Assaulted Nuts (TV sketch comedy series 1984-1985)

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Assaulted Nuts (TV sketch comedy series 1984-1985)

Post: # 11352Post Garrett Gilchrist »

New restoration! Adult sketch comedy Assaulted Nuts (1985) aired on Channel 4 in the UK and Cinemax in the US. It starred Elaine Hausman, Wayne Knight, Bill Sadler, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Daniel Peacock and Cleo Rocos, with Barry Cryer.

It had the fast pace of Kenny Everett and the sex gags of Benny Hill (which comes with a BIG content warning, folks, since this was the 1980s). Scenes are often very short. Some sketches go on longer and are reminiscent of Monty Python and Marty Feldman. Not surprising considering the writers and crew. This series was very hard to find previously. I restored these six episodes from a very rare VHS provided by Elaine Hausman, with thanks! And thanks to Rick Klein and FuzzyMemories. tv for the VHS tape transfer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCozjqL3boM

More clips, photos and material here.
https://archive.org/details/assaulted-nuts-1985/

Here's a Tweet thread about it, and about the search for more episodes.
https://twitter.com/TygerbugGarrett/sta ... 8897910786



Assaulted Nuts [TV Sketch Comedy 1984-85]

Assaulted Nuts was a television sketch comedy series which ran in the US in 1984 (April 17 - Nov 17 1984) and the UK in early 1985 (January 17 - February 28, 1985). It was a co production between Cinemax in the United States and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. It ran for seven episodes in the UK and thirteen in the US and elsewhere.

The first six episodes are currently circulating, and part of episode 7.

American performers Elaine Hausman, William Sadler and Wayne Knight acted alongside British comic actors Cleo Rocos, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Daniel Peacock and Barry Cryer. In episode 7, probably shot as the pilot, New York actress Marcell Rosenblatt appears.

In the second season (episodes 8-13), Emma Thompson and Gail Matthius replaced Tim Brooke-Taylor and Elaine Hausman. These episodes are not circulating except for short clips.

In keeping with Cinemax's reputation at the time, much of the material was sex-related, with overt references to Benny Hill, and Cleo Rocos' work with Kenny Everett.

William Sadler plays Death in one sketch, a role he would reprise in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Wayne Knight (Seinfeld) did similar sketches in 1992's The Edge for FOX. Cleo Rocos had similar roles on the Kenny Everett shows. Tim Brooke-Taylor had starred in The Goodies, and worked with Marty Feldman, Monty Python, and so on. Emma Thompson had starred on Alfresco. Gail Matthius had starred on SNL, Laugh Trax and later on Tiny Toon Adventures and Bobby's World.

In the United Kingdom the show was broadcast in the late night slot, which was 11:15pm on Thursdays and seen by relatively few people. In spite of the quality of its writers and performers, it made little impact, with critics dismissing it as Americanized. Seven thirty-minute episodes were broadcast before the show was officially cancelled. (The second series of six was mentioned but not broadcast in the UK.) The original UK broadcasts were weekly between 17 January and 28 February 1985.

Writers of Assaulted Nuts included Ray Cameron, Barry Cryer, Andrew Marshall, David Renwick, Terry Ravenscroft, and Peter Vincent. Ray Cameron also produced and directed the series. American TV Guide listings for the Cinemax airings in 1984 listed one sketch from each episode:

April 17 #1 Instant Cremation
April 29 #2 Harry Sneak superspy
May 15 #3 Hard-sell low budget commercials
May 29 #4 Cavemen create wheel
June 12 #5 President
June 24 #6 Accountants Anonymous
July 24 #7 Book buyer wears wrong underwear
September 8 #8 Talk show gives bad advice
September 22 #9 Cop has portable hydrant
October 6 #10 Bank heist
October 20 #11 Drunken pilot
November 3 #12 Organic mafia
November 17 #13 Murder mystery on train


Channel 4 in the UK aired it in at 11:15 starting January 1985, then 11:40.

One listing shows 1:45AM on Cinemax, Monday Nov 5 1984.

Assaulted Nuts aired on USA Network in a 15-minute slot at 11:30PM (10:30 central) on Friday nights in mid-1987, in the Night Flight block, and in early 1988.

In Australia, some sketches were shown as part of "Graham Kennedy's World of Comedy" (seven hourlong specials in 1986, with repeats in 1991 and 1992).

In France, sources state the series was broadcast (as Casse-noisettes) in the 1980s on FR3 on Sundays, replacing Benny Hill.

