The Beatles's last live concerts—at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966 and then on a London rooftop three years later—have gone down as some of the most significant events in pop music history. But until recently, evidence of one Top of the Pops performance all four Beatles gave in their final weeks together had been lost to time. Now, the BBC reports that footage of that appearance has been recovered and remastered 53 years after it was filmed.
Top of the Pops is a long-running BBC television series. Episodes showcase musical performances from popular artists with hit songs on the current charts. The first-ever episode, which was broadcast on January 1, 1964, featured The Beatles performing their early single (and first American No. 1) "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
In 1966, the band returned to the program to play their song "Paperback Writer." Just a few weeks later, they held the concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park that marked their last scheduled gig as the Fab Four.
No footage of that Top of the Pops show exists in the BBC's archives, but in May 2019, a collector in Mexico discovered a 19-second clip of the performance a family from Liverpool had filmed on their television when the performance first aired in 1966. After learning of that discovery, a collector named David Chandler remembered that he had recorded the same episode on his wind-up camera when he was a teenager. After searching his attic, he discovered an old 8mm reel with a 92-second clip of The Beatles playing the song without audio. He also found footage he had recorded of other artists performing on Top of the Pops, including Dusty Springfield, Ike and Tina Turner, and Tom Jones.
Chandler donated the rare film reels to Kaleidoscope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving old episodes of classic television programs. You can watch the remastered version of the clip in the video below.
The Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest video game consoles of the past few decades, with worldwide sales topping 55 million (that's more than the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, and it's only a few million behind the original NES). The problem with a console being so popular is that it's not always easy to spot one on store shelves. If you haven't had luck finding one in recent months, you can enter this contest to win your very own Nintendo Switch, along with a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a pair of Switch-compatible Logitech wireless headphones, and a $300 Nintendo gift card. Head here for more details.
While you wait to see who wins, check out these other great deals on gaming accessories.
1. Protective TPU Case for Nintendo Switch Console; $12 (20 percent off)
Once you get your Switch, you'll want to keep it in pristine condition. This protective case is made with shock-absorbent, flexible TPU for full protection against bumps, scratches, dust, fingerprints, and even the occasional toss in the heat of the moment.
2. Two-in-One Docking Station for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons; $16 (20 percent off)
The standard Switch will only charge one pair of Joy-Cons at a time, so if you've got a roommate always willing to hop in on a quick game of Mario Kart, you'll need this spare charging dock to make sure their controller is ready to go. The weighted base keeps the controllers stable so they’ll sit still to charge until you’re ready to play.
This portable HD gaming device packs over 500 classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Contra, Tetris, and plenty more. And with five hours of battery life, you'll get plenty of nostalgia before needing a recharge.
The precision (or lack thereof) of a mouse can make all the difference when gaming on a PC. This wireless model comes with a 1600DPI true gaming sensor, ultra-precise scroll wheel, and high-precision positioning to avoid any lag while in a game.
A Nintendo Gamecube controller is still the best way to play any of the Super Smash Bros. titles, and with this adapter, you can use the old-school controllers on the Wii U or Nintendo Switch for an easy way to dive into multiplayer games. It also works for PC gaming.
This bag was designed specifically to hold gaming laptops and consoles, plus their accessories, in three large storage sections and four side pockets. It also features an external USB charge port for instant power.
This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the classic coming-of-age comedy House Party. Written and directed by Reginald Hudlin, the movie starred the rap duo Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin of Kid ‘n Play as well as many other recognizable names including Martin Lawrence, A.J. Johnson, Tisha Campbell, Full Force, Robin Harris (who passed away just weeks after House Party was released), and the late John Witherspoon.
Centering the Black teenage experience in a way that had not yet made it into the mainstream, this now-classic comedy proved to Hollywood that the growing interest in Black cinema seen in the late 1980s was not just a fad. The film centers Black joy in a way media still continues to struggle with today, yet its universal appeal has endured even 30 years later. Here are some fun facts about the beloved film.
1. The idea for House Party started with a song.
While he was still a student at Harvard University in the early 1980s, Reginald Hudlin came up with the idea for a short film that would eventually morph into the feature-length House Party after listening Luther Vandross’s 1982 hit "Bad Boy/Having a Party."
"At the time, Black music videos weren’t really a thing, so I would come up with a music video in my head to a song," Hudlin told The Ringer about House Party's origins. "I kept thinking about what that would be, and then I thought: 'No, that’s a movie.'"
2. House Party could have starred Will Smith.
Much like the film itself, the casting process for House Party all started with a song. The song in question? DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince's "A Nightmare on My Street." Due to some legal issues that arose around sampling the music from A Nightmare on Elm Street, the rap duo ended up in a deal that put the House Party script in front of them. When the pair ultimately decided to pass on making the movie, it opened the door for Kid 'n Play to take on the project.
3. Kid ‘n Play met at a real-life house party.
On a 2016 episode of OWN’s Where Are They Now?, Play recalled meeting Kid at a party where he saw him rap. Both were in different groups at the time, with Play going by Playboy and Kid going by Kid Coolout. As time went on their groups broke up, leading the pair to team up and shorten their names to Kid and Play (or Kid 'n Play).
4. The Hudlin brothers have a cameo in House Party.
House Party writer/director Reginald Hudlin and his brother Warrington, who is also a producer on the movie, appeared in front of the camera, too. They played the two burglars who get chased out of the house by the dog.
5. House Party featured a Fly Girl.
A.J. Johnson, who played Sharane—BFF to Tisha Campbell’s Sidney—was a Fly Girl on In Living Color. Based on her dance background and her experiences in university, it was Johnson who suggested adding a dance battle to the film, which ultimately became one of the movie's most memorable moments. Johnson even choreographed her and Campbell’s moves.
6. Tisha Campbell and A.J. Johnson can still do the House Party dance.
Speaking of the iconic dance-off: Johnson and Campbell recreated their House Party routine in 2015 as a surprise for Alicia Keys's birthday party, which was House Party-themed.
7. House Party featured one of Martin Lawrence’s first roles.
Martin Lawrence had only appeared in one film, Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, prior to being cast in House Party. He met his future Martin co-star Tisha Campbell while working on House Party.
8. "Ain't My Type of Hype" is not on the House Party soundtrack.
Full Force's "Ain’t My Type of Hype" was the song playing during the iconic dance-off scene, but it is not actually on the movie's official soundtrack. Full Force, the hip-hop group who also played the film’s villains, released the song after the soundtrack was completed and it ended up being one of their biggest hits.
9. There was a lot of improvisation and collaboration on the House Party set.
Input was taken from the very talented cast assembled: John Witherspoon and Robin Harris improvised most of their lines, and Full Force rewrote their characters to make them more humorous. "We had rehearsals where we would improvise and freestyle and I would incorporate their ideas into the script," Hudlin told Black Film. "You don’t have people that talented and say, 'Stick to the script.' Particularly [when] you’re making a comedy.”
10. House Party launched a film franchise.
House Party has spawned four sequels—House Party 2 (1991), House Party 3 (1994), House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute (2001), and House Party: Tonight's the Night (2013)—though none of them were directed by Hudlin. Kid 'n Play have appeared in all but one of the sequels.
11. LeBron James is producing an all-new House Party.
In 2018, The Hollywood Reporterannounced that LeBron James and his producing partner Maverick Carter were planning to create a House Party movie for a new generation. But James was clear that the film wouldn't be a retread.
"This is definitely not a reboot," James said. "It's an entirely new look for a classic movie. Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable." Though there is no word whether Kid 'n Play will be reprising their roles, Carter did say that they were "trying out some ideas for musicians to be cast in and to be a part of the project."