The concept is simple: find weird, funny, old (by their nature, they must be old, right?) VHS tapes, and bring them on a showcase around the country. That’s exactly what Found Footage Festival is. The brainchild of Nick Prueher and Joe Prickett, the idea for the show was born way back in 1991, when the pair first began collecting found videotapes. Found Footage heads to Charleston for the third time next month on Thurs. Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. at Theatre 99.
The Theatre 99 show features all new material including a collection of satanic panic videos from the 1980s; outtakes and on-air bloopers of North Dakota local news; and exclusive selections from David Letterman’s VHS Collection, donated to the Found Footage Festival when Letterman retired.
In addition to bringing found footage to locations around the country, Prueher and Prickett are also pretty busy dealing with a lawsuit. Yep, the funny pair was sued earlier this year for a prank they pulled on TV. Dressing in ridiculous outfits and dubbing themselves strongman duo Chop & Steele, Prueher and Prickett went on local TV stations to promote themselves — and TV stations fell for it. During their segment, Chop & Steele perform acts of strength such as crushing straw baskets and throwing sticks at each other.
A parent company of one of those news stations, Grey Television, filed a federal lawsuit against Prueher and Prickett claiming copyright infringement, fraud, and conspiracy.
While Prueher and Prickett say that they’re confident they’ll win this lawsuit on the grounds of fair use, they’re still taking donations to the cause on GoFundMe. On the site the two explain the reasoning behind Chop & Steele (other than the prank being hilarious). “In March, we posted short snippets from some of these segments online, hoping to entertain and make a point about how easy it is to get on certain news programs who aren’t doing basic fact checking.”
Tickets are $13 and on sale now at theatre99.com.