There is a news listing that TSR (Télévision Suisse Romande) aired the series at 12:45 (afternoon) Sundays in May 1986, as a French language channel in Switzerland.

It was broadcast (in full I think) starting between October 12 and 28, 1993 on Germany's Arte channel, and again between Aug 12 94 and Sept 2 94. This was also available in France and probably the UK.

It aired in Finland as Pähkinänsärkijät.


Tim Brooke-Taylor, Oct 1997: "It was an American cable company who set it up at HBO. It was difficult as everything had to fit American taste and knowledge And the fact that we had no audience, which is vital for me. It could have been very good. I did a lot of sketches by David Renwick and Andrew Marshall (Who wrote 'One Foot In The Grave' and '2.4 Children'), but they always seemed to be edited out. I couldn't do the second series and was replaced by Emma Thompson (natch), but that series was never shown in England. We got on very well with the American performers though. One of them incidentally was the interrogator of Sharon Stone in the 'Is she wearing them or not'. I replaced Olivia Newton-John in a Cliff Richard 'made for TV' film. So everything is equal. And does this explain why I play the women's parts? No."

2013 with Wayne Knight: "It was an interesting thing, partly because Emma Thompson was in it. This was before she became Dame Emma. We’re still friends, because I just think when you find somebody like that you try not to let them go. It was three British actors and three Americans and it was airing simultaneously on Cinemax and Channel 4 in Britain. It sunk in the middle of the ocean, because you’re trying to combine British and American sensibilities. I don’t know if it worked, but it was fun to do. The British are very silly, and they’re very clever. They enjoy wordplay. Americans are broader and more coarse. We don’t like to belabor things. Like, shop sketches don’t necessarily play as well to us as they do the Brits. You know, the classic Monty Python, coming into a shop and having an odd conversation about a duck. That would play really well in Britain, and not well in Beaufort, Alabama."

In one sketch William Sadler played Death, a role he would reprise in the Bill & Ted series of films. "I actually played the Grim Reaper once before Bogus Journey. It was on a TV show called Assaulted Nuts. There was this one scene where I was the Grim Reaper coming to take Elaine Hausman. And I started doing this accent that I’d heard from an actor who I’d worked with onstage named Jan Tříska. That’s how I know it’s a Czechoslovakian accent: because he was Czechoslovakian, and I just lifted it directly from him. We did a play together called New Jerusalem at the Public Theater, and I just thought, “Yeah, that’s what Death should sound like: vaguely European and kinda silly.”

Assaulted Nuts reuses Ray Cameron's intro theme from The Kenny Everett Naughty Joke Box (a VHS-only release listed as 1981 or 1984). It's not presented clean there either though.

Python friends Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Dick Vosburgh, and Ian Davidson were involved.

Cleo Rocos states in her autobiography that there were two series, shot in 1983 /1984, which costarred Gail Matthius and Emma Thompson. UK articles about the show's cancellation after the first series suggest that they had more ready to go. This would have aired in the US only. Multiple people remember a USA Network run after the Cinemax run, with one remembering Gail Matthius and Emma Thompson. Gail Matthius lists the series in her current bio, along with Laugh Trax.

A 1984 newspaper article notes that Gail Matthius filmed six episodes of the series. Apparently Tim Brooke-Taylor was still listed as writer but did not appear. Cableguide on September 8 1984 announced an "all new" series of the show.

UK TV listings tend to credit actress Marcell Rosenblatt, who probably only appeared in one episode. Elaine Hausman recalls that she replaced Marcell Rosenblatt, and was then replaced for the next series.

Clips from (what's listed as) episode seven of the series turned up at a Youtube channel with Finnish subtitles. I believe this is an episode with Marcell Rosenblatt in place of Elaine Hausman. Probably shot before the others.

"Fridays" was airing before Assaulted Nuts at one point in 1987 -- a commercial for this states that the Friday airing of Fridays was considered part of the Night Flight block, which means Assaulted Nuts would be too.


