As much as audiences love a carefully crafted illusion, it seems they appreciate a peek at what goes on behind the curtain just as much. A writer and producer named Kermit Schafer was among the first to stumble onto this concept, popularizing “bloopers” from radio in the 40’s and 50’s. The concept of bloopers soon became popular as a filler item on TV talk shows and occasionally under the credits of the shows the bloopers came from.
These silly flubs and bungled lines took center stage as a stand-alone attraction in May of 1981 when NBC began to air a series of specials entitled TV’s Censored Bloopers. Watching professional actors and newspeople dropping in a frustrated swear word or breaking down into laughing fits (as well as a naked birthday surprise for kids’ show host Soupy Sales) was apparently just what TV land was looking for, so the network expanded the specials into the weekly series TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes.
The weekly version was hosted by Dick Clark and Ed McMahon, each of whom had separately hosted the Censored Bloopers specials. Of course, each show featured plenty of bloopers from film and television, but other elements were also included to give the show variety. Classic television commercials from yesteryear were featured, as well as humor-tinged interviews of children and people on the street. “Moron Movies,” very short one-joke films from Len Cella, were another regular feature (later titled “Len Cella’s Silly Cinema”), and animated doodles from Mad magazine’s Sergio Aragones were used as transitions.
But the biggest non-blooper element of the show was the other half of the title: practical jokes. Most jokes had a familiar celebrity as the target (though some had so-called “friends and family” pulling the wool over some poor non-famous schlub’s eyes), and hidden cameras took in all the action. Sample gags included Christopher Atkins’ being pulled over by a bogus policeman who suspected he was driving a stolen car and Connie Sellecca’s being asked to sign for a delivery of several pigs. Each episode would (appropriately) end with a tribute to Kermit Schafer, the inventor of the ‘blooper’ phenomenon.
The show’s original run lasted for two seasons, but summer reruns in 1988 proved that bloopers still held plenty of giggle power. A new incarnation, Super Bloopers and New Practical Jokes, was telecast as a short-run series in various time slots between January and May of 1991. Various other specials have come and gone in the years since, and still, whenever tongues are tied, floors are slippery, or animals go wacky during news reports from the zoo, TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes will be there to take the embarrassing footage.
USA / NBC – Dick Clark Enterprises – Carson Productions / x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 9 January 1984 – 24 February 1986 and 20 May – 2 September 1988
Len Cella (1984-88)
Julie McWhirter (1984)
Thom Sharp (1984-88)
Wil Shriner (1985-86)
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
THIS JUST IN
Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain Series Final airs Thurs 14 Dec on BBC-2
The fourth and final episode of Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain, airing on Thursday 14 December at 9.00pm on...
Love, Lies & Records Episode 5 airs Thurs 14 Dec 2017 on BBC One
In the penultimate episode of Love, Lies & Records, airing on Thursday 14 December at 9.00pm on BBC One, after...
The Hairy Bikers Home For Christmas Episode 9 (BBC-1 14 Dec 2017, with Russell Grant)
Russell Grant is the guest for the penultimate episode of the Hairy Bikers Home For Christmas, airing on Thursday 14...
Look Back in Anger (Woodfall 1959, Richard Burton, Claire Bloom)
Influential British kitchen-sink” drama Look Back in Anger, directed in gritty black and white by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) and...
Three Coins in the Fountain (TCF 1954, Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire)
In handsomely photographed romance Three Coins in the Fountain, three American women (Jean Peters, Dorothy McGuire, Maggie McNamara) pin their...
Designated Survivor: Line of Fire (Fall finale ABC Dec 13, 2017)
Line of Fire: It’s Christmas Day and President Kirkman is alerted to a group of religious extremists who refuse to...
American Housewife: Blue Christmas (Fall finale ABC Dec 13, 2017)
Blue Christmas: When Doris goes into labor and Katie heads to the hospital to be with her, the Ottos struggle...
More to View
TV2 weeks ago
My Christmas Prince (Lifetime 2017, Alexis Knapp, Callum Alexander)
Previews1 week ago
How To Spend It Well At Christmas With Phillip Schofield Episode 2 (ITV 5 Dec 2017)
Previews2 weeks ago
Great Canal Journeys: Portugal Premieres Thurs 30 Nov on Channel 4
TV5 days ago
Runaway Christmas Bride (ION 2017, Cindy Busny, Travis Milne)
Previews3 weeks ago
Ugly House To Lovely House With George Clarke: Heathfield, East Sussex (Channel 4 23 Nov 2017)
Episodes2 weeks ago
American Housewife: Gala Auction (ABC 29 Nov 2017, with Julia Butters)
Previews2 weeks ago
Jamie And Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast: Joanna Lumley (Channel 4 1 Dec 2017)
Previews2 weeks ago
How To Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield Premieres Tues 28 Nov on ITV