To paraphrase a previous review, Jon Lovitz joined the cast in the notorious 1985-86 season. The show was in a bind a this point. The previous 1984 season (the last under Dick Ebersol's reign as execuitve producer) was a big hit thanks to a largely all star cast including Billy Crystal and Martin Short. Lorne Michaels returned as the show's driving force this year, and began searching for raw talrnt to bring the sho back to life. The cast he found was a large assortment of future stars, including Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Lovitz, Dennis Miller and Nora Dunn. Despite a wide range of talent, the cast didn't work out, and the show was actually cancelled at one point during the summer of 1986. However, Lorne beged for another chance and did what is known in tv as an overhaul, he fired the majority of the cast but kept three promising performers: Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn and Lovitz.
Now, 20 years after joining the cast, Jon Lovitz has finally got his own best of. Although most of the best of's leave SNL fans divided, this dvd is actually a pretty accurate sampling of his work on the show.
To give a brief overview, this dvd gives us sketches featuring all of Lovitz's most popular charcters, including Tonto, Master Thespian, Mephistophilles (the devil incarnate) and the unforgettable Tommy Flannagan, Pathalogical Liar. There are also a few impressions thrown in, including a hysterical Harvey Fierstein bit that had me in stitches. There is also a montage featuring snippets of some other memorable impressions, such as Michael Dukakis (and as one reviewer mentioned, dead on), David Crosby and Queen Elizabeth. There are some sketches that I didn't like such (I could've done without "Tales Of Ribaldry" and especially the one with John Malcovich), but otherwise, this is a really great dvd.
The bonus materials are also very good. I didn't watch the dress sketch yet, but it looks pretty good, something about WWII. His Conan appearance is hilarious, the photo gallery a standard bonus on all best of's and his dress rehearsal is a little boring but shows his talent in progress.
Overall, this is a very well done best of for Mr. Lovitz. It's nice to see the show honoring its legends from long ago.