Michael O’Donoghue, AKA Mr. Mike, the demented writer and performer from the “original cast” era of SNL was the man who made comedy dangerous. He was often seen on the show doing imitations of famous show biz people (nice-guy talk show host Mike Douglas, singer Tony Orlando) after they’d had 6-inch spikes shoved into their eyes, and telling his creepy “Least Loved Bedtime Tales.” (Sample title: The Little Train That Died).
Before SNL, O’Donoghue wrote for the National Lampoon, where he published “The Churchwill Wit” a portion which is below. I recall falling out of my chair, laughing, when I first read this:
Churchill was known to drain a glass or two and, after one particularly convivial evening, he chanced to encounter Miss Bessie Braddock, a Socialist member of the House of Commons, who, upon seeing his condition, said, “Winston, you’re drunk.” Mustering all his dignity, Churchill drew himself up to his full height, cocked an eyebrow and rejoined, “Shove it up your ass, you ugly cunt.”
When the noted playwright George Bernard Shaw sent him two tickets to the opening night of his new play with a note that read: “Bring a friend, if you have one,” Churchill, not to be outdone, promptly wired back: “You and your play can go fuck yourselves.”
At an elegant dinner party, Lady Astor once leaned across the table to remark, “If you were my husband, Winston, I’d poison your coffee.”
“And if you were my wife, I’d beat the shit out of you,” came Churchill’s unhesitating retort.
Below the first 5 minutes from Michael O’Donoghue’s seldom seen cult item Mr. Mike’s Mondo VIdeo. This was originally made for NBC. Imagine what the execs there thought when they saw this:
Just when you start to think it’s really and truly dead, along comes something to renew your hope in the everlasting glory of ass-kicking epic balls-to-the-wall rock and roll. In this case, it ain’t some new fucking band out of England, Brooklyn or Montreal. It’s two cats who’ve been around for over a decade, two cats that most rock purists would never acknowledge as being rock and rollers. Well, fuck that. These performances by Eminem and Lil Wayne on tonight’s SNL are as punk and hardass as anything I’ve heard since The Clash, The Pistols and Bad Brains.
There’s a passion here that recalls the urgency, anger and intensity of ‘London Calling’ and ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’. This is what Vernon Reid and The Black Rock Coalition had in mind 25 years ago.
Yeah, it’s a little slick. Yeah, they’re millionaires. I don’t give a shit. The ENERGY is there. As Lester Bangs said, “rock ‘n’ roll is an attitude, it’s not a musical form of a strict sort.” Strictly speaking, this is rock and roll.