Steven S. Drachman: Just When We Need Him Most, Andy’s Back!

I’ve heard from Larry Kudlow that the pandemic is over, but pandemic entertainment is still around. Someone hasn’t gotten the memo.

I was so excited to watch the remote Brisco County Jr. reunion a month ago, and now an even more obscure TV show I love is having a streaming pandemic reunion, the bizarre and hilarious Andy Richter Control the Universe, which comes to your laptop on September 13.

It’s as though someone is delving into my brain to come up with entertainment for the masses.

What’s next? The Quark reunion? The Eddie Capra Mysteries reunion?

The Highcliffe Manor reunion?

Richter, of course, is better-known as Conan O’Brien’s sidekick, but for a little while he left Conan and branched out on his own, and the result was this very brief and wonderful bit of weirdness.

It lasted just a little bit longer than a season; it was renewed then cancelled.

Richter starred as “Andy Richter,” an aspiring writer, who worked at a huge company, headquartered in Chicago, where he wrote user manuals, shared an office, uneasily, yearned for the unattainable receptionist, managed his unwieldy boss (and her even-more-unwieldy boss) resented the office handsome-guy and loathed the ghost of the company’s long-dead founder, a reprehensible bigot and sexist, who hounded him daily. (The ghost in the office, whom only Andy could see, would be the entire premise of any other sitcom, but here it was a weekly bizarro throwaway.)

Andy dealt deftly with the office politics and urban relationships of the day, and, hilariously, with racism. We’re all the Same, Only Different is about workplace racism, and it’s hilarious! (Really, I have been talking about that one for years, to everyone who will listen.) Little Andy in Charge deals with antisemitism … and it’s hilarious!

Richter was perfectly imperfect as a ball of anxieties who frequently behaves horribly.

The reunion, par for the course for this kind of thing, will include a table-reading of one episode, and reminiscences from the cast. (Unlike the Brisco cast, the Andy cast are all still alive, thank goodness.) The reunion, which benefits a number of charities, runs live on September 13 at 7pm Eastern and remains available for streaming for the following week. See more info, and buy your ticket, here.

Who will watch this, other than me? Everyone, I hope.


Steven S. Drachman is the author of Watt O’Hugh and the Innocent Dead, which is available in trade paperback from your favorite local independent bookstore, from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and on Kindle.