The Greatest Computer Show from 1983...and 2015

YouTube / Computer Show
YouTube / Computer Show / YouTube / Computer Show

Computer Show is a spoof of 80s computer TV shows, specifically Computer Chronicles, which was actually an excellent program (see below for more on that).

What makes Computer Show so delicious is that it features guests from the future, much to the confusion of its host, Gary Fabert (played by Rob Baedeker). Fabert must simultaneously keep the show running and deal with technology that's 22 years in the future. If you like absurdist humor, you need Computer Show in your life. Here are the first two episodes. More like this, please.

"Computers & Art"

"Sherri, I'd like to call your attention to the painting on your left. It's titled 'Racquetball at Moonlight.' I painted that." -Fabert. "Oh." -Sherri Longhorne (co-host). I particularly enjoy the thank-you in the closing credits to Anjelica Huston. Anyway, this:


"Gary Fabert and co-host Angela Dancy welcome Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and fail to grasp the basic concept of Internet communities." I couldn't have described it better myself. My favorite part is Dancy's interaction with an iPhone.

So What's Computer Chronicles?

Computer Chronicles was a much-beloved TV show that ran from 1983 (ahem) through 2002. The best place to find episodes is on The Internet Archive's complete Computer Chronicles collection. This resource is amazing, because the shows themselves are both excellent and rather dated. If you want to see the most direct parallel to the above programs, check out a 1984 episode about operating systems. It doesn't have the comedy element, but, you know, the format's all there. I should also stress that Stewart Cheifet (host of Computer Chronicles) is smart and awesome, unlike the intentionally-goofy Gary Fabert.

I have written about Computer Chronicles extensively. Here are just a few of the pieces featuring video from that show: A Tour of the Internet in 1993; What the Internet Looked Like in 1995; What School Computers Looked Like in 1991; A Look at the Mac in 1985; and What Virtual Reality Looked Like in 1992.