UHF ranks up there as one of the greatest silly movies ever made. If you’ve never heard of it, and don’t plan on reading the rest of this writeup, this is all you’ll need to know: it’s Weird Al’s movie. Okay?
Released in 1989, the movie was overshadowed by a host of other, ”bigger” releases. Many people have not heard of the movie simply because they were too busy seeing Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Back to the Future II, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Ghostbusters 2, and others. Nevertheless, the movie is very much worth watching, especially to somebody who’s thoroughly in the mood for something ridiculous.
In a nutshell, the movie tells the story of George Newman (“Weird Al” Yankovic), who is given a nearly bankrupt UHF television station by his rich uncle Harvey (Stanley Brock). With the help of his best friend Bob (David Bowe) and the station’s janitor (Michael Richards (Seinfeld’s Kramer)), he unites a town with the shows he invents - finally proving to the world that creativity has some purpose.
The shows that George puts on the air range from the ridiculous, such as Raul’s Wild Kingdom, where poodles learn to fly, to the even more ridiculous, like Conan the Librarian, to the mind-bogglingly ridiculous, as seen in Wheel of Fish. Cutting back and forth between the movie’s plot and advertisements for Channel U62’s upcoming shows and features, we’re treated to just how much strangeness Weird Al has bottled up in him. Be on the lookout for parodies of:
The movie is basically a long series of good jokes with a bit of plot thrown in to tie them together. However, you won’t mind as you watch; you’ll be too busy waiting expectantly for the next bizarro commerical or sight gag. Although I cannot (unfortunately) give it away in this writeup, the movie features one of the most rewardingly bad puns that I’ve ever seen in a movie. (For those of you who've seen it, I'm referring to the supply closet gag.)
Really, the only downside of the entire movie is that partway through, there’s an obligatory music video, complete with 3D computer-rendered images with a polygon count of about 3 and a framerate to match. The film was Weird Al’s first stab at writing anything movie-like other than a music video, and thus this utterly out-of-place scene shows up. When you get to it, hit fast-forward; you shouldn’t allow anything to detract from your enjoyment of the movie.
In the end, what the movie boils down to is this: eventually, the smart, funny people will get their way, and aren’t we better for having listened to them? You’ll be glad you did, as the movie does not at all disappoint.
Cast List: (courtesy of the Internet Movie Database