America's Funniest Home Videos
(often simply abbreviated to AFV
, previously AFHV
), is an American reality television program
in which viewers are able to send in humorous homemade videotapes
. The most common videos usually feature slapstick
physical comedy arising from accidents and mishaps. Other popular videos include humorous situations involving pets
or children, while some are staged practical jokes
. The show is based on the Japanese show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan
(aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System
It was announced on February 28th that AFV had been renewed for its 19th season.
Produced by Vin Di Bona
(with co-executive producers Todd Thicke
and Michele Nasraway
), it is currently the second longest-running entertainment program on ABC. It is based on the Tokyo Broadcasting System
show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan
, which featured a segment in which viewers were invited to send in video clips
from their home movies
. The format has since been reproduced around the world, and AFHV-inspired TV specials and series continue to emerge periodically in the United States.
Every week, three videos are chosen by the producers and voted on by the studio audience. The winner wins US$10,000, and is in the running for the $100,000 prize at the end of the season, while the runner-up receives $3,000, and third place banks $2,000. Very early in the show's run, the second and third prizes were a new TV and a new VCR, respectively. On the initial hour-long special, the grand prize was $5,000 with second and third places winning a new camcorder; the producer picked the winner, with no audience voting.
Starting with the third season, the show featured the "Assignment America" segment; which called for a series of videos to be made pertaining to a specific theme. Also, Saget's era produced a memorable segment called "Freeze Frame" which was a montage of videos with the song "Freeze Frame" played by the J. Geils Band. The show was so successful in its first year that in 1990 it spawned a spin-off entitled America's Funniest People.
The show debuted on November 26
(as an hour-long special produced by Vin Di Bona and Steve Paskay, later a weekly half-hour primetime series since January 14
) with actor/comedian Bob Saget
as host and Ernie Anderson
as announcer. (Once Anderson became too ill to continue, Gary Owens
took over as announcer.) Saget co-hosted the special with actress Kellie Martin
, then the star of Life Goes On
, which would be the lead-in
show to AFHV
in its early seasons.
Johnny Carson "The Tonight Show's", host of this era, made both the show and Saget, both of whom he found guilty of bad taste, regular targets of his monlogues. The jokes generally centered on something like a new title for the show, such as "Fluffy Falls into the Food Processor" hosted by Bob 'Where's My Career' Saget.
Saget soon grew tired of the repetitive format and was anxious to pursue other projects as an actor and director. Producer Di Bona held him to his contract, resulting in a frustrated Saget listlessly going through the motions and making pointed remarks on the air during his last two seasons. His contract expired in 1997, and Saget left the show.
Bob Saget left the show after eight seasons in 1997, but the show returned on January 9
, with new hosts, model Daisy Fuentes
and stand-up comedian John Fugelsang
, as well as a completely new look. Their trademark was the "Bad-news, Good-news" segment in which they show a segment of videos (and something funny happens), and in the end, they say something good about it. The ratings for the show suffered during this period, and in 2001, they both left the show after three seasons.
On May 28 2001
, the show returned again in its third format, this time with new host Tom Bergeron
. Unlike Saget, who provided voiceovers to the clips, Bergeron humorously narrates them. In the 17th Season, Bergeron enters the studio in a sillouette version performing a shadow play before the sillouette screen goes up. The Bergeron version, however, added new segments, such as "Tom's Home Movies," where his face is digitally superimposed over the faces on the videos, and the "slo-mo gizmo", where a video is played first at normal speed, and then played at a slower speed and telestrated
. This version also ran for 60 minutes per episode instead of 30 minutes per episode like the previous two versions.
Near the end of each season, the $10,000 winners from selected episodes were brought back to participate in a contest called "The $100,000 Contest". This process was the same as the regular version, except one of the contestants would win $100,000.
- Saget Version: ABC Stations (5 on the first season, later reduced to 3 from 1990 to 1993; then to 2 in 1993) around the country were joined via satellite to cast their votes along with the Los Angeles audience.
- Fuentes/Fugelsang Version: Only the Los Angeles audience voted.
- Bergeron Version: Viewers logged on to abc.com to cast their votes with the LA Audience.
