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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Flashback: "Bizarre"

"You're a putz, Mike". . .

The comments on an earlier post brought back some memories of this lost gem from the 1980's, "Bizarre". Since alot of people seemed unfamiliar with the title, I dug up the following. . .

Bizarre was a weekly Canadian TV sketch comedy series, airing from 1980 to 1985, originally on Showtime. The show was hosted by John Byner, and produced by Bob Einstein for the CTV television network. Einstein also portrayed regular character Super Dave Osborne.

The series contained slapstick sketches, monologues, TV parodies, and performances by guest stand-up comics. Interactions between John and members of the studio audience, or show producer Bob Einstein, who often came in to halt a sketch midway through, provided an early example of removing the fourth wall. Much of the humor on the show was considered risque during the original run of the series.

Intro - Bizarre (1980)

Two versions of the show were produced: the Showtime cable network episodes in the United States contained nudity and coarse language. The versions that aired on CTV (and later in syndication) had the nudity removed and the language bleeped by a horn-honking sound. Although the "adult" version is most closely associated with Showtime, it did go out on a few independent TV stations during the 1980s, playing as late-night fare, although the "clean" version is the one that was more commonly found in syndication.The "adult" version has not aired on television since the Showtime airings and original syndication ceased in the late 1980s. The syndicated episodes have been rebroadcast since.

"Bizarre" TV series clip (McSex) 1984

A regular feature of the show was Super Dave Osborne, played by Bob Einstein. Super Dave would perform elaborate mock stunts meant to enthrall viewers; a reporter would assist in framing the sketch. Inevitably, the stunt would fail spectacularly, resulting in severe, hilarious injury to Super Dave. These sketches would usually finish with a view of the scene, in which Super Dave was buried, encased, launched etc., as appropriate for the sketch. Meanwhile, feigning agony, Super Dave would discuss sundry details - information about the next show, why the stunt failed, or what he'd do to the reporter once he recovered from his injuries.

First Super Dave Osborne sketch

Bizarre Kung-Fu Clip

"Gonna Lift us Up" - Byner & Osborne

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Blogger Vic DeMize said...

You didn't mention that Bob Einstein spun off his Super Dave character into a franchise of its own, including a talk show, an animated series and even a feature-length movie. Einstein, incidentally, is Albert Brooks' brother.

title="comment permalink">February 17, 2008 8:57 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Nicely done - thank you!

title="comment permalink">February 17, 2008 9:03 PM  
Blogger Human said...

No wonder I never heard of the show before. I did not have cable access until about 10 years ago. I do remember watching Super Dave somewhere. I remember a certain clip where he is driving a double decker.
He was a bust up.

title="comment permalink">February 20, 2008 7:52 PM  

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