Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bad Movies From A to Z: You blew it

I was on the horns of a dilemma as to which movie to feature for the P installment of Bad Movies From A to Z. The easy choice would've been Plan 9 From Outer Space. My second choice was Pieces, but my brain exploded when I tried to write down the plot.

So instead, I thought I'd go for a movie that I bet not many people have in their libraries. Kermit Schafer's feature-length documentary based on his book and record series, Pardon My Blooper.

The movie in a nutshell: Various TV and radio bloopers are replayed and in many cases, re-enacted. Poorly.

The story: Okay, this really doesn't have much of a story. Schafer, essentially the father of the blooper as we know it, had been amusing millions with his books and records that relayed the bits from radio and TV shows that otherwise would have hit the cutting room floor.

It seems an odd choice for a full-length movie now. There are a few yoks here and there, but your attention really flags near the end. This R-rated feature was released to theaters (!) in May 1974, and to be fair, we hadn't yet suffered the barrage of blooper shows of the early 80s when you not only had TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Dick Clark and Ed McMahon (practically the direct descendant of this movie) but Foul-Ups, Bleeps and Blunders with Steve Lawrence and Don Rickles, as well as the occasional Life's Most Embarrassing Moments special with Steve Allen.

Back in the day, this was the one of the first video exposures many had to bloopers (the blooper reels shown at early Star Trek conventions also come to mind). But a few years after this movie was released, you could see movie bloopers during the end credits of many a Burt Reynolds movie.

Now while Schafer had much to do with the proliferation of hearing and seeing outtakes, he also re-enacted many gaffes based on reports from broadcasters. And in a bit of overreaching to share a funny story, he also re-created bloopers that were actually urban legends.

Probably the most infamous fake recording was the "Uncle Don blooper." You can read about it in more detail at

The Uncle Don clip is played during the opening credits, and it is one of two different versions I've got on the old blooper records. Matters of truth aside, were closing songs to kids' shows really that bad?

"Good night, little kids, good niiiiiiight. We're off? Good. Well, that oughtta hold the little bastards."

After that gem, we find that what we're watching is clips from the records dubbed over stock footage, people recreating (badly in many cases) bloopers over stock footage and on special occasions, dreadfully re-enacted clips in which people don't even try very hard to lip-sync to the audio.

I'd love to post a clip to show just how bad some of the clips are re-enacted, but I don't have the resources. Go on Amazon or eBay and pick up a copy of the tape for a few bucks. Trust me.

And let's talk about that title song. "The Blooper Song (You Blew It)" is sung by Danny Street, who should not be confused with Danny the Street from Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol.

I think.

It's a Sinatra-esque number that consists primarily of repeating "You blew blew it, you blew it, you blew it." There are a few other words, but not as many as you'd hope to break up the monotony.

I should warn you now. The damn thing will be stuck in your head forever.

The key novelty of this movie is hearing dirty words and seeing a boob or two. These days, it's all pretty tame, but if you, like me, are permanently 12 years old (no offense to real 12-year-olds, who are undoubtedly more mature), you may find yourself giggling when you hear the phrase "pubic service announcement."

For shame. Honestly...

Here are some other gems from the movie:

From a commercial for a butcher: "Remember ladies, nobody can beat Charlie MacFarlane's meat...oh, no..."

That's what she said.
"Stay tuned now for a dramatization of Dickens' immortal classic, A Sale of Two, A Tale of Two Cities."

"...the Canadian Broadcorping Castration."

It's actually kind of neat to see vintage stock footage from the 60s and 70s.

My biggest pet peeve is the poor audio re-enacting. You've got a few lines to say. How hard is it not to stumble over or otherwise kill the joke?

"With the 7 on the side--and--uh, U-P after, huh-huh-huh..."

Having watched this movie so many times growing up, my brother and I quote from it constantly, and I have yet to meet anyone who picks up on the references. Hell, we may be the only ones.
"Where'd the son-of-a-bitchin' dog come from?"

"Who goosed the soprano?"

"...the largest producer of magnoosium, aleeminum and stool."

"Clear up to my ass--ankles!"

The big event (and probably the reason for this movie's R rating) comes when they relate the story of how a TV station accidentally broadcast a stag movie late one night. I have no idea if the clips they show were from the actual incident (why would they start now, right?), but you can see a brief bit of nudity, over which we hear what supposedly are early-morning calls to the station.

Uh, yeah.

And then it's back to tame slips of the tongue. Well, aside from a mispronunciation of Kentucky Fried Chicken (you figure it out), anyway.

The other big segment is about Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, which they inexplicably refer to as a blooper.

Again, the big build-up, and then more regular clips.

There's a re-enacted clip from "The Newlywed Game," but it's not the infamous clip you may have heard of.

At the end, a little bit of the "You Blew It" song plays, and then fade to black.


I managed to snag this movie at Kmart for $9.99. We swung by Subway on the way home and got a pastrami sandwich with black olives, a sandwich I think of every time I watch this.

Now I'm hungry.


I would be willing to bet that I've seen this movie more times than anyone else on the planet, which is sad for a number of reasons, the least of which is--it's really not that damned funny.

I think if I had seen it for the first time now, I'd probably have ejected and burned it about 15 minutes in. But since I was a teenager when I got it, this flick has a bit of nostalgic appeal. Still, even when I was 15, I remember feeling screwed when I found that there were no "real" bloopers in it.

However, there is still some kind of appeal to Schafer's collections of bloopers. The books are actually the most giggle-worthy, as they have all kinds of swears in them, many of which I presume didn't make the cut on the records.

I have a few of the record collections (billed as "A Treasury of Radio and TV's Most Hilarious Boners"), and interestingly enough, on two separate volumes, the Uncle Don blooper is featured.

But here's the funny part: the "authentic" clips are completely different recordings. If you're going to BS the masses, at least keep it straight. I mean, seriously...

If you want a sample of what I'm talking about, a cursory Google search will yield a bounty of fun. Just to get you started, there's a best-of compilation at

I'm actually surprised this hasn't gotten the dollar-store DVD treatment yet; if and when it does, my stupid ass will buy it, I'm sure.

How can you pass up a movie with lines like "...Mayor Friedman has just ordered all families near or adjacent to the Mill River to ejaculate immediately."?