America's Funniest Home Videos (often simply abbreviated to AFV, though it was previously AFHV) is an American reality television program on ABC in which viewers are able to send in humorous homemade videotapes. The most common videos usually feature slapstick physical comedy arising from accidents and mishaps. Other popular videos include humorous situations involving pets or children, while some are staged practical jokes. The show is based on the Japanese show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan (aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System).
It was announced on April 23, 2009 that AFV had been renewed with its 20th season beginning October 4, 2009.
For autumn 2008, AFV commands an average cost of $90,044 for a 30-second commercial, according to an Advertising Age survey of media-buying firms.
Produced by Vin Di Bona (with co-executive producers Todd Thicke and Michele Nasraway), it is currently the second longest-running entertainment program on ABC. It is based on the Tokyo Broadcasting System show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan, which featured a segment in which viewers were invited to send in video clips from their home movies. The format has since been reproduced around the world, and AFHV-inspired TV specials and series continue to emerge periodically in the United States.
Every week, three videos are chosen by the producers and voted on by the studio audience. The winner wins US$10,000, and is in the running for the $100,000 prize at the end of the season, while the runner-up receives $3,000, and third place banks $2,000. Very early in the show's run, the second and third prizes were a new TV and a new VCR, respectively. On the initial hour-long special, the grand prize was $5,000 with second and third places winning a new camcorder; the producer picked the winner, with no audience voting.
Beginning about the middle of the first season, the show featured the "Assignment America" segment; which called for a series of videos to be made pertaining to a specific theme. Also, Saget's era produced a memorable segment called "Freeze Frame" which was a montage of videos with the song "Freeze Frame" played by The J. Geils Band. The show was so successful in its first year that in 1990, it spawned a spin-off titled America's Funniest People.
Bob Saget (November 26, 1989–May 18, 1997) (October 4, 2009) (May 17, 2015)Edit
The show debuted on November 26, 1989 as an hour-long special produced by Vin Di Bona and Steve Paskay, later a weekly half-hour primetime series since January 14, 1990 with actor/comedian Bob Saget as host and Ernie Anderson as announcer. Once Anderson became too ill to continue, Gary Owens took over as announcer. Saget co-hosted the special with actress Kellie Martin, then the star of Life Goes On, which would be the lead-in show to AFHV in its early seasons. In Season 5, Bob Saget introduced an animated sidekick named "Stretchy McGillicuddy", who was known for trying to tease Bob and other crazy things. He was dropped at the end of Season 7.
Johnny Carson made both the show and Saget regular targets of his monologues on The Tonight Show. The jokes generally centered on something like a new title for the show, such as "Fluffy Falls into the Food Processor" hosted by Bob 'Where's My Career' Saget.
In 1994, ABC cancelled America's Funniest People and had to decide what to do with the Sunday Night 7:30 slot now vacant. They expanded Saget to one hour, first showing a fresh new episode for the first half-hour and then showing a repeat from a previous season to fill the remaining time.
Saget soon grew tired of the repetitive format and was eager to pursue other projects as an actor and director. Producer Di Bona held him to his contract, resulting in a frustrated Saget listlessly going through the motions and making pointed remarks on the air during his last two seasons. His contract expired in 1997, and Saget left the show.
Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang (January 5, 1998–May 6, 1999)Edit
Bob Saget left the show after eight seasons in 1997, but the show returned on January 9, 1998, with new hosts, model Daisy Fuentes and stand-up comedian John Fugelsang, as well as a completely new look and feel. With the Sunday Night 7:00 slot now absorbed by Disney films, the show jumped all over the place from Monday nights to Thursday Nights to Saturday Nights. The ratings for the show suffered during this period, and in 1999 they both left the show after one season. This version was known for audio problems in the recordings.
After they left the show, America's Funniest Home Videos returned occasionally as a series of specials hosted by various ABC sitcom stars and even ESPN's the late Stuart Scott did a sports version of the show that continues to be re-shown every New Year's Day. However, it still wasn't a regularly scheduled series.
Mike and Kerry Kasem (2000) Edit
Mike and Kerry Kasem hosted the show for a season before Tom Bergeron took over.
Tom Bergeron (February 3, 2001–May 17, 2015) (May 22, 2016)Edit
On July 20, 2001, the show returned again in its third format, this time with new host Tom Bergeron. The show was now being seen on Friday nights at 8:00, however when the shows began airing they were delayed for several months due to the September 11, 2001 attacks and ABC airing specials and trying a new Friday night line-up. The new Friday night line-up was short lived and the show returned in December 2001 or January 2002. In September of 2003, the show returned to the timeslot of Sunday Nights at 7:00 and the show was still one hour. Unlike Saget, who provided voiceovers to the clips, Bergeron humorously narrates them. The Bergeron version added new segments such as "Tom's Home Movies," where his face is digitally superimposed over the faces on the videos, and the "slo-mo gizmo", where a video is played first at normal speed, and then played at a slower speed and telestrated. Another one is "Head Gut or Groin" where someone comes up and he plays a part of a clip, he stops it, and then the person guesses if the video-person will get hit in the head, gut, or groin. Yet another is "What will their Kids look like?", where two videos are played, and the third video does something from both at the same time.
