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UHF (1989)

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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
2,360 ( 1,423)

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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:

It's crazy. It's zany. It's hysterical. It's television according to "Weird Al" Yankovic. 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
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Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Weird Al never was really crazy about the name UHF (his preference was "The Vidiot"), feeling that this would not make much sense in a world that was slowly gravitating toward cable television, and even less so overseas, where the UHF designation is not widely known. Unfortunately, he and Orion Pictures could not agree on a suitable name. For the U.S. market, Orion insisted on UHF, but for the overseas release, they wanted to use Yankovic's suggestion, while still tying the name to the U.S. title, so in most foreign markets the movie was called "The Vidiot from UHF". Weird Al says in the DVD commentary that he would go on a foreign television show and would be asked, "Why did you name your movie 'The Vidiot from UHF?" to which he felt like replying, "I DIDN'T! The studio did! I hate that title!" Interestingly, in Mexico the movie was released as "Los Telelocos", which translates roughly as "The TV Crazies". See more »

Goofs

Indiana Jones cuts off the left arm of the gunman, but when we see the fake arm lying on the ground it has a right hand. This mistake is mentioned on the DVD commentary. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Spadowski: [grinning] This is my new mop. George, my friend, he gave me this mop. This is a pretty good mop. It's not as good as my first mop. I miss my first mop, but this is still a good mop. Sometimes, you just hafta take what life gives ya, 'cause life is like a mop and sometimes life gets full of dirt and crud and bugs and hairballs and stuff... you, you, you gotta clean it out. You, you, you gotta put it in here and rinse it off and start all over again and, and sometimes, sometimes life sticks to ...
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Alternate Versions

The new DVD 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 U62; scenes of George talking to the receptionist at the dentist's office where Teri works; George being turned down for a loan; J.R. 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 make it include an explanation of why the Martial Arts teacher showed up to save George and Stanley (on the commentary 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 (Raoul) 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 re-shoot 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

References The Flying Nun (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Ed
Theme Song
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Published by Livingston & Evans, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
'Weird Al' - Harmless Fun
6 July 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

For some reason, I never pictured myself watching a film starring "Weird Al" Yankovic. He just looked too weird or too stupid....but he was okay. In fact, he was pretty likable in this fun-but-unmemorable film. He's actually more like Jim Varney''s "Vern" character that was so popular in the '80s: a lame but super nice guy.

That's what "Weird Al" plays in here, a Mr. Nice Guy who prevails against forces of evil against him, in this case a TV station owner: Kevin McCarthy, who plays a totally over-the-top villain.

Yankovic will never win any Academy Awards for his acting but he suffices in this no-brainer comedy. Some of the bits are actually quite clever and some are a bit raunchy (hence the PG-13 rating) but there is almost no profanity in here. Michael Richards was funny as the stupid janitor. Lots of jokes in this movie. You just pick out the ones you like.


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