Stupid, weird and hilariously awkward film clips

Everyone loves a wet ferret.

Everyone loves a wet ferret.

Sacramento State Hinde Auditorium

6000 J. St.
Sacramento, CA 95819
Hinde Auditorium

(916) 278-6997

One time in high school, my friend and I found an old workout video at his parents’ house. We shoved the cassette into the VHS player, and the screen filled with the image of a half-naked man doing yoga on a rocky seaside cliff. Although it wasn’t meant to be funny, we laughed our asses off uncontrollably. This is the same kind of unintentional humor curated each year by the Found Footage Festival, which arrives in town this week at Hinde Auditorium at Sacramento State University. The event is co-sponsored by Movies on a Big Screen and the Hornet Film Society.

The first Found Footage Festival happened in 2004 when co-creators Nick Prueher (former head researcher for Late Show With David Letterman) and Joe Pickett (contributing writer for The Onion) started screening stupid, weird and hilariously awkward VHS footage that they found in thrift stores and Dumpsters across North America. Much of the footage is full of eccentric people who are oblivious to the humor they are creating. Other videos are just out-of-date, bizarre or feature silly juxtapositions—such as a 1999 clip from the Los Angeles public-access television show Dancing With Frank Pacholski, featuring a patriotic-Speedo-clad Pacholski prancing about in front of senior citizens.

illustration by HAYLEY DOSHAY

Stopping in Sacramento in the midst of a 50-state tour, highlights of this year’s festival include clips such as a pet-care video called Ferret Fun & Fundamentals; a video featuring a psychotic woman who creates art using sponges; and never-before-seen footage from a series of Kenny Strasser yo-yo pranks, which hit local news stations throughout the Midwest in 2010 (hint: Prueher and Pickett were indeed behind the pranks). Skip Elsheimer opens the show with clips from his collection of classroom films from the ’60s and ’70s.

Don&#8217;t all senior citizens want to be <i>Dancing With Frank Pacholski</i>?

Thursday, December 13, at 7 p.m.; $10. Hinde Auditorium at Sacramento State University, 6000 J Street;