I don’t know what the hell I just saw. I just know that it’s Shuggypop’s fault. He got a hold of me today, saying that he had the perfect movie for me to feature in Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre. Intrigued, I invited him to my house, where he proceeded to show me the most mind-blowing thing I’ve seen since Trailer Town. I can best describe it as a home video variety show for the insane, hosted by a man with the body of Drew Carey and the rockin’ soul of Wesley Willis. And best of all, this guy is local. Jammin’ George found Shuggy and gave him one of the only copies of his Land of Fun, and our lives are forever changed by its majesty. I made a list of all the crazy shit that happens in Jammin’ George’s hour of power. That list is three times as long as this review is going to be.
Jammin’ George’s Land of Fun is roughly divided into a few themes: where George rocks out to music, where George talks to the camera and tells jokes, puppet shows, poetry reading, impersonations, long musical numbers, and bits where George just films whatever’s playing on television. As could be guessed, it’s roughly made and even more roughly edited. There are multiple times where George tells the cameraman to stop filming, the camera occasionally shows the time and date, and those long musical numbers get uncomfortably Kaufmaneque toward the end. But similar to the music of Wesley Willis, you have to take the rough to get the diamonds – and the diamonds are many.
Immediately, Jammin’ George takes no prisoners. He gets things started by wearing a purple beret and whirling around a countryside while “The Sound of Music” plays. The opening sketches are great, but the first one that really knocked me on my ass what when George wears a hot pink shirt and a hot pink feather boa and sashays around to the theme of “The Young and the Restless.” After a series of sketches in which his gray t-shirt gets progressively sweatier, he launches into a puppet show based on the Land of Make-Believe from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, where the cats get jobs cleaning King Friday’s bathroom. After a Manilow-inspired musical tribute to Oprah, George begins a few of those lengthy music and television phases, the most surprising two being a performance by Billy Corgan on the Bozo the Clown Show, and George filming a video of himself singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” A robot would have died from paradox at that point.
And then, there’s much, much more glorious ridiculousness.
Jammin’ George. LOCAL HERO.
Here are the notes I compiled as I allowed Jammin’ George to destroy my fragile little mind.
* * *
A variety show for the insane.
A cross between Drew Carey, Jim Gaffigan, and Wesley Willis
* * *
*George dancing to the Sound of Music in a purple beret
*Foxworthy Redneck joke. Bambi is the bible for hunters, and apparently Bambi is the story of the birth of Jesus
*“What would Alice from the Brady Bunch do at a time like this?” and then proceeds to sing.
*George provides rim shots to George Burns doing jokes at a Friar’s Roast while filming a picture of a rubber chicken. Then, a rim shot to “Get your damn hands off me, you damn dirty ape!”
*A creepy 12 Days of Christmas “Three burritos farting…”
*In a pink blazer and boa, swishing around to the theme from “The Young and the Restless.”
*Rock music playing over a pic of George and his mom (I think)
* * *
THE PROGRESSIVELY SWEATY GRAY SHIRT PHASE
*Gray shirt phase one: Interpretive dance to “Memory” from Cats, wearing a Pikachu coonskin cap, wearing a gray t-shirt that gets progressively sweatier as the sketches wear on
*Gray shirt phase two: stop motion to a rock out to the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden.”
*Gray shirt phase three: “Hello, Clarice,” into the phone. Then asks for milk from Kwik Trip and promises loving. Then hangs up and stares at the phone for an uncomfortable amount of time.
*Gray shirt phase four: Flailing and dancing his heart out to “She’s a maniac.” Kicks the air.
*Gray shirt phase five: Reading inspirational Maya Angelou quotes off a card. Offers his own inspirational quote about being wasted in Ambrosiaville
*Gray shirt phase six: Lady across the hall? Getting a pet rock neutered
*Gray shirt phase seven: Whistling to upbeat tropical guitar rock.
*Gray shirt phase eight: Playing with nun dolls and wearing a flying nun hat, while singing to “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”
* * *
*Daniel Tiger and Henrietta Pussycat sitting on a couch eating Funyuns and drining orange drink, then watching an episode of Mr. Rogers. George FILMS the actual show as it plays on his TV. Then he enters the Land of Make-Believe. King Friday interviews the cats, who get the jobs cleaning the toilets because nobody else applied. They go to dinner with everyone, and Daniel, a vegetarian, orders pasta and chicken, but gets ham. King Friday then fires them, and then Daniel shows off his truck to Henrietta.
