'Way USA': Sleazy Punk/Comedy Travelogue
March 5, 2014 5:28 PM   Subscribe

(the following post was lifted from Richard Metzger via the Dangerous Minds website. All links should be considered NSFW) :
It’s called Way USA, a pilot for a punk/comedy travelogue that was done for MTV in 1988 and hosted by the silver-tongued Tesco Vee of The Meatmen. It was directed by Peter Lauer, then a staffer with MTV’s graphics department who has since gone on to direct dozens upon dozens of major television shows that you have seen, including Strangers with Candy and Arrested Development.

direct youtube link to Way USA (32:48)

"The copy I [Richard Metzger] had was acquired working at the post production house where it was edited. I’m not 100% sure that it even aired on TV. Although Way USA was produced at a time before MTV aimed its content squarely at teenagers, it still seems a little racier than I recall them ever getting back then. (It says at the end that there was one done in Niagara Falls as well, but I [Richard Metzger] have not seen that.)

So, yes, Way USA is a punk/comedy travelogue that begins when Tesco sells his soul to the Devil (in the form of East Village lounge crooner Craig Vandenberg, here billed as “Tony LaVentura, the Adonis from Paramus”) for a good time traveling across America in opulently sleazy style.

First stop, it’s 'Charm City'—that ‘s Baltimore—and what trip to Baltimore would be complete without making a pilgrimage to the Pope of Trash, John Waters? Naturally Tesco checks that one off his list as well as visiting the notorious red light “Block” district, eating two dozen eggs at a diner with an 'all the eggs you can eat' policy, an S&M session with the late plus-sized greeting card model Miss Jean Hill (her segment is a stone classic), visits strip clubs, a crime blotter news reporter, a faith healer/exorcist and does various other things around 'the hairdo capital of America,' as Waters so lovingly puts it.

In an alternate universe,
Way USA would have made Tesco Vee a huge TV celebrity. Seriously folks, I [Richard Metzger] can’t recommend this one highly enough. If more people knew about Way USA twenty-five years ago, if would probably be as revered today as Heavy Metal Parking Lot (previously) or the Butthole Surfers' Entering Texas (previously) are."
posted by item (5 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

I keep being amazed that the Meatmen were real. I keep thinking I just dreamed that part of my college days.
posted by mephron at 6:55 PM on March 5, 2014

I want one of those Roy Rogers shooter hats!
posted by dougzilla at 11:03 PM on March 5, 2014

Two down, two to go.
posted by whuppy at 6:03 AM on March 6, 2014

This kind of stuff is what I started coming to Metafilter for. For real. A grateful species thanks you for your service.
posted by Poppa Bear at 7:54 AM on March 6, 2014

On behalf of Dangerous Minds (which I have no affiliation with and am kind of surprised had never been tagged on Mefi before considering the amount of great shit we graze on from their site), you sir are welcome.
posted by item at 9:28 PM on March 6, 2014

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