved by the Bell was what it was.


Wanted to give Colbert credit for once again out-balling the competition.

Rachel said...

Zack Morris FTW! I also agree the Obama isn't really one to shy away from fun media appearances. He probably enjoys them as a little break actually, I know I would.

Plus MPG actually performed as Zack Attack and busted out the phone! Glad he seems better with his past. I don't think it is anything to be ashamed of. So many people loved the show, including myself, for what it was. Why not have a little fun with it now?

Nicole said...

I was cracking up the entire MPG as Zack segment. I kept thinking he was going to break character, but he did not.

I read that Screech is the only hold out to the reunion, which baffles me considering his career is the least productive at this moment.

jcpbmg said...

MPG totally rocked this- I loved the over-acting and the random talking to the camera. Also the line about the show randomly moving from Indiana to Cali was awesome

(and 10+ years later, Zach still looks good)

Anonymous said...

Now that's how you have some fun with your past. Awesome.

jcpbmg said...

I read that Screech is the only hold out to the reunion, which baffles me considering his career is the least productive at this moment.

Wait- was Fallon serious about doing a reunion episode? (I thought that was just part of the running SBTB gag)

Blair Waldorf said...

That was amazing.

arol said...

As a latchkey kid who watched SBTB every afternoon at 4pm, that was just awesome. I can't wait to see if the reunion actually comes together.

mjmercado said...

Schroder was pretty good when he wasn't stealing paper clips and rubbing snot in Kim Delaney's hair, but those moments were rare.

Agreed. NYPD Blue was the show that introduced me to you, Alan, and I loved the insight you and Amanda brought to your reviews.

I'm sure most Blue fans are down on Danny Sorenson, but I for one thought he was a more interesting character than John Clark, who I found rather bland in comparison.

The only interesting thing I found about Clark was his relationship with his dad, it was a shame they killed him off.

If only the writers had focused more on confident Danny than neurotic Danny, maybe he would be remembered more fondly. His first two seasons rocked, I still re-watch them now and again.

Nana said...

Wow. I actually feel obligated to check out Raising The Bar. He was just played it perfect here.

Small quip: why can't NBC just leave in the highlight clip of the thing that the guest is trying to promote? It feels like they're shortchanging 'em.

This is one of the rare times I could understand why Jimmy Fallon was breaking a bit when he was supposed to be timed out. He does seem genuinely excited about this reunion.

I can totally see why Dustin Diamond wouldn't want to do it. Not like the rest of the cast set the acting world on fire but he would have to get over all the awkwardness.

Brandy said...

I have to sy it was impressed that they got MPG to do Zach... but the Pres Obama ordered buzz cut was fun tv... as was the camo suit!

LoopyChew said...

@Nana: I'm assuming they don't have web clearance rights for whatever clip they were promoting.

Zack Morris wins, hands down. Not that I don't love lines like "No, my ears are really that big," but...ZACK MORRIS! Constant audience narration! Time-outs! How could you not love that?!

Jennifer said...

Didn't look like Tiffani-Amber had signed on either.

This was just AWESOME. Go with it, MPG!

Andrew said...

Here's another clever comedy bit from last night.

Bruce Willis: Late Show Intern

J.J. said...

Screech will show up if there's ever a reunion. The guy is hard up. I still remember him from 2006, or whatever, going on Howard Stern desperately promoting a sex tape and trying to sell t-shirts.

First of all, I doubt most of the others would show up for a reunion. And I doubt anybody is even talking about it. Surely this is just some bit (like the summer years back when Conan threatened to fire La Bamba unless "Dirty Dancing" got re-released in theaters).

But if a reunion were seriously being discussed at any level, you know Screech would be onboard. He has no appreciable pride or shame, and he needs to jumpstart his career so he's not just doing standup, getting heckled by drunk college kids. The only reason he'd hold out would be as part of some scheme to position himself as the last remaining holdout so he can command a better ransom for his inclusion. But, even then, I am certain he'd fall in line when they threatened to move ahead without him.

amysa said...

Obama, Colbert and the buzzcut were very, very funny, but hair grows back. Dignity doesn't. MPG wins this one, hands down. He was hilarious. Hit all the necessary Zack Morris notes (phone, band, talking to the audience), made fun of SBTB (the bit about moving to CA w/ his two best friends and his principal) and never once broke character. Plus, he seemed to be having a good time.

Wrt Screech, I would assume that he would want something more than just a tv appearance out of it. I have no idea if the guy's really a douche or, assuming he used to be, if he's changed, but I remember reading story after hilarious story a few years ago when he was doing the comedy club circuit from people who were just blown away by the ego on that guy and the things he demanded. And he didn't want anything to do with SBTB or Screech. Seems that the other guys get the joke and find it entertaining/are willing to make fun of themselves. Not so sure about him.

PFJ said...

There are few things that always make me laugh, but any reference to Stansbury as the Harvard of the West will always make me laugh.

Tracey said...

Wow, Jimmy Fallon really stinks... MPG was dead on and very funny, but Fallon just... I don't know, maybe it's the writing, because Fallon didn't really have anything to say, and looked uncomfortable saying it. It was clear that he had lines, but it felt like he forgot them and was improvising something that he didn't think was funny.

Chuck Nottheshow said...

@mjmercado: An Amanda callback! I loved Amanda's Blue commentary! Alan, how is Amanda these days?

Savvy Veteran said...

I too am one of the many that grew up watching "Saved By the Bell" every day (2x/day, actually) in syndication, so naturally I laughed hysterically throughout the entire thing. I'm glad that he's finally comfortable laughing about Zack Morris; I recall reading an interview with him about 7 years ago where he stated that one of his pet peeves was being referred to as Zack. I'm glad that his career has matured beyond that point.

Also: Love the little throw-away remark referring to "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." I always thought it was funny when they would air those shows on TBS (or any other channel) as if they had been part of the SBTB run. Funny stuff.

Oaktown Girl said...

I don't know if it's true that "everybody" disliked MPG's hair, but it's certainly true that people are far more likely to write letters of complaint than praise. Had I known it was an issue, I would have written that I was fine with his hair. I rather liked it simply because it was not the typical style. But I see on the preview over at TNT that they had him grow his hair extra long and shaggy so it really does look bad, thus justifying the haircut. Too bad. The new look is totally boring, and makes him less attractive than in season 1. (The season 2 intentionally bad hair doesn't count).

Re: SBTB, I guess I was out of the target age range (too old) when that show came on, so I never saw it.

Nana said...

Thx, Loopy, that explains it. The people should just clear it though. It's promotion, promote!

Digital rights still an issue after writers strike? Lame!

BigTed said...

I watched a the first couple episodes of "Raising the Bar" and found them dull, so I haven't watched it since. But I think it's funny that one of Gosselaar's costars is Natalia Cigliuti, who starred in "Saved by the Bell: The New Class."

GabbyD said...

colbert was amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

Just did a wiki search of SBTB: The new class. I was amazed to learn that it lasted 7 years. Although I remember the next generation show, I always assumed it only lasted a couple seasons and then was cancelled.

jim treacher said...

I'm gonna go with Gosselaar, because he was actually funny.