Episode CH4.3.9

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Episode CH4.3.9
Title The Max Headroom Show
UK Air Date 3 Mar 1987
US Air Date 21 Nov 1986
Length 30 minutes
Guests Jackson Browne
Crew Talk Show Crew
Matt Frewer Max Headroom
The ninth episode of the second Channel Four season of the Max Headroom talk show featured singer/songwriter Jackson Browne.

The MaxRchives contain a complete recording of the UK broadcast of this episode. Charles McGrew's page contains a number of audio clips that precede the Browne interview.

Videos & Segments

  • Max opens with yet another sad close to the the series... that's premature, so never mind.
  • Video: Ken Noath, "Junk Mail"
  • Max talks about his analyst and other stars who are seeing him.
  • Clip of Max on a roller coaster... as he barfs.
  • Max, in a Cockney accent, lists all the bits in the show that can't be left out.
  • The regular intro begins at double speed, then screeches to a stop.
  • We see a silhouette that might be Max against the moving-lines background. The announcer interviews "Alan X" as a "supergrass," or informer on criminal companions.
    • Mime Les Bubb does an act as a chicken in the audience.
    • Max's "supergrass" interview continues.
    • Clip of Val Kilmer from "Real Genius" screaming.
  • Regular intro starts again, with a black screen, then no audio, then telephone bleeping. It ends abruptly.
  • Probably UK only: Cut to Max sobbing at the audience. It's time to say goodbye to the audience at home... so they can really let their hair down in the studio. The audience chants goodbye, then starts partying.
    • Probably UK only: Cut to THE MAX HEADROOM SHOW placeholder title.
  • Regular intro runs normally, from the beginning, but cuts the last few seconds to go to...
  • This week's visit, to the Middle East!
    • Video: Jackie Wilson, "Reet Petite" (claymation) begins
  • And we're back in the Middle East.
    • Jackie Wilson, "Reet Petite" continues.
  • Max finds himself on one side of a stage in a mystery theater in London, where a band is set up to perform. He calls over his guest of the week...
  • Max and his guest Jackson Browne talk about:
    • His name (actually Clyde Jackson Browne)
    • Being political in his songs in the US. He still writes introspective songs, but has become aware of bigger issues.
    • What does he do outside of music and working? ("I don't do anything...")
    • Max is waiting to hear a simple little word... (Browne: "Golf." Max: "That's not the word.")
      • Black and white montage clip of "Bathing Beauties."
    • Browne tries, "Cook?" "That's not the one..." Max guides him back to golf, but Browne doesn't golf.
      • Video: Elton John, "Heartache All Over The World" begins.
    • Politics and getting arrested.
    • The environment (like golf courses).
    • His taste in TV (like Max's Coke commercial, or show).
    • Max thanks Browne and promises to sing a song with him next time.
      • Video: Elton John, "Heartache All Over The World" continues .
  • Over the closing credits, Max rants about yet another letter of complaint from the SPCI - the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Insects. It seems that golf kills millions of insects a year... so Max isn't going to say another word about golf.
  • Black and white clip of old fashioned bicycle racing.
  • And it's time again for... Quiz!
    • Max shuts up the munchkin singers on the repeat.
    • Tonight there are three lucky seats with lucky winners in them, who want to be Sexist of the Series!
    • The contestants are David, James and Robert!
      • But there's no winners and no prizes this time.

Notes & Commentary

A "supergrass" is a British term for a high-level criminal informant, evolved from a "grass," which was any snitch inside a gang. It first came into use to describe the ranking IRA members who testified against others, often anonymously.

Jackson Browne's full name is Clyde Jackson Browne. His father was... Clyde Jack Browne.

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: (sound of sirens in the background throughout) "Yes, it's the end of this long series, and we've got to know each other closely, warmly... intimately. And you and I have felt and moved each other, we've touched each other, we've caressed, we've fondled, we've played with each others' skirt, each others' intimate bits, we've... rough-rough-roughed over sensitive parts together and gone pah-pah-pah... you expect me now to say to you, with all the sincerity I can lay my shoulders on, well, that's it. It's time to close the account, bring the old curtain down, sweep the stage, clear the last used cotton bud from the old dressing room table, but... I'm not trying to say all those sad, silly, sentimental things because... we've still got another show to do."
  • Max: "Okay, so what? What's in it - I am not proud, I admit it. The world of entertainment is full of insecure people. And it's true: I do see an analyst, okay? He comes to see me every Tuesday. They call him Professor Showbiz, "Analyst to the Stars," and I'm not one for tittle-tattle tittle-tattle, but some of the things he's told me... Like with Liz Taylor - he was just on the verge of finding out whether she was a compulsive eater when she stole at his notes. But he's very good, he carefully strips away the littles of the mind. It can take years. Although with Sylvester Stallone, he reckoned it took three minutes. And he does all that stuff where he takes you back to childhood. With Joan Collins, it's turning out to be a very long trip. Kate Bush is a regular; she saw him last week and he was horrified when she suddenly started reliving some terrible trauma... and then realized she's just singing. But-but-but I guess his prize patient at the moment is... Madonna. She wanted to know whether she had chewed gum in a former life, and she responded well. Under hypnosis, she managed to keep her ankles together for seven minutes."
  • Max: Supergrass ""
  • Max: The Middle East part 1 ""
  • Max: The Middle East part 2 ""
  • Max: ""
Jackson Browne: ""
  • Max: The SPCI "
  • Max: Quiz! ""