UHF (1989)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Absurd Comedy, Media Satire, Parody/Spoof, Satire, Showbiz Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 21, 1989 (USA)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Andrea LeVasseur

Fans of Weird Al Yankovic's musical satires will appreciate the dumb humor in UHF, while most others may find it just plain dumb. The plot is just a knowing excuse to showcase what Weird Al does best -- short skits parodying popular entertainment and advertising. Unfortunately, Weird Al is no actor, and all his clever send-ups don't compensate for his weak presence at the center of the film. He is partially saved by the exceptionally zany comedy of Michael Richards as the janitor Stanley Spadowski, who seems to be crafting his character Kramer from Seinfeld. The stupid TV parodies are surely the funniest bits, notably "Conan the Librarian," "Gandhi II," and "Wheel of Fish," but the actual plot about Channel 62 is simply dull. His movie targets go from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Network, and succeed as both ridiculously funny and numbingly stupid, depending on one's threshold for nonstop puns, gags, and spoofs. Not surprisingly, UHF did poor at the box office, possibly due to the timing of its release in the summer of 1989 alongside Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, among others. It has since gained its intended audience and remains Weird Al Yankovic's first and last venture into feature film.