Friday, August 19, 2011
PRAY TV (1980)
Pray TV is a 1980 theatrical release and should not be confused with the 1982 TV movie of the same name. Pray TV (1982) is a drama starring John Ritter, while Pray TV (1980) is a screwball spoof starring Archie Hahn, who is best known to my family as Doughie Duck. Archie's character at the first of Pray TV has many references to ducks and Hahn even does a short bit as Doughie Duck. One other interesting side note to Pray TV is that it was the first big screen appearance of Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman).
Pray TV is about a failing TV station placed in the hands of Dabney Coleman, who promises to make a success of the station. He does this by changing the format of the station to anything with a religious subtext, from cooking shows to exercise shows. This sets the movie up for a series of comedic vignettes, most of which are fairly humorous.
My only disappointment with Pray TV was Dr. John and Devo are both seen primarily as background to other events happening on the screen. Dr John leads the choir at a drive-in movie theater that has been converted to an evangelist's church and he sings "The Collection". Devo appears as Dove at a religious award show singing "Shrivel Up". It's a puzzlement to me why the producers went to the trouble to hire Dr. John and Devo and then under-use them in the movie.
I couldn't find a trailer for Pray TV, but I did find a video clip from the movie featuring Devo as Dove.