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502/The Grant


Show Outline

Uncle Phil (played by Mel Brooks) has called Ira, and wants he and Paul to come out to Brooklyn - he has something he needs to talk about. Turns out what he really needs is a couch moved closer to the tv cause he "can't see the tv anymore". In the process of moving the couch Paul discovers a pile of family photo albums dating back to the "1400's". This becomes the inspiration for a documentary for which Paul has recently received a grant. This film later becomes "Buchman". Also Jamie (and Paul) are trying to give up coffee. Consequently she's a bit moody and, in the process of doing campaign work for Lance Brockwell, is misquoted saying that Juan Valdez is a Columbian drug lord. Naturally she has to publicly prove she didn't mean it.


Commentary

I complain about Carol Burnett being overpowering in her role as Teresa Stemple and I should probably do the same concerning Mel Brooks' role as Uncle Phil. Yet, somehow, it's not the same and I have no desire to downplay his performance. I think it's mainly because Carol Burnett was filling a role previously well played by two other actresses, so that made it easy to judge her performance in comparison to others. With Mel Brooks/Uncle Phil, it was a new role. Yes, Brooks absolutely stole every scene he was in (as he did in subsequent appearences), but all I could do was laugh. "Foim embrace". There are very few performances by any other actor or actress in this series which is better than Mel Brooks'. His timing is perfect and, well, I just love it. And, this is from someone who is not otherwise the biggest Mel Brooks fan in the world. I like him, but outside of being Uncle Phil on this show, I don't love him. Also, I liked the other part of this episode involving Jamie and her campaign for Lance Brockwell. I won't carry on too much, but there were just so many things to love about this episode. In fact, it's one of my favorites. I'm thinking if I gave it anything less than a 9.5 (out of 10) I'd be doing it a disservice. The reason for the .5 deduction? The fact that so little of what makes this episode funny happens between Paul and Jamie.

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