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First, let me be very clear: "Pink Lady" was not a good variety show. It was a pretty horrible one most of the time. BUT it WAS at the same time a truly awesome show. The 70s also gave us variety shows from Donnie and Marie, the Mandrell Sisters, Captain and Tennile and many, many others. All of them sucked--lame comedy, bad music, horrible production values. That was the standard in the 70s--especially from producers Sid and Marty Kroft. "Pink Lady (and Jeff)" rises above all these by being just plain weird. Casting two unknown Japanese pop stars along with a homegrown but not really any better known comedian was so stupid a thing to do that it bordered on genius. In other words no one in their right mind would have thought of it. The result 30 years later is a great 1980 time capsule of the clash between American Crap-Lame culture and the rising Japanese pop culture that you're not going to see anywhere else. Lots of jokes are made at the girl's expense--especially by semi-regular Sid Caesar, who does a recurring samurai bit that makes John Belushi's old SNL routine look PC by comparison. But the Pink Ladies get their digs in as well, making fun of Altman's non-celeb status, height, and lack of manliness. And its even funnier when you can tell that they have very little idea what they're even saying.
The culture clash plus the language barrier plus the really poor taste plus the ultra lameness of the comedy bits, mixed in with the super-peppy, semi-sexy disco performances (in English and Japanese) by the perky, super happy Pink Lady makes for a late 70s Variety Show parody you could not make up today. It is a time capsule of stupid fun that makes me nostalgic for the days when "crap TV" was good natured goofiness instead of "reality" show meanness.
Screw the 21st century! BRING BACK PINK LADY AND JEFF!
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