On the Air (1992– )

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 577 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 3 critic

In the 1950s, a group of television performers attempt to put together a live variety program and often find disastrous results.


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Series cast summary:
 Lester Guy (7 episodes, 1992)
Nancye Ferguson ...
 Ruth Trueworthy (7 episodes, 1992)
 Bud Budwaller (7 episodes, 1992)
 Bert Schein (7 episodes, 1992)
 Mickey (7 episodes, 1992)
 Dwight McGonigle (7 episodes, 1992)
 Valdja Gochktch (7 episodes, 1992)
Kim McGuire ...
 Nicole Thorne (7 episodes, 1992)
 Betty Hudson (7 episodes, 1992)
 'Blinky' Watts (7 episodes, 1992)
Raleigh Friend ...
 Hurry Up Twin (7 episodes, 1992)
Buddy Douglas ...
 Buddy Morris / ... (7 episodes, 1992)
Raymond Friend ...
 Hurry Up Twin (7 episodes, 1992)
 Shorty the Stagehand (7 episodes, 1992)
Everett Greenbaum ...
 ZBC Announcer / ... (7 episodes, 1992)
 Ethel Thissle (2 episodes, 1992)
 Mr. Zoblotnick (2 episodes, 1992)
 Dr. Winky (2 episodes, 1992)
 Professor R. Answer (2 episodes, 1992)
 Executive (2 episodes, 1992)


The year is 1957. The cast and crew of the Lester Guy Show are extremely apprehensive about their upcoming live television broadcast on the Zoblotnick Broadcasting Co. network. Lester Guy despises fellow cast member Betty Hudson for unknowingly becoming more popular than him and schemes to destroy her career. Only two of the seven episodes were written by David Lynch. Written by Jennifer Harrison

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

20 June 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

On the Air - Voll auf Sendung  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(7 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This series was a mid-season replacement in 1992. Seven episodes were made, but only 2 episodes were shown as scheduled, the 3rd episode was pre-empted in most of the US. See more »


Lester Guy: Yes, well, what do they know in South Dakota?
Buddy Budwaller: They know what they like.
Lester Guy: If they knew what they liked, they wouldn't be in South Dakota.
See more »

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User Reviews

one of the craziest guilty pleasures you haven't seen on TV
6 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thanks to online video sites, On the Air, one of David Lynch's most obscure projects, can be seen in all its unedited, short-lived glory. Needless to say, it's like the big gag-reel Trojan horse of Lynch's career. Meaning that he somehow slipped this in, let it loose, and while it didn't really make a gigantic impact, for those who've seen it there's simply nothing else like it. Well, actually, that comment pertains mostly if you've yet to see something even MORE off-kilter that Lynch has done that hasn't been one of his more popular pieces. At the same time, he and Mark Frost accomplish so much in the realm of just sheer giddy slapstick/random/7th grade meets art school satire, to make one big brilliant heap of stupidity. It's not too much of a wonder the show lasted as short as it did; if it had gone on longer, there remains the distinct possibility it could've run its course very fast as a "replacement" show in a mid-season.

Where else but On the Air will you see an infidelity drama made askew by the actor getting propelled out the set window and the woman singing a children's song with a tiny music watch as cavemen walk randomly across with the one actor still reading his lines the faithful husband, not to mention with all viewers turning their sets on the sides with viewers everywhere from little old ladies to a guy with a horse in his living room? Maybe that sounds like a stretch, but really that's just five minutes of the show. It's really a random mess in some ways, but it's clear that Lynch intends it to be nothing more than sheer abstraction lollapalooza in the guise of an absurd mind-f***er. It should also be of note that it might put off some who aren't really ready for the onslaught of total adherence to mindless (yet somehow very smart) assortments of comedy; random cut-aways to statistical facts about bozeman's simplex (funniest scene of the show); the follies of getting the electric chair (thanks to cute little Snaps the dog); siamese twins!; a director who sounds like the backwards guy from Twin Peaks talking, uh, sideways.

So get ready to hear a Mr. Peanuts song, and a good (or of course bad) zinger a second, and if you're open for it to laugh until you cry on the floor. This doesn't make it necessarily anything "great", but if it somehow ever gets a DVD release, it has the makings for being even more of a cult show than Twin Peaks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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