It kind of goes without saying that Ellie Kemper's Kimmy Schmidt is featured pretty heavily in Netflix's The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. However, season 4, episode 3, took a brief hiatus from exploring Kimmy's post-cult life to focus on a figure from her past: Jon Hamm's Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, better known in this episode as DJ Slizzard.
The episode, titled "Party Monster: Scratching the Surface," operates as a true crime documentary, not unlike Netflix's truly genius series American Vandal. Here, it explores how "DJ Fingablast" (Derek Klena) sets out on a quest to get the Reverend to perform at his wedding, only to learn that, err... he's in prison for holding a group of women hostage in his doomsday cult.
The half hour is quite the spectacle, and features Hamm at his absolutely hammiest. (It's strange after seeing Hamm in this role that Mad Men didn't switch gears and become a goofy sitcom set in the world of advertising.) It's also spot-on in its depiction of the true crime genre, from the crows cawing during the chilling opening credits to the narrator (Fingablast) musing on the details of the case as he throws rocks into a pond.
The episode also gives a nod to some of the docu-series of the past that helped get its subjects a new trial.
"Adnan from Serial. The Staircase guy," the Reverend tells Fingablast in the episode. "They all had their cases reopened because of a supersmart documentary that didn't leave anything out."
This episode of Kimmy Schmidt, however, also features something that no true crime special ever has: actual footage from that time Hamm was on a dating show.
In 1996, a 25-year-old Hamm once appeared on the dating show The Big Date, and, apparently, the producers of Kimmy Schmidt just had to have the footage to round out the Reverend's story arc.
By the way, this is how the Reverend and Hamm would woo a lady:
"Start off with some fabulous food, and some fabulous conversation, and end with a fabulous foot massage for an evening of total fabulosity."
The weirdest episode of the series? Quite possibly... and apparently, the truth is almost as strange as the fiction.
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