SF OBSCURE…SF comedy for the lazy days of August

The tightrope of comedy and SF is a dangerous one to walk. Most fall off…

From  3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN to the more recent THE NEIGHBORS.  And animated series FUTURAMA. And the cult favorite RED DWARF. The tightrope of comedy and SF is a dangerous one to walk. Most fall off.


WOOPS! was a post apocalyptic sitcom broadcast in 1992. 13 episodes were made. Only 10 were broadcast. It made TV Guide’s list of the 50 worst TV shows of all time. The sitcom centers around a worldwide nuclear holocaust leaving on six survivors to rebuild civilization. There is a schoolteacher, a homeless man, a feminist bookstore owner, a biologist, a hair salon employee and a venture capitalist. The all serve to as fodder for stereotypical jokes about Jewish grandmothers, bleeding heart liberals, money grubbing conservatives, ditsy blondes and the token black guy. There are about a dozen reused jokes, a laugh track, and that’s it for WOOPS!  I am surprised they managed to broadcast ten whole episodes.


HOMEBOYS IN OUTER SPACE also made TV Guide’s infamous list of worst shows. James Doohan makes and appearance (he’s on the cast list) as well as George Takei. John Lithgow is also in the cast as well as Anthony Hopkins.  It was supposed to be a homage/parody to STAR TREK and somewhat along the concept of the cult favorite RED DWARF. It is not.

It stars Flex Alexander and Darryl M. Bell,-both sitcom/TV mainstays who have, in all fairness, done better things- who travel through the universe in a  ship named “Space Hoopty”. Using the term ‘homeboys’ in the title pretty much establishes that it’s dated. Some of the highlights include: being chased by a bounty hunter named Jed Eye, an Android butler named Lloyd Wellington, intergalactic strip club humor, and having your consciousness switched with a dog. Oh, and a planet of nudists called ‘Indabuff’. I actually found this easier to watch than WOOPS! because its so bizarrely awful you begin to be entertained whereas WOOPS! is just lame.


Also, thanks to wonderful writer and SMART GIRLS comments diva Bella Street I had the joy of watching HEAT VISION AND JACK, an unaired pilot from 1999 staring Jack Black as a former astronaut and Owen Wilson as a talking motorcycle. It’s meant to be a parody of action/SF shows and movies. It’s very, very weird(but I did find it funny) and I have no idea how this could have been a series that anyone could watch week after week. It has a cult following now and rumors of a movie have been tossed around…


Another in the same vein of strangeness as HEAT VISION  is GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE a British sitcom that didn’t do well in the ratings, but also developed a cult following. It’s a parody of a certain famous horror writer and all of those not so good made-for-TV movies based on his books; as well as 1980’s TV dramas. Richard Ayoade, a favorite of mine, writes and directs. Ayoade plays Maurice Moss in THE I.T. CROWD and bit parts on THE MIGHTY BOOSH. I loved this. I am not sure what that says about me as a person.

So, SMART GIRLS readers, what do you have for SF comedy fun? Heck, even plain old bad SF movies will suffice.