Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Mute, Underemployed Sketch Comedians of the Disney World Pre-Show

Over the last couple of decades, Disney has been using video pre-shows, either as part of a safety spiel or just to break up the long waits.  These videos are populated with actors of various star power, including some from our favorite sketch comedy troupes.  The voice of Kevin McDonald from Kids in the Hall opens Stitch's Great Escape!, while Monty Python's Eric Idle was the ill-conceived focus of the entire Imagination pavillion at Epcot.

Some of our other favorite sketch comedians have a smaller focus, a more narrow stage.  Oh, and no lines of dialogue.

Take Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride.  No, not The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, this is the one in Disney Quest.  From an era when the future of entertainment was envisioned as strapping a thirty pound TV to your face and wagering on whether your neck or eyes give out first.

As far as these things go, Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride was at least functional and moderately entertaining.  The video preshow has a mute John Ennis from Mr. Show nodding and gesticulating as an unseen narrator explains how the ride works, I think from the perspective of a used car salesman or something.  Somehow there is a square inch of Disney World that Martin Smith or PopSong1 haven't covered, so this is the best I could manage:

No dialogue, but at least he's the center of attention.  The State's Ken Marino has worked steadily in bit parts and crappy sitcoms, but there was a good fourteen years until his talents were put to good use again in 2009's Party Down.  In the middle of that, he earned a paycheck milking a background artist role, sitting in the foreground as a sound engineer in the preshow for Rock N Roller Coaster:

...pretending to turn knobs and reacting to everyone else's lines, as if anybody could steal focus from Steve Tyler.  A cast member is supposed to call out something about backstage passes for him to react to, but I love how now it sounds like he's just loving the idea the voices in his head suggest.

After Aerosmith drives away, Tyler flashing the shocker, and the crowds are shuffled off to the next line, I've lingered around to try to catch the video loop, as Ken sits there alone, pretending to mix a song that was recorded over thirty years ago.  He looks lonely, but at least he wasn't in Nearly Departed.

No comments:

Post a Comment