- 3 Seasons
Fridays was a late-night comedy sketch show that aired on ABC from 1980 to 1982. The show was similar in style to NBC's Saturday Night Live and featured a rotating cast of comedians performing topical and satirical sketches. The show was hosted by Mark Blankfield, who served as the main anchor for the show. Each episode of Fridays began with an opening monologue from Blankfield, in which he would introduce the night's guests and preview the sketches to come. The show then moved into a series of pre-taped and live sketches that touched on a variety of topics, from politics to popular culture to current events. The comedy was generally edgier and more adult-oriented than Saturday Night Live, with a heavier emphasis on satire and social commentary. One of the most memorable aspects of Fridays was its musical performances. The show featured a variety of musical guests, including both established acts and up-and-coming bands. Fridays was one of the first television shows to give air time to a then-unknown music video network called MTV, playing a variety of videos in-between show segments. One of the most popular recurring sketches on Fridays was "The Pepsi Syndrome," which parodied the then-recent film The China Syndrome. The sketch featured Larry David, Michael Richards and others who stumbled upon a vast conspiracy involving the Coca-Cola Company. The sketch was so popular that Pepsi actually began using the phrase "The Pepsi Syndrome" in its advertising. Another classic sketch from Fridays was "The Great White North," featuring Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis as two Canadian bumpkins who would provide commentary on American culture. The sketch proved so popular that Thomas and Moranis were eventually spun off into their own show, SCTV. Fridays was notable for showcasing a number of comedians who would go on to achieve greater fame. One of the show's original writers was Larry David, who later went on to create Seinfeld. Other cast members and writers included Michael Richards, Bruce Mahler, Andy Kaufman, John Roarke, Melanie Chartoff, Darrow Igus, and Maryedith Burrell. Despite its popularity, Fridays only lasted two seasons. The show faced competition from both Saturday Night Live and SCTV, as well as criticisms over its edgy content. ABC was also hesitant to renew the show due to concerns over its financial viability, as the cost of producing a weekly sketch show was reportedly much higher than that of a traditional sitcom. In its brief run, Fridays left a lasting impact on the comedy world. Its edgy, off-beat humor paved the way for other late-night shows like The Ben Stiller Show and Mr. Show. The show's cast and writers went on to achieve great success in Hollywood, with many becoming legends of comedy in their own right. In conclusion, Fridays was a late-night television show that aired on ABC from 1980 to 1982. The show starred Mark Blankfield and featured a rotating cast of comedians performing topical and satirical sketches, interviews, and musical performances. Despite only lasting two seasons, Fridays was notable for its edgy humor and for showcasing a number of comedians who would go on to achieve greater fame. Its impact on the comedy world is still felt to this day, with many of its cast and writers going on to become legends of the comedy genre.