Sunday, April 16, 2017

Who remembers FRIDAYS?

After SATURDAY NIGHT premiered on NBC, ABC soon followed with FRIDAYS.  It was always considered an SNL knockoff but had some pretty inspired stuff and some amazing talent.  Larry David was in the cast.  So was Michael Richards.  Here's a cool very meta sketch back when no one was doing meta sketches.   Michael Richards and Mary Edith Burrell play the parents and Melanie Chartoff is the little girl.   Check out FRIDAYS.


28 comments :

Honeycutt Powell said...

The first time I watched Fridays, Michael Richards was in a skunk suit emitting fumes from his ass. That was also the last time I watched Fridays.

Michael Hagerty said...

Great show. Infinitely better than SNL at the time (though, those were the Jean Doumanian years of SNL, so test patterns were better than SNL). And Melanie Chartoff.....(sigh)

Michael Hagerty said...

FRIDAYS was a great show. Infinitely better than SNL at the time (though those were the Jean Doumanian years of SNL and a test pattern was better). And Melanie Chartoff....(sigh)

Earl B said...

I think FRIDAYS has been unfairly forgotten and/or dismissed. It may have been inconsistent, but it had intelligence, and occasionally produced classics like the Ronny Horror Show (probably the show's crowning achievement).

Brian said...

The Head Writer of "Fridays" was Jack Burns, maybe better known for the comedy team of "Burns & Schreiber" and before that, "Burns & Carlin"... yes, Jack and George Carlin were a comedy team in the very early 60's and lifelong friends.

RyderDA said...

THE BEST sketch on Fridays was the recurring bit with Bruce Mahler using a raw chicken as a puppet. Absolute insanity.

YEKIMI said...

Yes, at the time I thought Fridays was better in many ways then SNL. Too bad it didn't last very long. Why ABC ever decided to move it from late night to primetime is beyond me. That's what killed it.

Mike Schryver said...

FRIDAYS always seemed cheap and crass to me. As has been pointed out, after Jean Doumanian tool over SNL, FRIDAYS started looking pretty good in comparison. But soon we had SCTV as an alternative, and FRIDAYS died a quiet death.

ScarletNumber said...

> ABC soon followed with FRIDAYS

Soon being 4½ years later.

Ron Rettig said...

Remember when Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell was an ABC show and premiered a month before NBC Saturday. As I remember it NBC was irked to find out the name of the ABC show as it was planning to use Saturday Night Live, which it eventually did.

Max said...

I haven't seen FRIDAYS since it first aired, but my memory of it is that the show overall was pretty lame, but that they had some good musical guests. The ABC affiliate where I lived carried it at 10:30 p.m. (central time) for awhile, then dumped it to after midnight and went back to showing the old horror movies at 10:30 that they'd been running before FRIDAYS premiered. Apparently, FRIDAYS couldn't draw as well as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

after Jean Doumanian tool over SNL, FRIDAYS started looking pretty good in comparison

FRIDAYS, hell. F TROOP looked pretty good in comparison.

Ruby said...

Thanks score keeper. You must be fun at parties.

thirteen said...

Of course I remember Fridays. I had a terrible crush on Melanie Chartoff. There. I said it and I'm glad.

John Lloyd said...

Melanie Chartoff -- Holy Smokes.

VincentS said...

Yes, I remember FRIDAYS. The first time I saw Michael Richards I couldn't believe how skinny he was. The Williams Shatner show I thought was great.

Stoney said...

If I remember correctly, "Fridays" frequently had a delayed start time because ABC was doing late night updates on the Iran hostage crisis; programming that soon evolved into "Nightline".

Remember the Andy Kaufman incident? Andy breaks out of a sketch saying "I can't play stoned". Michael Richards walks offstage to get the cue cards and throw them in front of Andy who, in turn, throws water at him. Jack Burns comes onstage yelling at Andy before the show cuts to commercial.

Nevin ":-)" said...

