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UHF (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 21 July 1989 (USA)
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An unemployed visionary becomes the manager of a local public station. The station becomes a success, with all sorts of hilarious sight gags and wacky humor.

Director:

Jay Levey

Writers:

'Weird Al' Yankovic (as Al Yankovic), Jay Levey
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Popularity
4,273 ( 331)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
'Weird Al' Yankovic ... George Newman
Victoria Jackson ... Teri Campbell
Kevin McCarthy ... R.J. Fletcher
Michael Richards ... Stanley Spadowski
David Bowe ... Bob Steckler
Stanley Brock ... Harvey Bilchik
Anthony Geary ... Philo
Trinidad Silva ... Raul Hernandez
Gedde Watanabe ... Kuni
Billy Barty ... Noodles MacIntosh
John Paragon ... Richard Fletcher
Fran Drescher ... Pamela Finklestein
Sue Ane Langdon ... Esther Bilchik
David Proval ... Head Thug
Grant James ... Killer Thug
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Storyline

George Newman is a daydreamer whose hyperactive imagination keeps him from holding a steady job. His uncle decides George would be the perfect man to manage Channel 62, a television station which is losing money and viewers fast. When George replaces the station's reruns with bizarre programs such as "Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse", "Wheel of Fish" and "Raul's Wild Kingdom", ratings begin to soar again. Mean-spirited and cynical mogul R.J. Fletcher becomes furious that the UHF station is getting better ratings than his network's programming. Because of gambling debts, the uncle is forced to consider selling the station to Fletcher, who would only too happily shut down (he cannot legally own two stations in the same town). George and his friends organize a 48-hour telethon to raise the money by selling investment stock from Channel 62 to save the town's new favorite station. Written by MGM/UA Home Video

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A lot of television stations have forgotten what "quality" means. But not Channel 62. They NEVER knew what it meant. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vidiot from UHF See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,157,157
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Dr. Philo is named after Philo T. Farnsworth, one of several inventors of television. See more »

Goofs

On a TV commerical for "Conan the Librarian" the time that it says the program comes on is 7:30pm. A few scenes later George is setting up the Fall UHF line up on a magnetic board - and you can see on the board that Stanley Spudosky's Club House comes on every day of the week from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. See more »

Quotes

Chorus: [commercial jingle] Spatula City, we sell spatulas - and that's all!
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Alternate Versions

The DVD Special Edition contains deleted scenes (separately from the movie) which include:
  • Two extra endings for the Emo thumb-severing scene (in the first he places the severed thumb in his pocket, and in the second he puts it in his mouth for safekeeping).
  • Extra scenes of George and Teri exploring the U62 station; scenes of George talking to the receptionist at the dentist's office where Teri works; George being turned down for a loan; R.J. practicing for his anti-U62 telecast; Richard making fun of MacIntosh (Billy Barty); a whole subplot about the head thug being afraid of insects, attempting to steal a briefcase full of U62's money and stealing a briefcase full of bugs Philo had collected instead, concluded by the thugs opening the briefcase while driving home and crashing; and other exciting moments that were not funny enough to remain in the film.
  • Alternate scenes were filmed with Stanley singing "Helter Skelter" instead of "Bonanza".
  • A brief gag taking place when the thugs knock on Stanley's door; they say "Pizza!" and Stanley responds "Pizza who?"
  • Other scenes which did not succeed include an explanation of why the martial arts teacher showed up to save George and Stanley (on the DVD commentary, Weird Al said that it was decided that no one would really care); another gag in the Indiana Jones parody had a payphone in the cave ring, George picking it up and a voice begging him not to go in (and him hanging up and, of course, going in anyway); and more footage of the Kipper Kids (the guys with the big chins at the telethon).
  • More scenes were originally scheduled for Trinidad Silva (Raul) but he was killed by a drunk driver during shooting. Scenes included a piece at the end where Poodles attack him in vengeance for the ones he taught to fly. It was briefly considered to reshoot his scenes with someone else who could finish them but it was finally decided to just leave his scenes in and forget the unfilmed ones. The movie (if you watch to the very end) was dedicated to his memory.
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Connections

Features Mister Ed (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Samba Ramba
(uncredited)
Music by Ole Georg
[Plays as the theme to Raul's Wild Kingdom.]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A disturbing peek into the mind of one of the world's wackiest entertainer: "Weird Al" Yankovic.
3 July 2003 | by CowmanSee all my reviews

Michael Richards battling a gang of mobsters with a mop and a staplegun. A clown being smashed with a frying pan, then force-fed dog biscuits. Emo Phillips accidently slicing off his thumb with a tablesaw. And Fran Drescher. Yup, I think it's safe to say that this movie has everything, folks!

"Weird Al" Yankovic's first (and only) movie is everything you would expect from this underappreciated comic genius. It has the same goofy charm as a Weird Al record, and works as an effective visual representation of what Al's music is all about. As you would expect, UHF contains plenty of movie parodies, all of which are spot-on and generally harmless. Die-hard fans can also look forward to seeing a wide array of "Al-isms" like Twinkie-Wiener Sandwiches, detailed rants about bizarre nonsense, usage of the word "weasel", et cetera.

Casual viewers will find the good (U-62) vs. evil (Channel 8) story a bit ho-hum and the humor a little too... Well, a little too weird. But let's face it: this film wasn't made to tell a captivating love story or to inspire us with biting social commentary. It's an excuse for using a new medium to show Al doing what Al does best: being himself. And, as all of us devoted fans can agree, we couldn't possibly ask for anything more! LONG LIVE MR. YANKOVIC!


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