The people who do ADR for movies shown on broadcast TV and basic cable (i.e., the guys who dub over the curse words) are underappreciated geniuses. After all, without them, how would we know that Miami is like a great big chicken, just waiting to be plucked? Who else is going to warn us about the dire consequences when you find a stranger in the Alps? And where else would we have learned about the treacherous Mister Falcon?
But recently, the ADR folks really went that extra mile. Not only did they take an idiotic R-rated B movie famous for its internet buzz-worthy title and make it safe for family viewing, but they also allowed one guy with a computer and a TV capture card to cause a minor sensation that swept across the globe, and ultimately inspired a bit on a late night talk show.
Spoiler alert: that guy was me, the idiotic R-rated B movie was Snakes on a Plane, and the talk show was The Colbert Report. Don't believe me? Read on.
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It all started way back when, a whole month ago, when I began keeping track of the Agony Booth-recapped movies that air on TV each week. Once I got bored with telling people for the fifth or sixth time that Road House was airing on AMC, yet again, I decided to throw other movies into the mix. Specifically, I started looking for airings of films with a rep for being cheesy and so-bad-it's-good, including Snakes on a Plane.
And that's the only reason why I was watching Snakes on a Plane on FX that fateful night. And that was the sole reason I happened to hear the most creative use of dubbing that has ever fallen upon these ears. To make sure I heard what I thought I heard, I immediately went to YouTube to look for the clip, because as we all know, everything is on YouTube.
But to my surprise, it wasn't there. Well, okay, it was there, but only in the form of a couple of people who pointed their cell phone cameras at the TV screen to record the line.
Well, I didn't buy a capture card for nothing. The next time FX showed Snakes on a Plane, I would be there, waiting, ready to record it. And record it I did. And just for the heck of it, I clipped out the most famous line of the movie and uploaded it to YouTube, and posted it here on the Agony Booth forums.
Here's the TV edit of Samuel L. Jackson's famous line, for your viewing pleasure:
At the time I posted this, I was really only hoping to get more views than the guys pointing their phones at the TV, and maybe get some laughs out the people who visit the forums.
Alas, the forums being what they are, most posters used the clip as an excuse to launch into debates about censorship, the First Amendment, movie piracy, and French culture. Elsewhere, however, the clip was getting many views, many LOLs, and was quickly getting noticed by other, bigger sites. It was becoming—dare I say it?—viral.
Within a few days, the clip was posted on sites like Dlisted, /film, Fark, Movietome, and the Best Week Ever blog.
It only snowballed from there. The clip was soon played on radio shows, like Kevin and Bean on KROQ in Los Angeles, and the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show (now syndicated to over 15 stations!). The clip was then featured in an episode of G4's Attack of the Show (fast-forward to the 7:44 mark). Within a week, the clip had gotten over 300,000 views, and it was still climbing.
That was when I given the Holy Grail of viral video attention: The clip inspired a bit on The Colbert Report. Seriously. Watch the bit below, which aired roughly one week after I posted the edited Snakes on a Plane clip to YouTube.
Yes, because of me, Stephen Colbert just called Shepard Smith a "monkey fighter". With all the attention and all the hype over this line, there was only one thing left to do: Put it on a T-shirt. It's classy, it's comfortable, but most importantly, it fills in the missing "????" part of the equation "Post YouTube video + ???? = Profit!"
But I'm not done yet! I realize that the success of this video was a one in a million shot. I will probably never find the same combination of hilarity and brevity in a single video clip again. However, that's not going to stop me from posting highlights from the rest of the TV edit of Snakes on a Plane.
To make it clear what's been dubbed, I'm including the unedited line from the DVD immediately followed by the edited line from the FX broadcast. (I was partly inspired by the Basic Instinct Ultimate Edition DVD, which features a similar—and similarly hilarious—comparison of the film with its TV edit.)
And now, I give you Highlights from the Rest of the TV Edit of Snakes on a Plane:
Please, let this get more views than at least one Susan Boyle video. That's all I ask.
And there you have it. An overdue appreciation of the work of the ADR guys, and a small taste of how insanely interconnected everything is in this new internet age. When one guy can directly or indirectly get his idea on TV in a week's time, we are all truly one global village, living on one great big earth. Don't wait for the future, because the future is now.
Did I mention there's a T-shirt?