Series 1 episode guide:

(E05 - 0:00:16) - Featuring Laundromat, runners about a box salesman and homeless man, at a dentist's, in the White House, people watching on TV, remote ordering, at an appliance store, a woman in bed on the phone, green-haired punk sees pastor and Siegfried (from Wagner's "Ring") with different-shaped boom boxes, a casket salesman, "Gone with the Wind" parody, on a golf course, a seance, a bar with people wearing various message jackets, a plastic surgeon's office, an Arab prince on the phone, Quasimodo ringing musical bells, surgeons with invisible tools, and "Casablanca" parody (aired on Tuesday, June 12th 1984)

(E01 - 0:26:51) - Featuring instant cremation, man at home with all-purpose remote, green-haired punk mowing down 'New York' lower-third, Quick Jump ad parody, Ronald McDonald with three kids in playground, punk watching TV as wife irons, psychics on blind date, nude woman (Jilly Johnson) taking bath invaded by insurance salesman, French inspector interviewing another woman, sketch outside maternity ward, board meeting, "Tribute to Benny Hill" sketch (woman jogger in park doing things to those around her) [library music track : "Runaround" by Ron Aspery had to be muted to avoid YouTube blocking], butcher shop, couple seeing building burn, punk couple in swank restaurant, and bed salesman (aired on Tuesday, April 17th 1984)

(E02 - 0:55:18) - Featuring father running with kid on his back, man being disrobed in restaurant, [in sketch with guy who falls out the window, background library music track had to be mostly muted to prevent YouTube blocking - "Footsteps of Horror (14494)" by Merrick Farran in case you're curious], a dinner party, religious family having it out with rebellious offspring, runners involving attempted home burglar, detector of spy bugs, religious school sketch, meeting about nuclear waste dumps, married couple on stage, used car salesman's office, and sale in knick-knack shop (aired on Sunday, April 29th 1984)

(E03 - 1:22:23) - Featuring sketch in customs department, changing 'Dont Walk' sign, home invader points gun at couple in bed, Jehovah's Witness solicits woman, Santa Claus in job interview, mail order ad parody for Box of Nothing, sketch in insurance office, punk couple with in-laws, man on ledge, woman in tanning booth, spy bug detector job interview, and Arab prince on phone with Reagan (aired on Tuesday, May 15th 1984)

(E04 - 1:49:13) - Featuring 'Hold Ups' booth of bank, sketch in vasectomy clinic, interview with lone survivor of plane crash, large spider in bathtub, sketch inside travel agency, a galloping vasectomist, film noir detective parody, interview with environment representative, caveman sketch involving invention of wheel, marriage ceremony, aerobics nut welcomes Death to apartment, sketch in National Women's Bank, boss dictates letter to receptionist, and traffic court sketch (aired on Tuesday, May 29th 1984)

(E06 - 2:16:21) - Recurring caveman sketches, woman preacher's sermon, Quasimodo rings doorbell, couple consulting with doctor, sketch in a pet shop, Dr. Samuel Johnson submitting his dictionary to a publisher, Quasimodo pulling a lever which starts up a building that moves like a motorboat, "Deaf in Venice," two people in waiting room, Accountants Anonymous, and woman in bed reads "War and Peace" while man reads Playboy (aired on Sunday, June 24th 1984)

(E07, unavailable, aired July 24 1984) Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie (Book buyer wearing the wrong underwear), Waiter in a field knows he's in a sketch, At the pharmacy (Bobbie and Reggie), Gangsters, Psycho shower, Schwartz Deluxe Stubble Applicator


References
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCozjqL3boM
https://archive.org/details/assaulted-nuts-1985/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_YNsQ ... IHw/videos
https://twitter.com/TygerbugGarrett/sta ... 8897910786
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120923/
https://www.britishclassiccomedy.co.uk/assaulted-nuts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu7s_LqtmVI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_G66zT33JM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1XjwBEB9g4
https://twitter.com/TygerbugGarrett/sta ... 8897910786
http://epguides.com/AssaultedNuts/
https://www.fernsehserien.de/assaulted- ... fel-1/3294
https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SBS19870809 ... N--------1
https://goodiesruleok.com/articles.php?id=8&page=1
https://www.metro.us/wayne-knight-of-th ... ng-newman/
https://www.avclub.com/wayne-knight-tal ... 1798232447
https://www.vulture.com/2020/08/william ... d-ted.html
https://youtu.be/ceLR1Bg0Ars?t=25
In: Screen International n455 21 Jul 1984, pp. 13
In: Screen International n430 28 Jan 1984, pp. 34
In: Broadcast 20 Jan 1984, pp. 23
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Video Restoration Thread

Post: # 11365Post Garrett Gilchrist »

2013 with Wayne Knight:
https://www.metro.us/wayne-knight-of-th ... ng-newman/

Q: Some of your earlier shows, including the 1985 British-American sketch comedy “Assaulted Nuts,” with you and Emma Thompson, are now online.
WK: In the era of YouTube, you can find a 1975 colonoscopy of yours. You have no idea what’s out there.

