Episode CH4.3.5

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Episode CH4.3.5
Title The Max Headroom Show
UK Air Date 3 Feb 1987
US Air Date 26 Sep 1986
Length 30 minutes
Guests Rutger Hauer
Crew Talk Show Crew
Matt Frewer Max Headroom
The fifth episode of the second Channel Four season of the Max Headroom talk show featured actor Rutger Hauer.

The MaxRchives contains a complete recording of the UK broadcast of this episode. Hauer's web page contains a dozen photos of the show. Charles McGrew's page contains a number of audio clips that precede the Hauer interview.

Videos & Segments

  • Max appears from the hairline up and has a long argument with the stage crew - "Yeah, well it's been the right height for every other show!"
    • The crew puts a box under his chair, with some difficulties in positioning. It's still not tall enough; we see Max from the nose up. He tries to start, then complains again.
    • They put another box under the chair. He's almost tall enough... and then falls off the stack. ("Holy shit...!")
    • The show titles begin but are inverted and black-and-white with murky audio.
    • We cut to Max spinning on a vectorscope display. There's a rewind scrape, then Max appears normally. He mutters threats at the crew ("...put them all up against the wall and shoot them... that'd teach 'em a lesson").
    • The normal show opening rolls.
  • Max gives a giggly introduction to the show but notes that they have so many things, they might have to cut things like this (shows a credit slide) or this (shows a clip of Tina Turner's video) or even this (shows a clip of the Rutger Hauer interview).
  • Video: The Housemartins, "Happy Hour"
    • Max interrupts: "Let me play you something really, really damned good: my favorite album."
      • Plays a birdsong clip, with rock-fan commentary.
      • Record scratch ends the bird sounds; Max rages. "Whaddya mean they won't get it? It's a bootleg!"
  • Mac McDonald comedy clip, sticking bread all over his head to protect when "the bomb" goes off.
  • Max bops to a heavy techno beat, with dogs barking. "Get down... get down... GET DOWN!" as the dogs drag him away.
  • This week, we're in... Scandinavia! Land of flickering Volvo headlights and scenery ranging from forests to... forests.
  • Video: Tina Turner, "Typical Male"
    • UK version only: Max interrupts to show us "The Truth Tester" (another snarky commercial-break lead-in).
      • UK only: Commercial break with "THE MAX HEADROOM SHOW" placeholder card.
  • We're back in Scandinavia! Land of language and drinking problems, and... sex.
    • Tina Turner, "Typical Male" continues.
  • Max and his guest Rutger Hauer talk about:
    • Max introduces his guest as "Rootbeer Hauer," then addresses him as "Rut."
    • His part in "Blade Runner" is Hauer's favorite - it was kind of like Max - in that both have artificial souls.
      • Video: Martini Ranch, "How Can the Labouring Man Find Time for Self-Culture?" begins (black and white clip from "Metropolis").
    • Hauer has a lot of energy, and was restless and wanted to find out things for himself.
    • Being a man of action - he's physical and likes to trade lines for physical action.
    • Golf: Hauer doesn't play, but he's walked on a few courses. There's one behind his house but he's not yet good enough to play on it. The walks are nice, though.
    • Hauer admits being color-blind.
    • Hauer doesn't get angry - unless someone hits a dog in the street. Animals can't hit back.
    • Why was "Blade Runner" so good? (The design was so good and so real, and the music.)
      • But no, it was nothing like "The Max Headroom Show."
    • Max thanks 'Rootbeer' for being a great guest... and his biggest.
      • Martini Ranch: "How Can the Labouring Man Find Time for Self-Culture?" continues.
  • Max tells children at home alone... "Don't do that!"
  • And it's Max & Max & Max this time... one lead, two harmony!
    • They sing a vaguely country-rock song about Mary Lou, a dog and a motorbike leading to tragedy. The backup singers keep stopping to comment on the storyline of the lyrics. It fades out to their sobs.

Notes & Commentary

Mac McDonald appears as a comedian in this show. Fans of the film "The Fifth Element" will recognize him as the older cop who ends up with a full lap of McDonald's soda ("Whoa!")

We don't have the US version of this show on tap, so we don't know what might have filled the "truth tester" sequence on Cinemax. Probably the full length of the Tina Turner video.

The credit slides are scattered through the show at 4 or 5 minute intervals.

Although Rutger Hauer is only 6'1", he dwarfs the chair that seems to have fit other interviewees so comfortably. ("It's like a little nest.") Max later calls him the biggest star he's interviewed - in name and size, it would seem.

