7.0/10
25,590
218 user 66 critic

UHF (1989)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 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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Photos

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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 it 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

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The performers shown in the telethon were all real acts. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Stanley Spadowski: George? What's wrong, George?
George Newman: Stanley, you don't want to know.
Stanley Spadowski: [confused] Then why'd I ask? Is there anything I can do to help?
George Newman: Now unless you got seventy-five thousand dollars on you.
Stanley Spadowski: [while searching carefully through crumpled pieces of currency] No, sorry.
George Newman: This is ridiculous. There must be something I can do.
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.
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Connections

Featured in Anime Abandon: Lady Death: The Motion Picture (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonanza
Theme Song
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Published by Jay Livingston Music - St. Angelo Music
See more »

User Reviews

The plot isn't the point
1 August 2000 | by dahlia-8See all my reviews

It's a real shame this beast didn't do better at the box office; thank heaven it has found its niche among cultish Weird Al fans and 9-year-olds everywhere.

I saw this in the theater when it first came out. Although I've seen more cerebral and highbrow comedies I have never laughed so hard in my life as I did at "UHF". From the sight gag at the very beginning with the tiki head giving a raspberry to the karate guys bursting out of the supply closet in the denouement ("SUPPLIES!") this movie is a consistent howler. It's less a coherent whole than a series of set pieces which are almost entirely extremely funny.

Interesting also are the before-they-were-huge-stars performances, notably Fran Drescher and Michael Richards, who is vaguely disturbing as kiddie-show host Stanley Spedowski.

The PG-13 rating is very harsh. There's a lot here that younger kids will get a real bang out of. I'd say anyone over the age of about 7 will flip over "UHF", unless you're an insufferable snob.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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