Q: What was the experience of that show?
WK: It was an interesting thing, partly because Emma Thompson was in it. This was before she became Dame Emma. We’re still friends, because I just think when you find somebody like that you try not to let them go. It was three British actors and three Americans and it was airing simultaneously on Cinemax and Channel 4 in Britain. It sunk in the middle of the ocean, because you’re trying to combine British and American sensibilities. I don’t know if it worked, but it was fun to do. The British are very silly, and they’re very clever. They enjoy wordplay. Americans are broader and more coarse. We don’t like to belabor things. Like, shop sketches don’t necessarily play as well to us as they do the Brits. You know, the classic Monty Python, coming into a shop and having an odd conversation about a duck. That would play really well in Britain, and not well in Beaufort, Alabama.

Q: Your other sketch show, “The Edge,” from the early 1990s, has a bit of a cult following.
WK: That was an interesting show. It had Jennifer Aniston just before she took off. When we first started doing it, it was during the riots in Los Angeles. We’re shooting the pilot, and the city was burning down. So there was a curfew, and the producers said, “We’re going to shoot up until the curfew. Then we’ll let you go home.” So we’re shooting this sketch comedy, smoke is rising over the hill. I drove home to Los Feliz and Vermont Avenue was burning like a fuse up my ass. It was the perfect way to do comedy.

---

https://www.avclub.com/wayne-knight-tal ... 1798232447

WK: I’ve actually done a couple of sketch shows. I was in a sketch group in New York. I had always enjoyed improv and sketch. It’s an avenue where you get to do characters that you could never do on a straight show, playing people you wouldn’t be able to play, because everybody plays everything. I loved it. Then I did a show in England called Assaulted Nuts, with Emma Thompson. They wanted to do a show where they had three Americans and three Brits, and they were holding auditions in New York. A friend of mine and I, he used to be straight man for me for this character I used to do, he said, “My friend is the casting director on this. Why don’t you come in, I’ll be your straight man, and we’ll do the thing?” So I did it, and the next thing I know, I’m on my way to London. We did two seasons on Channel 4. It was one of the early shows on Channel 4. Unfortunately, it kind of sunk between the ocean, because it was half British humor and half American humor, and it didn’t particularly mix. But it was a great experience.

AVC: Do you still find British fans who say, “Hey, I remember you from when you were in Assaulted Nuts”?

WK: Not really. I don’t know, I think they mostly remember me from 3rd Rock. In some ways, 3rd Rock was a bigger hit in Britain than it was here, because it’s wordy and clever and silly. All of the things that the Brits like.




Gail Matthius podcast, mentioning that she kept episodes of Laugh Trax.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a ... 0501291210

This promo seems to show Marcell Rosenblatt and Gail Matthius- meaning they're working from episodes I don't have. Barry Cryer also present on a very "series 2" set, and an unknown male with Rosenblatt.
https://youtu.be/toPxOrtjXYQ?t=1424

Promo with Emma Thompson and Gail Matthius in Assaulted Nuts. (Finally!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2bM-8enHcg

This looks like a low quality repost, but there's a shot of what seems to be the series 2 Assaulted Nuts "family" with Emma Thompson in Tim Brooke-Taylor's role.
https://youtu.be/1aPxe6TZlEs?t=68

https://youtu.be/EP00SUCgzXU?t=396
https://archive.org/details/vhs_Commerc ... ax_1984-10
Also-- there's a series 1 Assaulted Nuts promo here, and what looks like a series 2 cast photo barely visible behind the host. Some clips from series 2 also turn up later, including a full cast clip unfortunately covered by the logo.

Series 1 promo:
https://youtu.be/52SjRLoDyYg?t=537

Tim Brooke-Taylor, Oct 1997:
https://goodiesruleok.com/articles.php?id=8&page=1
Q: How did the series 'Assaulted Nuts' ever get off the ground? Was it difficult doing a UK/US co-production with two very different styles of comedy?

