on September 15, 2004
Pam Dawber and the late John Ritter are Helen and Roy Knable who end up in a world of television. Helen is so fed up with Roy's addiction to television that she ends up leaving him. Their kids stay with Roy and the kids themselves join their parents in the world of television. Roy finds himself in drag,as an animated mouse and in a black-and-white detective drama. What's even cooler is that Roy is on the set of Three's Company,Ritter's legendary classic sitcom. Two unknown actresses as Janet and Chrissy,walk into the apartment and ask Roy in unison,"Where have you been?". Ritter actually reprised his role of Jack Tripper for a short time! There's also Duane's Underworld on Saturday Night Dead,a parody of Saturday Night Live's Wayne's World. Duane and his sidekick,both ghouls,have Roy on the show and rave about Helen's physical beauty("Schwing!"). The Knables' kids get their mom and dad out of TV and back into the real world. Dawber's sitcom Mork & Mindy,a spinoff of Happy Days,ran on ABC from 1978 to 1982,during the tenure of Three's Company,another ABC sitcom(1977-1984). I dedicate this film to the memory of Ritter(9/17/48-9/11/03).
on September 19, 2015
Great movie! Starring John Ritter. My son seems to like movies from the 80's and 90's so much better than movies that come out now, he just watched this for the first time and he loved it. I think this is probably where they got the idea for the movie Click with Adam Sandler. It may not be quite the same story line, but it has some similarities, John Ritter buys a satellite dish and gets sucked into it, which makes him be in the shows on TV, he is supposed to last in there for 24 hours to be able to go back to the real world. There is a remote that allows him to be able to change the channel that he is on, quite funny when one of the shows is Three's Company, which John Ritter was actually on. His son tries to help get him out of there. Great entertainment.
Since STAY TUNED (1992) is a spoof of television, who better for the leads than John Ritter and Pam Dawber.
Here they're the Knables, a married couple with two kids. Helen has a successful career while Roy is a traveling plumbing supply salesman. At home he's lost in TV land, perhaps as a way to cope with 9 to 5 misery. When "Spike" (Jeffrey Jones) shows up at his door with a free trial offer of a 44" TV with 900 lines of resolution, a giant satellite dish and 666 channels to choose from, Roy jumps at this golden chance, especially since Helen has, in a fit of anger, just destroyed the living room TV.
Roy doesn't know that the contract he signed is a deal with the devil and that he will soon be transported via the satellite dish into a satanic TV network where the object is to kill new "participants" within 24 hours. If he survives this tele-ordeal, which no one ever does, Roy will be sent home. But Helen is accidentally dragged over, so she must suffer along with her husband.
First stop is a game show called You Can't Win, where personal multiple choice questions place the Knables in an embarrassing position if they admit the truth. Example: Helen learns that Roy was at the bar watching sports when he should've been home celebrating their wedding anniversary. Later, Roy is dumped into a sub-zero Arctic inhabited by ravenous wolves, also he and Helen are transformed into cartoon mice being pursued by a robotic cat. The biggest laugh is when Roy becomes Jack Tripper on THREE'S COMPANY. When he realizes where he is, Roy/Ritter lets out a screech.
The Knables also have to endure a wrestling match to the death on Duane's Underworld. (Lou Albano is ring announcer here.) They're in a b&w film noir send-up and in a French Revolution epic where Roy's in drag. As amusing as the Knables trip through hellivision is, more fun are the commercials and glimpses of other shows. The Silencer of the Lambs is a hockey mask that shuts up your noisy backseat child. Driving Over Miss Daisy needs no explanation. Meet the Mansons is a b&w '50s sitcom (?). An ad for Max Hell tape blows the kid's head right off.
How's about I Love Lucifer, the Home Shoplifting Network, Thirty-Something-to-Life, My Three Sons of Bïtches, Beverly Hills 90666, The Golden Ghouls, Murder She Likes, Yogi Beer, The Facts of Life Support, 3 Men and Rosemary's Baby, Unmarried with Children, The Fresh Prince of Darkness or David Dukes of Hazard? Who needs Comcast when you've got Beezlebub's best at the push of a remote button? The only catch is, that fine print's a killer!
