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Series / TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes

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A 1980s-90s comedic Reality Show featuring hosts Dick Clark and Ed McMahon (in the '80s) presenting Bloopers, noteworthy commercials from around the world, old movie serials, and Candid Camera-style practical jokes played on celebrities. It was occasionally brought back in the early 2000s, but pretty much retired when Dick Clark had his stroke. Inspired by the British ITV outtakes program It'll Be Alright on the Night, which starting in 1977 popularized the concept of showing film and television bloopers to the general public.

The show was the result of merging three different series of specials that had earlier been shown on NBC:

  • Johnny Carson's Favorite Practical Jokes, in which the Tonight Show host played practical jokes on famous people (including one where he made it look like Ed McMahon had been stealing office supplies); produced by Carson Productions.
  • TV's Censored Bloopers, in which Dick Clark presented an hour of bloopers from TV and films; produced by Clark's production company.
  • TV's Greatest Commercials, in which Ed McMahon presented an hour of historic commercials; also produced by Clark's production company.

The resulting series was a joint Dick Clark/Carson Production, which lasted for two seasons (1984–86) as a weekly series – continuing afterward as a series of occasional specials on NBC and, later, ABC – and inspired a number of similar blooper shows (including ones hosted by Don Rickles and Steve Allen).

TV's Bloopers & Practical Tropes:

  • Advertising Campaigns: A regular feature presented five or six foreign or American commercials.
  • Animated Credits Opening: A memorable one which involved backstage workers, an elephant, and a marching band. Created by Sergio Aragonés, who also created the bumpers and transition scenes.
  • The Challengers: At least three bloopers turned up.
    • 1990, Teachers Tournament Finals: A question in which the contestant had to identify a license plate's state from its design (shown on the video wall), except that this license plate had the state's name left on.
    • December 19, 1990: Dick has difficulty saying "Bill Blass".
    • May 31, 1991: Several retakes due to uncooperative buzzers during a tossup question.
  • David Letterman: A regular feature during the first season were clips of Letterman doing Man on the Street comedy bits in New York City, recycled from both his Morning and Late Night shows, such as a piece on three restaurants all claiming to have "The World's Greatest Coffee". Later seasons had similar bits conducted by comic Robert Klein.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • First and early second-season episodes featured classic commercials. This was eventually dropped to focus more on the bloopers and practical jokes.
    • A few first-season episodes featured the "blooper" introducing the hosts as "Ed Clark and Dick McMahon" during the opening credits before correcting it.
  • From Special to Series: As descibed above.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: A Sergio Aragonés drawn Henny Youngman would tell jokes during some commercial bumpers.
  • Once an Episode: Several:
    • "Silly Cinemas," a series of short gag-based films written, enacted by, and produced by comedian/humorist Len Cella. (On the show, this segment was called "Len Cella's Silly Cinemas.")
    • "Video Vault," hosted by comedian Wil Shriner, these were outtakes from humorous short films.
    • Practical jokes. After all, what do you expect from a show called TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes? Basically, it was an elaborate joke played on a celebrity.
    • A celebrity would come on to talk about a specific funny or embarassing set of bloopers, and be awarded The Golden Blooper Award, handed to him by a beautiful model.
      Dick Clark/Ed McMahon: And now let's introduce the girl with the golden bloopers ... Award!
    • "Man-on-the-street" interviews conducted by David Letterman, and later Robert Klein. See above; the best responses were compiled for this segment.
    • There were also a few short-lived segments, including a variation on the classic game show "Masquerade Party" where a celebrity, in heavy makeup, would have to be guessed by the audience. Also stand-up comedy segments, one of which featured a very young Jerry Seinfeld, and the "real life blooper" segment, where a person who screwed up in real life, was given a special award for his error.
  • Pie in the Face: Soupy Sales was a frequent guest, and would invariably end up with one of these (a trademark gag brought over from his own children's shows).