AL TV

Questions & Answers with the one and only Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Weird Al's drummer since 1980!

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belitcje
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AL TV

Post by belitcje »

Bermuda,



I haven't posted anything on here for awhile but I'm back with yet again another question. Back in the 80's Al did what weirdal.com calls "taking over the air waves of mtv" and did a special of his own which he entitled "AL TV". The last AL TV special he did was a few years ago. My question is what gave Al the idea for "AL TV" and does he plan on doing it again soon? Also, is it possible at all that earlier showings of "AL TV" will re re-aired? Thanks!

bermuda
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Post by bermuda »

I'm pretty sure Al was the first to alter the name MTV for his own purposes, unlike David Lee Roth who had "Dave TV" in one of his videos later in that year. Al made a funny/pointed comment about that in the following AL-TV. The concept was that Al would take over the airwaves and play the videos HE wanted to play.



I don't know if those would ever re-run or be available for sale, or if there'll be another official AL-TV on MTV. Those seem to have been replaced by a variety of specials on VH-1 (owned by the same company who owns MTV et al) and AL-TV-like specials on Canada's MuchMusic.



Bermuda

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Post by Johnnytimewarp »

Isn't it true that MTV stopped doing AL-TV because they didn't wanna get sued over Al's celebirity "interviews"????

bermuda
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Post by bermuda »

I hadn't heard that! But if there were any problems with the interviews, Al wouldn't be using them during the concerts, either; they've been used since 1985 without any problems.



I think that as MTV moved away from being a music video channel, there was less time for music-video-based programming. Even when the last new AL-TV aired in 1996, MTV was pretty far away from being willing to devote more than 60 minutes to a subject, let alone giving up the 4 hours Al used to command on earlier AL-TVs.



VH-1 has stepped in nicely however (starting with VH1-to-One in 1992) and 1999's Video Collection is suitably close to AL-TV. Their programming has always been slightly more adult, usually more intellectual, and I think that's lent even more credibility to Al as an artist with staying power.



Think of MTV as new wave, and VH-1 as permanent wave.

belitcje
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Post by belitcje »

If AL TV were to ever be sold on VHS or something, wouldn't you need permission from MTV to reproduce it and sell it for profit? Or would it not matter since it was originally Al's own idea anyways? Also, if AL TV is to ever be released on video what do you think of also releasing episodes of The Weird Al Show too? A lot of people have never seen these shows the way they were originally aired and the network that does show them only does it once a week in a section called square one TV. It's also not even guaranteed that it will come on. It's on really late and doesn't start until 3 AM I think. Anyways, since the show was short lived is it possible that Al will consider doing something else as a kind of television series? I can't remember where exactly but I do remember reading somewhere on the net that if Al does do another show it's going to go through a network that won't need "so many wack yourself over the head morals or educational lessons."

bermuda
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Post by bermuda »

If AL TV were to ever be sold on VHS or something, wouldn't you need permission from MTV to reproduce it and sell it for profit? Or would it not matter since it was originally Al's own idea anyways? Also, if AL TV is to ever be released on video what do you think of also releasing episodes of The Weird Al Show too?


Everyone needs to understand that Al doesn't own the shows that have appeared on TV, he's barely got a hand in his own movie, UHF! Al typically doesn't get to make the decisions about what can get released or not. Even Scotti Bros went ahead and released packages that Al didn't especially approve of (TV Album, Food Album.)



I believe that Dick Clark Productions owns the Weird Al Show, and I'm sure if there was a profit in it, DCP would issue those on DVD. In the case of the AL-TVs, there would be a HUGE amount of clearances & licensing required in order to offer those for sale, and it would be prohibitive unless MTV thought there was enough money in it.



Few things are done in the industry just to be nice or as a favor to the fans. It's a profit-driven business, and when someone determines there's money to be made on something, you'll see it on the shelves at your local Tower or Best Buy: episodes from the Monkees, Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Avengers TV series', TV specials, sports events, National Geographic specials, and much more.

belitcje
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Post by belitcje »

Thanks for clearing that up Bermuda! However, there was a part of the question I asked earlier I'm still curious about. Do you think it to be possible that Al will ever consider to do some other kind of television series? I only wonder this because I read somewhere before mentioning of maybe Al looking for another network to do something with. Thanks!

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Post by bermuda »

I suppose anything's possible. I hope you're not trying to ask me what he's thinking...

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