Friday A/V Club: Battle of the PBS Stars

"It's a dark day in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood."


In antediluvian times, by which I mean the 1970s and '80s, ABC aired a series of specials called Battle of the Network Stars, where teams from different TV channels would face each other in athletic contests. In 1982, the folks at SCTV imagined what would happen if another network's celebrities got in on the act:

A question for younger readers: How well does this translate for those of you who weren't watching TV when the shows being spoofed here were on the air? Part of me thinks the average SCTV episode will be completely opaque to anyone who can't decode its dense web of allusions. But then another part of me remembers that I've managed to enjoy Monty Python's Flying Circus, even though friends from the U.K. tell me there are large layers of British references in it that are almost entirely invisible to me.

In any event, if you want to get your hands on the entire Battle of the PBS Stars episode—which also includes Milton Friedman and John Kenneth Galbraith competing in a Cosmos/Firing Line football game—you should go here. For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here.