Also with: Eugene Levy, Don Calfa, Bob Dishy, Don Pardo (announcer on You Can't Win) and some vintage hip hop from Salt-N-Pepa (with Ritter looking like late-'80s Prince).
on December 17, 1999
This movie was very cute. John Ritter gives a great performance. About a couple having their share of problems (mainly that Ritter ignores his wife and watches t.v. instead). She breaks the t.v., and he meets Spike, an agent of the devil that offers him a new satelite entertainment system, complete with 666 channels. The catch? He and his wife are sucked into the satelite dish, and have to survive 24 hours of dangerous programming. If not, Satan gets their souls. Excellent animation sequence by Chuck Jones. Genuinely funny! A must see for those who enjoy comedies with bizarre (yet interesting and well written) plots.
on October 27, 2005
Stay Tuned is about Roy and Helen Knable. Roy gets a new TV from Mr. Spike. The new TV has 666 channels that's filled with shows such as "Facts of Life Support" , "30 Something to Life", "Sadistic Hidden Videoes" , "Murder, She Likes" and commerical parodies. Roy and Helen has 24 hours to live through Hell's channels. Will they make it out alive? STAY TUNED!
I first caught STAY TUNED on weekend afternoons when I didn't have anything better to do. Sure the movie was kind of cheesy and had a plot that was meant to be satirical and not realistic, but I always enjoyed watching. John Ritter was a great comic and like all great actors, was able to improve any material given to him.
Ritter plays Roy Knable, a traveling plumbing supply salesman who is suffering from a midlife crisis and slowly retreats into the world of television. One night a strange man (Jeffery Jones) shows up at his doorstep offering him that chance to preview a new satellite system. Knable can't refuse, sings a contract, and after an argument with his wife (Pam Dawber), the couple are sucked into the satellite system and begin living television shows. The big hitch is that the satellite station is a pet project of Satan and some of his demons and all the shows have a diabolical twist meant to kill the "participants" and steal their souls. The only way out of the contract that Knable signed is if they survive 24 hours in the tv programming world from Hell.
Besides Ritter, the movie provides some decent performances from Dawber and Jones (he seems to be the king of modern cheesy movies) and also a fine supporting turn from Eugene Levy.
The movie offers some comic parodies that are now outdated (Wayne's Underworld for instance) and some cheesy dialogue. Still, the show is fun to watch and Ritter is a total joy. Also, this film was made years before reality tv (the first season of MTV's REAL WORLD hadn't even aired yet) and it's satirical look at television viewing and making is even more relevant today than when it was more than a decade ago.
The DVD includes a brief featurette, theatrical trailers, and a list of cast information.
John Ritter stars as Roy Knable, a true couch potato whose life and marriage is disintegrating around his ears as he watches TV to escape it all. On the same night that his wife Helen (Pam Dawber) intends to leave him, a mysterious salesman named Spike (Jeffrey Jones) appears to sell Roy a new television set, complete with a gigantic satellite dish that will beam 666 channels right into Roy's living room. Yet something goes awry when Roy and his wife get sucked onto the satellite dish and enter the hellish world of Satan TV. From there it is a frantic rush to survive before time runs out.
About the Movie:
Stay Tuned is probably one of my favorite comedic movies. I first saw it in the early 90's and when I saw that it had come out on DVD I jumped at the chance to get it.
Stay Tuned is filled with slapstick humor, a great many very twisted comic plays on classic television clichés and TV shows. Among them are Saturday Night Live, Star Trek The Next Generation, Three's Company, WWF, and classic cartoons. The cartoon is presented in a wonderfully delightful animated sequence that was actually supervised in production by the legendary animator Chuck Jones (who did many of the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons.)
This is truly at the top of the films John Ritter starred in. Ritter's comic timing help make this film. While this film never got much notice, it certainly is an excellent example of why John Ritter's comedic career managed to span over 2 decades. He was very good as what he did.
Veteran comic Eugene Levy ("SCTV" and "American Pie") also plays a major role in this film as Crowley, a down and out Hell TV Exec who helps the Knables on their journey. He manages to play the lovable slimeball quite entertainingly.
