In retrospect, it’s a beautiful thing that Fox didn’t greenlight Heat Vision and Jack. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been given the sweet gift of awesome that is Channel 101.

In 1999, the network rejected the futuristic Knight Rider spoof.  It was directed by Ben Stiller and features Jack Black as a renegade astronaut with a medical secret who is on the run from evil, trying to easy ride his way to freedom on a talking motorcycle voiced by Owen Wilson. After being told their pilot wouldn’t be picked up, writers Don Harmon and Rob Schrab became appropriately disgruntled.  They decided to take things into their own hands.

After a few iterations (you can read the whole back story here), in 2003 they started Channel 101, a monthly, offline, competitive short film festival (whose submissions can be seen on the web) where anything goes as long as its funny, and under five minutes. In the past 5 years, it’s been a virtual fount of absurd entertainment, spewing forth classics like Blame Society’s Chad Vader, You’ve Been Kicked in the Nuts, Planet Unicorn, and Lonely Island’s The ‘Bu, in addition to spawning a season of similar fare showcased on VH1’s Acceptable TV (Tilzy.TV page).

And every month, more potential cult classics just keep on coming. Here’s a look at the winners from the recent January screening.

2 Girls, 1 Cup: The Show – Episode 1

After watching College Humor’s Moments Before Cup Chicks, I decided that comedy derivative of the only scat film that has made its way into America’s pop culture had peaked. I was wrong.  From Channel 101 vets Justin Roiland and Christian Le Guilloux, it’s kinda like Three’s Company, only if Jack Tripper was a red plastic cup and constantly fantasized about Janet and Chrissy’s excrement. (NSFW due to language.)

 

###The Bed and Breakfast Club – Episode 1

So Andy, Brian, John, Claire, and Allison have all gotten out of detention, out of high school, and into owning and operating their own bed and breakfast. The funniest part is the emotional Simple Minds riff that that plays during any and all character interactions.

 

 

Stop It – Episode 6

Many Americans are addicted to…stuff. Dr. David Gliza, a Stop It Counselor, helps them with their addictions by attending interventions and telling them to….“Stop it!” Mike Rose’s portrayal (he plays the addicted individual in every episode) of a Latina that can’t stop cooking is what saves this show – brought to you by the creators of Planet Unicorn –  from mediocrity.

Groove Fighters – Episode 3

Groove Fighters is a “high-energy show about the lines that blur between fighting and dancing” from Abed Gheith and Emi Walker. While previous episodes use 80s fitness paraphanalia, training montages, and sweet dance movies to great comedic effect, this month’s effort appears to be a little too fuzzy.

 

 

Return to Supermans – Episode 2

Return to Supermans answers the question, “What if Borat directed his own public access Superman show?” The premise is genius and the execution is even better. I especially like the lack of super powers, affinity for violence, and Superman’s fear of “the green.”

Check out all the shows that didn’t make the cut – including the Tilzy.TV favorite, Cautionary Tales of Swords – at the Channel 101 site.  Next month’s releases debut February 24. We’ll be watching.

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