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UHF (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 21 July 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
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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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:

Channel 62 needed a new station manager. But what they got was a man so desperate for ratings, he'd put anyone on the air. 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,251,831, 23 July 1989

Gross USA:

$6,157,157

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

In one scene, George Newman and Bob Speck discuss television lineups. One of the shows mentioned is "Volcano Worshippers Hour". In high school, 'Weird Al' Yankovic started a "Volcano Worshippers" club just to get in the yearbook. See more »

Goofs

When Philo is putting the camera in the ceiling of R.J. Fletcher's office, we see a pencil in his mouth. In the next shot, the pencil's gone. See more »

Quotes

[George and Bob just got fired again]
Bob Steckler: How could you do this to me? I knew this was gonna happen.
George Newman: You're right, Bob. I'm sorry. What can I say? I-I'm a miserable worthless hunk of slime. Here, I want you to take this crowbar and... just bash my head right in! Go ahead. Really. Please! Just BASH it right in!
Bob Steckler: George, you know I can't do that. You still owe me five bucks.
See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Andy Richter Controls the Universe: Wedding (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Ed
Theme Song
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Published by Livingston & Evans, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Programming for all to enjoy, and it ain't even sweeps
2 July 2002 | by Agent10See all my reviews

Weird Al Yankovic's only excursion into film making proved to be a solid effort on his part. With an off-beat story such as this, the frizzy haired patron of pop polka proves his acting is adequate enough to carry a film such as this. While I feel there could have been more Weird Al songs, the comedy wasn't lacking. Michael Richards had his best role ever as Stanley Spadowski the janitor. All of the children's show sequences were hilarious. While this film isn't for all, it was certainly a movie which I can enjoy on many occasions. 6.8/10


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