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"Do you... do you like Tina Turner, Ted?"

The Fast Show summary from Wikipedia:
The Fast Show, known as Brilliant in the US, was a BBC comedy sketch show programme that ran from 1994 to 1997, with a special in 2000 and 2014. It was one of the most popular sketch shows of the 1990s in the UK. The show's central performers were Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Caroline Aherne. Other significant cast members included Paul Shearer, Rhys Thomas, Jeff Harding, Maria McErlane, Eryl Maynard, Colin McFarlane and Donna Ewin.

It was loosely structured and relied on character sketches, recurring running gags, and many catchphrases. Its fast-paced "blackout" style set it apart from traditional sketch series because of the number and relative brevity of its sketches; a typical half-hour TV sketch comedy of the period might have consisted of nine or ten major items, with contrived situations and extended setups, whereas the premiere episode of The Fast Show featured twenty-seven sketches in thirty minutes, with some items lasting less than ten seconds and none running longer than three minutes. Its innovative style and presentation influenced many later series such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 30, 2014 - 32 comments

Who are you now, Doctor?

A hypnotic video merging every actor who's played Doctor Who into one average face. [SLYT] (Laughing Squid via)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 17, 2014 - 29 comments

"You can sort your life out anytime, the pub closes in five hours."

"Surprisingly, Black Books has no affliction with the BBC whatsoever; created by Dylan Moran (who also plays the lead) and Graham Linehan, the show was filmed at Teddington Studios and broadcast on Channel 4. It centers around Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), the careless, grumpy, wine-inhaling owner of Black Books, his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) and his assistant shop keeper Manny (Bill Bailey). Specked with a few fun cameos by people not yet famous at the time, this show is a hilarious roller coaster ride that will make you laugh until you cry." Black Books: 4 Reasons the British Sitcom Remains a Classic [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 6, 2014 - 90 comments

Real or Magic

Sometimes the best thing about David Blaine's magic tricks are the reactions he elicits. A rather Regarding Henry-ish Harrison Ford: "Get the fuck outta my house." A predictably overwrought Ricky Gervais: "Oh for fuck's sake!" Or maybe you just enjoy seeing someone manhandling George W. Bush while the President maintains a look of childlike wonder.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 16, 2014 - 63 comments

By hook or by crook, we will.

A man wearing a dark blazer with white braiding steps out from behind what looks to be a giant white balloon. A penny-farthing sits in the foreground. Cheerily, he addresses the camera: "Hi, I'm Scott Apel, video critic for the San Jose Mercury News, and I'm here to welcome you again to The Prisoner, one of the most intriguing and most talked about television series ever made..." (YT) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 7, 2014 - 27 comments

Orson Wells' 1955 Podcast

The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 22, 2014 - 3 comments

oh, what a nice drug

"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2014 - 106 comments

But what about the dogs?!

NBC's critically lauded thriller Hannibal released a season two trailer today. Author and fandom superstar Cleolinda Jones livetweeted the entire TCA preview event. (Spoilers for Season One, general screaming and rending of garments)
posted by The Whelk on Jan 19, 2014 - 347 comments

The Simpsons

The Simpsons theme on acoustic guitar [1:36]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 4, 2014 - 17 comments

Nearly 20 Years Ago...

Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER series (previously), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
posted by The Whelk on Dec 20, 2013 - 16 comments

People should believe 71% of what they hear on the news

Ron Burgundy did the News last week in Bismark North Dakota. Some thought it made a mockery of the news, but the station is pretty happy with how it turned out. This week, Ron dropped in on Emerson College to give some advice to the journalism grads, starting with "Of course you have to report the facts. Unless it’s too hard to find the facts — then, just make something up."
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 10, 2013 - 100 comments

Thanks, Cinco! ;-)

The Cinco Family/Corporation is a fictional corporation which spans the television and internet works of comedian Bob Odenkirk. From 2007 to 2010, the comedy television program Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, served as an outlet for Cinco Products skits. The commercials and infomercials use green screen and special effects with the intent of mimicking the standard format of infomercials from the late 1980s and early 1990s, often lampooning technology from the same era (such as the Cinco MIDI Organizer). Generally, the goods and services sold by Cinco companies are a bizarre assortment of useless, pointless and/or physically harmful products, at least three of which require the removal of all of the user's teeth. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 7, 2013 - 48 comments

A Very Spooky Episode

Grantland's YouTube Hall Of Fame: The Halloween Episodes
posted by The Whelk on Oct 30, 2013 - 13 comments

This ain't chemistry. This is Art.

