America’s Funniest Home Videos (and its international offshoots) might represent the most lucrative user-generated content project in history—until the arrival of Facebook and YouTube, anyway. A genius by the name of Vin Di Bona realized that there were untold thousands of hours of hilarious content out there just waiting for a network TV outlet, and that the owners of that content would be only too happy to send a major media corporation their videotapes for a chance at widespread TV recognition (and cash too, let’s not forget the cash). So in 1989 ABC began broadcasting the show, which was originally hosted by Bob Saget and, thrillingly, featured the voiceover work of legendary announcer Ernie Anderson (also known as Ghoulardi). The volume of submissions was so thick that it’s said that the show singlehandedly caused the Hollywood post office to take on increased staff.
The show lasted until—Oh wait. The show, of course, is still on the air even now.
Recently, noted Australian composer Chris Cobilis has immersed himself in the decades-long output of America’s Funniest Home Videos and its Aussie counterpart Australia’s Funniest Home Videos as part of the process to create an experimental orchestral work inspired by the show. That work, created in collaboration with poet Kenneth Goldsmith and Spektral Quartet and engineered by none other than Steve Albini, is called This Is You and will be available for purchase on Bandcamp on October 28 (but you can pre-order it today).