As part of my ongoing – and often unpaid – quest to ask actors, directors, and writers about projects on their resume that no one has ever managed to ask them about before, I decided that I couldn’t resist the chance to be the only person in attendance for TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland breakfast during the TCA tour who would dare to go up to Wendie Malick and ask her about her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in the legendary…actually, infamous might be the better adjective…Michael O’Donoghue effort, Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video.
News Reviews Interviews: At the risk of blowing your mind, I wanted to ask you about your appearance in Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video.
Wendie Malick: [Laughs.] Oh, my gosh. You might be the only person I know who has seen that, outside of the people who were around Saturday Night Live in those days.
NRI: I expect I know how you came to be in it, but just in case I’m wrong…
WM: (Mondo Video co-writer) Mitch Glazer is my ex-husband.
NRI: …and I am not wrong.
WM: [Laughs.] Well, actually, though, this was before I married Mitch. Michael and I used to go out. In fact, we went to the premiere of that together. He was a very, very good friend. One of the strangest, most brilliant men I’ve ever, ever known. We lost him way too early.
It was just one of those oddball things where, on the fourth Saturday night of the month, they had to come up with a replacement for Saturday Night Live, and Michael was the head writer at that time, I think, and said, “I have an idea!” And they said, “Great!” And, of course, when they saw it, they said, “Over my dead body are we gonna put this on the air!” [Laughs.] So it had that bizarre theatrical release. But so many people were in that thing.
NRI: Oh, yeah. In fact, oddly enough, the first time I heard about it was because Sid Vicious was in it.
WM: Yes! It was brilliant, with the cats and “My Way.” And then the cat swimming school, and the Laser Bra 2000… [Laughs.] It was brilliant. But that’s Michael’s brain.
NRI: I actually talked to Walter Williams recently…
WM: [Laughs.] “Mr. Bill”!
NRI: Absolutely, although I think I kind of blew his mind by doing an interview that didn’t involve a single question about “Mr. Bill.” All I asked about was directing the last pilot Michael O’Donoghue worked on, a Fox sketch show called “TV.”
WM: Oh, wow. That must’ve made him very happy. Walter’s a very gentle soul. He’s also demented. [Laughs.] So is it even possible to see “Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video” anymore?
NRI: Absolutely. It’s on DVD.
WM: Oh, I have to get it! I think I need that for my collection. [Laughs.] Danny Aykroyd did the thing with his webbed toes.
NRI: And the Church of Jack Lord.
WM: Yes! Oh, my God. So strange. But so fun. We had a blast doing that. And I literally don’t think anyone has ever asked me about it. [Laughs.] Ever! I actually have had that on my resume, just because I wanted to people to ask me about it. It’s quite obscure…but it’s also quite spectacular.
Post-script: Weirdly, having this conversation also put me in the relatively unique position of talking to both of the women who have been married to Mitch Glazer, as it was only a few hours later than I met my past interview subject and present Twitter buddy Kelly Lynch. Such a strange existence I lead…