Follow TV Tropes


Film / TunnelVision

Go To

"TunnelVision, the "no bullshit" network."
The network slogan

TunnelVision is a 1976 satirical comedy film co-written and co-directed by Neal Israel, with an Ensemble Cast that includes Chevy Chase, Phil Proctor, Rick Hurst, Laraine Newman, Howard Hesseman, Roger Bowen, Joe Flaherty, Betty Thomas, Al Franken, and John Candy.

Set in the then-future year of 1985, it centers around the first completely uncensored television network in the United States, TunnelVision, and a Senate hearing regarding its content, where approximately one hour of one day's condensed programming is shown, sketch-comedy style.


This film contains examples of:

  • Anthology Film: The bulk of the film consists of short sketches presented as a day's worth of condensed TunnelVision programming.
  • Black Comedy: A lot of it.
  • Bland-Name Product: An oil company is named Axxon. You know, like the real-life oil company Exxon. Considering that Axxon kills aquatic life, might also count as a Take That!.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Literally! The blindfolded chef from the dinner bar commercial and other sketches later reappears as a wanted killer and shows up at the end to kill TunnelVision's leader.
  • Credits Gag: Parodied at the end of the news segments. Also, the actual closing credits show footage from other Tunnelvision broadcasts.
  • Disney Owns This Trope: Parodied; the film reviewed on Wake Up America is stated to be from 20th Century-Paramount. Engulf+Devour strikes again!
  • Advertisement:
  • Driven to Suicide: The "innocent arrest victim of the week" on Secret Camera hangs himself in the bathroom after being falsely accused of conspiring to overthrow the United States government.
  • El Spanish "-o": The language lesson early on is full of it.
  • Flipping the Bird: The subject of the "Learn How to Be Butch" ad does this at the end.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Sub Committee: The film centers on a Congressional hearing that would decide the fate of the network. The network wins.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Axxon, the Ax-Crazy oil-spilling company who kills fish "in the name of community service".
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Takes place in the year 1985, i.e. just under a decade after it was made.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Gene Scallion, the movie critic on Wake Up America, is very obviously a parody of movie critic Gene Shalit.
  • N-Word Privileges: The N word and other slurs, including "gypsy" and "guinea", are abused on Ramon and Sonja; also, during that sketch, and the Congressional hearing bit that immediately followed, political incorrectness goes up to eleven.
  • Precision F-Strike: Henry Kissinger calling Richard Nixon "a colossal asshole" during a press conference in front of an audience of cheering kids.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The head of Tunnelvision prevails at the hearing but is killed by a deranged assassin almost immediately after.
  • Show Within a Show
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Once again, Henry Kissinger is portrayed with the mouth of a sailor.
  • Sketch Comedy
  • Take That!: Apparently, in this alternate 1985 the Pep Boys are wanted robbers.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Carl in "Remember When".