80s, 90s, Blog, Music, TV — October 4, 2016 10:15 am

Weird Al Hosts ALTV

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At Pop Rewind, we pride ourselves in saving great nostalgia from being totally lost to time.  If ever we had a post that fits that bill, this is it.  We’re taking a look back at some obscure television.

Weird Al is known for his funny records, but he essentially has a second career in television.  Heck, even his movie was about TV.  Back in the glory days of a youthful MTV, he commanded the air waves for up to four hours at a time.  For whatever reason, the network gave him air time for a series of ALTV specials.

New specials were typically produced in line with a new album.  This is easy to tell because he’s generally wearing the same wacky patterned Hawaiian shirt that he had in the album photos.

The specials ranged from two to four hours in length and we’re essentially a complete mockery of everything MTV was.  Set in a living room filled with Three Stooges posters, Al gave bogus news updates on the latest stars.  Thinking about it, he might have been an early pioneer of skewing facts in cable television.

Other studio segments included smashing wonder hamsters, opening envelopes full of chili, and making snacks out of ingredients such as motor oil.  Between these sessions, Al was in charge of the music videos as well.  Anything from Dr. Demento show favorites like “Fish Heads” to funny commentary tracks for Top 40 – courtesy of the weird one himself, of course.

Occasionally, there was even a fake commercial.  There was a series of bogus products shot like a real commercial, always ending with a classic “You won’t look like a jerk” tagline.  Products included the solar powered blender sweatband and isolation device that was essentially a wastebasket over a head.

Luckily, these specials aren’t too hard to watch nowadays thanks to the magic of the internet.  If you wanted to see these in the 90s, you were trading tapes of other Weird Al TV appearances to fellow internet nerds who were just as excited to see Al’s Hollywood Squares gig as you were to see ALTV.

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