was a long-running television sketch-comedy produced in Seattle
by the local NBC affiliate, KING TV. Lasted from 1984 to 1999. For most of its run, the half-hour show aired every week just before Saturday Night Live
. While much of the humor was aimed at local targets, an edited version of the show aired nationally on cable TV, and more than one other show re-used some of its ideas.
Served as the springboard
for Bill Nye the Science Guy
's career. Joel McHale
also did a stint on the show, but it took a little longer for him to reach the national spotlight. Ditto with David Scully, best known as Halo
's Sergeant Johnson.The Other Wiki
has a comprehensive rundown
on the show.
This show provides examples of:
- Arrow Cam: The "Billy Quan" sketches always ended an example of this.
- To be more specific, this was a parody of old kung fu movies that would end with Billy doing a jumping kick using this technique. Which would go around corners, wait for the elevator, etc.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "The Lame List" would throw in something incomprehensible to the group.
- A Boy and His X: "Sluggy"
- Baguette No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: This Special-K moment.
- Buxom Is Better: Played with in a man-on-the-street sketch where they asked people which they liked better: normal breasts or sudden Gag Boobs.
- Cast Full Of Writers
- Depraved Kids Show Host: "Uncle Fran's Musical Forest"
- Disproportionate Retribution: Many Billy Quan sketches revolve around Quan beating the crap out of John Keister's character for committing minor ethical transgressions, being rude, or littering. Other times, it's revenge for Life's Work Ruined.
- Eating the Eye Candy: This sketch.
- Edited for Syndication
- Fatal Method Acting: Cast-member Tracey Conway almost died of a heart attack on-stage. After filming an E.R. spoof (as a chain-smoking doctor), no less.
- The Fun in Funeral: This sketch.
- Girls Need Role Models: Capable Woman!
- Hong Kong Dub: Pariodied with Billy Quan.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: Pat Cashman unleashes one in The "Roscoe's Oriental Rug" skit. Going out of business since 1957 (Opening soon in Northgate!note )
- Improbable Weapon User: Billy Quan
- Insane Proprietor: Roscoe's Oriental Rug Emporium is the classic example. The proprietor starts out reasonable, and quickly unravels like his cheap rugs.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Despite the fact you could probably get half of Seattle to give up coffee for a monthnote to get a box set, KING5 has no plans to release it, leaving fans with late-night reruns and YouTube.
- George Buford has been uploading sketches for the last several years, and has amassed an impressive library.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: Local commercials bad enough to reach Memetic Mutation were mercilessly spoofed, and many of the sketches took the form of these, advertising things like "new shows on NBC" note ), ficticious fly-by-night trade schools, and "community events." Seeing as most of the staff had worked on some of those awful local commercials and the show had the approximate budget of said commercials, it was a natural match.
- Long Runner: Approximately sixteen years on the air.
- Mockumentary: An infamous April-Fool's joke about the Space Needle collapsing.
- Must Have Caffeine: Seattle likes its coffee. This series of sketches demonstrates how Seattle's coffee addiction is Serious Business.
- News Parody: "The Late Report" (or "The John Report" in some earlier episodes) segments were this, with John Keister reading the news, particularly about issues local to the Seattle community, and spinning jokes off of it.
- One Book Author: Many of the cast nearly fall into this category, but in particular, Darrell Suto, who played Billy Quan, was normally one of the show's cameramen.
- The Other Rainforest: Lots of jokes about how rainy Seattle is.
- And one joke about a local weatherman being able to control the weather.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: Fodder for almost as many sketches as grunge rock and coffee, but usually treated with good-natured humor. A good example is here.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: The "High-Fivin' White Guys" sketches played with this trope.
- Recycled In Seattle: Cops in (insert Seattle area neighborhood here)
- Seattle: Where the show was based, and the bedrock of their jokes. Roughly half of the humor will fly over your head if you are unfamiliar with the local area (especially during the years when the show was filmed.)
- Spiritual Successor: Has one in the form of The 206note , which involves several of the old cast and continues the tradition of sketch comedy mocking the local area. They broadcast locally, but also put their sketches up on their YouTube channel, including full episodes.
- Strawman U: The show often made fun of the local colleges, particularly The Evergreen State College in the state capital of Olympia.
- Take a Third Option: The "You Make The Call" sketches.
- Top Ten List: Spoofed with "The Lame List." Often played straight in the Opening Monologue.
- Twisting the Words: "Street Talk" would ask a local celebrity several questions, then splice their answers together for humorous effect.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Almost Live is a time capsule of 90s Seattle.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Speedwalker! and Capable Woman
- Wok Fu: One of the "Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan" kung fu parody shorts takes place in a Chinese restaurant.