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Ouch! It's The Snuz Brothers!

'The Snuz Brothers' are a series of "Alternative Physical Comedy" shorts once featured on the (now defunct) Super Deluxe.Com, an adjunct of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

Created by comic performers Eric Hoffman and Jay Johnston, the misadventures of the quarrelsome German brothers both perpetuate and satirize the timeless art of slapstick humor in films. See for yourself below...

- Eric Hoffman was a writer for HBO's Mr. Show & co-wrote McSweeney's Comedy by the Numbers.

- Jay Johnston was seen on Mr. Show and is most often recognized as 'Officer Jay' on The Sarah Silverman Program.
He is also a co-creator of the stop-motion animation series
Moral Orel and the upcoming Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, airing on Adult Swim.

- Click on these two 'movie posters' to watch more of The Snuz Brothers, or visit the Snuz Brothers' Channel on YouTube, and the Snuz Brothers' MySpace page.

- Follow this link to an interview with Jay Johnston regarding The Snuz Brothers and his thoughts on physical comedy.

Richard Schaal in Jim Henson's teleplay, 'The Cube' (1969)

- This post continues from one posted at I'm Learning To Share, regarding some of Jim Henson's earlier muppetless productions.
Follow link to: Time out from the muppets:
Young Jim Henson's 'Tick-Tock Sick' (1960) and Time Piece (1965)

Other folks have previously blogged about 'The Cube', but as some of the links in those older posts appear to be dead, it looks like it's my turn...

The other night I did a bit of 'comfort viewing' and watched an old episode of Rhoda running on Hulu.

Among the instantly familiar '70s sitcom faces, I recognized
Richard Schaal, a character actor who was very visible on TV and in movies from the 1960s into the '80s.

I did vaguely recall that he'd once been married to Valerie Harper, which might have had a little to do with his recurring guest appearances in different roles on so many of the MTM shows.

Schaal became a member of Chicago's Second City improv comedy troupe in the early 1960s, and was one of their featured players for much of that decade.

In 1964, he joined the cast of the American TV version of
That Was the Week That Was, moved through the decade with guest shots on lots of TV sitcoms and dramas, had small roles in
'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming', 'Slaughterhouse-Five' and other movies, and appeared with several other Second City alums on Broadway in the early '70's in Paul Sills' Story Theatre (and was on the subsequent Canadian TV series).

Also among Schaal's interesting credits is his leading role in an avant-garde existential teleplay, 'The Cube'.
It first aired in 1969 as an episode of the NBC anthology series, Experiment in Television, and was a creation of
Jim Henson, in one of his rare non-Muppet ventures.

In 'The Cube', ▼ Schall's unnamed character is suprised to find himself stuck in a small enclosed white-paneled space, apparently unable to leave as a variety of odd characters come and go as they please, adding to his confusion and anxiety.

Running time of the teleplay is about 53 minutes.

Alternate video link: The version embedded here is in color, with a relatively clear picture.
Perhaps given the look and feel of the piece, many people prefer viewing the much grainier black & white version that has been posted more often. (follow link)

- See also:
An episode guide for 'NBC Experiment in Television'(1967-71)

Nina Hagen tweaks The Tubes: 'White Punks On Dope' and 'TV-Glotzer' (1977, 1978)

An anthem of excess,
'White Punks On Dope' closed out the eponymously-titled
debut album by The Tubes,
released in 1975.

The song was a featured production number for the
San Francisco-based group's live shows, legendary in the bay area and beyond for being as much outrageous and satiric burlesque revue as rock act.

Written as a tribute to a select portion of their fanbase of the era, it struck a nerve and 'WPOD' became a popular graffito for many years following.

In the persona of Glam monster 'Quay Lewd', lead singer
Fee Waybill tumbled off of
his absurd platform shoes almost as often as he fell out of his
silver lame' (or aluminum foil) costume.

The Tubes made an
appearance on British TV's
The Old Grey Whistle Test on Tuesday November 8th, 1977, coinciding with their sold-out ten-day run of concerts at
London's Hammersmith Odeon, during their first overseas tour.
Recordings from those concerts were released the following year as The Tubes' 4th album, What Do You Want from Live.

(Later dates in that concert tour were cancelled when Fee Waybill broke his leg onstage, though reportedly not while in the Quay costume.

When Nina Hagen left East Germany in 1976, her earlier singing career was derailed.
After visiting England at the height of the Punk movement, she settled in Hamburg, West Germany, and formed the Nina Hagen Band in 1977, becoming a fascinating punk diva.

Her version of 'White Punks On Dope' appeared on her first LP, but was not a true cover in the strictest sense;
She changed the lyrics and meaning completely, turning it into a song about television addiction.

- Follow link to the lyrics section of a Hagen website.

Click on the 'Nina Hagen Band' album cover at the top of the left-hand sidebar, then click on 'TV-Glotzer (White Punks on Dope)' to see both the German lyrics and an English translation.

Below, her concert
performance of 'TV-Glotzer' at the Westfalenhalle Dortmund on December 12th, 1978 was televised on an episode of German TV's Rockpalast.

- A chronological collection of other Nina Hagen video clips can be seen at POCIMAS DEL DRUIDA.

- For a collection of rare and early Tubes video clips , follow link to The Tubes Project channel on YouTube.

Mel Brooks' 'The Critic' (1963)

(click on poster image to enlarge in a new window)

Prior to his career as a producer / director for TV and feature film, Ernest Pintoff received an Oscar for Best Animated Short in April of 1964 for his film 'The Critic', which had premiered in
New York the previous May.

In a gentle lampoon of the style of innovative animated films created by
Norman McLaren and other filmmakers from The National Film Board of Canada, 'The Critic' featured the voice of Mel Brooks as an outspoken senior citizen sitting in the audience.

Brooks had been writing for TV since the 1950s and
'Your Show of Shows', which led to his stand-up partnership with
Carl Reiner and their string of comedy albums that began in 1961.

In 1962 Brooks provided the book for the Broadway musical production of 'All American', but the show flopped, and it would be many years before Brooks returned to Broadway.

Brooks collaborated with Buck Henry to create TV's
'Get Smart' in 1965.
1968's 'The Producers' marked his return to movies, and his debut as a feature film director.

- For a very thorough examination of the creation of 'The Critic' and other Mel Brooks short films, follow the link to
Smarter Than The Average!

- For more about Ernest Pintoff's animation, follow link to
Cartoon Modern, where you can view 'Flebus', a cartoon he directed for Terrytoons in 1957, and Frederator has posted about Pintoff's
'The Interview', from 1961.