The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley: The Complete Series
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Martin Short’s immortal creation Ed Grimley, the nicest nerd to ever slick up a top knot, began life during Short’s Second City days and followed him onto Saturday Night Live. As Short’s comedy career took off, so too did the fame of his creation, and Ed eventually “graduated” from late night to early morning. Short provides the voice for Ed, and is joined by a coterie of comedy compatriots including fellow SCTV alums Joe Flaherty, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, venerated voice vet Frank Welker, and the titanically talented Jonathan Winters. Ed lives with his goldfish - Moby - and a clever rat named Sheldon while sharing screen time with the science-teaching team of the Amazing Gustav Brothers and spooky storytelling time with Count Floyd. This 2-Disc Collection presents all 13 of Ed’s amazing animated antic adventures – Totally Decent! Tuna casserole awaits!
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The good news is that here are thirteen great episodes of this quirky show. I might have a bone to pick with some of the writers/ storyboarders (although not nearly as much as on shows like Animaniacs. Why do the villains have to be caricatures of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby? Nevertheless, this show, made in conjunction with Colossal Pictures, which did MTV's Liquid Television, was in every way a breath of fresh air when it first hit the airwaves in 1988. Its enormously clever combination of live action (Count Floyd, and occasionally Martin Short in a cameo), and animation are wonderfully handled.
I have to agree with another reviewer that the episode, "Good Neighbor Ed" is a high point. The writing is about ten times better than most of the episodes, even though most of the show's writing is at least OK (not nearly as uneven as many recent cartoon series, in which episodes vary widely depending who wrote or storyboarded them). This show obviously doesn't take itself too seriously, and it doesn't try too hard. It avoids the strident voice and over-acting that have come to plague modern TV. Ed is nothing if not subtle. And likable. And clever. SCTV's talented cast glides seamlessly into animation. No wonder this is a cult classic. It's truly a high point of late '80s animation. How can you say it's not?
Goofy and earnest-to-a-fault Ed Grimley lives with his goldfish and tries to be of assistance to his neighbors and just about anyone he runs into who needs help. My favorite episode is "Good Neighbor Ed", in which Ed tries getting photos of all his neighbors in the entire neighborhood. His landlord (Jonathan Winters) and his wife (Andrea Martin) bicker hilariously; then there's a live clip where Count Floyd tries to convince us that lounge singer Skippy High (Martin Short) is scary (he has a lisp and bores the children). The humor is goofy, basically SCTV in cartoon form. Martin Short is a riot when he plays multiple characters.
These episodes look (and sound) pretty good on dvd, though they're not in widescreen as they were created for television in the 1980's. There are no extras.
The inclusion of Count Flloyd, and the voice of Andrea Martin were, I thought, a nice touch. But my two adolescent kids, with a totally different frame of reference, are not impressed, which is sad...
Definitely worth having a few, if you're old enough to remember the 80's. Does that sound Mental?