A perfect night for 'Family' fantasy


January 14, 1995|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Question: What do tonight's prime-time TV schedule and a nudist have in common? And here's the answer: There's nothing * "Swiss Family Robinson." (8-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- It doesn't matter that this Walt Disney live-action film is, sigh, 35 years old now, or that John Mills and Dorothy McGuire act about as Swiss as June and Ward Cleaver. What counts is that this story was, and remains, a perfect fantasy for children: An island paradise where they get to play with animals on a free-range zoo, fight with pirates using all manner of handmade weaponry, attend "school" in the open air, and, best of all, live in the world's biggest, coolest tree house. Watch this one with your children, and everyone will be entertained equally. ABC.

* "Saturday Night Live." (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This is either a dumb idea, or a dumber one: Tonight's guest host is Jeff Daniels, the costar in Jim Carrey's latest hit comedy film. The musical guest is Luscious Jackson, which means I'm officially, inarguably, an old fogey. For the first time in the 20-year history of this series, I don't even recognize the name of the musical guest. Sigh. Regardless, I'm sure he, or they, is (or are) really gear, fab and groovy. NBC.


* "Taxicab Confessions." (10-11:05 p.m., HBO) -- This terrific, almost voyeuristic documentary is a superb blueprint for what should be a recurring series of specials. Tiny cameras and hidden microphone record the candid conversations of passengers in New York City's night-shift taxicabs. Watch the range, the emotion and the "star quality" of these midnight riders, and I guarantee you'll be both impressed and amazed.

* "Super Dave's Vegas Spectacular." (10:30-11 p.m., USA) -- What's better than a show in which the host's every move and entire persona is a tongue-in-cheek abrasive act? And, again, here's the answer: A show with the exact same sort of special guest star: This week, Peen Gillette joins Bob Einstein's Super Dave in Las Vegas.

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