I'm disappointed. You didn't pick any of the Rabbis doing one of their Matzoi sketches, such as https://youtu.be/CfNdovRsZYw

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember Andy Kaufman and Michael Richards having a big fight or "scripted" fight.
Janice B.

normadesmond said...

i seem to recall michael richards in drag going up or down an
escalator accompanied by canned laughter and his line was, "oh shut up."


i guess a little like little richard.

Mibbitmaker said...

With SNL being my favorite show since 1976, of course I was a fan of Fridays. Yes, it could be sophomoric at times, but also very funny. The funniest thing I saw on that show was on or around January 1982, starting as a Today Show parody with guest Howard E. Rollins (that week's host), and ran him through many daytime shows, each one humiliating the guy in more absurd ways. That show/sketch never seems to show up anywhere online or in any Fridays DVD releases that I know of.

I also would love to see the one primetime special they did (and ended the series on). There was one particular sketch with a bunch of shoppers "stuck" on a stalled escalator, panicking. Notably, this premise was ripped off by SNL in the '00s (maybe early '10s). Don't know if they were even aware at the time, roughly 20-some years later.

Mike Britt said...

I loved FRIDAYS and still do! Either the first show or one of the early ones introduced the character of Ken the Monster played by Mark Blankfield to insane perfection. I just watched that segment again on the BEST OF FRIDAYS dvd and I'm still grinning. The Drugs R Us pharmacist was also a Blankfield character that appeared with regularity. If I recalled correctly, Melanie Chartoff's underpants also appeared with regularity.

Andy Rose said...

Speaking of Drugs R Us, it's remarkable how much drug stuff the networks would let late night shows get away with in the pre-Just Say No 80s. In his book about SCTV, Dave Thomas said when NBC bought their show, one of the first notes they got from the network was to have more drug humor, and to put it at the beginning of the show. The network said drug jokes had "youth appeal."

Stephen said...

The ABC affiliate where I lived carried it at 10:30 p.m. (central time) for awhile, then dumped it to after midnight

That was a problem ABC had with FRIDAYS throughout its run. Many affiliates, disappointed with the show's performance, ratings-wise, opted to delay it and run it later, often after midnight, which made it difficult for FRIDAYS to build an audience. I knew someone, a big fan of the show at the time, who complained because his local ABC station, after a few months, started showing FRIDAYS an hour late, choosing to show a rerun of GUNSMOKE in its place.

Scott Schaefer said...

Here's a link to the infamous Andy Kaufman "fight" incident:

https://youtu.be/bN5vhvIAqY8

Andrew said...

Never knew until Googling it (because of this post) that the whole Andy Kaufman feud on Fridays was scripted.

It's also really enjoyable to watch pre-Kramer Michael Richards.

Brad Apling said...

Here's a Friday (not Fridays) question in two parts: When you were approached to write a pilot for a series, did you always know the 'whole story' beforehand or did the creator(s) just say something like "I'd like a comedic series about a bar in Boston" or "...two brothers who run a small airline in New England"? Second part is: Were you able to pull out pieces of rejected scripts for one TV show and use them successfully in a later show? I would imagine that a good writer never tosses anything away, just in case...

James Van Hise said...

I enjoyed Fridays a lot, especially the Michael Richards routine where he played a little boy playing with toy soldiers he'd set on fire and then do sound effects of the toys screaming. They also did the only clever parody of Rocky Horror I've ever seen because they actually understood what it was about whereas other parodies just go the superficial route. As I understand it, the show was expensive to produce as they did a lot of stuff on location which is much more expensive than being stagebound like other similar shows. Plus one of the show's key producers got ill and died which caused problems as he was one of the key creative people on the show.

M.B. Los Angeles said...

I used to watch Fridays. I can't say it was better than SNL, but it did have it's moments. Speaking of "drug humor," one if my favorite bits was Darrow Igus'(sp?) Rastafarian, "Ganja!" cooking show. It was a one joke sketch, yet funny none the less. I also liked Bruce Mahler's "Mexican Radio station" sketch. I have no proof, but I'm guessing the song, "Mexican Radio" was inspired by that bit. And, of course I too had a MAJOR crush on Melanie Chartoff. I met her once and mentioned it to her. She wasn't rude about it, but it did seem like she'd heard it a thousand times before.