Written by Robert Smigel of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog fame, this infamous sketch is nothing short of the greatest takedown of nerds ever. What I'd like to know is exactly how much input Shatner had into its creation. Given how natural his performance is here and the fact that he later named an autobiography Get a Life!, I'm guessing a significant amount (it's easy to imagine the folks at Paramount showing this sketch to every new Trek cast member in preparation for the sorts of nonsense they would have to endure once they hit the convention circuit). While nerds enjoyed this because it hit so close to home, everyone else relished how relatable it made Shatner seem. Interesting enough, this six-minute clip says more about the human condition than the entirety of Star Trek's original run. Of course, there are many of you wonderful geeks who will argue this point with me in the comments. Which just makes this clip all the more biting, funny and true.
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This short film was a test for Thomas Edison's Kinetophone project, the first attempt in history to record sound and moving image in synchronization. This was an experiment by William Dickson to put sound and film together either in 1894 or 1895.
Unfortunately, this experiment failed because they didn't understand synchronization of sound and film. The large cone on the left hand side of the frame is the "microphone" for the wax cylinder recorder (off-camera). The Library of Congress had the film. The wax cylinder soundtrack, however, was believed lost for many years. Tantalizingly, a broken cylinder labeled "Violin by WKL Dickson with Kineto" was catalogued in the 1964 inventory at the Edison National Historic Site.
In 1998, Patrick Loughney, curator of Film and Television at the Library of Congress, retrieved the cylinder and had it repaired and re-recorded at the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound, Lincoln Center, New York. Since the Library did not possess the necessary synchronizing technology, Loughney - at the suggestion of producer Rick Schmidlin - sent multi-Oscar award winner Walter Murch a videotape of the 17 seconds of film and an audiocassette of 3 minutes and 20 seconds of sound with a request to marry the two. By digitizing the media and using digital editing software, Murch was able to synchronize them and complete the failed experiment 105 years later. This 35mm film was generously made available to the Internet Archive by Walter Murch and Sean Cullen.
Anita Renfroe sums up all the things that a mother says to her children in a three-minute song called "Momisms" set to the William Tell Overture. This is the official version by Anita Renfroe. Purchase full DVD at www.AnitaRenfroe.com. Video and audio available on iTunes.
A kid gets a used-car surprise: a Tron cycle! Young Indiana Jones finds treasure in his elementary school. Rom the Spaceknight meets his ultimate nemesis! Into the Blue gets a relevant skewering. Murky and Lurky make a gruesome discovery when they try to rob Rainbow Brite. Hulk Hogan busts out of prison camp in "Hogan's Heroes."
Skits: "Superman on Vacation", "Horton Hears a Jew!", "Forgetful Peter Pan", "Used Car Surprise", "Bomb Diffusing Robot", "Rainbow Brite Breaking & Entering", "Rom Spaceknight", "How Much is That Doggie?", "Into the Blue Skewering", "Murderous William Tell", "Missing Gauze", "When Pigs Fly", "Safety Blanket", "Young Indy", "Hogan's Heroes"