I write a certain number of articles every week, and I was sitting here thinking of a good subject. Then, the podcast I was listening to (shout out to How Did This Get Played?!) mentioned the Canadian TV series based on the video game Maniac Mansion. Then, I realized what I would be writing about. Oh, did I mention the Maniac Mansion show was created by Eugene Levy? See, you’re already on board, right?
While the show takes some of its plotting from Maniac Mansion the game, the show is more like a sci-fi sitcom. It focuses on the Edison family, with mad scientist patriarch Fred, wife Casey, brainy daughter Tina, and younger brother Ike. Oh, also Turner, a toddler who spends the show quickly growing into an adult man because of a scientific experiment. So yeah, it’s not all normal sitcom stuff. Joe Flaherty stars as Fred, who was a Second City Television alum like Levy. Levy guest starred in an episode, as did Martin Short, Andrea Martin, and Dave Thomas. Oh, and David Cronenberg played himself, which is a very Canadian thing to happen.
Maniac Mansion has a lot of SCTV flavor to it, though it isn’t on that level of quality, naturally. It somehow feels cheaper, maybe because it’s a sitcom and not a sketch show. Still, it was often meta and would break the fourth wall. I won’t pretend like it was a great show. However, they made 62 episodes of it. Basically, TV people seemed to like it, while video game people were mad it wasn’t like the video game. Personally, my alliance is with television. Then, some day Eugene Levy’s son Dan would create his own Canadian TV show, Schitt’s Creek. It was a little more successful than Maniac Mansion. However, it never featured David Cronenberg. Score one for Papa Levy.