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The History of White People in America (1985)

| Comedy | TV Movie
In this parody of documentaries, host Martin Mull discusses the contributions that white people have made to the USA, visits the Institute of White Studies, and follows a typical white family as they go about their everyday lives.

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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In ths "mockumentary," host Martin Mull discusses the contributions that white people have made to the U.S., visits the Institute of White Studies, and follows a typical white family as they go about their everyday lives. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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The History of White People in America: Volume I  »

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Followed by The History of White People in America: Volume II (1986) See more »

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"Mockumentary" Masters in Prime Form
7 March 2001 | by (Mar Vista, CA) – See all my reviews

One of the lucky things about living in Southern California is the opportunity to attend an event such as the one I did last night, a retrospective at the Museum of Television and Radio for "A History of White People in America". Most of the principals were there and you could see how the film came to be by watching these good friends and frequent collaborators riff off of each other. Yet, despite the cast's brilliant improvisational skills, there was a solid script underpinning this lunacy and it's premise is sound; what if we treat the "norm" as a special case just like any other ethnic group?

Seeing it again after all these years proves that the hallmark of a classic is that it doesn't date. Funny is funny no matter when the joke was made and this is FUNNY, perhaps because not that much has changed in the everyday lives of the types of people it examines. It is true to the form of documentaries, making the events all the more hysterical because they're treated as if they're actually happening. With Martin Mull anchoring (and sometimes inserting himself into) the narrative as the oh-so-self-important voice of dispassionate authority (think Mike Wallace with a smirk...well, more so), the illusion is complete. The ensemble cast always displays a deft touch, never over-playing and the production details are spot-on.

This may be hard to find at the video store but it will be well worth the search. Also check out Part 2: A Paler Shade of White and Portrait of a White Marriage.


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