Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Americathon (1979)

How bad is it? It's a comedy that's more desperate than funny.
Should you see it? No, but it's handy for playing "Six Degrees of Separation."

In the future of 1998, the U.S. government is bankrupt, so president John Ritter stages a telethon hosted by Harvey Korman. It's essentially an overblown sketch; the jokes are obvious and the threadbare plot speeds through a series of episodic set-pieces. The director, who also made "Surf Ninjas" and "Bachelor Party," covered similar ground better in "Tunnelvision." This had a sizable budget and the cast is interesting: Fred Willard, Peter Riegert, Dorothy Stratten, Meatloaf, Cybill Shepherd, Tommy Lasorda, Jay Leno, Howard Hesseman, Allan Arbus, Peter Marshall, Zelda Rubinstein, Jake Steinfeld, the Del Rubio triplets, Willie Tyler and Lester, George Carlin as the narrator and music by Elvis Costello and the Beach Boys. It even had John Carradine as Uncle Sam, but his scene was cut.

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