With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 29, 2013 - 974 comments

The scrupulous gadabout genius

David Frost - RIP [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Sep 2, 2013 - 26 comments

EGO·TIBERIVS·CLAVDIVS·CAESAR·​AVGVSTVS·GERMANICVS

The 1976 BBC drama I, Claudius, an adaptation of Robert Graves's novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, which came out in 1934 and 1935, respectively, is on YouTube in its entirety. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 30, 2013 - 71 comments

Just give it to them, and collapsing mediums

Kevin Spacey urges TV channels to give control to viewers (SLYT)
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Aug 24, 2013 - 37 comments

The Divine Miss Spoon

From the nearly-forgotten 80s educational show Vegetable Soup, Woody the Spoon tells you how to make gohan, Japanese-style rice. If Woody's voice sounds a little familiar, it's because he's voiced by Bette Midler.
posted by JHarris on Aug 23, 2013 - 24 comments

Frolicking Through Farmer's Markets Is Extra

Somtimes a guy just wants a curiously asexual sprite to whimsicaly break the chains of his workaday world for an hour or so - cue the Manic Pixie Prostitute!
posted by The Whelk on May 18, 2013 - 64 comments

Time to feel old!

Youtube user Thepeterson puts together collections of the major radio hits, movies, video games, and technology of a given year. So why not take a time machine trip to the media landscape of : 1997, 1999, and 2002
posted by The Whelk on Apr 23, 2013 - 109 comments

Who would win in a fight? Trudy or Annie?

Paul F. Tompkins and Allison Brie talk Community and Mad Men and then they create unsexy gifs and imitate various internet memes.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 22, 2013 - 157 comments

You can't ground Spiderman!

Josh Keaton, the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man from 2007-09 for the TV series The Spectacular Spiderman reads a whole bunch of 60s Spider-Man Image Macros (Bleeped Audio) (Know Your Meme - video)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 1, 2013 - 10 comments

For the love of God and all that is holy

Michael Schiavello covers Resurrection Fighting Alliance 7 - Chavez v Mainus
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 25, 2013 - 5 comments

He has come, our Ultraman!

Ultraman Hit Song History Legend Hero Hen and Ultraman Hit Song History New Hero Hen are two 45 minute commemoration compilations of theme songs and clips of the Japanese tokusatsu hero Ultraman that were put together for the show's 45th anniversary. If you're pressed for time, you can just watch the original theme song with English subtitles.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Mar 14, 2013 - 12 comments

Robert Dudley is HOT

Horrible Histories, the historical sketch show on the BBC inspired by the books of the same name, has been featured previously on Metafilter. Not mentioned, however, were the real gems of the show, Historical Desktops [MLYT]: [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Dec 20, 2012 - 10 comments

Thurman Lives

Back in March I posted about the forgotten Nickelodeon show Turkey Television. Recently a full episode of the show (later era) has shown up on YouTube: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.
If that's too much video tryptophan (even at its best, Turkey Television was amazingly uneven), here's a few clips (WARNING: CONTAINS UNCLE HOGRAM, also some of Uncle Floyd's bizarre Day In The Life Of A Food) from YouTube user 2reelers. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 25, 2012 - 19 comments

Happy October 19th!

Troy and Abed do their best to explain the upcoming season premiere of Community.
posted by mediated self on Oct 19, 2012 - 55 comments

The Peaceable Kingdom

Marc Morrone is a pet shop owner from the Bronx who spun a small cable-access show about pet care into a Martha Stewart Omnimedia-backed pet-advice career. But he first became known for his call-in show in which he gave advice while surrounded by a menagerie of moving, falling, pooping animals.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 27, 2012 - 20 comments

We've Got Movie Sign!

The Random-MST3K-O-Matic mst3k.me shows you random Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes on YouTube. /random gets you a random episode, /joel gets you a random Joel episode, and /mike gets you a random Mike episode. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 20, 2012 - 102 comments

Copenhagen cool

American public transportation commercials? Boring. Belgian De Lijn commercials? Amusing. Danish? Exciting!
posted by fredludd on Sep 13, 2012 - 17 comments

REMINGTONELECTRICRAZORREMINGTONELECTRICRAZOR

How did an unused 1967 commerical jingle produced by Frank Zappa lead to the Simpsons Theme?
posted by The Whelk on Aug 27, 2012 - 41 comments

Reading Rainbow 2.0 (& every single episode of Reading Rainbow available on YouTube)

Reading Rainbow is back (includes video interview with LeVar Burton, ~4.5 min.) - "rebooted as an app for tablet computers" (Android? yes, soon); reviews from Gizmodo & Engadget. Here's a recent convention Q&A with Burton where he announces the app (video, relevant part starts at 3:30). But if this announcement is simply making you nostalgic for the television show, all 155 episodes of Reading Rainbow are available here on YouTube (neatly sorted into playlists by season, or you can just start here for every single episode in order). (previously: LeVar Burton goes behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation in a Reading Rainbow episode - Reading Rainbow ends its 26-year run)
posted by flex on Jun 21, 2012 - 53 comments

And Guest Starring: Cameraman and Fly

One of the side effects of being a 5-day, live show was that the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows featured regular technical and acting flubs. Many, many, many flubs [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on May 19, 2012 - 25 comments

Television: chewy chicken for the eyes

Canadian food chain Swiss Chalet decided to buy an entire cable channel devoted to 24 hour coverage of rotisserie chicken. That's it. Oh and dancing dipping sauce containers.
posted by The Whelk on May 12, 2012 - 55 comments

“Digitize Her!”

Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2012 - 28 comments

The Victorian Kitchen Garden & a metric butt-ton of historical reconstruction series

The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex on Feb 26, 2012 - 29 comments

Pocoyo!

Pocoyó is a charming little animated children's show from Spain. Many episodes are available online in English (narrated by Stephen Fry), in the original Spanish, and in a few other languages. You can make your own Pocoyo-style avatar and read the Pocoyo blog at the show's website. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 28, 2012 - 22 comments

It's a window *and* a metaphor of your life!

In 1999 MTV launched Downtown, an animated slice of life show about young people in Manhattan's Lower East Side based on interviews with non-actors (Pilot part 2 part 3 ) created by animator Chris Prynoski (Daria, Beavis And Butt-head, Metalocalypse). Despite an Emmy nomination, the show was cancelled after one season (with one unaired episode). Like so many MTV shows, licensing complications prevented it from reaching DVD, meaning the only way to watch the show was to e-mail Chris directly. Until someone uploaded the entire series to Youtube.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 16, 2011 - 18 comments

Sunnier Than Sonny And Cher!

What is Pink Lady? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff (TVParty summary) with comedian Jeff Altman. (Opening). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO, MONSTER (a bit more rock and roll), and SOS along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland, McArthur Park and the occasional guest star. (with encore) Also, Roy Orbison. Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them. Or just read the recaps. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Dec 11, 2011 - 33 comments

If it's out there, it's in here.

Ding! Furniture stripping. Rock drills. Herbs. Die casting. Dumbwaiters. Conductive shoes. Vanity cases. Civil engineers. If it's out there, it's in here. [MLYT] [more inside]
posted by Orinda on Dec 11, 2011 - 4 comments

Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2011 - 17 comments

The Master Game

The Master Game was a BBC production of televised chess tournaments that ran for seven series on BBC2 from 1976 to 1982. [more inside]
posted by night_train on Nov 26, 2011 - 7 comments

Gimme the phone

Global British Columbia Sports Anchor Barry Deley wins lotto home draw, live on his own TV channel. But it turns out he's got an even more personal connection to the lottery.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 3, 2011 - 78 comments

New! And Improved! Buy Now! Half off! Limited time offer! Fortified with 11 vitamins and minerals!

Melt your brain into goo on an overdose of crass 80s consumerism and TV without the TV shows at 80sCommercialVault. Superbowl 19 commercials. Commercials from Jaws. Saturday morning commercials. Daytime / evening commercials. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Oct 30, 2011 - 11 comments

Internet killed the television star

YouTube (Google) is spending $100 million dollars to create 25hrs a day of new original content. Intending to compete with cable TV, they'll have 100 "channels" with regular series and well-known talent. The channels are being developed "specifically for the digital age," which sounds like they're trying to create a new type of media, they compare it to the advent of cable television. There's a graveyard of ideas like this that failed, but maybe YouTube is different this time. First channels show up in a few weeks, most appear in 2012.
posted by stbalbach on Oct 29, 2011 - 51 comments

Alligator Boots

Alligator Boots Behind the scenes of the never-aired 'hip-hop puppet show.' From Kanye West and the producers of Crank Yankers. (Via the AV Club.)
posted by box on Sep 15, 2011 - 14 comments

See, the king? He stay the king.

The Wire as Toy Story. The Wire as The Lion King. The Wire as Harry Potter. The Wire as a bunch of movie posters. The Wire as Trailer Park Boys (previously). The Wire as a British appliance store.
posted by Apropos of Something on Aug 21, 2011 - 11 comments

"Dana is playing Bill Clinton literally breastfeeding puppies—that was our introduction to America."

GQ: Teats Out: An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of "The Dana Carvey Show." "Steve Carell. Stephen Colbert. Louis C.K. Charlie Kaufman. Robert Smigel. Some of comedy's greatest minds got one of their biggest breaks on the short-lived but much-loved "The Dana Carvey Show." Fifteen years later, in this exclusive oral history, the players recount the brief but fertile life of a truly unusual show", all eight episodes of which are available on Hulu. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2011 - 33 comments

Orange you glad you got your Nickelodeon?

Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 25, 2011 - 116 comments

"Don't steal from *this* show! That's like taking pants from a hobo!"

After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?! That's right. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer -- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences (including the iconic animal puppets): "ABC" by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance" by Irene Cara, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka" by Shakira, "Men in Black" by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)" by Tino Rossi. Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious -- he responded to Arthur's "homáge" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 11, 2011 - 12 comments

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