Jeffrey Jones plays the bad guy, Hell TV's CEO, Spike. He's a great actor for the bad guy in a comedy, and he manages to be convincingly evil and funny at the same time without making the role look stupid, as tends to happen to bad guys in slapstick comedies these days.
With John Ritter's comic timing and Pam Dawber playing the straight-man as they tumble from demented channel to demented channel, this film is great for a lot of laughs.
About the DVD:
Stay Tuned comes in a cardboard DVD snap case, marking it as budget fare. It is presented in widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Both the picture and sound are pretty good. I did not notice any issues with either. The DVD comes translated into French (why no Spanish?) and has English, French and Spanish subtitles.
For special features, the DVD comes with an extended theatrical trailer, cast info and a behind the scenes featurette look at the movie. The cast info is simply a list of actors in the film. They don't even provide bios for them, making this a clear case of beefing up content with minimum effort.
The featurette is the type that they used to show on television just before the movie came out, with interviews with the cast that are completely unenlightening if you have seen the movie. It's only mildly interesting. The bad side is that the music which plays behind the commentator is outright annoying through the first quarter of it.
This DVD release is a pretty standard no frills release.
Overall, a great movie on a standard unexciting DVD release. 4 stars
on April 25, 2013
For some reason, I never went to see this in the theaters back in 1992, and yet the commercials stuck with me. One day, stuck at home with allergies, I knew I had to see the movie that included "Driving Over Miss Daisy" and "Duane's Underworld." It's a fun, formulaic story of a husband and wife reconnecting, with Jeffrey Jones basically playing the same character he did in "Howard the Duck," and Eugene Levy playing almost the same character he did in "Splash," and a few dozen one-liner TV/movie jokes ("the Facts of Life Support," "Three Men and Rosemary's Baby," etc.). John Ritter is a hoot, and Pam Dawber is as cute as ever and twice as feisty. Absolutely a stupid movie, but a very fun one.
on March 31, 2013
you could very well hate it. if you are female you will likely hate it. probably if you don't have an odd sense of humor you will hate it. if you have an odd sense of humor, are a guy, and are crazy about all those channels on satellite tv to make a deal with the devil, well... you might like it. no academy awards here but i always loved john ritter.
on May 14, 2004
An underrated sci-f/horror comedy from Director Peter Hyams (CAPRICORN ONE, 2010:THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT) starring John Ritter. STAY TUNED would have worked better as a made-for-tv-movie (no pun intended) than a major release. There are some inspired gags in the film and social satire about television viewing habits. John Ritter is perfectly cast along with Pam Dawber (both television veterans) as a husband and wife whose marriage is on the rocks due to Ritter's (as Roy Knable) over obsessive couch potato persona. He unknowingly signs away his soul to the devil (Jefferey Jones) for "DirecTV" from hell. The package includes a big screen tv and a most unusual satellite dish that broadcasts programs from the netherworld and also serves a portal into those shows. Naturally the two get transported into this dimension (via the satellite) and this is where the fun begins. Taking cues from SNL or Mad Magazine, Ritter and Dawber are thrown into and forced to participate in very clever (yet evil) parodies of popular televison shows and movies (i.e. WAYNE'S UNDERWORLD, NORTHERN OVEREXPOSURE, & DRIVING OVER MISS DAISY) and are supposed to be eliminated so their souls could be collected immediately. One hilarious sequence Ritter/Roy Knable ends up in is a tribute Ritter's series, THREE'S COMPANY. It's a shame they didn't do the same for Pam Dawber's series MORK AND MINDY. One complaint of the film are the scenes of the tv programming offices (featuring Jeffery Jones and Eugene Levy). It is very vague where these scenes come from as they are monitoring the televsion programming activities. The audience is supposed to assume that this is supposed to be "Hell" but it makes no mention or distinction of this fact. Perhaps the message in the film is that all television (executives and programming) are located and come from "Hades". Overall, the film is harmless and entertaining family fare. On a peculiar note, another film released the same year that almost has the same premise, along with the look and feel to it (and also has actor Jefferey Jones in the cast) is MOM AND DAD SAVE THE WORLD. The late John Ritter is an engaging personality and the film was suited for his talents. Overall a decent comedy horror/sci-fi that succeeds mainly for the hilarious tv/movie parodies and John Ritter's likeable on and off screen personality.