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Elephant Parts (1981)

A collection of comedy skits and music videos, such as a game-show spoof called "Name That Drug", a visit to the office of the Clandestine Typing Service, and a man providing a skewed ... See full summary »


William Dear


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Nesmith ... Himself - Player
Bill Martin ... Himself - Player
Lark Geib Lark Geib ... Herself - Player (as Lark Alcott)
Robert Ackerman ... Himself - Player
Katherine McDaniel Katherine McDaniel ... Herself - Player
Paddy Morrissey Paddy Morrissey ... Himself - Player
William Dear ... Himself - Player (as Bill Dear)
Chicago Steve Barkley Chicago Steve Barkley ... Himself - Player (as 'Chicago Steve Barkley')
Jon Richard Jon Richard ... Himself - Player
Rita Herbst Rita Herbst ... Herself - Player
Frantz Turner ... Himself - Player (as Franz Turner)
Nancy Gregory Nancy Gregory ... Herself - Player
Manuel Campos Manuel Campos ... Himself - Player
Archie Lang Archie Lang ... Himself - Player
Peter Wise Peter Wise ... Himself - Player


A collection of comedy skits and music videos, such as a game-show spoof called "Name That Drug", a visit to the office of the Clandestine Typing Service, and a man providing a skewed translation of a Mexican serenade for his girlfriend. Written by Kevin G. Madzia <madziakg@usa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music







Release Date:

1 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Michael Nesmith in Elephant Parts See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Pacific Arts See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The acclaimed Canadian rock group The Tragically Hip took their name from one of the video's featured comedy skits. See more »


As 'Rodan', the house blows up BEFORE he steps on it. See more »

Alternate Versions

While the "new" segments were not on the Laserdisc release, all but the "Moment With Sir William Martin" parts were originally on the First issue VHS and the CED "Needlevision" releases. See more »


Spoofs The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) See more »


Written, Performed, and Produced by Michael Nesmith
from the Michael Nesmith audio L.P. "From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing"
See more »

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User Reviews

not groundbreaking, but certainly pathfinding
12 March 2008 | by mcgrewSee all my reviews

Mike Nesmith was, and continues to be, an innovator and visionary. With "Elephant Parts", he looked at the new technologies available for film making (videotape having reached critical mass, so that 'home video' could be inexpensive.) Quality of entertainment suddenly depended on writing and technique, not so much big up-front expenses for equipment and the people to use them that discouraged any number of director-wannabes.

Music videos had existed for 20 years or more (what exactly is an Elvis Presley movie but story between music videos, the Beatles and of course the Monkees had been doing this sort of thing too), but what made a good video (simple, entertaining 'story', include the band, and always cut on the beat) was not well understood by makers. Mike understood it, and with the help of a collection of crazy and energetic friends made the video equivalent of "I'll get some pallets from the lumber yard for a stage, you get your mom's sheets for a curtain, and you get some clothesline and we'll put on a show right here in the back yard!"

But this backyard show had Mike to know what it should look like and in general how to make it. From this humble beginning, this pathfinding, came MTV, and groundwork was laid for the whole the digital-indie movement (videotapes were cheap to make, but expensive to distribute - once the internet made distribution cheap, anybody with talent -- and loads of people who don't -- could show what they could do.) For the music business, it was discovered that music videos were suddenly ridiculously cheap to make, and became very quickly the primary method of reaching an audience, once MTV made distribution essentially free. From that, came a whole generation of directors, who could get experience away from film school. Pretty long path he blazed, eh?

Elephant Parts (which also spawned a ultra-short-lived TV show, "Television Parts", which Mike sells from his 'video ranch' website (check it out)) is a rapid-fire, no-organization series of Mike's songs (presented as high-quality music videos) and child-of-the-television comedy bits. My personal favorite is the foreign-language-gibberish video. It is, of course, of uneven quality, but all presented in an infectious, high-energy format that pulls you along for the ride. Worth seeing. Hat's off to ya, Mr. Nesmith.

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