So Fred Savage left Sunny in 2009 to work on Party Down for a season, and never returned. Hm.
Most of the music heard on the show is stock music by Heinz Kiessling.
Sunny 9.1. The Ha Ha Cafe. I've performed there. Landslide is Huell from Breaking Bad (Lavell Crawford). The producer Ken Davitian was Borat's sidekick.
Kaitlin on Conan:
Sunny 9.2. Very pointed stuff mocking the arguments about gun control. Everyone's personality comes through nicely. A good Sunny.
Sunny 9.3 The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award. An episode about how the show never wins any industry awards. Brilliant, especially since the script walks the line of still making sense in the Sunny universe, and showing the gang at their usual worst. And Charlie as Randy Newman. And then as himself.
Dennis on female roles in "bars": “She doesn’t need to be funny though, because she’s cute, she’s loveable, everybody likes her, and then if she can tell a joke—hey, it’s just a bonus.”
“Men are intimidated by funny women—we just need you to be pretty and benign.”
Chad Coleman shows up as Z, and gets a big laugh during Charlie's song. He was on The Wire, which despite its accolades was overlooked for awards as well. Dennis makes that overt when he says that black bars don't win awards. I also like the absolute lack of chemistry between Mac and Dee, who are married in real life. Even Charlie and The Waitress have had some chemistry in recent episodes, but Mac and Dee, nothing. A flatline.
The presence of Oscar Nunez from The Office is a very pointed inclusion as well. Mel Brooks stage star Roger Bart also appears.
What a great season so far.
Other takes of Charlie's song:
In 8.7, "Frank's Back in Business," Charlie and Mac had made an inept promotional video for "Fight Milk," shot in HD but with bad color balancing and awkward outtakes not edited out.
It's no surprise that Charlie and Mac would be bad at anything, but the Gang has usually been suspiciously good at making videos and performing as actors and singers. This is, of course, a TV series staffed by professionals, and it's very common in films and TV series that you see "amateur" video productions and plays with far greater production values than the characters could have come up with.
But on Sunny I've accepted that the Gang are actually somewhat skilled as entertainers - it's only their own bizarre personalities and hangups that ruin everything. Lethal Weapon 5 and The Nightman Cometh were competently made productions that fail only because the Gang are insane, and show that insanity in the writing and production. We've seen that the Gang regularly spend a lot of money on stupid things, and this would just be more of that.
That is, I'm trying to believe this.
I have to assume that the video for "Fight Milk" was conceived and edited by Mac, who was more interested in fast cuts and shots of muscular men and other graphics than cutting out their screw-ups. Which makes some sense. It's a very "Mac" sort of video. I'm overthinking this, but I'll allow it.
Your average audience member doesn't know what bad filmmaking (and bad acting) really is. Unless you've tried to make an amateur or student film yourself, you have no idea how bad most people are in front of a camera. You have no idea how bad nearly all non-professional screenplays are. You have no idea how bad sound and lighting are unless done in a professional manner. We rarely see "bad" moviemaking on television or film that actually looks like a bad student or amateur film.
But a filmmaker knows. I have to feel that Lethal Weapon 5 is more Tommy Wiseau than student film, and Frank's segment is literally Tommy Wiseau. That is, Wiseau spent a lot of money on his bad film, but was undone by his own insanity, shown onscreen. The Gang's movie isn't as bad as Tommy Wiseau's opus, but few films are.