Monday, February 18, 2008

Comedy Most Terrible

In a number of conversations tonight, the works of various Russian authors came up and all of their wonderful bleak sensibilities. Chekov, whose works spoke to me more as a youth than they do in late middle age, called many of his works comedies. This got me thinking about possibly one of the most obscure summer replacement sitcoms of all times, Ivan the Terrible that ran in the summer of 1976 for less than a dozen episodes with Lou Jacobi in the title role and Despo Diamantidou as an in-law with a bawdy laugh. It was a big, extended working class family living in a dingy high rise public housing project similar to the one on Good Times except it was in...Moscow.

As I recall the theme song had the in a horse drawn sleigh in Red Square as the theme music went something like "Vee are livink in Moscow, livink in in Moscow tooo-Day!"

I am amazed to see that Amazon even has videos of the series available since it was so bad and so obscure. Somehow a Soviet Archie Bunker just never caught fire in the era of Brezhnev and détente. Perhaps jokes about the KGB and moldy cabbage went above most viewers heads. Though it makes me glad to know that obscure oddity is out there, I can now forget it for another 32 years. Now I am curious to recall what else I so clearly remember Despo Diamantidou appearing in other than Never on a Sunday and Love and Death, though simply as Despo.

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4 Comments:

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Junk Thief, you so crazy.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Dave - Oh, I guess someone as straight laced and conservative as you would say that. Lighten up dude, you'll live longer :}

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

Old Despo or Young Despo?

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - Oh, my were there two? This one was a crazy aunt that worked for the public transit authority or such and was in her 60s. Leave it to you to know all about Despo! Nothing more amusing that a sitcom about Soviet bureaucrats.

 

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