How We Hurted Ourselves II

So. After the drawn-out dismal debauchery of Starcrash II, aka Escape from Galaxy 3, aka Dear Sweet Lord What Is This Crap, Rick decided it was finally time for him to experience Ginger. Dave left the room for a moment, and since we were unable to switch his coffee for Folger’s Crystals at that late hour, we instead switched his low-budget sleaze for Pink Lady & Jeff.

How best to preface this? Pink Lady & Jeff is one of those legendarily awful shows that is usually lumped in with stuff like Turn On (a half-hour Laugh-In clone that was canceled after one episode) and You’re In The Picture (a Jackie Gleason-hosted game show which also lasted one episode). The thing is, Pink Lady & Jeff ran for five complete episodes, out of the six it had shot. NBC kept this thing limping along for five weeks.

Pink Lady were Mie and Kei, a Japanese singing duo that were filling stadiums in their native land at the time. So bring them over for a fast six episodes probably sounded like a good gamble, if you ignore one fact: the girls did not speak English. And the producers – oh yes, Sid and Marty Krofft – decided that they would only sing in English, and say their lines phonetically in their “comedy” banter with so-star Jeff Altman.

Jeff Altman is the Antichrist of comedy. He is the only comedian I have ever seen bomb – and bomb miserably, even the crickets were silent – on The Tonight Show. And since the headliners spoke no English, their duties were minimized to lip-synching their earlier recorded English songs, dancing, and the occasional line during the sketches – and every single comedy sketch stars Jeff Altman. Altman was still doing Nixon jokes in 1980, which gives you some idea of the quality of the material on display here, and even the guest stars are drawn into the whirlpool of despair that is Pink Lady & Jeff.

A pre-Ernest Jim Varney is on the regular cast, always playing straight man to Altman, an appalling waste of talent second only to all the times I was not cast as Hamlet. I’ll be honest: I can only stand Pink Lady & Jeff in 20 minute doses. So I took pity on Dave – and myself – and put on Ginger. Here’s some of the very small amount they’ll let you put on YouTube:

(Allow me to intrude from the future. In the intervening years, someone has taken down the tame clip I originally posted, but now there’s a totally sleazy and extremely NSFW trailer. Go figure. Be wise about where you click this:)

Ginger is a rich girl who is – for reasons unknown to everyone with a smidgen of gray matter – recruited to take on a crime ring in some Jersey suburb. Well, the reason seems to be she volunteered, and everyone else the detective agency sent in got killed. Anyway, Ginger uses her powers of Applied Sluttiness  to break things up, and turns out to be a complete psychopath working through every trauma in her life. This includes committing murder twice, castrating some poor bastard, having lesbian sex and engaging in the Citizen Kane of catfight scenes. I did a full review, back in the day, if you’re interested. I haven’t broken the news yet that there are two sequels, but given that were enthusiastic in joining in with the thug Jimmy’s demands for “Hot. White ASS!!!!” I guess it was enjoyed.

It was, by now, 3AM, and we were all feeling the effect of accumulated crap weighing on our brains. So we agreed to meet again Sunday, and continue this pointless mangling of our formerly beautiful minds.

And you know what that means: more Pink Lady & Jeff.