If you’re ever wondering what pure untapped “Weird Al” would look like onscreen, you need look no further than “UHF.” As a kid I spent many a years encountering this movie in small doses but never actually sat down to watch it whole. “UHF” is one of the most creative and original outputs of the eighties featuring Weird Al Yankovic who not only becomes an every man hero, but also manages to show off his own brand of off the wall comedy. “UHF” is still a head trip to this day as a film that stands on its own in comic delivery and just outright surreal storytelling.
Weird Al plays a daydreamer named George Newman who spends most of his life living in a dream world where he’s loved and appreciated. One fateful day he’s given the deed to a local UHF public access station and his ambition to elevate it among repeats of classic shows takes a turn for the dynamic. Weird Al gives a decent performance as the hero of the piece who takes to developing his own ideas once granted the television station, and sticking true to his mold as the clown prince of comedy, there is a definite silliness to the movie that can’t be taken seriously.
The movie is just down right absurd at times and that’s why it’s just so darn funny. Weird Al goes hog wild delivering jokes that go on too long, catchy one-liners and weird gimmicks that will leave many a viewer stunned and yet laughing wildly. The first thirty minutes alone is a barrage of physical comedy that Weird Al perfects, and “UHF” is a nice predecessor to the likes of the “Wayne’s World” movie that would go on to really sell its brand of unique innovative humor that’s never afraid to be downright surreal.
Michael Richards has a banner role as janitor Stanley who becomes a children’s celebrity overnight allowing George to hit the ground running with his own brand of entertainment that involves a fish oriented game show, and a pet show starring an eccentric Latino man. Even in its age, “UHF” has genius gags that will influence its audience to seek comedy that’s above the norm, and as such it’s a hilarious and often raucous comedy that lampoons good sense and formula, unabashedly. I was hesitant to check this out originally, but I’m glad that I did. Weird Al’s film hasn’t aged a bit and it’s a wonderfully unusual and surreal comedy that tackles his brand of humor head on and never ceases in being ballsy.