May 19, 2021

Midweek Mention... UHF

Midweek Mention... UHF
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When I was in my early teenage years I really liked the 'Weird Al' Yankovic album "Even Worse". It probably wasn't that great in hindsight, but the teenage me loved it. Then I discovered that Mr Yankovic had made a movie, I had to see it. And I did. 

I loved UHF all those years ago, but this was released in 1989 and things have moved on quite a bit.

Can this movie still make us laugh? Who knows....



Reegs:We watched a movie and I had seen snippets of it, but never seen the whole thing.

Sidey:Has he had you guys heard of this

Pete:never, ever heard of it. When you said UHF, there's a really banging early nineties XL recordings, rave track called UHF by UHF, which I'll, I'll play you at some point later, but I never, ever heard of the film.

Dan:Yeah. I'd seen this actually back in the day. Yeah. Yeah. I would say it was one of those films, actually. I thought I may never see again, but there you go. It froze it up again. And and how was it often? 15 years, 20 years. Had you seen it before?

Reegs:but I had seen scenes of it. Like I'd seen the, Gandy scene and the Rambo scene and the Indiana Jones scene.

Like, you know, just sometimes when you're YouTube scrolling or whatever and stuff comes up. So I'd, I don't think I'd ever pieced together that this was part of some bigger narrative, all this zaniness, in this


Pete:weird Al Yankovic, which is someone who I'm, I've heard of, but I've never seen anything with him in, or even attached to apart from he sings the the, the theme tune to captain underpants, the film, which is yeah, which is a belter.

But other than that, I'd never seen him in anything.

Dan:you never see him do the Michael Jackson?

Reegs:Eat it or Whatever

Dan:Yeah, I think he did fat.

Pete:Okay. So I'm aware of that, but I didn't know it was

Dan:he also did dire straights.


Dan:Which was in this

Sidey:The album, he got loads of albums, but the one. I was aware of him as a musician before seeing this.

So the, and there, the album was called even worse, so it's bad, even worse. And I was,

Reegs:smells like the Varner on it. as

Sidey:It was like, I was pretty obsessed with this when I was like early teens. So when I found out that there was a movie as well, fucking all over it, and I loved it back then. Yeah. So I was keen to have a look and enforce it upon you as well.


Pete:Yeah, totally like miss this.

Dan:Well, I mean, for anybody who doesn't know what this movie's about join the club. No it's a weird Al Yankovic is down on his luck loser. Who's just. Vivid imagination keeps getting him into trouble. He's got some, he's got some family that have connections though. And he ends up running channel 62, which is a television.

One of those cable television shows that, Oh, what stations




it? It's his uncle wins it in a,

Dan:a card

Sidey:a card game. Yeah. Cause he's got a serious gambling problem.


that's why, and he was working, flipping burgers or doing whatever he was doing. And he just can't concentrate for, for more than a few minutes before something completely where it happens as it does all the way food is film.

When he starts having his television program, he meets Kramer. He meets Craig.

Reegs:he Stanley



Reegs:Yeah. Michael Richards, I think is the guy's name. This was pre Seinfeld. So he wasn't a big name. I thought he

was comfortably the better sort of comic act out of him and weird Al Yankovic in this film, which was.

An odd thing to see, because you expect weird Al to be kind of the

Sidey:well, he plays it pretty straight.

Reegs:does. Yeah.

Sidey:straight man. And everyone else is kind of weird. His, his weirdness is just being involved in crazy situations, but he himself is just the straight man in there.

Reegs:this Don

Dan:Dan Lee, who's the janitor from channel eight, who is the big number one station


they have a bit of a rivalry. And at one point there's a package that gets delivered in Aira to channel 62, which our whose actual name is George Newman takes over to channel eight. And he gets thrown out. There's an ease. Like, so then this kind of turf war starts and this bad blood between them starts and he's got into his head. I need to get to be number one. We're losing money, hand over fist. Let's let's

Sidey:that's the crux of it is it's about to go running the numbers and he said, we'll be. Broke by the end of the week or something that we're down, looks at the schedules and it's just repeats of old stuff. So he's like we got to get some like, live stuff on some, some new programming.

