In an 8.22 Grantland piece about the late Michael O’Donoghue, Tom Carson briefly mentions Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video. This reminded me of an article about this vaguely funny anthology film that was included in the debut issue of the Thousand Eyes Cinema Guide, a Sid Geffen publication that I was the managing editor of in late ’79 or ’80. (I need to find some back issues.) The piece was basically about attempts to get it theatrically distributed, however marginally, and how the original 75-minute assembly was padded with extras (including a Mr. Bill sequence) to push the running time up to 90 minutes. Carson’s article also reminded me of O’Donoghue’s cat-swimming school sequence, which, when you get down to it, is pretty much the only thing I remember about Mr. Mikes’s Mondo Video. Here’s the whole thing. Oddly, it only runs 71 minutes and change, or a little less than four minutes shorter than the original version.

Wiki Boilerplate: “Mr. Mike’s Mondo Video was released on home video in the early 1980s through Mike Nesmith’s Pacific Arts label. In January 2009, The film was released on DVD by Shout! Factory. The DVD release mutes the infamous ‘My Way’ segment and removes Mr. Mike’s lead-in to the ‘Church of the Jack Lord’ segment due to the inability of Shout! Factory to get the rights to use the Hawaii Five-O theme song.”

My one and only encounter with O’Donoghue happened sometime in the mid ’80s in a hip Italian eatery called Rondo, which was located on the south side of Melrose just west of Fairfax. His rep was that of a darkly sardonic know-it-all but that aspect of his personality was nowhere in sight that evening. The poor guy died in 1994 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was only 54.