Has there always been a Sputnik in the background of the set?

Quotes & Caps

Rutger Hauer dwarfs the interview "nest."
Oh, no... now there's three of them.

(Max's speech in this season finally stops using the extreme stuttering and repetition, probably as much for technical, audience and production reasons as because it was getting tiresome. I am still trimming such repetitions to minimum indicators here in the transcriptions.)

  • Max: "Air... c-clean as a surgeon's knife. A place where the sharp scent of pine cuts through the thickest of colds... mmm. Yup-yup-yup: I'm in Scandinavia. The continent with that unmistakable smell of the perfume tablet under a toilet seat. Yup, Scandinavia, with its night sky lit by that strange incessant flickering phen-n-nom-nomenon of the northern hemisphere, known as... the Volvo headlamp. These are strange lands, wreathed in myth and legend. They say that on a still night, when the moon is full, a lucky traveler may see Björn Borg's eyes pass above his nose on their nocturnal migration to the opposite side of his face. A land of ever-changing scenery, from the lakes and forests of Norway to the lakes and forests... of Sweden. And it has a silence broken only by the far-off wailing of an inconsolable Abba fan. And the occasional soft distant *pump* of an exploding Russian power station."
  • Max: "I'm now about to demonstrate a most interesting device: the Tru-tru-truth Tester. Each of the following films should last ten minutes... unless, that is, the Truth Tester detects any dishonest statement, in which case, it will simply cut the film off and move on to the next one. So... check your watches and let's see if any of these films can run for the full ten minutes of truth. Here goes..."
  • Max: "(Brief comments in Swedish or Norwegian) Yes, Scandinavia is a place with a language problem only surpassed by its drink problem. And why? Because without drink, they cannot understand each other. And drink is a problem the Finns are fighting, by banning cars and insisting everyone travels cross-country on skis. This makes reading the paper on the way to work a bit tricky, but guarantees at least twenty-six gold medals at the Winter Olympics. ...Sex. You know, in the end, you can't deny that the Scandinavians have given the world... sex! Which isn't surprising. With a night that lasts six months, there's a limit to the amount of hot chocolate they can drink. But, Scandinavia really was the first place to open its door to sex and invite it in as a welcome guest. They made it feel at home, they let it put its feet up... its knees up... its legs up. Sex in Scandinavia is like jogging in the rest of the world: it's good for you, it makes you feel better, and if you see someone else doing it, you feel if you had the time, you'd join them, too. If you're like me, all you need is a can of yogurt, a willing partner and a few birch twigs. Yiyyy! Thank you, Agnisa!"
  • Max: "...'Nighthawks' ...'Flesh and Blood' ...'Ladyhawke' ...'Blade Runner.' What do they all have in common? Yes, a man, after my own sense of drama, Mr. Root-root-rootbeer Hauer. Hey, Rut, welcome to my show. You feeling comfortable?
Rutger Hauer: "Yes, very."
Max: "Are you sure you wouldnt' like a bigger-bigger chair?"
Rutger Hauer: "It's like a little nest."
  • Max: "You have played some pretty extreme parts, big fella, haven't you? Which was your favorite?"
Rutger Hauer: "Blade Runner."
Max: "Blade Runner?"
Rutger Hauer: "It was kind of like... your character."
Max: "In what sense of the word? My character? You mean my personality?"
Rutger Hauer: "Yeah, your soul."
Max: "I haven't got feet. How can I have a sole?"
Rutger Hauer: "That's the problem."
Max: "In what sense of the word?"
Rutger Hauer: "It's, um, it's artificial."
Max: "You mean your character was artificial?"
Rutger Hauer: "No, the soul was artificial.
Max: "I had no idea we'd be getting on to this existential stuff so soon."
Rutger Hauer: "Yeah, well, we can wait. We can wait."
  • Max: "So... R-R-Rut: Golf. You love it, right?
Rutger Hauer: "Yeah. I don't play... I don't play, yet."
  • Max: "You have a set of golf clubs?"
Rutger Hauer: "Uh, yeah, half a set, yeah."
Max: "Half a set?"
Rutger Hauer: "Yeah."
Max: "You don't strike me as short enough to have half a set."
Rutger Hauer: "
  • Max: "
Rutger Hauer: "

  • Max: "
Rutger Hauer: "
  • Max: "I know a lot of children are watching my show along with their parents, but I know there's some kids who are sitting there w-w-watching on their own. And maybe mom and dad have gone out, or they're in another room, so, here's a word for you: Don't do that!