So he starts off that. Kid's like Crusty's thingy with some really bored looking kids

Dan:Hey, kids in waving his arms

Sidey:the first time he's really going for it. The second time was after his misses broken it off with him. And so you get this incredibly sad

Reegs:he's talking about Roadrunner and Wiley coyote, and he's just made it into this.

isolate, this really pathetic coyote in a few tile pursuit and all this


and Yeah. He's just having a breakdown.

It's good.

Dan:Th there's some fantastic, fantastic comic moments in this. It the, the point where the kid just spit in his face, he's like full on gobbed,

Reegs:Yeah. It's horrible drop.

Dan:everything he's

Pete:spat in his

Dan:and then you can see him kinda.

Pete:to watch that bit again, just to see whether that was, but they've obviously just said to this kid, right.

Reegs:just float

Pete:big, old green, and just like, God, right in this

Dan:don't laugh, dead pan.

And the kid can't do it. Kenny he's he's like turns away and you can see him starting to smoke a little bit. But as it, as the actually just drips off his nose, I mean, there's that much trouble.

Pete:Doesn't he, I think he has to, I can't remember the reason why, but he has to step out for a bit. So he asks like the janitor to just go in the room and yeah, and I riff with the kids and stuff.

Dan:This point they have pretty much lost the studio. The figures say that they're not going to meet their targets and he's given up and he just says, To the janitor. Do you want to go on TV? And of course he says, yeah, I'll give it a go. And as they're down the pub it's on television. Everyone's talking about it and it's becomes this massive hit

Reegs:Stanley clubhouse.

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, it's just him being himself. Isn't it? He kind of just,

Sidey:he's just seems like he's black.

One of the kids just going crazy.


Pete:Yeah. There's, there's a brain injury of some description that's presumably happened. Cause he's, he's not.

Dan:Well, he still wants to be the

Pete:he's not fully functioning. Yeah.

Reegs:the thing. He still wants to be the janitor, so he wants to be on the

TV, but he

Dan:the only way you would do the television show is if he could continue being the janitor. So he was straight off television, he said, Oh, can I go and clean the toilet now? Now?

Pete:Yeah. So I recognized, I recognized the actor, but I think he's got some false teeth presumably. Or they come in let, or unless he's just pulling like a horsey face, like the whole way through.

Yeah. So I recognize the actor and then. Like, I mean, Seinfeld for me was absolute wank and Kramer was total like just really irritating. And then I think the thing he's probably now most famous for is being a horrific racist.

Sidey:I watched it last night. Cause I remembered it from the news when it happened and I watched it, I was nice unfucking believable,

Pete:like with, with the most like

Sidey:I think two guys just didn't she just stood up. And they, he shouts some abuse out of them and they answer back and then he just drops the N word, like over and over and like F Oh my God.

Cause there's someone filming it, you know, and you can hear the gospel and then people just start to leave. And he, and he doesn't at no point. He at no point does he backed down and like, get

Dan:Wow I never knew

Sidey:but his fucking

Reegs:No, it was

Dan:it was off my off my radar that, so

Sidey:And then I remember Seinfeld being on one of the like late night shows a few days later.

Cause they'd obviously, they'd like, we need to get someone in to speak about this.

Reegs:Yeah, but I mean, you know, clearly weird are Yankees. I mean, everybody eat like the three or four of the main cast members are Jewish. It's pretty clear I mean, weird alleys Fran Drescher is. it, It plays the love interest. She's Jewish the fucking molested


Who's never been in anything else.

I checked is


Reegs:Bob. yeah. He was Jewish clearly. So, you know, that seems a bit. Odd that he would have gone from there, where they're clearly having a great time doing all this stuff to having a racist. anti-Semitic


I think he's probably like had a, sort of a failing a standup career. This is like post Seinfeld and posts, all of this kind of stuff. I mean, it didn't, I mean, it's, it's detracting from what we're talking about, but I, I. When it happened, I'd never Seinfeld and Kramer, especially like I was like, this guy is just a fucking deck bar.

