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Don Pardo, Legendary Broadcaster and Original Announcer For ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dies At 96
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Don Pardo

Don Pardo, venerable voice over and television show announcer, who spanned a career over 70 years, mainly with NBC, and best remembered as the original announcer of Saturday Night Live, has died at the age of 96.

No other announcer had the kind of urgency and instantly recognizable lilt and lift in his vocal patterns quite like Don Pardo did. In many ways, with his snappy prose, clipped cadence, and swooping baritone, Pardo exemplified the stereotype of an announcer and the public’s perception of one, in the best possible way.

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The Digital Wire Blu-ray/DVD Release News: Sharks, Hobbits, Doctors, Cowboys, Weird Al
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Sharknado 2 The Second One poster banner

Welcome back to another edition of The Digital Wire. For this week’s roundup of the coolest upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release news we’ve got gunslingers, dragons, unusual weather phenomenon, telephone boxes that can travel through time and across the universe, and a rogue television station run by a weird guy named Al. All that plus Jenny Slate in one of the year’s most beloved comedies.

Below you’ll find info on several future home video releases complete with technical specs, release dates, and links to pre-order at Amazon. We would greatly appreciate it if you use those links to order because a small percentage of each order helps keep this website running at max power.

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Shout! Factory To Release ‘UHF,’ ‘Escape From New York,’ ‘Mad Max,’ and More On Blu-ray
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Weird Al Yankovic

A week ago I wrote a retrospective article on the 25th anniversary of “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s supremely silly cult classic UHF and ended it with these words:

The movie may one day see a release on Blu-ray and now that Yankovic’s career is hotter than ever thanks to the success of his latest album Mandatory Fun it wouldn’t be inconceivable for a company like Shout! Factory to distribute an HD edition.

I automatically assumed at the time that Shout! would pick up the license to release UHF on Blu-ray because it’s an MGM title and they typically distribute that studio’s lesser-loved catalog entries. Plus this year would be the most appropriate time for a UHF Blu because the movie celebrates its silver anniversary in 2014 and anniversaries always look good on a Blu-ray/DVD cover. But I had no idea that when Shout! announced its upcoming home video release slate over the weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con they would be including a new 25th anniversary edition of UHF among some of their better-known titles.

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Weird Al Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun” Hits Number 1; First Comedy Record To Do So In Over 50 Years
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Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic, the gold standard of American comedic musical parody, has finally, for the first time in his now almost 40-year career (!), hit Number 1 on the Billboard chart. Mandatory Fun, Yankovic’s 14th album which was released on July 15, 2014 and went to number one last week, now has the distinction of being the first comedy record to hit that plateau since Allan Sherman’s My Son, the Nut, which included “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” the classic ode by way of waxing funnily about life at a kid’s Summer Camp. (That song, which was released as single, went to number one back in 1963 — you can have a listen to the track below.)

Mandatory Fun sports clever parodies of some of today’s biggest hits, like Pharrell’s “Happy” (“Tacky”) and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (“Word Crimes”) — you can watch these new Weird Al videos here below.

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We Got It All On ‘UHF’: “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Crazed Cult Classic Comedy Turns 25
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UHF

In the early 1980’s “Weird Al” Yankovic sold millions of albums and on occasion infuriated a famous musician or two with his quotable (and often superior) parodies of the most popular songs of the day. He made countless appearances on hit late night talk shows and MTV, and as his fan base grew Yankovic’s music began to make its way onto the rare movie soundtrack (the title track from his 1985 release Dare to Be Stupid received a prominent placement in the following year’s Transformers: The Movie).

Short of writing his autobiography and inventing the Internet years before anyone else, the only obstacle preventing Yankovic from becoming the King of All Media (eat it Stern) was his very own big screen comedy motion picture.

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