Found Footage Festival

Before there was YouTube, there was America’s Funniest Home Videos, and also Mystery Science Theater 3000, both of which are evident influences on the Found Footage Festival. In its third year, the traveling clip-show omnibus is compiled and introduced by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, who—if not exactly pro-quality standup comedians—list credits like The Onion and David Letterman on their résumés. Both dudes were clearly raised in mildewy Midwestern rec rooms where the TV ran 24-7. They both have a love/hate for television in a way that only too many late-night infomercials, paid Christian broadcasts, and bizarre cable-access shows can foster. As a result, their tone isn’t exactly snarky. After a while, I suppose, if you’ve seen the Suzanne Somers ThighMaster commercial 10,000 times, she’s probably more a beloved family member than your mom. Pickett and Prueher’s act also harkens back to narrated magic lantern shows and Johnny Carson making fun of small town newspaper stories. We chuckle at the inanity, but still we watch, broadcast babies every one of us. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684, $10. 7, 9:30 p.m., and midnight. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Dec. 4, 2008

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