Obsolete Review: Meet Wally Sparks

The movie was so bad the audience yelled cut

The horror. It's well established that we love Rodney Dangerfield, but then there's MEET WALLY SPARKS. There are some things in life you can’t ‘unsee.’ Rocketing up the list is the spectacle of a middle-aged Cindy ‘Shirley Feeney’ Williams romping in her under-things as a pale Rodney Dangerfield bangs out the ivories during his badly lip-synched rendition of Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock n’ Roll.’ This misplaced RISKY BUSINESS homage is merely one in a series of disturbing scenes in this bottom-of-the-barrel Rodney vehicle.

Wally Sparks is a notorious Morton Downey Jr./Jerry Springer/Richard Bey ‘shock-jock’ who infuriates TV censors and his network boss (briefly, Burt Reynolds) by hosting women in lacy lingerie, and making stale Rodney jokes on the air. From the cabbie cameo of Tony Danza in an obviously not-NYC, you know you’re in for a bumpy ride. Also- hope you enjoyed the beginning glimpse of lingerie, as there are NO more good-looking people in this movie. Through a series of wacky events, Rodney (I mean Wally) winds up crashing a party at the mansion of his main foil, a sanctimonious Southern politician played by David Ogden ‘Winchester’ Stiers, as only Wally can (drunk – on horseback). Then, either due to plot or necessity, Wally is stuck wheelchair-bound at the mansion, convalescing as the Governor’s wife (Williams) and her socialite friends must deal with his crude Rodney-ness. Oh yeah- Wally’s son and the Gov’s daughter (played by 2 blocks of wood) fall in love, Wally serves the Gov a hilarious on-air comeuppance, and we witness scene after scene of really badly executed ‘comic’ chases and musical setpieces described above.

It’s hard to feel any ill will toward Rodney for this inept dreck, but viewer beware. This is no BACK TO SCHOOL. Just because Rodney called in some favors with his pals, doesn’t mean you have to waste 90 minutes of pain on it. I’m doing alright now. 

Last week I was in rough shape, though.