After the previous episode of this show, which was a deeply unfunny trainwreck, it’s back to silliness, wit, puns, and in-jokes with “Music Man.” This script, like the first three, is just so much better than it needed to be. It’s easy to overlook the dopey production since the jokes are so good.
The villain this week is played by Marty Allen. He plays a no-talent singer who robs a telethon and his name is, if you’re ready, Lorenzo Musica. There are gags about Rona Barrett, President Buchanan, Rin Tin Tin, and Lassie. Stanley Ralph Ross co-wrote the script with Chuck McCann and Earle Doud, and Ross played the host of a TV telethon to fight natural causes. As in, the leading cause of death is natural causes.
In a double in-joke, in the real world, Ross actually used to don a tuxedo and work the phones at the annual Chabad Telethon. So here’s the second link to Mark Evanier’s site in one week, because as soon as I realized that was Ross playing the comedian begging for money, I remembered this great story about how Ross would take the phones when people called to complain about the telethon. You should check that out.
Our son loved it even if he can’t be expected to get any of the really funny show business in-jokes, and probably doesn’t even know who Rin Tin Tin was. It ends with another deeply ridiculous fight scene which had him guffawing. Marty Allen was a trouper, especially with the costume and makeup people turning him into a horrible version of Roy Wood or Gary Glitter, but I wasn’t surprised that he just barely participated in that part of the story, and allowed himself to be taken out of the action pretty much instantly rather than prolong the embarrassment.