All posts by jixbyphillips

comedy sketch where a small child gets him and his mother killed by playing with a garage door opener, causing a bomb to drop on their car

This one has been haunting me; it’s a comedy sketch that scared the crap out of me as a kid. I remembered it airing on Letterman in the late 80s/early 90s, but I’ve spoken to a leading Letterman expert/archivist and he thought it sounded way too dark of a sketch to appear there. I agree with him, but Letterman is the only late night comedy I remember watching at this time. I had trouble sleeping as a kid, would crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to join my parents who stayed up each night to watch Dave’s show. In all likelihood, it was probably 1987-1992. I successfully dated another formative Dave bit as having taken place in 1989, so around there.

The sketch: a small child is in the car with his mother. In my memory the footage was documentary style, almost as if they were taking the footage out of context and adding a newly filmed comedic part. The footage depicts a small child mindlessly playing with a garage door opener, the kind typically clipped to the a car’s visor. The mom lightly scolds the kid to stop playing with the garage door opener. The kid presses a button. This causes the doors of a bomber jet (depicted via stock footage) flying overhead to open. A bomb drops on the car. BOOM! cut back to the car, the mother and child are now smoldering skeletons. I remember uproarious audience laughter. I was terrified!

Google turns up very little, and I’ve only ever found my own various internet postings about this same sketch. I’m totally fine with people just listing sketch/late night comedy shows that might have material like this around that timeframe. It’s probably not SNL, because multiple sites have SNL sketches pretty well catalogued and I’d probably have found it there. Not Kids in the Hall either, I know my KITH. My childhood memory INSISTS it was on Letterman, but I’ve been discouraged from barking up that tree. Any ideas would be welcome.

Short: kid is afraid of the barber for fear his ear will get cut off

Okay, I remember this airing as programming filler on Nick or maybe some other children’s television block. The premise is a kid is scared to go to the barber because he thinks he’ll get his ear cut off during the haircut. The barber turns out to be a whimsical, funny guy. Kind of a magician type who conjurs up silly things out of thin air to amuse the kid. Cartoony magical-realism kinda stuff. The kid has a great time getting his hair cut! Then the mother picks the kid up from the barber and says “see that wasn’t so bad, was it?” the kid replies “what?” like he’s hard of hearing. the final shot of the film is the barber depositing the child’s ear into the jar of barbicide. I would have seen this in the 90s.

This is tough to google because there’s a viral video going around where a barber pranked a kid into thinking his ear got cut off so search terms usually bring that up and only that. Little help?

Additional info: This was a short film that aired on TV. Probably made for TV, given it’s length (it filled about a commercial break’s worth of a time if I recall correctly). There’s a chance it’s a small part of a larger piece, like cut from an anthology film or TV series. In tone it reminded me of those shortform comedic sketches that would air as part of Night Gallery, but I would bet on this being an 80s or 90s production. Thanks!

“you lucky, lucky boy!”

This is a stray line from a movie that keeps popping up in my head and I can’t pinpoint where it’s from. I’ve tossed it out to friends and everyone I know is stumped. I will describe the skeleton of the scene and then add more details, because there’s a chance those details are me retroactively filling in the blanks or making stuff up.

A young child is begging on the street. An old, clearly rich, seemingly out-of-touch man gives the boy a pitiful amount of money. Acting as if he’s done the child a huge favor he says something like “Here you go– you lucky, lucky boy!”

Foggy recollections of the scene: watched it in the 90s. Movie is probably a 90s movie, possibly 80s. It’s one of those kids movies that’s on the darker side, the kind you recollect as an adult and wonder, “why was a movie like that ever made for kids??”

The context of the scene I remember is this: the kid is in a dreadful, real-life predicament, facing actual homelessness, possibly an orphan, and he (I remember it being a boy, could be wrong) is a little hardened at this point. The moment is darkly humorous. The bitter irony of the scene is that the kid, being a vulnerable member of society, needs to be taken seriously in order to survive, but will not be taken seriously because he is a child. He may have performed a task for the man, like shining shoes or something.

The movie may have been a period movie. Definitely picturing old-timey wardrobe and whatnot. I picture heavy overcoats because it’s cold outside. I am unsure if the movie had fantasy elements. The movie was likely a drama. The old man absolutely thinks he did this kid, who’s street life is some kind of fun lark, a huge favor by giving him this pitiful amount of money. The kid sardonically thanks the man, and I forget what happens after this but I am pretty sure he decides to set some kind of plan in motion.