Slaughter Nick for President
June 10, 2013 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Twenty years after thinking his fifteen minutes of fame were up, Canadian actor Rob Stewart discovers via Facebook that his cheesy Magnum PI ripoff had taken Serbia by storm. Sweating Bullets (or Tropical Heat, as it was known outside the US) had a three-season run in syndication before becoming popular escapist fare in Milosevic-era Serbia. Stewart visits Serbia to meet this previously-unknown fanbase with a camera crew in 2012. Trailer
posted by dr_dank (20 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I guess this gives me a reason to post the ALF-themed pizzeria I found in Belgrade when I was there earlier this year.
posted by avocet at 7:23 PM on June 10, 2013 [11 favorites]

Oh that's too awesome! I thought it was quite a great show, but the young me probably had poor taste :D
posted by Calzephyr at 7:23 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

This pleases me.
posted by srboisvert at 7:30 PM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Saw this about 3 weeks ago on the recommendation of a Serb colleague, a sort of sillier Searching for Sugarman on a much lower budget.
posted by Damienmce at 7:32 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sure, I remember Sweating Bullets. It was part of Crimetime After Primetime, along with Forever Knight. It was extremely 90s.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:43 PM on June 10, 2013 [6 favorites]

You can’t make this shit up. Can you?
posted by bongo_x at 7:44 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

It was in Sarajevo that I saw a F*R*I*E*N*D*S-branded beauty salon.

Loved former Yugoslavia.
posted by Wataki at 7:49 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes! Wait for it... "What is that? Is that sideburns?" "Well, no. I'm telling you, coming out of a pool with long hair - it's no joke!"
posted by shoesfullofdust at 7:54 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I went to a wedding in rural Czech Republic a couple years ago, and at the reception, the DJ played the Friends theme song no less than three times. Everyone knew the words and screamed along every time. It was a great time. I think the bar-to-resident ratio of that little village was 1:5.
posted by sklero at 8:14 PM on June 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

That is so cool. Any bets on how long it takes for a fictionalized movie comedy to come out? Has-been action star discovers he's a political hero in foreign country? It practically writes itself.
posted by brundlefly at 8:35 PM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

When this used to run on cable television, we always referred to it as Sweaty Buttocks, before quickly changing the channel.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 9:16 PM on June 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Its like a Philip K. Dick story.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:23 PM on June 10, 2013

David Hasselhoff sheds one manly tear, eats his cheeseburger on the floor.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:53 PM on June 10, 2013

Hasselfhoff is too mainstream, try Lorenzo Lamas, but I think he's a vegan.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:55 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lots of really cheesy American shows wind up on T.V. in the Balkans. It was a great help to me learning the language, since usually they are subtitled.
Some good shows end up there too, like The Sopranos, and Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks has a particular following among Serbs. At least it was in the Serbian channel.
I loved Sarajevo. I wish I could take Mr. Roquette sometime.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:19 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can’t make this shit up. Can you?

Why bother? The Balkans have it all wrapped up for you. In what fiction could you ever blend a British comedian, a Stalinist dictator and a loving Albanian public into the Clown Prince of Albania?

[Norman Wisdom previously]
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 6:20 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

A recent episode of NPR's Snap Judgement had a segment named "Chuck Norris vs. Communism" had an interesting story about a film translator hired to translate popular films that were banned in Romania and were distributed on the black market. A side note of the story was that the incredible popularity of Chuck Norris and his films. Chuck Norris became quite a counter-communist icon of many there, and some even give his 'guy gets fed up at injustice and corruption, takes on the oppressors as a one-man-army' roles at least some credit for helping inspire individuals to stand up against the Communist government.

It seemed at first to be a bit of a stretch, but it's not entirely unlikely - given that in the US, when Superman's radio tales of taking on the KKK actually had a significant effect on KKK membership. 'Significant' in the fact that it brought recruitment, which was swelling after WWII, down to zero within two weeks of airing in 1948, and public mocking at KKK demonstrations became common.

Ah, the power of mythic heroes.
posted by chambers at 7:06 AM on June 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Of course in Kosovo there's the Snake Plissken Memorial Playground, but link decay seems to have taken its toll on the available information.
posted by ckape at 10:30 AM on June 11, 2013

For weird cultural cross-overs, there's the soap opera Santa Barbara, which is/was a hit in Russia. I had heard that crime dropped when Santa Barbara was on air in Russia, and many Russians joked that if they came to the United States, they'd go to Santa Barbara, because they already knew everyone there. At least, I heard those things while living in the actual Santa Barbara, so it might have been some bragging on the part of locals.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 AM on June 12, 2013

Instead of the crappy town where he's a hero, it's an entire foreign country! What a cool discovery!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:55 PM on June 13, 2013

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