He was he was a good character in this irritating, but it was, it fitted in nicely with the rest of the nonsense that was going. And then in this film,

Reegs:throughout, we get these flights of fancy. You were talking about them earlier Dan, and we get the reconstruction of lots of pop culture moments. You start with the



Sidey:That's what opens the movie, man.

Pete:Yeah, yeah, yeah. The bit where he, he, he steps out of the cave and gets run over by a train. So pretty straight. Cause I went into this with no like preconceived ideas or expectations or anything, and I could tell it was going to be like a spoof. It kind of like had like smacks of like hot shots and things.

Sidey:kind of humor

Pete:It will probably inspire. It would have been before hot shot. So it inspired bits of that. But at that point, when he stepped backwards, I, that, that was my first LOL. And I thought, okay, I think there's going to be lulls in this. And they weren't,

Sidey:Stanley's clubhouse show is a bit of a hit where it's a big hit. So they decide that they've got to make more of these kinds of shows, these, their own products.

Dan:some great content coming out there.

Sidey:Even get some advertising, which I'm thinking we all enjoyed such as bachelor city

Dan:It's where you get all your spatular

Sidey:fucking brilliant. They really like. Dive into this bachelor concept. And that is great. One of my favorite shows was the animal one with the dude where he's just got all these weird animals and then he's just throwing his dogs to that death and it cuts as a big part of the up.

Pete:It's amazing. There's one, one where he goes turtles. Nature's nature's suction


Pete:leaks the back of one and throws it to the ceiling.

Sidey:Yeah, the whole movie is dedicated to that actor,

Reegs:Yes. Trinidad, Trinidad, something, wasn't it.


Dan:really? I didn't know that

Sidey:But he died during the MC

Pete:I feel like that all of these guys there, must've been a hell of a lot of substance abuse going on.

Cause they're all fucking off their heads. There's no way you can like, act

Dan:Would out does none of that?

Reegs:No, he

Dan:of it doesn't drink.


Dan:Does it? I think it was quite a religious upbringing and he's just a bit weird, really. And

Reegs:it's all there in the name.


Pete:true, true

Dan:it's Envoy on the tin as you said at the start, he, it comes into all these Indiana Jones and all these imaginative pop culture references. And that's how I kind of remember weird Al actually just doing sketches and things like that.

And, and so to make a movie of all this, it was popular at the time. Wasn't he? I mean, he was huge. He was, I think he had all the with his music as well. He had

celebrity fans

Reegs:I only ever, thought of him as a music video person, really. I didn't, I wasn't aware of his. Film filmography. I don't even know if he's got much of one because this absolutely fucking tanked. in there. it opened opposite Batman,


Sidey:they made it, they made a conscious decision.

Pete:key in Batman.

Sidey:They made a conscious decision to release it in the, you know, the, the summer blockbuster months.

For some reason, bizarre

Dan:Maybe they thought he could handle it. But Yeah.

Pete:the film though was a really good, I mean, I'm not familiar with it with this stuff, but from what everyone's talking about, this film is a really good vehicle for his light skits and stuff.

It was, you know, the concepts allows for those

Dan:vice versa.

Pete:in. Yeah. Yeah. So

Sidey:Some of the shows we got to see include Conan the librarian. I want you to enjoy that don't, you know, the Dewey decimal system,

Reegs:and then he just cleaves that guy.

in half. It's just fantastic. What

else do you get, obviously the Gandy.



Sidey:has had had enough of his passive resistance. He's just machine gunning people down,

Reegs:Ha Ha

how do you have your steak

medium rare


Sidey:I did enjoy the bone out to the guy who was literally about half a foot away and

Pete:just exploded and then like the catching. Catching the bullet and the teeth, and then spitting a guy who then explodes. Yeah. Yeah. There was one of the, I think it was one of the original programs on the channel was a town talk.

