Gone but Not Forgotten

10 TV Episodes Banned From Reruns


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The phrase “too hot for TV” has multiple meanings, but sometimes networks don’t realize it until the show has aired. Before catching Eric Jonrosh’s once-banned masterpiece The Spoils Before Dying on IFC (starting July 8 at 9p), let’s explore the world of TV episodes that snuck through, only to be pulled from reruns.

10. Hawaii Five-O – Bored, She Hung Herself

1968 tropical police procedural Hawaii Five-O ran for twelve seasons, which is pretty astonishing to think about. During the show’s second season, they aired “Bored, She Hung Herself,” which involves a woman dying by a “yoga technique” that resembled autoerotic asphyxiation. After it was aired, CBS never showed it again or put it on the show’s DVD box sets.
(CBS Television Distribution)

9. Gargoyles – Deadly Force

Animation fans have a soft spot for Disney’s ‘90s Gargoyles cartoon, which often tackled surprisingly mature themes. “Deadly Force,” which depicted a kid accidentally shooting someone, was a little too dark and only aired once.

8. Beavis & Butt-Head – Comedians

MTV’s Beavis & Butt-Head skirted the edge of acceptability on multiple occasions, but the episode “Comedians” where the moronic duo burn down a comedy club inspired an Ohio kid to set fire to his family’s trailer. The network pulled the episode from the line-up for good.

7. Seinfeld – The Puerto Rican Day

Often shows get pulled from reruns after viewers freak out, as was the case with ninth-season Seinfeld episode “The Puerto Rican Day.” New Yorkers know the chaos that descends on the city every June, but George Costanza pointing it out and Kramer burning a Puerto Rican flag really pissed people off.

6. Cow & Chicken – Buffalo Gals

Cow & Chicken was a B-lister on the early Cartoon Network lineup, but they got in deep doo-doo with this episode that involved an overtly lesbian motorcycle gang breaking into houses and “munching on carpet.”

5. You Can’t Do That On Television – Adoption

You Can’t Do That On Television wasn’t known for being particularly over-the-top, but this 1987 episode featured a character trying to send his adopted son back to the orphanage, causing a major uproar and having it pulled after two airings.

4. Tiny Toon Adventures – One Beer

It’s insane to think that Warner Brothers thought they could get “One Beer” on the air, but this Tiny Toon Adventures episode (where the kid protagonists get sloshed, drive off a cliff and die) actually screened once before being pulled from U.S. syndication.

3. The Twilight Zone – The Encounter

The original The Twilight Zone touched on some sensitive subjects, but the racially-charged 1964 ghost story “The Encounter” (starring a young George Takei) was too much for viewers to handle so it was never repeated. You can get it on DVD or on Hulu, if you’re so inclined.
(CBS Television Distribution)

2. Pokemon – Electric Soldier Porygon

Most of these shows got banned for being in poor taste, but the 1997 Pokemon episode “Electric Soldier Porygon” was actually dangerous. A pattern of flashing lights accompanying the titular creature triggered epileptic seizures in 600 Japanese viewers. It was never aired again.

1. South Park – 200/201

Of course South Park would hit the top spot on this list. The two-part epic that encompassed the show’s 200th and 201st episodes folded in Islam, Scientology and global outrage by depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The network censored the show and has refused to release it since.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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