'MacGruber' Is Back (And Continues To Be Underrated)
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Listen up, ya friggin turds: MacGruber is getting 8 episodes on Peacock, NBC's streaming service, this December.
It's been over a decade since the mullet-sporting maniac graced the silver screen in the cult classic MacGruber, so let's jog your memory with the funniest moments of MacGruber.
If you've never heard of MacGruber, let me give you the mission briefing before we get started. MacGruber is Saturday Night Live's parody of MacGyver- he's a dunce who uses household materials in action-movie ways. It's obvious from the sketches that MacGruber is a bad dude. He robs his sidekicks, becomes completely oversensitive over nothing, and is casually and unthinkingly racist (even by the low bar of the mid-aughts). The movie makes sure to rub in your face that MacGruber's a moron chauvinist whose incompetence and selfishness hurts everyone close to him.
At one otherwise forgettable juncture, a character makes fun of MacGruber's ostentatious and ridiculous car. MacGruber, ever sensitive to a slight, memorizes the license plate and becomes absolutely obsessed with it. The character is off-camera when they mock MacGruber, has no relevance to the plot, and becomes almost as large a villain as the man who killed MacGruber's wife.
The Tipping Scene
MacGruber convinces his lover to dress like him (which turns him on) and pretend to be him at a cafe that he told a villain he would be at. He forces her to order a large tea, yell at the cashier, and take her tip back out of the jar. It's one of the most uncomfortable scenes you'll ever watch. I'm sorry for showing you. No, I'm not sorry. (But as me, I'm sorry.)
MacGruber openly screams that he's going to kill Dieter von Cunth, his villain, mocks everyone around him, and kills a handful of people… but he's very careful not to slander his nemesis. When Lieutenant Piper finds out that Cunth killed MacGruber's wife, the wily inventor is careful to say it was never proven in a court of law. During his strange nightclub announcement, he's careful to say that Cunth is up to something incredibly illegal and astoundingly deadly … "Allegedly! I should say that for legal purposes."
MacGruber's writing is top-notch, and sprinkled throughout the script are little tics and one-liners that really get me. My favorite example is during the club scene when MacGruber yells at a startled crowd, "Who am I, you ask?" and one brave soul very, very quietly responds, "... not really."
Putting a Team Together
There are too many incredible moments from MacGruber -- two of the funniest sex scenes ever shot, finally realizing guns are way better for killing than gadgets, begging a lieutenant to help him -- but only one scene reaches absolute icon status. Putting together a team. Early on, MacGruber is tasked with putting together a team of American heroes to save the day. And he's the bomb at it.
And then it's time to get the job done:
MacGruber's humor is obviously dated, and at times bigoted beyond lambasting its titular celery-stuffed asshole. Which is why it's exciting that it's gonna be updated for a modern audience. I'm excited to see what they can put together with just a wrench, a bobby pin, and a huge budget.
Top Image: Universal