And one of the, which is like a news, a news there's like a scheduled news program. And one of the, the items was lesbian, Nazi, hookers, abducted by UFO's and forced into weight loss programs all this week on town talk.

Reegs:It's pretty funny. It's pretty funny all the way through, and there's always a. because of the sort of. a narcotic structure to it. It's always going to cut away to something for me. A couple of the pop culture bits went on a bit too long. I felt the

Rambo one dragged a little bit at some points and all that, but I mean, it's, you know, picking faults in what was a bloody good hour and a half

Sidey:it's similar to, in a way is.

Dodgeball in the sense that it's Globo gym trying to just acquire and that's, that's what they're doing. They they've been bought out. And he's not even going to, he's not allowed to have two stations, so he's just gonna mothball them, but he just wants them off the scene. So they have to raise enough money to match the offer, to fuck him off.

That's the story. And, you know, obviously, yeah,

Reegs:He was big Louis cause I never really sort of understood who that was.

Dan:He was just a big

Sidey:mobsters The loan shark is lending the money to the gambler

Reegs:did we ever see him or what did he just,

put the money through the window at the end?

Pete:was a man to be like a bond villain. Wasn't he? Where he, you don't see him. Yeah.

Reegs:Oh, you've got the zany crazy scientist.

He was running And he's an alien.

as well.

Pete:was quite a good alien as well. Yeah.


Sidey:At one scene, we see them planning out the schedule of the station. There was a board with all the different names of the shows they had on. I don't know if you saw any of them.

Dan:Well, it was all town talk Monday to Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday, they were looking to experiment with a couple of

Sidey:Well, yeah, there's beastiality today.

Beat the loan shark. Buddha knows best dog racing from Rio de Janeiro Druids on parade. I on toxic waste fun with dirt. Leave it too big for my three mutants name name.

Pete:did you have, you mentioned the wonderful world of phlegm.

Sidey:No, not yet. That's disgusting. The flying pipe, the license, right? The younger, the younger, the dyslexic Bingo. For teens,

Dan:Well, what was the the show he gave to the karate guy? Cause that was quite funny

Pete:Oh, yeah, it was, Oh,

so at the beginning, cause he's flats next to like the karate studio, isn't it. And at one point he said, Oh my God, what's the time. And like an arm just like punches through the wall and it's got a watch on it. Like that was great. Yeah.

Sidey:That's the kind of humor that you get. I started watching it fell asleep. So I thought I'll, I won't try again now I'll wait till the next day, but the next day, the misses of time and. The scene that she watched was probably around about spatula city sort of time.

So not foreign,

Dan:where he chops his finger off. And he kind of with the, with the wood saw,

Sidey:I think she made it to about three minutes at a time, which she still swears was about half an hour because she's fucking tells everyone that we say, Oh, I've watched this fucking shit. And we got the comment of what the fuck is this?

Like, And then who the fuck can nominate this it's me. It's like you, you fucking already know. She just left the room. She wasn't that big a fan of it. Yeah.

Dan:Well, well, it's a crazy spirit in this film. I mean, you can see there, it's absolutely absurd and there's a lot of free wheeling and people just doing what. Might stick. It might stay on film and I can imagine the outtakes was absolutely crazy, but it does leave me thinking it, you know, maybe it's just dated or, or maybe it could have just been done a little bit better, a little bit tighter.

But. Overall, you know, I thought this was, as you said, a decent hour and a half, and you'll laugh. You definitely laugh at some of the jokes a little bit like airplane. There's just so much going on. There's gags going on that. And they don't worry too much about if you didn't get it.

Pete:out about that. I thought part of the charm of it was that it was a bit like, shit. It wasn't like trying to be. A blockbuster already put, although it was released in the summer blockbuster period.

Yeah, it was, it was just fucking silly, which is right up my alley.

