SPAMasterpiece Theater

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SPAMasterpiece Theater
Title sequence from the first episode of SPAMasterpiece Theater
Genre Drama
Creative director(s) Jolon Gabriel Bankey
Presented by John Hodgman
Starring John Hodgman
Judges John Hodgman
Voices of Dana Devonshire
Russ Gooberman
John Hodgman
Xeni Jardin
Erik Sheppard
Narrated by John Hodgman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
Production
Executive producer(s) Xeni Jardin
Producer(s) Dana Devonshire
Editor(s) Derek Bledsoe
Wesly Varghese
Camera setup Derek Bledsoe
Wesly Varghese
Production company(s) Happy Mutants, LLC
Distributor Boing Boing TV
Release
Original network Digital Entertainment Corporation of America
Original release March 2 (2008-03-02) – December 10, 2008 (2008-12-10)

SPAMasterpiece Theater (or S.P.A.M. Theater[1][2][3][4]) is an American web series starring humorist John Hodgman where he does dramatic readings of unsolicited email spam received by Boing Boing editors in a parody of Masterpiece Theatre. The series featured images and videos from Creative Commons-licensed media.

Background[edit]

S.P.A.M. Theater[edit]

In 2008, S.P.A.M. Theater debuted.[5] Each episode features a dramatization of email spam. Originally, the series featured images and videos from Creative Commons-licensed media from the image hosting and video hosting website Flickr and the nonprofit digital library Internet Archive.[1][2][3][4] The second episode "FOR MY DAUGHTER'S SAKE/DE@L OF A LIFETIME" featured the voices of Russ Gooberman and Dana Devonshire.[2] In the third episode "Love Song of Kseniya," Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin reads her own email spam.[3] In the fourth episode "The Proposition," Erik Sheppard of Voice Talent Productions contributes a voice.[4]

SPAMasterpiece Theater[edit]

John Behrens and Sean Bonner talk about SPAMasterpiece Theater in Xeni Jardin's BBtv office.

In October 1, 2008, Jardin announced the official debut of the web series SPAMasterpiece Theater—almost a month before the American release of John Hodgman's satirical almanac More Information Than You Require. Hodgman described it as "true tale[s] of romance, adventure, infamy, and low-cost prescription drugs, all culled from the reams of actual, unsolicited emails, received here by us and people like you -- what we call SPAM."[6][7][8][9] The hosted series included dramatic readings by Hodgman in a parody of Masterpiece Theatre.[10][11] In 2010, Boing Boing Video's Jardin was picked as "Curator of the Month". She commended the series with "These were so much fun to put together."[5]

Episodes[edit]

S.P.A.M. Theater[edit]

No. Title Directed by Original air date
1"Part one, HOWITZER CANNONPANTS
Part two, THANKS, MAURICE"
Erik David Clapp
Brian Luke Chii
Shawn Kelly
March 2, 2008 (2008-03-02)
Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin described part one as "a spiritual and pharmaceutical parable that ends not with resurrection, but erection[,]" while part two: "one of dozens of emails received by Boing Boing editors from a disturbed man in Canada who sought cash, justice, and an end to 'Mind Controlled Hatred.'"[1]
2"Part one, FOR MY DAUGHTER'S SAKE
Part two, DE@L OF A LIFETIME"
TBAMarch 7, 2008 (2008-03-07)
Jardin described part one as "If one were pitching this to a movie studio, you might describe the plot as Grapes of Wrath meets Spanish Prisoner meets an ATM," while part two: "a tasty dish of word salad."[2]
3"Love Song of Kseniya"TBAApril 21, 2008 (2008-04-21)
Part one: "[A] classic Romance Scam enticement from the fictional spamtress "Kseniya," written in mad heroine prose worthy of a Tennessee Williams play."
Part two: "'80s electrobeats and word salad merge as one."[3]
4"The Proposition"TBAMay 22, 2008 (2008-05-22)
Jardin described it as "a cash proposition from a faraway land, and the secret to what girls want."[4]

SPAMasterpiece Theater[edit]

