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The Orson Welles Show: Not as Disturbing As the Viral Video Suggests

The Orson Welles Show: Not as Disturbing As the Viral Video Suggests (photo)

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As their name indicates, viral videos spread like wildfire. But most videos are fairly benign, whereas the one that crossed my Twitter feed a few hours ago is, like any virus worth its salt, legitimiately pernicious. First the clip: from BuzzFeed via Nerdcore, a “crazy” video of a never-aired interview between Orson Welles and Jim Henson and Frank Oz. It’s from the pilot of “The Orson Welles Show,” a proposed 90-minute weekly series that never made it off the launching pad.

Certainly, Welles’ delivery doesn’t inspire the warm-n-fuzzies (though I do love the way he derisively refers to television as “the box”). But the main source of the creep factor — the weird footage of a lifeless Miss Piggy and a suicidal Kermit the Frog — is not from “The Orson Welles Show.” It’s actually an excerpt from a very funny sketch on “Late Night With Conan O’Brian” called “Muppet Faces of Death.”

The original YouTube video was clearly done as a parody of Welles’ Vincent Priceish delivery, but the clip’s infection appears to be spreading across the web without much acknowledgement that it’s an altered version of the original footage. Not cool, Internet!

Just to set the record straight, let’s leave you with a couple excerpts from “The Orson Welles Show” that prove the show was not, in fact, pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel. Here’s more from The Muppets portion of the show. See, Kermit’s not dead!

Welles’ comments about the medium of television in general, and talk shows in particular, are interesting as well. This time he sarcastically refers to television as “the tube” — hard to believe no one wanted to put this show on the air, right? This final clip’s even better. It’s a delightful magic trick guest-starring the aforementioned Angie Dickinson played deconstructive-style a la Welles’ late career masterpiece “F For Fake.”

And speaking of “F For Fake,” if you want more to see more of “The Orson Welles Show,” check out “Orson Welles: One-Man Band,” a documentary about Welles’ unfinished projects, on the “F For Fake” DVD from The Criterion Collection.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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