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|Title||The Max Headroom Show|
|US Air Date||24 Oct 1986|
|UK Air Date||17 Feb 1987|
|Crew||Talk Show Crew|
|Matt Frewer||Max Headroom|
The MaxRchives contain complete recordings of both the US and UK broadcasts of this episode.
Videos & Segments
- Max asks the viewer if they really want to sit down for the next thirty minutes, then lists a few of the things they'll miss if they switch off.
- "Switch off? Okay..."
- The screen goes to a white dot, then black.
- We return to a stereotypical sitcom kitchen set (slide) as Max enters to applause and laughs, doing a generic "Hi honey I'm home" schtick. He realizes he's in the wrong show... "Whaddya think this is, cheap comedy?"... and then does a slapstick bounce off one side of the frame.
- Video: Lulu, "Shout" (ca. 1964 - in color, with "The Luvvers")
- Max sings nonsensical snippets.
- Black and white clip of a chef making a rooster crow on command.
- Now Max is at... I said, NOW MAX IS AT THE DISCO!
- Max gets them to turn off the noise and lights, and describes the disco scene.
- More chef and rooster.
- Max has advice for his younger viewers about wearing very tight jeans... not a good idea.
- Video: Love and Rockets, "Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)"
- This week, we're in... Greece! Land of bouzoukis, Zorba, souvlaki and moussaka. And feta. And kebabs.
- Comedy clip from Neil Mullarkey, as he tries to scare an audience member with rubber bats, spiders and other terrifying items in his "Ghost Train" skit.
- And we're back in Greece. Land of weightlifters (like Nautilis), gods and tragic history.
- Opening credits roll...
- UK version only: Max interrupts, we see the "neon bar" placeholder card and a few moments of black screen for the Channel Four commercial break.
- UK only: we come back for a somewhat extended take on the opening credits.
- ...until it's suddenly time again for "Quiz!" with no fewer than three rounds of the theme song.
- and this time Max is ringing the changes and it's completely different because there will be no question, no prizes, no contestants, because we're not gonna play - we're not gonna play - we're not gonna play... Quiz!
- Opening credits conclude.
- In a remote interview (from a TV on Howie's couch), Max and his guest Howie Mandel talk about:
- Max talks about rock stars, actors, actresses and a variety of social diseases... he's had them all. But today he has one of the wildest young comedians around... Mr. Jack Benny!
- No, really, it's Howie "For God's sake don't sit on the front row when I'm onstage" Mandel.
- Howie's live act - it's improv with the audience.
- His rubber-glove-on-the-head gag: from St. Elsewhere or before? (Before.)
- Video: Paul Hardcastle, "The Wizard" intro. (Techno synth instrumental.)
- The family suit over his grandmother's hypnosis - a stage magician made her believe she was a chicken and couldn't snap her out of it. (She's almost normal now.)
- Insert some truly horrid egg puns. (I mean it, horrid. Third-grade. Boy's Life. Reader's Digest.)
- Max spreads himself across all media: singing! dancing! talking! and...
- Golf! and...
- Mandel: "I like golf."
- Max: (stunned) "You like golf?"
- Mandel used to be a caddy... but there were no golfers.
- Paul Hardcastle, "The Wizard" continues.
- How "How" really embarrasses people - or doesn't - and how.
- Mandel has started stamp collecting as a hobby in his little spare time over the past three years. By next year he'll have... two. Stamps.
- Doing the voice of "Gizmo" in "Gremlins."
- Other voices Mandel does in his act.
- The film "Bobo" - Mandel spent nine months on all fours and took a lot of abuse in the role as a dog.
- Max calls Mandel the funniest comedian they've had on the show. (Also the only one... but funnier than Sting.)
- Paul Hardcastle, "The Wizard" concludes.
- Max asks if the viewer is one of the chosen people... a biker. Freedom and sloping foreheads forever! Yee-haw!
- Brief clip of Sylvester Stallone in "Cobra" (1986), answering "Yeah, but it's just a little [attitude problem]."
- Max and Max are back... Max in the green plaid he interviewed Mandel in, and regular Max in a black jacket.
- Black Max tries to introduce the show, while green Max makes goofy faces. Black Max repeatedly tries to get him to stop.
- Black Max wants to sing a song but green Max insists on singing along - "You Gotta Have Happiness."
- The credits roll fast on a perspective strip underneath the two TVs.
- US version only: The Cinemax credit is followed by a short Max riff on having a pet yuppie.
Notes & Commentary
This show seems a bit rushed in order to fit in a slightly lengthier interview with Howie Mandel - only three videos, two of which appear in very abbreviated form, and the here-it-comes/there-it-goes passing flirt with "Quiz!" There's next to nothing worth commenting on, other than the interview.
Which is all odd, because this is one of the dullest, most predictable interviews of the entire run, with banal banter and tired sallies. It's almost as if Mandel, then at the peak of his fame, had an agreement with the show to be treated more like a regular talk-show host and not as a foil or target for Max. You can practically read the terms in between Max's softball questions and repeated fawning about Mandel's stature as a comedian.
What's even more odd is that they insist Mandel is the first comedian on the show, when it's only two weeks after Tracey Ullman's appearance. That agreement again? Or is it a gender issue - she was just a comedienne? Or was this remote session shot in advance of the Ullman show? In the end, this interview is by far the most perfunctory and ignorable, with hardly a worthwhile moment. Possibly an example of a minor talent at the very peak of his or her career, insisting on every privilege - including the remote interview? And a struggling show capitulating to get a big name in the listings?
Maybe the concession to Max was to be the first guest who says he likes golf?
Quotes & Caps
(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: "