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TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes
TV Bloopers.jpg
Gail Edwards, Ed McMahon, and Dick Clark, host a 1980s episode of Bloopers
Also known as Super Bloopers & New Practical Jokes
Super Bloopers and Practical Jokes
Genre Reality Television
Comedy
Written by Bryan Michael Stoller
Karl Tiedemann
Directed by Bill Davis
Bryan Michael Stoller
Presented by Dick Clark
Ed McMahon
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Carson Productions
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run January 9, 1984 (1984-01-09) – September 1, 1986 (1986-09-01)
Status Ended

TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes is a television series and a group of television specials that aired in the United States by NBC and, later, ABC from the 1980s to the mid-2000s. The NBC run of this series was co-produced by Carson Productions and Dick Clark Productions, with the ABC run produced only by Dick Clark Productions.

Contents

TV's Censored Bloopers and Television's Greatest Commercials

The series was predated by two separate series of specials, one devoted to television and film bloopers -- humorous errors made during the production of film and television programs, or on live news broadcasts -- and the other a series of specials featuring classic television commercials. The TV's Censored Bloopers specials were hosted by longtime TV producer Dick Clark starting in 1982 (and were dedicated to 1950s TV producer Kermit Schaefer, who had pioneered the concept of preserving bloopers) and the Television's Greatest Commercials specials, which also started in 1982, were hosted by Ed McMahon (which he continued to co-host even as he moved on to co-host the weekly Bloopers series). Both sets of specials garnered high ratings, and following a combination special (TV's Greatest Censored Commercial Bloopers), in the fall of 1984 it was decided to combine the two programs into one series, hosted by Clark and McMahon. Beginning with Super Bloopers, Charlie O'Donnell would be added as announcer (to intro both McMahon and Clark, and to announce bloopers in the "Coming up next" bumpers).

Regular features

Besides dividing the show between bloopers and classic TV advertisements of yesteryear, the show also featured at least two practical joke segments per episode, featuring celebrities caught in Candid Camera-like situations (a forerunner of the later series Punk'd). Like the Blooper and commercial segments, the "practical jokes" were first seen in a television special, "Johnny Carson's Greatest Practical Jokes"--hence Carson Productions' involvement in the series.

Other regular features included:

  • Man-in-the-street interviews (sometimes supplemented by child-in-the-street interviews), conducted by David Letterman and, later, Robert Klein.
  • Video segments featuring songs played behind real-life scenes that gave an ironic twist to the lyrics.
  • Len Cella's "Silly Cinemas", a series of absurd short films.
  • Tom Sharp's "Book of Hollywood", a tour of unusual sights of the city.
  • Wil Shriner's Video Vault, where various humorous video clips were screened.
  • Stand-up comedy performances, including appearances by Jerry Seinfeld and Jenny Jones.
  • Throughout its entire run on both NBC and ABC, the series featured animated inserts by cartoonist Sergio Aragones.

As the original two-year weekly run of the series progressed, adjustments were made to the format and eventually the commercials were phased out along with other segments, leaving only the bloopers and practical jokes behind. It was also renamed Super Bloopers & New Practical Jokes.

Specials

After the series ended as a weekly offering in 1991, Clark (who produced the show) continued to host a subsequent series of specials with titles including TV's Censored Bloopers (with a short-lived weekly version in 1998), and just plain Bloopers as the practical joke element was ultimately dropped; these specials were aired on-and-off by NBC until as late as 1998, often appearing as "filler" for cancelled series and as a low-cost summer replacement series, where it often outdrew its competition of mainly reruns. In later years, most bloopers shown tended to come from NBC-produced programs only.

ABC

In 1998, Clark moved his Bloopers specials to ABC, where new specials were made periodically up until 2004, when Clark suffered a stroke and was unable to continue. (Despite this, ABC continued to air reruns of the specials as late as 2006, and they also frequently appear on the TBS Superstation.) Like the later NBC specials, the ABC specials mostly focused on bloopers taken from productions made by ABC and its parent company, The Walt Disney Company. In addition, network logos for stations affiliated with networks other than ABC are censored.

ABC revived the Bloopers format in early 2007, with John O'Hurley hosting the first installment, Celebrity A-List Bloopers, on March 17. Dick Clark Productions again is the producer.

Imitator series

During the show's original two-year run on NBC, it sparked a number of imitators on other networks, most notably the ABC series Foul-ups, Bleeps & Blunders; the ABC series never matched the NBC version in the ratings, although it did show the first American network transmission of bloopers from Star Trek.

References

Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.

External links

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