Alice Cooper and Gene Wilder on the set of the short-lived TV sitcom ‘Something Wilder’ in 1995.
After Gene Wilder’s passing last week I’ve been trying to clap my eyes on anything from Wilder’s long cinematic career. I even rewatched 1974’s classic Young Frankenstein even though I could recite lines from that film in my sleep. Today I’m really excited to share with you one of my finds: an episode from Wilder’s sadly short-lived mid-90s sitcom on NBC Something Wilder guest-starring none other than Alice Cooper playing himself as Wilder’s annoying neighbor.
Gene Wilder, Alice Cooper and Wilder’s TV wife actress Hilary B. Smith on the set of the fourteenth episode of ‘Something Wilder.’
On what would be one of the last Something Wilder shows (the fourteenth episode called “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”) Cooper moves in next door to Wilder’s character “Gene Bergman” and since this is Alice Cooper we’re talking about, things don’t go so well. For Gene.
After being kept up all night listening to the same song being blasted out of Cooper’s windows over and over again Wilder heads over in his adorable plaid robe to see what’s happening. And again, since this is Alice Cooper we’re talking about, Wilder walks in on a wild party that includes a tall red-headed dominatrix, a rat and for some reason a juggler (Now that’s kinky....) After hearing of Wilder’s death, Cooper posted this heartfelt message on his Facebook page about his experience working with one of the greatest screen comedians of our time:
I count working with Gene Wilder on his TV sitcom Something Wilder to be one of the most precious memories of my entire career. Doing ‘one on one’ comedy with Gene was like jamming with the Beatles. It doesn’t get any better. Gene Wilder is IRREPLACEABLE and will always be an American treasure.
I don’t want to give anything else away but if you love the image of Cooper and Wilder at the top of this post, there’s more where that came from. I don’t recall seeing the show myself back in the mid-90s, but seeing it now made my day. Since Something Wilder had such a short run and never really connected with an audience, the show hasn’t made its way to DVD yet. So enjoy this fantastic time capsule featuring rock and comedy royalty teaming up for some “who knew” laughs. RIP Mr. Wilder. You were one of the great ones.
Part one of the fourteenth episode of ‘Something Wilder,’ ‘Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper’ starring Alice Cooper as himself, 1995.
Part two of ‘Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.’
Part three of ‘Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.’
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
That awesome time in 1975 when there was a giant Alice Cooper balloon