Two Wisconsin natives share their ever-growing collection of weird video flotsam. Info/tix
Wisconsin natives Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have made a career of unearthing bizarre video relics and vintage public-access shows, building up a collection of excruciatingly funny stuff that ranges from repulsive video-dating profiles to questionable health regimens. They started up the Found Footage Festival in 2004, and over time parlayed its popularity into documentaries, books, and a series of televised pranks that had the added benefit of elevating their friend Mark Proksch to roles on shows including The Office and Better Caul Saul.
One of these pranks, in which Pickett and Prueher appeared on local TV news shows as the absurd fitness duo "Chop & Steele," prompted broadcast company Gray Television to sue them, in a transparent act of corporate bullying. Fans rallied to raise funds for Pickett and Prueher's legal defense, and Gray Television dropped the suit in March. But after all that, the core of FFF is still the live show, in which Pickett and Prueher share briskly edited montages of their latest finds. The two also interject with just enough comedic banter to keep things moving, and that in-person touch is one of the main reasons why these shows are still an exciting yearly occasion. Still, they know when to let the footage speak for itself, and they excel at dredging up misguided, hallucinatory, self-awareness-challenged stuff from across the vast VHS wastelands. —Scott Gordon