Circus Of The Stars Goes To Disneyland
Because this is Circus Of The Stars Goes To Disneyland, an extra layer of hokeyness has been added to the usual big-tent proceedings — with costumed performers dressed as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and others, exchanging cornball jokes with hosts Leslie Nielsen, Harry Anderson, and Scott Baio. This 19th annual edition of Circus of the Stars is as motley as ever: One minute, Vicki Lawrence is taking part in a juggling act; the next, vocal group All-4-One is being hauled out to sing its latest hit. Given all the effort that must go into producing one of these things — matching stars with circus acts, arranging for the performers’ big-top tutorials, staging the whole megillah — it’s surprising that the between-act patter of the hosts couldn’t be more clever or enlightening.
Still, Nielsen, Anderson, and Baio do their best, and Anderson — in a nod to his pre-sitcom days — contributes a funny magic sequence. And, as always, the efforts of the stars are impressive. It invariably strikes me as above and beyond the call of publicity duty to spend nine weeks in training to perform complicated routines on the high wire, as did My So-Called Life‘s A.J. Langer, Blossom‘s Jenna von Oy, and Home Improvement‘s ”Tool Time Girl” Debbe Dunning. And call me a sucker, but any show that features Adam ”Batman” West refereeing trained dogs playing soccer, and Phyllis Diller leading a bunch of pigs through a rendition of ”Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” is amusingly surreal stuff. B-