TIM: It was an American cable company who set it up at HBO. It was difficult as everything had to fit American taste and knowledge And the fact that we had no audience, which is vital for me. It could have been very good. I did a lot of sketches by David Renwick and Andrew Marshall (Who wrote 'One Foot In The Grave' and '2.4 Children'), but they always seemed to be edited out. I couldn't do the second series and was replaced by Emma Thompson (natch), but that series was never shown in England. We got on very well with the American performers though. One of them incidentally was the interrogator of Sharon Stone in the 'Is she wearing them or not' . The name of the film escapes me.

I replaced Olivia Newton-John in a Cliff Richard 'made for TV' film. So everything is equal. And does this explain why I play the women's parts? No.


https://www.vulture.com/2020/08/william ... d-ted.html
William Sadler:
I actually played the Grim Reaper once before Bogus Journey. It was on a TV show called Assaulted Nuts. There was this one scene where I was the Grim Reaper coming to take Elaine Hausman. And I started doing this accent that I’d heard from an actor who I’d worked with onstage named Jan Tříska. That’s how I know it’s a Czechoslovakian accent: because he was Czechoslovakian, and I just lifted it directly from him. We did a play together called New Jerusalem at the Public Theater, and I just thought, “Yeah, that’s what Death should sound like: vaguely European and kinda silly.”
Sadler had originally tried out this version of Death on a short-lived 1985 sketch show, Assaulted Nuts, which brought together US comic actors with British talent such as Emma Thompson and Tim Brooke-Taylor. “I pulled this funny Czechoslovakian accent out of my butt,” he tells me. “It made the character sound so easily bruised. All you have to do is look at him sideways and he starts to unravel.” In the original sketch, he is disappointed to find that the woman he has come to collect isn’t perturbed in the least: “Aren’t you a-fred juss a leetle beet?” he asks plaintively.
Tim Brooke Taylor, 1985:
ASSAULTED NUTS
(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky)
.
The following article appeared in the TVTimes issue dated 23 February – 1 March 1985.

Blushing Tim cracks it as a nut
by Malcolm Macallister Hall

As one of the gang of talented comics who emerged with formidable degrees from Oxford of Cambridge in the Sixties, Tim Brooke-Taylor muses occasionally on the strange hand life has dealt him.

'There are moments, such as when I'm standing in the middle of some High Street dressed as a rabbit, when I say to myself, "I've not only got a degree, but I'm an honorary Doctor of Laws. What am I doing, hopping down this High Street in floppy ears and a fluffy tail?"'

A genial and youthful-looking 44, Tim Brooke-Taylor long ago gave up looking for a sensible answer. But he does know that even years of buffoonery with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie in "The Goodies" hasn't quite cured him of blushing at the embarrassments of his profession.

On ITV with Richards O'Sullivan for a second series of "Me & My Girl", he bravely appeared in one episode as a turkey. But guaranteed to raises the 'squirm-factor' even higher is Channel Four's "Assaulted Nuts", the anarchic, off-the-wall sketch show which he describes cautiously as 'quite a bit ruder than "The Goodies"'. Among his co-stars is the dazzlingly pretty – and pretty provocative – Cleo Rocos. Schooled in Kenny Everett's shows, she appears regularly in flimsy underwear. But the awful truth is that Tim Brooke-Taylor, who also hosts ITV's "The Fame Game", appears in flimsy underwear, too.

'It was incredibly embarrassing – and it wasn't a pretty sight,' he grins. 'In one sketch I have to go into a shop and whip off my coat to reveal frilly French knickers and suspenders. That was a horrendous moment – I wanted the set cleared when we were filming it so that I'd look a complete fool in front of as few people as possible. However, the medieval vasectomy sketch was even worse.'

For this barbaric operation, the hapless Brooke-Taylor was required to stand, back to camera, with his medieval trousers round his ankles, while a knight on a charger rushed towards him, a lance aimed at his unprotected nether regions.

'He got within inches!' recalls Brooke-Taylor with a subdued shriek. 'It was very, very frightening indeed, and it was also a very cold day. There I was, standing in a park outside London with my trousers down. There were some very blue cheeks around that day, I can tell you!'

These, though, are merely the latest in a long line of indignities and terrors which Tim Brooke-Taylor has suffered in the name of comedy. 'Other people make cars or cardboard boxes for a living,' he says. "I make a fool of myself.' And for a modest, self-deprecating and essentially shy, ex-Cambridge law student, that hasn't always been easy to cope with.

