SF Classiques 002 / by MELINDA Schmidbauer


A Brief (?) History of SF Productions--Part 2

When I last blogged, it was 1978 (not when I last blogged, but that's when we are in the story), and I was just about to see if Eric Fenton was the right person to make strange noises with me into my tape recorder. I had received an Atari 2600 as a Christmas present, and something told me that it would be great audio to record us playing it while doing bad impersonations--hence the first SF Productions tape, "Celebrity Video Games", on June 20, 1978 (now known as SF Anniversary Day). We also did the old "Man in the Street Interview" bit, where a long running character was born--Martha Hick. Okay, it was just me doing a bad impression of Jonathon Winters' "Maude Frickert" character. It was clear that Eric "got" what I wanted to do--and he even put up with it! We tried it again on "Mark Schmidbauer's Flying Circus" (as you can tell, not a lot of originality in the early days).

Our first real inspiration came about when "Superman: The Movie" hit the screen. This was the first movie I remember waiting in line for in order to see the first showing--I had and still have a big interest in comic books (listen to the "How I Got My Wife to Read Comics" podcast if you're interested as well). I talked Eric into tackling this as our third tape. "Superlaughs" wasn't ground breaking, but at least it was fairly coherent, as we could hang our bits on the movie plot.

Following that, we did a Star Trek parody (from the original TV series--this was before the movies and sequel TV series came out). On the same tape, Eric introduced a character named Eppi. She was named for the "table lunchroom wiper-offer" at the Junior High--she was crabby and had short black hair. Eric decided she must be Hitler's Mom, and we produced a short documentary on her. We then took a second shot at what we did in the first tape, and something called the "Natural Causes Telethon"--I assume Labor Day and the Jerry Lewis telethon was the inspiration for that.

Next time--NBS is born, Eric goes insane, and our cast begins to expand.

Meanwhile, here's something from the early 80's, where myself, Mike Harrison, and Bill Bagley (more about them later) took a portable recorder to a local fair. I like to think of it as early-Lettermanesque. Enjoy!