I had no idea Ben Stiller was the big guest star on tonight’s episode of Eagleheart, and I was pleasantly surprised to see him pop up without pomp or circumstance halfway through the episode, as though it was completely normal. It felt like a well-orchestrated sketch, where the big celebrity host pops up in just the right place in an off-kilter role that fits their talents.
I really enjoyed Stiller’s hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, and it was nice to see him in similar territory on this show, as the titular outlandish kid’s show host Silly Sammy. He indoctrinates children into cutting out their parents’ organs using a nifty instructional song, after which they send the organs to him to sell to the highest bidder in black market auctions. It’s a ploy that fits with the gratuitous violence of Eagleheart, reminiscent of both Death To Smoochy and my favorite episode of Grimm.
Everyone in the main trio gets their shining moment. Brett has his surreal freakouts with pictures and paintings talking to him, making fun of him for being unable to read and his supposed unpopularity. At the slumber party, he brings his passport and ticket to Sleepytown, but is distraught that he loses his Snoozebucks—perfectly childlike and completely unprofessional, the best kind of jokes to fit Brett. He’s a more out-of-place buffoon than Andy Dwyer on Parks And Recreation. The Captain gets a nicely diverting monologue that tells the story of his declining marriage as a tangent to the slumber party instructions, and his dysfunctions get a good callback in the tag of the episode, as the organ he needs the most comes to him at the exact right moment.
Susie is a much maligned female marshal, and she suffers even more in this quarter-hour, since she has oxygen-filled ovaries, unable to bear any children. It’s a cruel fate and a mean joke, but it goes right along with Monsanto’s whiskey-soaked liver as the key to defeating Silly Sammy. Monsanto is a notorious alcoholic, drinking from a flask at every opportunity, and even soaking his pillow in whiskey before falling asleep face down. Still, those removed organs, the alcoholic liver and oxygen-laden ovaries, combine in a deadly explosion just as Silly Sammy lights up some crystal meth in a typically over-the-top explosion. For a show that specializes in over-the-top displays of violence skewering Walker, Texas Ranger, that one was spectacular.
It’s a bit strange that the kids were pawns in Silly Sammy’s game. The little boy in the opening scene is the child actor with a speaking part—and even then it’s only one line. I was surprised that Eagleheart went in the direction of a corrupting kid’s-show host—and a late-night kid’s show host at that, who makes late-night kid’s programming? Still, this was a solidly frantic episode with a great guest star and laughs at nearly every turn. It didn’t make me think, but most of the Adult Swim lineup isn’t designed for that. These shows are supposed to whip by with as many funny moments as possible and then get out before the joke gets stale.
- No screener for this episode, which hopefully accounts for how late this review is going up. I have a screener for next week’s episode, however, and it’s another great installment with unexpected guest star. I’m really looking forward to talking about that one.