The internet is increasingly becoming the greatest repository of wisdom, entertainment, and information the world has ever known—in addition to being an unbeatable delivery system for pornography and videos of cats flushing toilets. This is particularly true of YouTube, where, to awkwardly paraphrase William Faulkner, the past didn’t go anywhere; in fact it was just uploaded by BieberBelieber23 three and a half hours ago. With that in mind, we introduce “Treasures of YouTube,” a regular feature that brings you some overlooked gems of this glorious online institution.
Up first we have the fabled pilot for Lookwell, a legendary detective-show spoof Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel co-wrote relatively early in their distinguished careers. The would-be cult classic perfectly typecasts an eminently game Adam West as an Adam West-like has-been actor and wonderfully pretentious acting coach who doesn’t seem to realize that it’s not still the ’70s, and that playing a cop on television does not qualify him to solve actual crimes. The show is a deadpan, laugh-track-free delight that makes inspired use of the lunatic conviction West brings to every role and line, no matter how ridiculous. Lookwell was never picked up but endures today as one of comedy’s great “what ifs” as well as an inspired collaboration between simpatico comic geniuses. But don’t take our word for it. Check it out yourself.