With the LA Connection
After What's Up, Tiger Lily? but before Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mad Movies With The LA Connection was the place to go to see classic old films spoofed within an inch of their celluloid lives. Not even Shirley Temple or Danny Kaye was safe.
The LA Connection is a group of young comedians from (duh) Los Angeles, specifically Hollywood. The initial outing was formed by Kent Skov in 1977 and is stronger than ever today, with the group's larger repertory company comprising nearly two hundred members; there's even an 'LAC Kids' group featuring over thirty youngsters learning the trade.
What set the LAC apart early on was their talent for taking old films and redubbing them with funny dialog - something that had been done with the the afore-mentioned Tiger Lily but not on a large scale. The Connection began doing redubbed in-theater film showings in 1982, their first effort being the sci-fi camp classic Attack of the 50-Foot Woman; the result was a packed house and a realization that they were onto something good. The next year the team did their first 'live' dubbing before an audience (Cat Women on the Moon) and hired their talent out to such TV shows as Thicke of the Night.
In 1984 the LAC produced a pilot for a proposed regular TV program, Mad Movies, which was picked up for syndication by such channels as the then-nascent Nickelodeon for their early Nick At Nite programming. Twenty-six 30-minute episodes were eventually produced, spoofing such films as:
Beneath the 12 Mile Reef
Perils of Pauline
The Inspector General
Mad Movies is much loved by those who managed to catch it during its roughly two-year run on Nick At Nite. There was certainly nothing else like it on TV at the time, and with MST3K still a few years in the future, there was little programming for those of us who liked mixing old films and modern humor. By general consensus, the best episodes had to have been The Inspector General with Danny Kaye and Little Princess with Shirley Temple - wherein the cute little tyke is made out to be some sort of Satanic killer.
With the rights to particular movies sometimes hard to get, we may never get an official DVD release of this wonderful show; still, if a company like Rhino could get all the rights and permissions necessary for their MST3K box sets, this one shouldn't be too hard. There's nothing about the show that should date it; and modern kids should love the humor as much as the rest of us did in the late 80's.