He was intending to become a lawyer, until lured into the unrelated field of satire by the glow of the Cambridge Footlights. He had been born in Buxton, Derbyshire, into a family which had produced a long line of solicitors. 'We'd all been lawyers for so long that I felt it was high time one of us wasn't.' he says. Among his Oxbridge contemporaries were some of the brainy stalwarts of English comedy and satire – John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Graham Chapman. Between them, they're qualified to take out your appendix, defend you in court, and give you a lecture on history.

Appearing first on television in "On the Braden Beat" in the Sixties, he went on to "At Last the 1948 Show", with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman, and scored an early high mark in the silliness stakes when he played Feldman's wife in the TV comedy show "Marty".

'It sounds stupid,' he says, 'but being basically a shy person you've just to to throw yourself into it and try not to worry.'

At home in Berkshire, with his wife Christine, can be found two of his sternest critics – his sons Ben, 15, and Edward, 13.

"The loved "Assaulted Nuts" – but occasionally I do feel quite sorry for them,' he admits. 'What I get up to is embarrassing for them sometimes, and they certainly tell me in no uncertain terms - often, they're quite right!' But in the hazardous and nerve-racking business of comedy – 'if you fail, you really fail' – his family, he says, is his principal prop.

"They're very supportive of me – they get hurt if I'm criticized, and Ben and Edward know I'm vulnerable. If I'm a bit bad-tempered, they realise that it's because I'm nervous and worried about a show. Christine is very good at building my morale; because I'm still constantly amazed that I can make anybody laugh at all. So my family is a very precious support – and I hope, in turn, I'm supportive to them'.

His very first meeting with Christine was conducted in typically Goodies fashion. Spotting her on an Alpine ski slope, he decided that the surest way to meet her was to crash into her and knock her over. 'So we bumped into each other, and we've been slipping around happily ever since.' he says.

As a more day-to-day respite from being very silly, he plays cricket and golf; both for recreation and for charity. He also describes himself as a 'lifelong fan and ex-director' of Derby County Football Club.

'I adore cricket, too – though after poor Lennie Bennett had his teeth knocked out I'm a bit frightened of it. I think golf is safer. As least the ball doesn't come towards you. Although, I must admit that in my case it sometimes doesn't even go away from me. I'm afraid I can be pretty silly almost anywhere – and that includes the golf course.'
PC: Have you ever visited Scotland?

WS: My wife and I drove through Scotland many years ago. It was fascinating. I did a TV show called Assaulted Nuts back in the 80’s, and it was one of the first jobs I ever did that paid any money. They took us over to film just outside of London. We would shoot six episodes or so, then have a break while they wrote more episodes. We rented a car one time and drove up to Scotland.

When you played Death, the grim reaper in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, was the character outside your normal comfort zone?

WS: I had actually played that character once before in that show that I mentioned. You can go on YouTube, and watch me in a show called Assaulted Nuts playing the Grim Reaper in a sketch comedy scene. For some reason I chose that voice, the funny Czech accent. When the audition came in for Bill and Ted that’s what I wanted to do, and I thought it would be funny and would be right for the character. I actually told the casting office (the casting director was Karen Grey) that I was thinking of doing it and they said, “Ooh, I don’t think so. You probably shouldn’t,” because, of course, they are convinced American actors don’t do accents very well.

PC: Well that’s certainly not correct.

WS: Just not true, some actors have made entire careers out of doing different accents. Anyway, I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks and I thought, “Oh well, I guess it didn’t work out.” Then Karen called me and said, “Bill, they want you to come back and do the audition again. But I need you to go to a Halloween store and get some grey and put it in your hair and black out your teeth, because they think you’re too young. Come in tomorrow and do it.”

I thought, “That’s just going to look like crap, that’s going to look terrible,” so I called the make-up guy from Die Hard 2, the only make up guy I knew, a guy called Scott Edow. I had just worked with him, so I told him about my situation. He said, “Come over to my house, be there at 7 o’clock and we will put some age makeup on you.” That’s what we did. He made me look like a believable 70-year-old guy with grey hair and wrinkles. I got in the car and drove to Orion pictures, then did exactly the same audition with that accent (Bill starts speaking in the Czech accent making us both laugh.) They give me the job, I think what was fun about it was that he was funny. The character that I had come up with was funnier, he would be funny just reading the phone book. He’s not the brightest, and he doesn’t speak very good English.

PC: He fit right in with silliness of Bill and Ted. If he had been very serious, he wouldn’t have bounced off of them so well.

