The Best of the Worst of Star Search

Curator's Note

Here is a collection of video clips submitted to a major TV network by individuals seeking a chance to appear on the TV program "Star Search". Other programs had featured on-air talent competition, but Star Search may have been the first to solicit video submissions from viewers. One can only guess how the screeners of these clips felt about the typical Star Search viewer after witnessing countless hours of the kind of tragic delusion and pathology captured in these submissions. The arrangement and editing of the clips was accomplished by a home-taper, probably using a consumer VHS deck. It combines alternate sequencing of singing and stand-up performances in a proto-mash-up. It also features repeated sequences to underscore some of the absurdism. The video tape mix collection is a genre that was nurtured by a multitude of music and television fan cultures, television industry workers, culture jammers, and obscurantist collectors. Home-taping networks used the mails, "sneaker-nets" of families and friends for distribution, and fanzines for publicizing projects. Distinct sub-genres of home-tapes developed, such as TV bloopers, "recreational Christianity" (cf. the infamous Bob Tilton fart videos), and political satire (cf. The Reagans On Drugs). YouTube and its imitators have partly displaced the physical distribution networks for home-tapes, but the home taper underground still thrives using the original, analog formats.


NOTE: The clip published this past friday accompanying Patrick Burkart’s comment was incorrect. We apologise for the confusion. Here is the correct clip:

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