‘Found Footage Festival’ reels out video tape gems from dumpster dives, garage sale searches, thirift store visits

June 19. 2014 1:12AM
VIDEDTAPE GEMS: In this “Found Footage Festival” classic, Carole Maggio, the host of the 1996 facial workout video, “Facercize,” demonstrates how she tightens and tones her cheek musicles. 

Photo courtesy of Erik Ljung FUNNY STUFF: Found Footage Festival curators Joe Pickett, left, and Nick Prueher introduce a VHS clip at a Milwaukee show. The duo has compiled a collection of strange, outrageous and “profoundly stupid” videos, which they gleefully share with audiences across the United States and beyond.

Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher began collecting found videotapes in 1991 after stumbling across a training video entitled “Inside and Outside Custodial Duties” at a McDonald’s in their home state of Wisconsin.

Since then, the pair has compiled an impressive collection of strange, outrageous and profoundly stupid videos, which they happily share in shows across the country and beyond, as well as on the late-night talk show circuit and Web series on The Onion’s A.V. Club, in the documentary “Winnebago Man” and on the pages of “VHS: Absurd, Odd and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era.”

The Found Footage Festival, which debuted its first lineup at Cinema Classics in the East Village in New York in 2004 and has gone onto tour the United States and Canada, returns to New Hampshire today with a 7:30 p.m. show at the Colonial Theatre, 2050 Main St., Bethlehem.

The show has played the HBO Comedy Festival and the Just For Laughs Festival and been featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and National Public Radio.

Pickett and Prueher, a former researcher at the “Late Show with David Letterman,” showcase videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America, providing commentary and where-are-they-now updates on the people in these videotaped obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects somewhat dubious forgotten treasures.

Among the gems in this year’s lineup are: an exercise video montage featuring a Christmas-themed workout, a martial arts fitness regimen called “Tiger Moves” and a tape called “Butt Camp”; footage of what they deem the world’s most obnoxious home shopping hosts, John & Johnny in circa 1987, and footage of the Chef Keith news prank the curators pulled on TV news stations in the Midwest.

Tickets are $12 ($10 for Colonial members) and are available at the door or at www.foundfootagefest.com.


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