Surreal Life
Mel's Diner

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Uncle Bob: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Fried Coleman

Just as Gary is about to go apeshit, who happens to show up but Todd Bridges, Gary's former cast member from the delightful hit series Diff'rent Strokes. Todd -- recently paroled from the State Correctionals Institute for Former Child Stars Gone Bad -- has dropped in to see how Gary's handling his new job. Gary grumbles that Todd's picked the wrong day to pay a visit. Just as he says this, Vanilla Ice (who, for you trivia buffs, got his ass creamed by Todd Bridges in a celebrity boxing match on Fox last year) comes out from behind the grill to welcome Todd. Ice wants Gary to say "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" for old time's sake. Gary refuses to say it, because that's an image he had when he was younger, and that he's trying to put it behind him now as an adult. Gee...I know I've heard that explanation used somewhere else recently, but I can't quite put my finger on where just now. Ice keeps pressuring Gary to say it until Gary has no choice but to fire Ice. Ice doesn't care; he still wants Gary to say those magical words for all of America. He asks the customers if they want to hear Gary say it and they all applaud like trained monkeys. Gary insists that if he does say the words, his credibility is shot all to hell. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the last I heard about Gary Coleman before he foolishly threw his hat in the ring for California governor was that he was a security guard for a local hair salon or something like that. What the hell does he need credibility for? Bill collectors?

Erik steps in and reminds Ice that not everyone likes to reflect on his or her past, and that Gary just has to learn to deal with it, like Ice deals with his past. AH! That's where I've heard it! Ice hates to be reminded of his past! But he doesn't have a problem forcing others to face up to their own indiscretions for his own personal amusement! Gosh, if the guy were any more hypocritical, he could take a job as a television evangelist! Ron notes that Gary's got smoke coming out of his nose, he's so mad. Six months ago, he was running for governor, and now he's got Vanilla Ice threatening to fry his ass. Talk about a fall from grace. Gary's had enough; he tells Todd Bridges to take Ice's jacket and go cook, and hauls ass out of the restaurant. He storms out the front door and asks someone to call him a cab, because cabs can't see him when he's trying to flag them down -- yet another pitfall of being a child star has-been with growth retardation. Tammy Faye feels bad for Gary, and the housemates go out to the parking lot to console him while food burns on the grill and hungry customers wait for the real staff to quit striking and come back to work. Ice says that Gary's a "clown," and that they should just let him leave. Gary explains that he hates to fail at anything, and that he's proven not only that he is he not qualified to run for governor, but that he can't even manage a diner correctly. Ron says that if Gary leaves, they're all going to leave, and who's going to be left to man the restaurant? That's not Gary's problem; he's out of there. They're all screaming at each other. Traci's whipping out some karate kicks on Gary which, in her warped little head, are meant to keep him around the restaurant, I guess. As if it's not bad enough that he has Vanilla Ice threatening to fry him, he's got one of the third-string Baywatch babes pulling a David Carradine act on him in the parking lot as he tries to flee. He gets in his cab and is gone as Todd Bridges explains that Gary's a bit of a perfectionist. Gee, Todd, I never would have guessed.

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Surreal Life

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