Not sure this series qualifies as "brilliant" per se, but it was a pretty clever concept and it sure was cancelled. Sid and Marty Krofft (the guys who concocted the trippy H.R. Pufnstuf) created D.C. Follies back in 1987, right before the presidential election. It was a satire of current events and politics but had puppets and Fred Willard. Oddly entertaining, it had potential to be a decent series if it had just been a little bit edgier or a little more biting. To me some of the then presumably lame jokes are kind of funnier in retrospect.
Who knew when this show came out in '87 that George H.W. Bush, who gets taunted incessantly in the episode below, would go from being a nearly invisible Regan sidekick to president and then father to another president? And who knew that the then scandalous Madonna/Sean Penn split would seem like nothing when paired with the current Madonna/Guy Richie divorce debacle?
Admittedly the show isn't the greatest, and the episode below features the painful inclusion of "funnyman" Rich Hall, who was hawking his signature sniglets in the most painful way. Fred Willard is game, though I think if he'd been left to his own devices to improv lines, it would have been significantly more enjoyable. And if he did improv, it's not his best work. Here he seems to be the straight man setting up lines for the puppetized version of the political and media elite. The only time we get some typical Willard humor is when they pan in on him mid-phone call carrying on a conversation with a celebrity.
The show does have some bizarre moment that more closely resembles typical Krofft fare. For instance in this episode reporter Sam Donaldson becomes a maniacal president-creating version of Dr. Frankenstein. Willard, of course, is the presidential monster. It's out there, and it almost might have been better if the whole thing pushed that borderline insane envelope. Instead we get George H.W. falling into a well in order to get attention. Well, I guess it isn't any worse than having Amy Poehler rap while vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin tries to desk-dance and raise the roof on SNL. I wonder what a puppet Palin would look like. Maybe the Krofft brothers can revive this show, just for a week for before the upcoming election. They can just dust off their old Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters puppets, age them a bit and do a View segment. Or maybe it is for the best that this show remains in relative obscurity.