Tuesday, April 13, 2010

George Wendt, Friday Night Videos, and the Minutemen (November 8, 1985)

Would you ever have associated George Wendt, the actor who played Norm on Cheers, with the Minutemen, the fabled punk act of the 1980s? Would you ever thought that Wendt would have hosted "Friday Night Videos"? Last year, Wendt was interviewed by Noel Murray at The Onion A.V. Club, and the following exchange on that point occurred:
AVC: I have a hazy memory of seeing you on Friday Night Videos back in the mid-’80s, co-hosting with John Ratzenberger, and you each got to pick one video during the show. And if I’m not mistaken you picked “King Of The Hill” by the Minutemen.

GW: I may have. I was a big fan of the Minutemen. Unfortunately their career only lasted about a minute. D. Boon had that tragic auto wreck. But I still listen to various Mike Watt projects.

There you have it. A little digging reveals that Wendt and his "Cheers" co-star John Ratzenberger co-hosted "Friday Night Videos" on November 8, 1985 (although, technically, it may have been November 9, 1985, since the show did not air until after midnight).1

For good measure, see here for an (apparently old) fan site dedicated to FNV and here for my prior post of the Minutemen and their connection to the 2000 film, High Fidelity.


Above: The "King of the Hill" video by the Minutemen.


Above: The "Friday Night Videos" introduction.

1. Bianculli, David. "TV Tonight," Philadelphia Inquirer. November 8, 1985; Sonsky, Steve. "Videos, Wrestling Keep 'Retired' Ebersol Busy," Miami Herald. November 8, 1985.

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