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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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4,548 ( 244)

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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

Following the bankruptcy of Orion Pictures in the early 1990s, this film was one of several that were stuck in "legal limbo" for several years. This is the primary reason that this cult favorite wasn't released on DVD until 2002. The DVD was a top-ten best-seller upon release. See more »

Goofs

When Joe Earley loses his thumb in the table saw and lifts his arm to examine the wound, briefly his thumb can be seen bent underneath his hand. See more »

Quotes

[On the game show, "Wheel of Fish", Phyllis Weaver has just spun the wheel and landed on a red snapper]
Kuni: Ahhh, a red snapper. Mmmmm, very tasty. Okay, Weaver, listen carefully. You can hold on to your red snapper...
[Hiro-san emerges, carrying a table with a box]
Kuni: ...or you can go for what's in the box that Hiro-san is bringing down the aisle right now! What's it gonna be?
[Phyllis Weaver has difficulty in choosing as the audience point to the box]
Phyllis Weaver: I'll take the box. The box!
[the audience applauses]
Kuni:
[...]
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 The Expendables 2 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Fun Zone
Written and Performed by 'Weird Al' Yankovic
Published by Holy Moley Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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