Late Shift Cinema: UHF

[intro-text size=”25px”]Twice a month, Cleveland Cinemas plays host to the Late Shift Series, a collection of classic and beloved films that have achieved cult status among fanatic cinephiles. Teaming up with Melt Bar & Grilled, the Cedar Lee and Capitol theaters bring us the chance to watch our favorite flicks up on the big screen in all of their intended glory.[/intro-text]

This weekend, grab life by the lips and yank as hard as you can.

On Saturday night, at 9:30 p.m. and midnight, the Cedar Lee theater is screening “Weird Al” Yankovich’s 1989 comedy classic UHF. Most of you are familiar with his 30 years of unparalleled musical parodies, but perhaps you didn’t know that at one magical moment in time (only in the ‘80s) Yankovich had the opportunity to write, produce, and star in his own feature film. The result is more insane and hilarious than you could possibly imagine. UHF tells the story of overly-imaginative George Newman (Yankovich), who is given the chance to run failing television station Channel 62. Naturally, George’s unorthodox programming choices, such as “Wheel of Fish,” “Conan the Librarian,” and “Bowling for Burgers” are a hit with the viewers, which doesn’t sit well with rival network Channel 8.

Quite possibly the biggest hit of all is “Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse.” Played by famed Seinfeld star Michael “Kramer” Richards, Stanley is a wacky janitor ushered in as a kid’s show host. His show is a barrel of laughs, and if you’re a lucky child participant, you may get to drink from the fire hose. Other classic players featured in the film include SNL vet Victoria Jackson, The Nanny star Fran Drescher, and the late Kevin McCarthy as the outlandish antagonist.

UHF kind of plays like a time capsule for ‘80s culture—it’s loud, colorful, and completely over-the-top. While younger audiences may not get all of the references and “in” jokes that were topical three decades ago, that doesn’t take away from the obvious humor on display. Fans of Weird Al who have let this flick slip under their radar will absolutely love it, and anyone else in the mood for a good laugh Saturday night should check it out. Bonus tip—show up to the Cedar Lee early for your chance to spin and win at a legit UHF-inspired Wheel of Fish.

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