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The Great American Dream Machine 

A showcase of music and satirical sketch comedy.
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1971  

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Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A collection of skits that make fun of 1970s television, featuring early appearances by Chevy Chase and Richard Belzer.

Director: Ken Shapiro
Stars: Ken Shapiro, Richard Belzer, Chevy Chase
Tunnel Vision (1976)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A committee investigating TV's first uncensored network examines a typical day's programming, which includes shows, commercials, news programs, you name it. What they discover will surely ... See full summary »

Directors: Neal Israel, Bradley R. Swirnoff
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Comedy | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A murdered detective must avenge his murder after he is reincarnated as a dog.

Director: Joe Camp
Stars: Chevy Chase, Jane Seymour, Benji
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Wrongfully accused of a bank robbery, a writer seeks the help of his ex-wife, who is now married to the soon-to-be D.A. of California.

Director: Jay Sandrich
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This is a movie about a man. What was his profession? ...a bandit. How many arms did he have? ....just the one.

Director: Rich Allen
Stars: Paul B. Price, Larry Bryggman, Chevy Chase
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Chevy Chase is a pedestrian about to cross the street, when the walk/don't walk light starts changing just before he begins to cross, as if it were playing a practical joke on him.

Stars: Chevy Chase
Foul Play (1978)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, Burgess Meredith
Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Jealous, harried air traffic controller Max Fiedler, recently dumped by his girlfriend, comes into contact with nuclear waste and is granted the power of telekinesis, which he uses not only to win her back, but to gain a little revenge.

Director: Ken Shapiro
Stars: Chevy Chase, Patti D'Arbanville, Dabney Coleman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A visiting dignitary, a CIA agent, a Nazi spy, Japanese tourists, an assassin and a group of "midget" actors from The Wizard of Oz (1939) all check into an elite Los Angeles hotel called Under the Rainbow.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Eve Arden
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A spoof 1950s science fiction movie, interspersed with various comedy sketches concerning late night television.

Directors: Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Michelle Pfeiffer, Arsenio Hall
The Boob Tube (1975)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

In 'Live Action', young psychiatrist Henry Carstairs moves into an apartment building filled with lonely, sex starved women. This soap is interrupted several times by sexy ads.

Director: Christopher Odin
Stars: John Alderman, Colleen Brennan, Lyllah Torena
Energy Crisis (TV Movie 1974)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Experience the American Journey through our country's visual heritage in this recording provided by the National Archives of the United States.TOPICS INCLUDE THE REALITY OF THE CRISIS, ... See full summary »

Director: Dave Wilson
Stars: Alan King, James Coco, Cass Elliot
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Nicholas von Hoffman ...
 Himself / ... 2 episodes, 1971
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A showcase of music and satirical sketch comedy.

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sketch comedy | satire | See All (2) »

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Comedy | Music

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(1971) | (1971-1972)

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Connections

Referenced in Ernie Kovacs: Television's Original Genius (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

The GADM the best US TV show ever
19 November 2011 | by See all my reviews

Not surprisingly, the best two series that were ever on TV began their runs in the early 1970s when the counter-culture was at its zenith and the powerful had not yet organized their own powerful counterattack to limit the boundaries of acceptable discourse. The ending of the GADM was essentially the beginning of this counterattack. There would never be another radical (i.e., going to the roots) TV series on PBS. In other words, public TV would again revert to being contained by corporate interests.

For those of you naive enough to think that the US does not limit free speech, the history of the ending of this show is the perfect eye-opener for you. Of course, we currently have the response of the corporate media to OWS to show us how dissent is treated when it expresses the wishes and desires of the majority. Polls show that the majority favors reductions in military spending -- including ending wars and pulling back from overseas bases (perhaps 200 military bases overseas would be enough!), increases in taxes on the wealthy, securing Social Security, expanding and improving Medicare to include all citizens, etc. These majority opinions are labeled as outside the mainstream by the talking heads of corporate TV (and of course, corporate TV includes PBS nowadays).

The GADM consisted of two complementary thrusts. One was a hilarious send-up of the corporatized culture of the USA. Here you would be treated to skits such as Marshall Efron's hilarious affirmation of the trash compactor's ability to turn 50 pounds of trash into a smaller 50 pounds of trash or his presentation on the manufacturing of "food" that had the immediate consequence of my spouse and I eating at least somewhat healthier.

The other component was equally entertaining and more directly thought-provoking. Studs Terkel led discussions of American life with actual Americans who the majority of us could empathize with. Real Americans who make commentators on corporate TV like George Will seem like a visitor from an effete planet. Another segment featured the commentary of Andy Rooney. This Andy Rooney was more in his stride than the later version popularized on 60 Minutes. Interestingly but not surprisingly, this Andy Rooney was never mentioned in the encomiums after his recent death.

Once killed by Nixon this show was never repeated. The other series from this period can still be seen however. "All in the Family" while not comparable to the GADM for its direct challenges to the corporatization of American life is still unsurpassed for its humor while maintaining a challenging compassion for those struggling with trying to understand what the Great American Dream really is.


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