Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TV REVIEWS : Fox's 'Daddy Dearest' a Combative Comedy

September 04, 1993|HOWARD ROSENBERG

The writers of "Daddy Dearest" deserve to be whipped with a wire hanger.

If there are uglier sitcoms than this obnoxious, unfunny, brain-abusing Fox newcomer--premiering at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on Channels 11 and 6--not one immediately comes to mind.

Don Rickles and Richard Lewis (co-executive producer for this beast) play Al Mitchell and Steven Mitchell, an antagonistic father and son who wind up caged together in the same house (Steven's). The catalyst for this combative arrangement is Al's bitter split from his wife and Steven's mother, the nasty Helen (Renee Taylor).

What results is the toilet of prime time, a half-hour expulsion of pointlessly smelly jokes from Rickles (and, to a lesser extent, from Taylor). The targets range from Middle Easterners ("7-Eleven called, and your camels are blocking the aisle") to mental slowness ("Maybe you're retarded. You always did have an awfully big head when you were a kid"). For material like this, there should be a public apology.

Lewis' character, a single psychologist with a young son, is somewhat appealing. But "Daddy Dearest" allows Rickles to upchuck his club act all over everything, and his long-passe, snarling one-liners spread across the screen like green bile.

There's a fine line between insult humor that has a point and insult humor that is mean-spirited. "Daddy Dearest" doesn't merely cross that line, it doesn't even recognize its existence.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|