Directed by: Jay Levey
Starring: 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Victoria Jackson, and Kevin McCarthy
UHF Movie Summary
Once upon a time, before there was cable TV – before satellite TV – there was broadcast television. The early stations aired in the very high frequency or “VHF” spectrum. These stations were found on channels 2 through 13 on your television dial. You see kids, back in the day, before remote controls, people had to get up and walk over to their TVs to change the channel. That was why people used to be thinner and in better shape. So what if they died in their fifties of liver cirrhosis?
The VHF stations were usually major network affiliates like NBC, CBS, and ABC. In order to create greater competition, the FCC eventually started to license television stations using the Ultra High Frequency spectrum, or “UHF”. These stations were found on channels 14 through 83. The existing television stations and networks did not like the added competition and even went so far as to pressure television manufacturers to make the UHF dial a free flowing dial, similar to radio dials of the time, so viewers would have to tune-in the UHF station, as compared to the set, clicking dials for the VHF stations. This created a rivalry between the two spectrums, which is the basis for 1989’s UHF.
The movie starts with our hero, George, played by Weird Al Yankovic, daydreaming while working at a fast food place. He manages to get himself and his friend, Bob, fired. George and Bob go back to their shared apartment and learn their neighbor, Kuni, is teaching a bunch of stooopid karate students. The plot thickens when George’s Uncle Harvey wins Channel 62 in a poker game, and George’s aunt convinces Uncle Harvey to let him manage the station. George and his girlfriend, Terri, go to the station. They meet Pamela, the receptionist/wannabe reporter/wannabe nanny, and Philo, the station’s engineer and resident resident.
We next see RJ Fletcher, the owner of rival Channel 8, chastising his employees, and firing Stanley the janitor, played by KKK Kramer himself, over a misplaced file. George shows up at the station to deliver a package that was brought to Channel 62 by mistake as a gesture of goodwill. He has the misfortunate pleasure of speaking with RJ who threatens to have George arrested for trespassing, so he leaves. On the way out, George sees Channel 8’s people abusing Stanley, and watches them take Stanley’s prized mop. George has a soft spot for orphans of crusty mops and decides to offer Stanley a job at his station.
George also hosts his own kids show, Uncle Nutzy’s Clubhouse – a cheaper and less fun version of the Bozo the Clown Show. Hell, it didn’t even have a Grand Prize Game. George’s show was awful and the live studio audience hated it. In fact, the whole town seemed to hate the channel as it was a big money loser. George and Bob stay late one night trying to figure a way out of the financial mess, causing George to forget about his dinner date with Terri and her parents. Terri calls and breaks-up with George. George is distraught over the turn of events and his performance on Uncle Nutzy reaches new and depressing lows. George and Bob leave the show while it’s still in progress to go get a drink at a bar leaving Stanley to host the kids’ show. While at the bar, the other bar patrons are enthralled by Stanley’s performance, and George and Bob realize a star is born.
This small success inspires them to start new shows for their channel to go along with the new Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse. Wheel of Fish, hosted by Kuni, Philo’s Secrets of the Universe where Philo teaches how to make plutonium from everyday items,