Alfonso Ribeiro (October 11, 2015-present) Edit
As the new host of America's Funniest Home Videos, actor, TV director, award-winning dancer and Broadway star, Alfonso Ribeiro has spent more than 30 years leaving his unique marks on the world of television, theater, and beyond
$100,000 contest Edit
Near the end of each season, the $10,000 winners from selected episodes are brought back to participate in a contest called to win an additional $100,000.
- Saget Version: ABC Stations (5 on the first season, later reduced to 3 from 1990 to 1993; then to 2 in 1993) around the country were joined via satellite to cast their votes along with the Los Angeles audience.
- Fuentes/Fugelsang Version (1998-2000): Only the Los Angeles audience voted.
- Bergeron Version (2001-present): Viewers logged on to abc.com to cast their votes with the LA Audience.
- 2002 "Battle of the Best": The Quad Squad ($25,000 and trip to Maui)
- 2006: Dancing Machine ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 48 years)
- "Funniest Video of All-Time": The Quad Squad ($250,000)
- 2009: Birthday Blowout ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 50 years)
The long-running theme was "London Homesick Blues", written in 1973 by Gary P. Nunn, and performed by The Lost Gonzo Band. At the time of AFHV's premiere, they took the song from the last episode of Season 1 of Austin City Limits in 1976 with Jerry Jeff Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band. An instrumental version of the theme music was used during commercial breaks. "London Homesick Blues" accompanied the opening and closing credits for eight seasons.
At the start of the 1996-97 season, the final year with Saget as host, "London Homesick Blues" is rerecorded by adding more vocals to it. This was taken from Gary P. Nunn's first solo appearance on Austin City Limits in Season 8 (1983). When AFHV returned in January 1998, with Fuentes & Fugelsang and a completely new look, the current arrangement of the theme song made its debut. Since that time, the theme has been an instrumental, composed by Dan Slider, with a faster, ska/reggae beat, with the original key of the 1989 version restored.
During the Saget era, the theme song also was tied in with a skit just before the transition was made from the introduction to Saget. This usually consisted of several actors in a fake room pretending to get excited watching America's Funniest Home Videos. This technique was scrapped at the end of Season 5. There was even one episode in Season 2 where Bob Saget was trapped in the room at the very beginning of the episode before Ernie Anderson announced his name and after trying to use a telephone to call for help he used a broken plastic spoon to cut through the fabric separating the "room" from the audience in order to leave it.
"The Funny Things You Do" was the theme song to the Australian version between 1991 and 2004. "The Funny Things You Do" was replaced by an instrumental version (not the song) as part of the 2005 major revamp.
All episodes of AFV are currently in syndication. Repeats of the show aired on TBS from October 2, 1995-1998, USA Network from 1998-2001, and the Hallmark Channel from August 5, 2001-2003. Until 2001, the Saget version was syndicated by 20th Television, who assumed syndication rights from their purchase of MTM Enterprises, which had syndicated the show from 1995-1998.
Currently, Disney-ABC Domestic Television distributes all versions of the series. However, the 1989-1994 Bob Saget episodes are aired only in off-network syndication, including PAX TV (now Ion Television) every Monday through Thursday night (later Monday through Friday night) from 2003–2005, and Nick at Nite for a short time from April to October 2007. Also, when Nick at Nite began airing the early Saget episodes the first week the show aired, every $100,000 Grand Prize show was aired to commemorate the show joining Nick at Nite.
The 1994–1997 Saget episodes aired on ABC Family from January 2005 to October 2007, usually on Tuesday through Saturday mornings, and occasionally on Sunday nights if a movie was not shown on ABC Family. The Tom Bergeron episodes began airing on ABC Family on October 1, 2007, and are shown usually 4–6 nights a week, depending upon other ABC Family programming. Also, the Tom Bergeron episodes and the Daisy Fuentes/John Fugelsang episodes have all aired on WGN America, and still air to this very day, although WGN mostly shows the Tom Bergeron episodes, which air weekdays at 7pm, with a 3 hour block shown on Monday nights. WGN America, however, does not air the 1994-1997 Saget episodes. Currently, PeachtreeTV has aired the entire Saget run since 2007. 
The show has been subject of parody. It was mentioned in "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Can't Watch This".
It was also the topic of a Rugrats episode. The show was entitled "America's Wackiest Home Movies", which was also the title of that particular episode from the Nickelodeon (TV channel)|Nickelodeon cartoon series. The first known winner was "Baby Mud Slinger", where the video consisted of a baby slinging mud and then falling over. Stu was disappointed in this. He and Drew attempted to create their own videos, only to become the "kids" themselves, as their father Lou entered a video of an accident in Stu and Drew's attempts. It wins the first prize.
In the animated comedy series South Park (Episode: Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut) Stan and Kyle send a video of Cartman to America's Stupidest Home Videos, an obvious parody of America's Funniest Home Videos.
On a couple episodes of The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest, the Bob Saget era of this show was parodied as "America's Dumbest Home Videos".
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