"I've Had It Up to Here," the NBC comedy special at 10 tonight on Channel 4, looks like one of those woebegone and misbegotten gimmick shows ABC loves to try out opposite "60 Minutes" on Sunday nights. And, sure enough, the executive producer of the special is Dick Clark, who is compiling a dismally consistent record of strained mediocrity in television production.
Steve Allen hosts the program but is presumably blameless for the flagrant absence of wit or luster. A number of third-rate second bananas rattle through a series of feeble sketches about supposedly common American pet peeves, never reaching even the minimal level of Alan King and his perpetual rancor. Of the assembled tribe, only Mimi Kennedy, a versatile revue comedienne, rises above the material; the others have the antiseptic pallor of actors in commercials that are supposed to be funny but aren't.
Allen is responsible for three bright spots: An opening monologue in which he rails away at various consumer outrages; a revival of the venerable "man-on-the-street" bit from his old NBC show, with Bill Dana as Jose Jimenez, Louis Nye as Gordon Hathaway and Jayne Meadows as a bluenosed librarian; and the sure-fire Letters to the Editor routine, in which Allen, press card in hat, reads fiery missives to the New York Daily News with all the vehemence and fury the letter writers intended.
These are tiny pockets of glee in an otherwise dispirited shambles, which took no fewer than 12 writers to slop together. The copyright in the final crawl reads "1979."