WS: Yes, exactly! What it ended up being the first time you see the Reaper in Bill & Ted – he’s scary, he’s this frightening figure and our heroes are in real trouble. Oh my God, they’ve got to beat this guy. And then, of course, there is the whole game sequence; he’s utterly humiliated and becomes petulant. We see cracks; he’s not such a scary figure after all.

PC: His bark’s worse than his bite!

GW: Exactly, and at the end of the movie, he’s joined the band and he wants so badly to be part of the gang.
ASSAULTED NUTS SKETCH
Starring Bill Sadler and Elaine Hausman

The sketch opens in a small apartment. We see a woman (SALLY) doing aerobics, decked out in full aerobics gear (leotard, tights, leg warmers, pink wrap around top and a headband). A record player provides the music. There is a knock on the door and she runs to answer it.

Upon opening the door she is met with the sight of DEATH, standing in dark robes with a scythe in one hand and a clipboard in the other. He consults the clipboard as he speaks (in a very thick Swedish accent, a la Bergman’s The Seventh Seal).

DEATH: Is this apartment number 9 . . . S. Sommens?

SALLY: Sure. Are you the plumber?

DEATH (rolls eyes): No, I am Death!

SALLY (unfazed): Oh, well I’m Sally! Come on in! Hey, you into aerobics?

Death enters, already looking flustered.

DEATH: No, I’m Death. I’ve come to take you.

SALLY: Whoa - kay! (She continues to bounce around the apartment)

DEATH: No, I mean I have come to take you away.

SALLY: Oh sure. I’ll pack some things. (She continues to exercise)

DEATH (incredulous): Don’t I scare you? Aren’t you afraid just a little bit?

SALLY (laughing): Are you kidding? With that weirdo makeup? (She points to his face)

DEATH: It is not make up! I am naturally pale! I have been dead for thousands of centuries!

SALLY: Wait a minute . . . can I fix you a drink?

DEATH: I have no thirst.

SALLY: A pickle sandwich?

DEATH: How dare you! (Slams his clipboard down on a nearby table) I am the most awesome and terrifying figure in mankind’s experience! And you dare to offer me a pickle sandwich?

SALLY: Speaking of awesome . . . did you see Jack Nicholson in the Playgirl centerfold? He made the staples sit up!

DEATH: I am not interested in Jack Nicholson . . . (looks into camera) . . . yet.

SALLY: That’s your mistake! Hey listen . . . think positive!

DEATH: Think positive? Don’t be ridiculous! I am Death!! (He is upset when Sally only laughs at him) You find me ridiculous, don’t you?

SALLY: Listen, let’s just go, shall we?

DEATH (moves to sit on couch, acting hurt): No. No, wait a minute. I want you to tell me what is basically wrong with me.

SALLY: That’s your problem! Let’s go, shall we?

DEATH: No, no, no, I do not go yet! I want you to tell me why I am not happy.

SALLY: It probably had something to do with your mother.

DEATH: I had no mother.

SALLY: She died before you were born!

DEATH: Nobody died before I was born! I am Death! I walk into a room and people scream!

SALLY: Okay . . . you asked . . . I’m gonna tell ya. (She sits down next to Death on the couch)

DEATH (apprehensive): What?

SALLY: Basically, you’re too negative. You need a fresh approach. Forget all this Death crap. Come bouncing in and say "Hi there! The bad news is it’s a lousy life, the good news is it’s over and you’re dead!"

DEATH: You’re making fun of me!

SALLY: You are such a big baby!

DEATH (whining): I am not!!

SALLY: You are! Hey listen . . . take me away!

DEATH: No!

SALLY: No?

DEATH: No! I am going on my own! (storms to the door, gathering his clipboard on the way) Who wants you anyway? Next time that you get seasick or eat some bad chicken salad and you say "Boy, I wish I was dead!" . . . forget it!

Death sticks his tongue out at Sally and then tries to exit but gets his scythe caught in the door. He finally gets it loose and leave. Slowly Sally turns around to look behind her, whispering happily.

SALLY: Grandpa, you can come out now!

An old man peeks from behind the couch where he was hiding (played by Tim Brooke-Taylor).

THE END
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Assaulted Nuts (TV sketch comedy series 1984-1985)

Post: # 11397Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Apparently in 1983, Daniel Peacock and Tim Roth did a short called Expresso Splash O ... as a quasi sequel to the feature Party Party. It screened with Trading Places in the UK but hasn't been rereleased since. I'll have to keep an eye out somehow.
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