*“An Opera of Oprah,” George dresses up as Oprah, and then Dr. Phil, who then serenades the camera to the tune of Manilow’s “Mandy.”
* * *
THE UNCOMFORTABLY LONG MUSIC AND TELEVISION PERIOD
*Films the TV as it plays HR Pufnstuf
*George teaches us to make toast. He does nothing unusual during this.
*Story Time: George reads his own episode of “Curb your Enthusiasm” to two guys on the couch. Classical music plays in the background. Excessive detail.
*Films the TV as Billy Corgan performs at the Bozo the Clown Show and a kid-filled montage plays.
*Films the TV as the opening to the Brady Bunch plays. George shouts “Alice!” when she shows up at the end. A slow burn with a big payoff.
*Films the TV as Jammin’ George sings “Wind Beneath My Wings” at a bar. Lives the lyrics. This would be the part where a robot’s head blows up from all the surrealism.
*A still photo of George on a couch, overlain by a touching acoustic guitar song titled “Don’t Laugh at Me.”
* * *
*A remake of The Flying Nun
*In a bunny suit, saying “Trix are for bunnies” before he hops around.
*In a curly red wig, pretending to knead dough. Wasted in Ambrosiaville, again.
* * *
THE LONG, UNCOMFORTABLE PHASE, PART TWO
*A long, uncomfortable shot of what I think is George pretending to be on life support in a bed, wearing an oxygen mask. He tries to pretend he’s in a coma, but occasionally twitches.
*White Balance Hell. George holds up a doll, doesn’t move at all, and blinks repeatedly into the camera while a Sinatra song plays in its entirety. The top of his head and the white wall behind him are indistinguishable. At the end, he grabs a pie and smashes it into his face.
*Wearing a cheesehead top hat, twirling a cane around and kicking to “New York, New York.” Occasionally his kicks run out of steam.
* * *
*Wearing a blond wig, possibly making fun of a Toyota dealership.
*Holding a bible and singing Alleluia.
*“As David Letterman would say, “’Here Kitty Kitty.’”
*I don’t want pancakes
*His country song, while wearing a cheesehead cowboy hat
*Dr. Phil, get excited about your life!
*Imitating the guy from Sling Blade. Grunting.
*Reading a poem – “A Filet of Aspirin” “Slow dancing with Charo/ Give me the simple life.”
*In the car joke.
*Singing about biscuits
*Imitating Lucille ball by crying loudly in a red wig
*In another wig, singing
*Flo from Alice “Kiss my grits!”
*Saturday Night Fever
*Wearing a curly wig and imitating John Legend
* * *
HOT PINK SHIRT
*In a hot pink blazer and shirt, saying that if you crossed Howie Mandel with Nathan Lane, you’d get Annoying Olympics
*Singing about how great life is
*Getting serious: “You will never go down the drain. You’re bigger than all the soap and all the bubbles.”
*Pretending to vacuum
*Getting a phone call from himself, in a wig
*Imitating Aunt Bee and Andy Griffith
*Save big money at Menards. “A 15 Inch tape measurer…”
* * *
*Filming the end of John Travolta’s Bubble Boy. “They don’t make songs like that anymore!” As Travolta rides away with a girl on horseback, George cheers that Bubble Boy got the girl.
* * *
*Wearing a bunch of wigs and acting like a lady
*Dressed up as an old veteran who thinks George is disturbed.
*Audition for Wheel of Fortune: clapping a lot.
*Being “On TV”: wearing a TV on his head. Imitates Mr. Brady, has a nun on TV, then sings the Down the Drain song again.
*Sings “Ebony and Ivory” to bring the whites and blacks together.
*Bothers the Curb Your Enthusiasm guys as they walk down the hall
*Two dolls eating dinner
*George in a car, saying that he has a reason to live
*Playing the guy in the sweet shop, as well as the customer
*An appeal for a job
*Jammin’ George’s Land of Fun – sponsored by Jean-Claude Van Damme (Films Bloodsport commercial)
*Wearing a Cubs jersey, reading a poem that begs God to kill him. Waits for God to kill him for a minute of silence. Continues the poem, which gets progressively more ridiculous. Concludes that simple things in life are best. Then sits there for another minute.
*Walks off to the forest in his purple beret, turns and waves goodbye
*One last thing to say: “Adios!”
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