The Completely Mental Misadventures Of Ed Grimley

Saw this cartoon based on Martin Short’s SCTV/SNL character for the first time this week. Albeit in washed out, nth generation tape-o-vision via the evil powers of the internet. It’s surprisingly “totally decent” for a 1980s Hanna Barbera cartoon. This is for a number of reasons.

  • Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Joe Flaherty and Jonathan Winters doing the voices, with Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Christopher Guest and Ringo Starr (?!) showing up as needed.
  • The show has a formula, which is amusing in itself in how it gets shoehorned into the story.
    • Ed Grimley segment
    • Gustav Brothers segment (in which the brothers try and explain the science behind the pickle Ed is in)
    • Ed Grimley segment
    • Count Floyd’s Scary Stories segment (which Ed is actually watching in the cartoon)
    • Ed Grimley segment.
  • Ed himself is interestingly animated, even if a lot of the other characters look like they’ve walked in from an animation based on some stale newspaper strip. Ed though, really captures the physical aspects of Martin Short’s performances.
  • Joe Flaherty’s live action Count Floyd segments (another SCTV character). I think it was an episode of Doug Benson’s I Love Movies, where they pointed out that Joe Flaherty could pretty much do his Sammy Maudlin character straight and it would work. Well he comes kind of close to playing Count Floyd straight here, with an actual audience of (acting) kids. However just as his scary movies on SCTV were somewhat lame, his scary stories are similarly lame here.
  • The writing is really good. Most episodes involve Ed setting off to do something that should be really easy, but ends up incredibly complicated. Then on top of that you’ve got plots that play with the pop culture of the target audiences parents (or even grandparents). So you get an episode with a lot of Bob Hope in it, another with a murderous Bing Crosby, and one which shows what happened to the farm in Wizard of Oz while Dorothy was in her coma. And because Ed is written interacting with other characters, he comes across less annoying than he does in Short’s hyperactive monologues with the character. With Martin Short and Michael Short both involved with the creative side of things, as well as all the SCTV alumni, it perhaps feels the most like a proper SCTV spinoff of any of their post-SCTV projects.