Reegs:it had to kind of homemade feel to it. Although, I mean, they weren't like you say the alien was a really good,



Reegs:and there were other bigger sequences and stuff. It was quite ambitious that some stuff that you tried to do, but it was just kind of soup, but,

Pete:but like channels 62 itself.

Like they, haven't got a big budget. They are on the bones of their ass. And so they had to like, do stuff that was going to. Capture people's imagination, like on a shoe string and,

Dan:Oh, it was genius.

Summit summit, a content

Pete:sidled tell us like budget and everything like

Dan:Twinkie, Wiener sandwich that he did is, is actually quite a famous delish.

Pete:simply getting like your coffee?

Sorry. It was horrendous. Yeah. What was the source? He put on it. I was looking for that a Twinkie.

Dan:I think I, yeah, I think they just dip it in milk.

Pete:cause they, they, they squirt it. He squatted a sauce on the top. I don't know if it was like mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard or whatever. Yeah.

Sidey:well, I will tell you the money stuff. It costs $5 million to make.

1999 this was released So what do you think, do you think it made any dough?

Dan:I reckon it probably about broke even.

Pete:Well, so Sid said, sorry. Re said that it tanked. So I'm assuming it didn't make its money back.

Sidey:it. Just about, did it made 6.1 million,


Sidey:so quite pleased about

Pete:But again, I think this is, this is going to be like, it will have a cult following

Sidey:Yeah. Yeah.

Reegs:he was poised for stardom at this point. And this really sank him. apparently that's what the

Sidey:I dunno, I think he's always had that sort of level where, you know, comedy straight out comedy music, things like that. You're never going to get, you know, it's not an arena sort of material you're out.

You'll have your sort of comedy club.

Dan:It's always going to be a cult guy. Wasn't he? You know, I think he

Sidey:I was a big fan. I liked it, but. You know, the thing is with it is, is everything is so specific pop culture reference. So they date

Reegs:Well, th that's what I was going to say. If you are a fan, of the time period, this is an absolute, like cap time caps, You'll have pop culture references.

So you'll just absolutely

Sidey:Well his music was just the hit songs of the time, you know, so that they were recognizable and you could, that's where you get the jokes from. So they asked the play it very much. So time capsule. Yeah.

Pete:and you, because I was a bit, I was intrigued after it. So it did do a little bit of background on where Dale Yankovich and I found out that quite tragically, both his parents died in their home from an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Incident from their fire.


Pete:So that was a

Reegs:well when he

was young.

Pete:no, no, no.

When he was an adult, but yeah, they're just like an elderly couple that hopefully died in their sleep.

Dan:this by rooting around his bins. Yeah.

Pete:that was it. Yeah. Yeah. I was playing, playing with her Gaslight outside his house. Yeah.

Dan:And have you got any other tragic, tragic events?

Sidey:He's a very good accordion player. That's where he started out. Is it? Yeah.

Dan:That's where he started out. How'd you start out

Reegs:It's where everyone starts out there

Pete:sorry. I just remembered on the, on the, so the night he wasn't there, obviously when his parents died, he got he found out and then half an hour later, he went on stage and performed because he was doing a tour at the time. And then apparently for the, for the next couple of years, he just continued like touring, relentlessly and performing, because that was the only time he kind of like escape the horror

Sidey:you're in the moment. Yeah. Doing something.


Sidey:Well, I really still enjoyed this sorry. I watched it the first time round and I've obviously watched that game for this and I still laughed.

I really liked it. Those sort of pop culture references are of an era when I, you know, I remember them all, you know what I mean?

Dan:Oh, they're all relevant to me as

Sidey:a bit visually a bit tired, but I said that's sort of part of it's charm as well. So I would definitely recommend this, just not to my misses.

Dan:Yeah, it's not going to be for everyone, but there's definite laughs in this and it's just zany.

It's weird.

Pete:I'm so fucking pleased that you got me to watch this because I never, I never heard of it. I don't think I'd have ever watched it. And yeah, it was, it was a real treat

Reegs:candy too.