List of Satellite Cities on the $100,000 show
The satellite cities on the Saget AFHV are:
- Albany, NY (WTEN) [Season 5-2, Season 7-2]
- Albuquerque, NM (KOAT-TV) [Season 8-2]
- Atlanta, GA (WSB-TV) [Season 1, Season 6-2]
- Baton Rouge, LA (WBRZ-TV) [Season 5-1]
- Baltimore, MD (WMAR-TV) [Season 6-3]
- Boston, MA (WCVB-TV) [Season 2-2]
- Cedar Rapids, IA (KCRG-TV) [Season 5-2, Season 7-3, Season 8-3]
- Chicago, IL (WLS-TV) [Season 2-1]
- Cincinnati, OH (WKRC-TV, currently affiliated with CBS) [Season 4-1]
- Cleveland, OH (WEWS-TV) [Season 1, Season 8-2]
- Denver, CO (KUSA-TV, currently affiliated with NBC and KMGH-TV) [Season 2-1, Season 6-3, Season 8-1]
- Des Moines, IA (WOI-TV) [Season 4-3]
- Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM-TV) [Season 8-1]
- Hartford, CT (WTNH-TV) [Season 3-3]
- Houston, TX (KTRK-TV) [Season 1]
- Indianapolis, IN (WRTV) [Season 2-2, Season 7-2]
- Memphis, TN (WPTY-TV) [Season 7-3]
- Miami, FL (WPLG-TV) [Season 2-1]
- Milwaukee, WI (WISN-TV) [Season 3-1, Season 4-2]
- Minneapolis, MN (KSTP-TV) [Season 1]
- Nashville, TN (WKRN-TV) [Season 3-1]
- Norfolk, VA (WVEC-TV) [Season 4-2]
- New Orleans, LA (WVUE-TV, currently affiliated with FOX [Season 4-1, Season 7-1]
- Walt Disney World (The Disney Channel (due to Co-Ownership with ABC currently) [Season 3-3]
- Peoria, IL (WHOI-TV) [Season 6-2]
- Phoenix, AZ (KTVK-TV, now Independent Affiliation) [Season 3-2, Season 4-3]
- Pittsburgh, PA (WTAE-TV) [Season 7-1]
- Philadelphia, PA (WPVI-TV, the only ABC O&O station of the five) [Season 1, Season 4-1, Season 6-1]
- Providence, RI (WPRI-TV) [Season 4-3]
- San Diego, CA (KGTV-TV) [Season 3-3]
- San Francisco, CA (KGO-TV) [Season 3-1, Season 4-2]
- Scranton, PA (WNEP-TV) [Season 5-3]
- Seattle, WA (KOMO-TV) [Season 2-2, Season 6-1]
- Springfield, MA (WGGB-TV) [Season 8-3]
- Springfield, MO (KSPR-TV) [Season 5-3]
- Tampa, FL (WTSP-TV, currently affiliated with CBS) [Season 3-2]
- Washington, DC (WJLA-TV) [Season 3-2]
- Wichita, KS (KAKE-TV) [Season 5-1]
Three Grand Prize episodes (one in the first season) were done each season. A set of $10,000 winners were eligible for the grand prize.
- 2002 "Battle of the Best": The Quad Squad ($25,000 and trip to Maui)
- 2006: Dancing Machine ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 48 years)
- "Funniest Video of All-Time": The Quad Squad ($250,000)
- 2008: Not So Thrilled Ride ($100,000)
The long-running theme was "The Funny Things You Do", performed by recording artist and ABC's in-house talent, Jill Colucci
. At the time of AFHV
s premiere, Colucci was in the midst of performing her vocals on the network's image campaigns, the last two years of the slogan Something's Happening
(1988 and '89), and the first year only of America's Watching ABC
(1990). Colucci herself occasionally made guest or cameo appearances when referred to by Saget, and even began singing the theme in person in one opening segment. "The Funny Things You Do" accompanied the opening and closing credits for eight seasons.
At the start of the 1996-97 season (the final year with Saget as host), the theme was revamped featuring new vocals, a man and woman duet. The new version was also in a different key than the original. When AFHV returned in January 1998, with Fuentes & Fugelsang and a completely new look, the current arrangement of the theme song made its debut. Since that time, the theme has been an instrumental, composed by Dan Slider, with a faster, ska/reggae beat, with the original key (of the 1989 version) restored, making it sound similar to "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
During the Saget era, the theme song also was tied in with a skit just before the transition was made from the introduction to Saget. This usually consisted of several actors in a fake room pretending to get excited watching America's Funniest Home Videos. This technique was scrapped at the end of Season 5.
All episodes of AFV
are currently in syndication. Repeats of the show aired on TBS
from 1995 to 1998. Until 2003, the Saget version was syndicated by 20th Television
, who assumed syndication rights from their purchase of MTM Enterprises
, who had syndicated the show from 1995-1998. Currently, Disney-ABC Domestic Television
distributes all versions of the series.
- 1989-1993: ABC Television Center, Hollywood
- 1993-1997: Hollywood Center Studios, Hollywood
- 1997-Present: Raleigh Studios, Hollywood