No. Title Directed by Original air date
1"John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater (comedy)"Dana DevonshireOctober 1, 2008 (2008-10-01)
John Hodgman himself describes as the dramatization of "true tale[s] of romance, adventure, infamy, and low-cost prescription drugs, all culled from the reams of actual, unsolicited emails, received here by us and people like you -- what we call SPAM."[6][7][8][9]
2"John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol II: "Wuthering Wire Transfers.""Dana DevonshireOctober 10, 2008 (2008-10-10)
Jardin described it as "Barrister Abbey and Diana Khan in 'Wuthering Wire Transfers,' a tempting tale of financial transactions and naked lust that requires your soonest response."[12]
3"John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol III: THE STOMATOLOGIST."Dana DevonshireOctober 28, 2008 (2008-10-28)
Jardin described it as "The Stomatologist, in which we answer a lovelorn Russian woman's age-old question, 'Why I cannot find my special the man?'"[13]
4"John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol IV: V1V4 M3X1CO."Dana DevonshireNovember 4, 2008 (2008-11-04)
Jardin described it as "V1V4 M3X1CO., in which we explore supply chain management solicitations with the help of luchadores, mariachis, beautiful black-n-white señoritas from the silver screen of our abuelitos, and GIANT NARCO-KITTEHS WITH UZIS."[14]
5"Unicorn Chaser: John Hodgman Spamasterpiece Theater Bloopers - Boing Boing Video"Dana DevonshireDecember 5, 2008 (2008-12-05)
Jardin described it as "SPAMASTERPIECE THEATER bloopers, out-takes, and oblique lulz from the amazing John Hodgman, minor television personality and author of More Information Than You Require (Amazon link)."[15]

Music[edit]

The first four SPAMasterpiece Theater episodes opened with a chiptune remix of Jean-Joseph Mouret's "Rondeau: Fanfare" (1735) by Hamhocks Buttermilk Johnson.[6][16][17][18][7][8][12][13][14]

Reception[edit]

PopSugar's Lee Pace called the first episode of SPAMasterpiece Theater "the best viral video of the week."[19] Vulture's Matthew Perpetua praised the series with "Hodgman's deadpan delivery is typically excellent, but we're particularly fond of the deliberately pretentious juxtaposition of stock footage in the dramatizations. PBS might want to look at this."[11] In a retrospective celebrating the anniversary of Boing Boing TV, BBC Online's web producer Ellen West described SPAMasterpiece Theater as "It's like Adam Curtis doing a nonsense Power of Nightmares."[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jardin, Xeni (March 2, 2008). "S.P.A.M. Theater, Vol. I". Boing Boing. Happy Mutants, LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Jardin, Xeni (March 7, 2008). "S.P.A.M. Theater, Vol. II". Boing Boing. Happy Mutants, LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Jardin, Xeni (April 21, 2008). "S.P.A.M. Theater, Vol. III: "Love Song of Kseniya"". Boing Boing. Happy Mutants, LLC. Archived from the original on April 25, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Jardin, Xeni (May 22, 2008). "S.P.A.M. Theater: The Proposition". Boing Boing. Happy Mutants, LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Jardin, Xeni (February 10, 2010). "Curator of the Month: Boing Boing Video". YouTube Official Blog. YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Boing Boing tv (October 2, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater (comedy)". YouTube. Google. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Jardin, Xeni (October 1, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater". Boing Boing. Happy Mutants, LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c Jardin, Xeni (October 1, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater". Boing Boing Video. Boing Boing. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Martellaro, John (October 9, 2010). "John Hodgman Hosts SPAMasterpiece Theater". The Mac Observer. The Mac Observer, Inc. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ Lehman, Daniel (October 2, 2010). "John Hodgman's 'Masterpiece Theater'". Blog Stage. Backstage. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Perpetua, Matthew (October 2, 2008). "Masterpiece Theater: John Hodgman's Spam". Vulture. New York. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Jardin, Xeni (October 10, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol II: "Wuthering Wire Transfers."". Boing Boing Video. Boing Boing. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Jardin, Xeni (October 28, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol III: THE STOMATOLOGIST". Boing Boing Video. Boing Boing. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Jardin, Xeni (November 4, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol IV: V1V4 M3X1CO". Boing Boing Video. Boing Boing. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  15. ^ Jardin, Xeni (December 5, 2008). "Unicorn Chaser: John Hodgman Spamasterpiece Theater Bloopers". Boing Boing Video. Boing Boing. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ Boing Boing tv (October 10, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol II". YouTube. Google. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  17. ^ Boing Boing tv (October 28, 2008). "John Hodgman in BBtv's SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol III". YouTube. Google. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  18. ^ Boing Boing tv (October 28, 2008). "John Hodgman in SPAMasterpiece Theater, Vol IV (BBtv)". YouTube. Google. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  19. ^ Pace, Lee (October 2, 2008). "Link Time! 10/2". PopSugar. POPSUGAR, Inc. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  20. ^ West, Ellen (October 2, 2008). "Happy Birthday Boing Boing TV". The Culture Show Blog. BBC Online. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 

External links[edit]