Friday, September 23, 2005


I don't think I have ever laughed so hard at one word in my life.


Back in 1989 "Weird Al" Yankovic's film UHF opened in theaters. The film was funny, really funny.

First time I saw it, it was presented as a sneak preview before the Richard Pryor flick See No Evil, Hear No Evil. I was dropped off at the theater with very specific instructions NOT to stay for See No Evil, Hear No Evil. I don't recall if it was because that film was rated 'R' or if it was because that film got out too late.

Either way I wanted to see See No Evil, Hear No Evil in the worst way. Well, not EXACTLY in the worst way. I guess the worse way to see it would have been projected onto the backs of dozens of dead puppies.

But I wanted to see it very much.

Today, the restrictions are off, and I have no desire to see it. Funny how life is.

Speaking of which, UHF was being pushed as one of the silliest films ever made. The poster featured the tag line "TV the way it was meant to be seen, in a movie theater."

When we got to the theater, the line for UHF was HUGE!! Full of old, stuffy looking people. What on earth were they doing here? They could not be here for the hilarity! Perhaps they read the movie's tagline and thought that they would just be handed a remote control upon purchasing their ticket. Maybe they just wanted to watch "The Golden Girls" the way it was 'meant to be seen.'

The puzzle was soon solved when a theater manager announced that the newspaper featured a 'typo.'

Tonight's sneak preview is UHF, not When Harry Met Sally.

The line cleared up quickly and all that was left was: me, my friend and a guy reading a Groo comic book.

The movie made me laugh and laugh. I don't want to do a scene by scene recap, instead I just want to tell you about the jokes I didn't 'get.'

There was a bunch of em.

Today, after watching the film on DVD, I think I 'get' all of them.

This isn't to say I didn't LAUGH; I just had no idea why I was laughing.

Joke 1: "This means something, this is important."
In a reference to the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind Al builds a tower of mashed potatoes and repeats the famous line. I had never seen that film and didn't know it was a reference.

Joke 2: "Badgers? Badgers? We don't need no stinking badgers."
Once again it's a film reference that I didn't get. A sly take on the famous line from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. This is a very famous line, but I and the few other people in the theater just weren't equipped to understand references to films from the 1940s. Too bad the old people didn't stay. They would have 'got' this. They would still hate it, but they would have 'got' it.

Joke 3: "Red rum"
This time the reference was to the film The Shining. Al delivers the line after being threatened by one of the thugs in the film.
I always though he said "dead wrong" and just used a funny voice. Looking back at it, the reference makes no sense and isn't funny. "Dead wrong" in a funny voice IS! Odd.

Joke 4: "Supplies"
Finally. This was said by an Asian character as he jumped out of the supply closet. Get it supplies? Because of the stereotype of Asian having trouble pronouncing the letter "r."
I didn't get it because at the time my knowledge of racist jokes and caricature was limited. Thanks to "Weird Al" I have a better understanding of how to be a bigot.

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