Picks and Pans Review: Martin Mull Presents the History of White People in America

UPDATED 06/03/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/03/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

Cinemax (Tuesday June 4, 9:30 p.m. ET)

Such an obvious idea, amazing no one thought of it before. Thank heaven no one did, as Martin (Fern-wood 2-Nite) Mull is the perfect white rabbit to take us on this absurd odyssey. Subtitled Part I: In Search Of, Mull presents us with a white, middle-class, American family called the Harrisons—Mom and Pop are played by Mary Kay Place and Fred Williard. Walking through their suburban tract house, we find such white artifacts as-drink coasters with wild geese on them ("to protect natural woods, should they occur") and a frayed paperback entitled World's Funniest Golf Jokes, Vol. II. We find the Harrison clan on the patio, barbecuing hamburgers on their Weber self-emptying grill. Here they face the day's major crisis: running out of mayonnaise. Mull takes us to a scientific center, the Institute for White People, where the habits of this strange breed are analyzed. Notice the display of white people's most popular meals, featuring macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, tuna noodle casserole and Cheez-It crackers. Just some of the delightful tidbits of this dry-humored, imaginative half hour, which features cameo appearances by Steve Martin and Teri Garr. Can't wait for Part II on July 4. You'll laugh until you're white, as it were.

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